Following the summing up of the situation sent on February the 5th, in which I proposed to put up a bureau of solving human problems, Alan sent a mail proposing to call it : "Ministery of Person". I like very much this denomination, because it gives human person an absolute value, and a good part of the problems we got in human domains come from the fact we evaluate as absolute abstract values (money, democracy, nation, party, etc..) and in comparison we give our life a relative value.
Then it came to my mind that "the Person" is an abstaction supposed to represent the people. But there is nothing like "the Person" who would really exist : we cannot meet "the Person" not get an appointment to dinner with her. So a ministry of "the Persons" seems to me more similar to the facts.
Burroughs expressed himself about it, saying in the Adding Machine that "there is no value over the individual", which means the same really. He had followed Korzybski's courses in 1936 ("My Education") and , though he cannot be considered as a teacher of general semantics nor never pretended so, this discipline had a certain influence on his writtings.
General semantics, also called non-aristotelian logic, is a method of thinking invented in the twenties by a Polish ingeneer, Alfred Korzybski, on the base of data of quantic physics and theory of relativity. It corresponds, for our century, to what were, during antiquity, Aristotelian logic which was based upon the euclidian physics, and in the XVIIth century, Descartes' logic, which was based upon Newton's physics. (see "Les differentes étapes de l'évolution de l'Occident: Aristote, Descartes, Korzybski: trois visions de l'homme et du monde").
Hence, GS brings a quantic vision of man and of the world and allows to apply mathematical methods of solving problems to human sciences, leading in those domains to results of a similar efficiency than the ones we get in scientific and technical areas. So Korzbski defined it as a science of values and evaluations, a tool of thinking to solve human problems.
I discovered GS in 1976 reading "The World of Non-A", "The players of Non-A" and "Null-A-Three" by A.E. Van Vogt, which are science-fiction books, written to spread teaching and use of GS. (Van Vogt was member of the International Society for General Semantics).
Using it in my personal and professional life at the hospital where I tough it (group B 23 : see the summing up of the courses), I found it quite useful to myself, and as far as I have stated, the experiments confirmed Korzybski's statements about its efficiency.
I became member of the Institute of General Semantics (163, Engle Street, Englewood, NJ 07631) from 1986 to 1992, and translated Korzybski's seminar in touch with Mrs Charlote Read, from the Institute.
In 1996, I became member of the European Society of General Semantics, was part of the board of directors until I quit last month, as the work with Interzone does not allow time anymore for the work of translation and lecturing there.
You can find Korzybski's and GS books on the web at :
- Institute of General Semantics : http://www.general-semantics.org
As a result, I propose to use GS methods to treat problems we face practicly. I have no ready made solution, just a tool. Korzybski lived at the beginning of the century, so some of his data can be considered now as obsolete in certain domains, and have to be actualized on the base of our present knowledges.
In economic and financial domains, Korzybski's data on money might be helpful to get a better understanding about it and find solutions adapted to our real needs. (see "Science and Sanity" : Book I : "A General Survey of Non-Aristotelian Factors", Part II : General on Structure, chapter VI : On Symbolism." Don't be impressed by the first austere look; this chapter is not too technical; read it twice, and you will LOL a lot!
Any feed-back, writings, suggestions, etc., welcome.