Australian General Semantics Society Inc.






Australian General Semantics Society Inc.


President’s Report: 14 July 2012

Another year, another series of seminars, and important developments for us.  Although much changes all around, we find that GS formulations remain a valuable tool in remaining “sane”, and adding value to our personal, family, community and professional lives.


Our membership continues at a modest level in quantitative terms, but with an impressive loyalty and commitment.  We have attracted many enquiries from the website and “Meetup” groups, but very few new ongoing commitments to participate in AGS activities.

Tom’s commitment, energy and imagination in promoting and facilitating the Melbourne Group has seen several meetings come to fruition there.

Monthly Seminars

We still meet (almost) every month at Gavan and Pauline’s home at Bonnet Bay, partake of sumptuous repasts, and share presentations and discussions. 

In the last 12 months these have included:
  "Aristotle the Man" (led by Robert),
  "Physical Roots of Ethics and Morality" (Gabriel),
  "How to Teach GS without Jargon" (David),
  "The Life and Times of Milton Dawes" (Robert),
  “Our Favourite GS Formulations” (David),
  “How to Develop Your Thinking Ability” (David),
  “How to Feel Happier” (David),
  "Sanity - Unsanity - Insanity" (Robert),
  "Viewpoints" (David).

Seminars planned to finish the year include:
  "General Semantics in Everyday Life" (Pauline),
  "Bias"  (Gabriel)
  "The Parekh Centre for General Semantics in India" (Robert) ,
  "Science and Sanity - Some Principles Revisited" (Laurie),
  "Ethics and Decision Making" (David),
  "Selections from 'ETC' and the 'Bulletin' " (Robert),
  and, of course: Christmas Party.

The Melbourne Group have worked on wide-ranging challenges including:
  “GS, Consciousness and ‘Reality’ “,
  “Turning towards Time Binding”,
  “Radical General Semantics?”, and
  “Plunging into the Niagara of Words”
See also Tom’s Melbourne Chapter Annual Report.

Details these events (and more) are available on our website

New Outreach Activities

Our very own (going Pro?) teacher David Hewson presented a “Problem Solving” course at the Wollongong WEA in May.

Laurie Cox presented a seminar on “Communications and Conflict Management” to staff at a major Sydney hospital, and has another one scheduled for 19 July.  He believes that health services organisations represent an important opportunity for bringing GS into “the workplace”.


Laurie Cox was nominated for the “Senior Australian of the Year” award, in recognition of his services to the community, and duly presented with a certificate and a medal at our seminar.

Our various members have, in the last 12 months: advanced with a major scholarly project, celebrated a 94th birthday, resolved a complex family issue, given birth to three grand-children, hosted a year’s worth of AGS seminars, gone to live in the mountains, maintained a university professorship, circumnavigated the continent, edited the online poetry journal “Divan”, evolved as a Brahmakumaris Yogi, published a thesis on “Media Ecology”, maintained a Jungian lending-library, and activated a new series of GS group meetings.  A (small) prize is available for correctly matching these activities with the appropriate GS members. 

Corporate Matters:

Thank you Gavan and Pauline for your generous hospitality in hosting our seminars in your beautiful home at Bonnet Bay.  Regardless of the quality of seminar discussions or ebb and flow of intellectual discourse, we have been assured of abundant cups of quality coffee, gastronomic lunchies and ongoing snacks and savouries, certainly adding to the enjoyment (and learning capacity?) of our gatherings.

Thank you also to David for his steadfast attention to his role as Events Coordinator and Public Officer of AGS, to Gav for acting as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to Pauline as Moderator of Debating, to Jeanne as Family Affairs Consultant, and to everyone for their support and encouragement.

The AGS Library

We have several new titles in our “Headquarters” collection at Bonnet Bay and distributed among members.  These are indexed on our website.  Thank you to Gav and Pauline for hosting this valuable facility.  It is indeed an unexpected treasure to encounter on the way to the loo.

AGS Website and “Meetup” Sites

The AGS website develops apace, with extensive records of our activities, resources, and links to “the GS world”.  It is now hosted in its own Internet domain, to enhance our level of management and control.

Our (Sydney) Meetup group has 34 members and the Melbourne Chapter Meetup has 13. The Meetup sites and the AGS Website continue to attract many expressions of interest, but relatively few follow-on attendances at AGS activities.  

Being a bit slow on the uptake, our Facebook site is not yet particularly mature, but we’re working on it.

International Affiliations

We continue to be an active member of the international community, exchanging correspondence and publications with Institute and with our friends such as Milton Dawes, Gregg Hoffmann and Isabel Caro. 

We rejoice in the excellent time-binding work of Bruce Kodish in publishing his “Biography of Alfred Korzybski”, and in the many authors of “ETC” and the “Bulletin”. Recognising the difficulty of reading “all” the material available, we try to share accounts of our reading and experiences at the monthly seminars.

Bruce Kodish has graciously offered to share with us his experience visiting the Parekh Centre for General Semantics in India to assist us in forging a closer association with our friends to the West.

We look forward to an ongoing rewarding partnership with these people.

Robert James,
AGS President 2011/12




(Updated 13/07/2012)

For details of our discussion meetings and seminars, locations and membership, Contact AGS
Web site by RLJamez