Friday, May 9, 2008

Executive Director, Institute of General Semantics

So, it is about time I posted an announcement on this blog about my newest project. A little while ago, I was appointed as the new Executive Director of the Institute of General Semantics. You can click on the name, Institute of General Semantics, to get to the website of the Institute of General Semantics, and I've also added a link to my list of links over there on the right. If you head over to the site, by all means, have a look around. And if you are on MySpace, check out our profile there (you can do so even if you're not registered), and send a friend request our way (you need to be registered to do that).

I think the website needs some work, but there's lots of useful information about general semantics to be found, and you can even download PDF files of previous issues of ETC: The Journal of General Semantics, but hurry, I'm not sure how long we'll leave that there. But for now, may I suggest the July 2007 issue, which includes an article by me that isn't half bad.

And please become a member. We're having a link for membership added to the home page, but until then you can join by going to the Shop, or just click here. If you don't join, they might fire me (just kidding, but to clarify, I have not quit my "day job" at Fordham University, and will also continue as President of the Media Ecology Association until my term is up at the beginning of 2009).

There is also a pretty good entry on general semantics in wikipedia.

So, if you already know about general semantics, that's great, and if not, you can learn all about it from these sites. Simply put, general semantics is all about understanding the structure of language as a medium, and understanding symbols as the tools and technology through which we relate to our environment.

And in understanding the bias of these media and technologies, we can use them more effectively than we would otherwise, allowing us to gain a better grip on reality, both individually and collectively. Not surprisingly, general semantics is closely related to media ecology, the former serving as a major building block for the latter, and Neil Postman was known to say that media ecology is general semantics writ large.

General semantics has its roots in scientific thinking, as applied to communication and cognition. And it is very much about human consciousness, and its potential to evolve, which makes for some very fascinating explorations. General semantics is also an excellent means for unlocking creative potential, and I hope to place more emphasis on creative expression and the arts than previously, and also on the relevance of general semantics to new media, including all the wonderful social media like blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

And I am just going to leave it at that for now, and let you go see the sites, if you care to. But I will post more on this topic in the days to come. You can Count (Korzybski) on it!

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