IGS Discussion Forums: Institute of General Semantics Topics: GS Curriculum Discussion
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 06:21 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Gary wrote The mission reads...

The mission statement on the Institute website is somewhat abbreviated compared to the articles of association. Here is what my copy of that document has:



Pursuant to the statute laws of the State of Connecticut regulating the formation and organization of corporations without capital stock, the following are our articles of association:-

ARTICLE 1. The name of said corporation shall be INSTITUTE OF GENERAL SEMANTICS, Incorporated.

ARTICLE 2. The purposes for which said corporation is formed are the following, to wit:-

1. In general to promote and conduct Linguistic, Epistemologic, Scientific Research and Education.
2. To undertake and conduct education and training courses in the Methodology of General Semantics.
3. To write, edit, publish and sell books, pamphlets, periodicals, bulletins, reports, year books and news releases.
4. To provide teaching and other materials and editorial, consultative, research, teaching and lecture services on General Semantics and allied subjects.
5. To provide encouragement to and supervision of individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions, affiliated with the Institute of General Semantics, Incorporated.
6. To raise and collect funds for the conduct of the Corporation, its publications and programs by securing annual contributions from individuals and groups who will be called 'Members of the Institute' and by devises, bequests, gifts, subventions, and all other lawful means.
7. To distribute news bulletins and other periodicals, materials and services to the above mentioned 'Members of the Institute' and others.
8. To acquire, hold, lease, sell, mortgage, manage, equip, maintain and otherwise deal in any and all property, whether real, personal or mixed.
9. To act, for the benefit of the Corporation in any other way as from time to time shall seem desirable.
10. To provide facilities for any of the above mentioned purposes and generally to do and perform any and every act and thing not specifically prohibited to corporations without capital stock organized under the present and future laws of the State of Connecticut governing such corporations.

The following are measuable in various ways:

1a. Identify research conducted by institute individuals - must have a concrete report.
1b. Identify research paid for by the institute - must have a concrete report.
1c. Identify grants provided to conduct research. - Must identify recipient, dates, and a concrete report.

2. Identify training courses put on by the institute - date, location, number of attendees, duration, hours, topics, abstract, etc.

3. Must identify publications by publication type, date, number of reprints, annual sales, distribution lists, number of copies of free publications distributed, where.

4. Must identify resources so produced, date distributed or provided, consultataions, researches, and other services by date and consumer.

5. Provide a record of any documentation provided to such affilliated groups, organizations, and institutions. Annual statistics a must.

6. Financial records of transactions summarized by year.

7. Records of such distributions summarized by year.

Each of the 7+ abstract summary statistics organized by quantity each year will provide an indicator as to the degree to which the Institute is meeting the specifications in the Articles of Association as to its mission responibilities.

For an extended period of time the Institute was notariously late in publishing the Bulletin, as evidenced by the nunmber of time multi-year issues were produced.

Can anyone currently holding office provide any semblance of statistics that cover all seven items?

If not now, when?

Even if we totally forget the past, we should be creating the current year's numbers as a baseline for measuring progress for next year. The officers can use the seven items in the articles of association as the basis for assigning duties among committee members.

1a Research - none conducted?
1b Research - none contracted for?
1c Research - no grants issued?
2. Training courses - ??
3. Books written - ??
Books edited - ??
Books published - ??
Sales of existing books -
Pamphlets produced - ??
Existing pamphlets distributed:
Reports published
Bulletins / yearbooks / news releases distributed.

4. New teaching materials created
Existing teaching materials upgraded
Old teaching materials distributed.
Consulting services provided.
Lectures delivered
Lectures arranged for.

5. Materials distributed to affilliated organizations.

6. Fund raising efforts.

7. Distributions made to members.

All the above need to be recorded, counted, or otherwise measured by some kind of quantity from time to time and trends analyzed and published in an annual report of the corporation - (should be publically available, per the tax-exempt status - that means to the members as well).

Now, we all know that "The Map is Not the Territory", and the above "map" is certainly not the territory, though it provides a somewhat intensional formulation as to what the Institute was set up to be and what it was envisioned to be doing. It seems that it has not lived up to its promise. Ok. How do we revive that promise?

In the past most of the above seems to have been left up mostly to the executive director and a secretarial staff. That left the board of trusteed free to talk up a good game without doing a great deal of the work. Until very recently ETC. was in the hands of the ISGS, leaving only the notoriously late Bulletin and an occasional newsletter the production and distribution of which varied significantly in frequency and content with whoever happend to be the executive director. Old Tyme Board Members can tell the story more accurately.

Now we have Marty, Jackie, Lance, and a custodial secretary? at Reed house. Editorial has resigned. Finance has resigned. Where are the Null-A board members who see the need for one of the above area committees and will step forward, take the reins, and do the long, hard, uncompensated work of heading a committed in the above areas?

Me? I'm going to continue to analyze the formulations, challenging everything aginst the latest science, valid logic, strict mathematics, and as many of the formulations as I can hold in a coherent whole. I will be the devil's advocate where I see inconsistencies, contradictions, and other non-sequiture formulations. I will rub my own and our noses in our blind spots - true to the approach of modern cognitive science. It must hold no absolute a-priori truths; all formulations are open to challenge of evidence. Toward this end I expect spirited contrasting formulations.

Challenge anything I say, anything I write, but be prepared to defend your view with consistent Popperian logic - current and evolving science.

What we believe today may just well be disconfirmed tomorrow - including anything I have said or written.

Too bad about the long post....