|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, October 31, 2005 - 08:47 pm|
Nora Miller asks,
Google reports 7960 instances of this quote on the internet. One site attributes it to Mikhail Gorbachev (Russian President of the Soviet Union (1985-91), b.1931) Another cites an example of where Ronald Reagan used it.
The fragment "If not now, when?" is part of another frequently copied quotation, and google reports 224,000 instances of it. The source quotation is quite old.
Rabbi Hillel - - 30 BC-9AD
Now there's time-binding for you.
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, October 31, 2005 - 10:28 pm|
I suppose it's time for me to weigh in on this discussion vis-a-vis the original claim.
Korzybski notes that time-binding includes the accumulation of "un-improved" information when he uses the phrase "inherited or inhibited false doctrines" in reference to "many cases of insanity and different unbalanced stated". (ibid. p.22)
When he presents the Anthropometer, explains abstracting, and describes the circularity of human knowledge, he makes a claim that strongly suggests that time-binding per se does not imply "progress".
He clearly is proposing that use of the Anthropometer as an educational tool would allow the general population to approach "knowledge" in a more "scientific" manner.
So Korzybski did not include scientific progress as part of conception of time-binding, merely the accumulation of information [and that includes false doctrines, beliefs, fallacies, etc.], but he did propose that teaching the Anthropometer (structural differential) would improve reasoning.
On page 25 he says,
, indicating that he clearly includes the bad information with the good information in his notion of time-binding.
The post general-semantic theory "genetic epistemology" predicts that progress will eventually be made for any surviving "knowledge". Those maps that "work" will be kept, and those maps that "don't work" will be discarded. "Good knowledge" survives. But "bad knowledge" is eventually discarded by the knower. Perhaps we should use the term "information" or "map" in place of "knowledge" in the beginning of this paragraph.
General semantics, however, did not make this prediction; general semantics offered us many tools and the "structural differential" as a model, with a number of "oughts" or "shoulds" commanding us to try to behave more like the scientists in our daily operations. General semantic suggests that we will be "better adjusted" and will produce better maps if we follow its principles.
The mechanism of general semantics is primarily abstraction, but verbal abstraction is afflicted by the circularity of knowledge.
The mechanism of genetic epistemology involves not only abstraction, but the re-combination of abstractions, and the selection of those that "work" while allowing those that do not work to fall into disuse.
The structural differential makes no explicit provision for association and memory, but those are what form the major basis of time-binding for the individual.
I can begin where my parents left off by starting with an abstraction that they produced. But do I begin "rightly" or do I begin "wrongly", am I blessed with a very good map or a poor one to start with? It depends on what cultural beliefs I was born into. I have the capacity to alter a map as I use it, but I can only alter my maps provided I remember them and can compare previous uses to current use. But if I remember what went before, (good or bad), that's the essence of time-binding - cumulating experiences (at the more rapid "geometric" rate).
Time-binding per se does not automatically entail progress or improvement. It is only the testing and re-testing in a culture that accepts the scientific method that allows for reevaluating "received" doctrine and the possibility of discarding some time-bound information as "no longer a good map".
Note that all the major (conflicting) religions survive because of time-binding, but they can't all be right, as each claims the others are wrong. For thousands of years each new generation has been indoctrinated in the respective traditions, and each generation adds something to those passed on (via the means of time-binding) doctrines. Is this "progress" or "improvement"? What was the theme of the Twelfth International Conference on General Semantics (2003)? Conflicting world views. [http://www.xenodochy.org/gs/cccwv.html] It would seem that time-binding exacerbates the conflicts by preserving all the insults, injuries, and disagreements of the past for the current generation to take new offense to. Is this "progress"? Is it "improvement"?
I do not think so. Time-binding allows the accumulation and preservation of information, good or bad, as well as the accumulation and preservation of records of all conflicts, disagreements, and insults, just as effectively as it preserves the results of cooperation.
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:29 pm|
Milton's quotation illustrates how taking a fragment out of context can lead to misunderstanding.
Korzybski wrote in a whole paragraph:
In Korzybski's topic sentence introducing the paragraph he notes gather the experiences of all past generations. He describes abstracting to the "n+1" order on this basis. He then notes what the stimuli for such abstracting are, and here he includes what the person learned plus his reactions to what he learned. Korzybski then returns to his primary claim, that, in principle, one can start where the previous generation left off.
Milton is definitely going of in a new direction, different from Korzybski when he extracts the stimulus for abstracting and identifies it with the characterizing of "time-binding" per se; he goes further afield [astray] by suggesting that "time binding" has an "intra-personal" component.
Korzybski is being misinterpreted here: Among 'humans' the abstractions of high orders produced by others, as well as those produced by oneself are stimuli to abstracting in still higher orders. Stands alone as a sentence that points out that a person abstracting does so using what he learned when he started as well as what he added to what he started with.
"Thus, in principle, we start where the former generation left off." becomes the paragraph summary statement that goes back to the topic statement; it restates that the fundamental mechanism of "time-binding" is the passing of information from generation to generation.
It should be noted, and people tend to not realize this, that each person does NOT start where the previous generation left off. "Blasphemy", you say? Think for yourselves. Each person must undergo a long and arduous learning process to learn what his prior generations ended up "knowing". That's what school (both academic and "hard knocks") is all about. The person cannot learn all his parent's experiences. The person can only learn a limited abstraction from past experiences. In the beginning the person does not select what to learn; it is selected for the person by members of the proceeding generation.
The better the abstracting process of the previous generation in choosing what to teach the next generation, the better the subsequent generation will be able to navigate the physical and semantic environments. "Improvement" is NOT in time-binding per se; it is in the abstracting process, and that happens only within the generation that is selecting what to pass on.
Once a member of the succeeding generation has undergone enough learning, including learning how to learn, under the guidance of the prior generation, the person can begin to search and abstract and produce new abstractions for later generations.
Time-binding, simply put, is accumulating information.
Improvement is in the abstracting process (together with testing).
Time binding can enable improvement, because experience is required in order to have data to abstract from.
A note on "intra-personal" "time-binding". This is an oxymoron, because time-binding is fundamentally "inter-personal", the passing of information from generation to generation. There are, however, aspects of human information processing that are conductive to time-binding. In order for a person to pass information on to another, he or she must be able to remember his experiences, and he or she must be able to express them symbolically using conventionally understood means - shared understanding.
Prior to writing, time-binding depended on oral traditions, hence it was a much slower level of accumulation. Once writing was invented, records of events could last much longer because they did not depend upon the memory of individual persons.
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 11:03 pm|
I believe this already answered your question, but let me expand a bit. The younger generation is initially at the mercy of the older generation, but sooner or later, some of them "rebel" and start to do thing differently. Sometimes "differently" turns out to be "better" (by some criteria), sometimes not. "Differently" gets added to the accumulated pool of "knowledge" to be passed on.
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 01:56 pm|
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Friday, November 4, 2005 - 09:16 am|
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Saturday, November 5, 2005 - 01:04 pm|
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, November 7, 2005 - 12:08 am|
André wrote, This simply is the way neural nets (in this case the neocortex) naturally work, by first perceiving coherences in sets. Perception of a coherent set (a generalization) is the only possible starting point of a reasoning chain regarding that set, whatever extension the starting set considered may have.
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 11:40 pm|
Hmmm.... It also suggests a movement from competitive relations ("barbaric") to cooperative relations ("civil").
|Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, December 12, 2005 - 03:40 pm|
They are all activities that are enabled by the increasing complexity of "civilization" and by the information provided through the mechanism of "time-binding". I think such activities, which pervade human societies, show that "time-binding" promotes neither cooperation nor civility.