IGS Discussion Forums: Need Help? Have a Suggestion?: Organizing "About General Semantics" message board area.
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Friday, July 28, 2006 - 12:47 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

The About General Semantics area has more posts than all the other areas put together. It should be administratively divided into related subordinate areas.


Milton wrote it seems to me you have complexified, for newcomers to the discipline, a relatively uncomplicated instant of conscious awareness involving "remembering that we have left out characteristics in our abstracting". I speculate that it is impossible for one (I) to be aware of "all levels of abstracting including the neurological"...and I speculate that a newcomer to the discipline is likely to find this a daunting and discouraging task.

Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) responded with:

Milton, The article ends with, "But let not all these possibilities paralyze us. Go forth and act, but be prepared."

What's the "opposite" "complexify"? "Dumb down"?
We must remember that abstracting between two verbal levels involves semantic reaction, and the structural sequence of a semantic reaction is as depicted in the first list in the neural abstracting section. Moreover, I did not expand "7. Collections of neurons that selectively respond to different combinations of sensory cell responses." to explain that this also means recalling memories and experiences.

I submit that the majority of people who participate on this list are not simply asking questions for so-called "experts" to answer. This list involves discussions of the finer points and subtler interpretations, including how to update general semantics.

Perhaps the learn-gs topics should be divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced discussions, such as introduction to general semantics, novice interpretations, and expert discussion group - or some other multi-level classification to put the simple stuff in one place and the esoteric stuff in another place.

It is also the job of the moderators to determine what is and is not appropriate for this list and for any particular topic area. We can suggest to them that "learning gs topics" be broken up into two or three sub-group areas such as frequently asked questions and answers for beginners, advanced general semantics topics discussions, and discussions on updating general semantics. That way you can have the "simplifications" in the beginner area while I "play" in the other two areas. Any answers provided in the beginner area must be consistently stated Doctrine and simple sound bites.

What do you all think? Do you think it would be beneficial to organize "learn gs topics" into two or three different levels of abstraction depending on complexity - or some other criteria to differentiate the target audience by level of experience

This was followed by Ben saying,

Ralph, if memory serves, the moderators have discussed similar divisions as you propose but ultimately decided against them and for keeping the mix free from such stratification of topics.

Again, this idea feels a bit off-topic to me, and it would esp. fit within the "Need Help? Have A Suggestion?" forum. So if you'd like to continue this particular discussion, I recommend you post there the idea rather than in this thread so that this thread may remain on-topic.



Because a particular organization scheme has been discussed, does not mean it should not be re-visited. The situation has changed. The "learn-gs" topic has more posts than all other topics put together, and they range in complexity from simple questions to researched analysis, as well as "spirited" debates with respect to the use of terms. Milton's comment that some of this would be daunting to beginners should be taken to heart.

The "learn-gs" topic needs to be subdivided into categories or levels according to the following structure:

These three topics should replace the Learning GS Topics in the About General Semantics area.
Leave the old Learning GS Topics, but mark it CLOSED to new topics. Add a note to direct new topics
be added in the following three areas.

1. Ask your questions and get answers about general semantics here.
2. Perspectives and issues in interpreting general semantics formulations.
3. Technical and esoteric evaluations and proposed updates to general semantics formulations.

These three levels cover the learning area.
1 is simple Q&A for beginners.
2 is a place for disputants to argue over interpretations. Novices and experts alike can learn from back and forth discussions.
3 is for real research and in depth analysis together with peer review.

Other posts, such as current science, reports of applications, etc. "profound insights" belong in the
other topic areas.

Let's organize "About General Semantics" in a way that reflects levels of abstraction such that low, intermediate, and high level abstractions about the discipline can be seen in their respective levels.

1. Extensional - low level - descriptions - questions and answers.
2. Inferential - intermediate level - descriptions with inferences and interpretations.
3. Judgemental - high level - analysis and judgements about the continuing value of and or the need to revise formulations.

We should close adding new topics to "Learning GS Topics", only allowing new topics to added in the three areas suggested above, or as reworded by the board administrators.

This would allow readers to seek his or her level of interest.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 02:39 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Thomas wrote Sounds nice Ralph, but I don't think GS is an exact enough science for this level of categorization.

I would agree that general semantics is not an "exact science", and I would also accept that we must not worry too much about "hardening of the categories", especially in this context. The wording I suggested leaves room for "fuzzy" categorization, especially since the person doing the posting would be the one to choose the topic. On some occasions the moderators might move a thread from one topic area to another, as they do now.

Can't general semantics cannot apply levels of abstraction to its own discussion organization?

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 01:03 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

You mean the Null set and the entire Universe?