IGS Discussion Forums: Learning GS Topics: Chemistry-Binders --> Light-Binders
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, December 7, 2005 - 10:42 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Hi Ben,

As Frank indicated, it does not matter what the actual word itself is as long as members of the universe of discourse use it to indicate in a consistent manner: that is, at the risk of setting a red flag to certain "general semanticists", we use the "same" word in the "same" way within a universe of discourse.

Let me address the content of your query.
Plants that use photosynthesis use the energy of light to bind chemicals together in a higher energy state. Energy extracted from light is used to convert water and carbon-dioxide into sugar and oxygen - to ultimate bind the hydrogen atoms to carbon-dioxide in a long and complex process, so the chemicals are what get bound together. The light is an energy source that is consumed in the process, and some of that energy is released when the sugar is metabolized by combining with oxygen later. Plants create stockpiles of bound chemicals, sugars and starches, that can be used for food later. The constituents are actually more important than the amount of energy, because we cannot use energy in just any form.

Another perspective is that the primary dimensions of physics are length (space), mass (energy), and time, so Korzybski's "dimensionality", corresponding to primary physics, could have been time-binders, space-binders, and mass-binders, but that would have been too esoteric, because physics of length-mass-time, is (still) not well understood by the general population. Space and time aren't a problem, but mass is; what popular common words could be substituted for mass that meets the criteria of being "true to the process" but also popularly accessible? Energy and Chemistry both fit the bill. Korzybski uses both interchangeably.

Since energy is extracted from more parts of the electromagnetic spectrum than just the visible light range, and energy is a better descriptor of what the function is - saving energy for future use - I use the term 'energy-binder' exclusively, and that seems to have been adopted. There are 207 citation for "energy-binder", but only 2 citations for "chemistry-binder" (both in association with "general semantics") by google.

So, if it pleases you to join the majority, switch to "energy-binders".