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On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology.

Lance Strate. On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2011.

Lance Strate, the past executive director of the Institute of General Semantics and a professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, writes about general semantics, media ecology, and systems theory in this well-crafted and compelling collection of essays.

The first piece in the book, "Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics," provides an introduction to the life and times of the founder of general semantics, and to what has come to be known as Korzybskian general semantics. The treatise originated as an article in the Polish journal Organon. Essay number two, "Quandaries, Quarrels, Quagmires, and Questions," is based on Wendell Johnson's take on general semantics, with the addition of a media ecology perspective to elaborate on the problem of identity relationships as they have evolved over the history of western culture. It originated as a paper that the author presented at a symposium in 2006 to mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of Wendell Johnson's People in Quandaries.

The fourth essay, "On the Binding Biases of Time," places special emphasis on the concept of time-binding, the foundation upon which Korzybski built his non-Aristotelian system, and on the concept of time-bias, a key term for Harold Innis in his media ecological study of the material nature and impact of media and technologies. Essays number five and six take as their focus Neil Postman, who was an important bridge between the discipline of general semantics and the field of media ecology. Essay number ten, "Poetry Ring," consists of ten short bits about the relationship of general semantics and poetry.

Scholars, students, and intelligent laypeople would be well advised to read all the fourteen essays in this highly instructive and entertaining interdisciplinary book. Highly recommended.



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Author:Levinson, Martin H.
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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