Australian General Semantics Society Inc.




Seminar Summary - 16 June 2013


Sun 16th June 2013
GS Around the Globe
A review of the activities of our colleagues
in the USA, India, UK and Europe. 
How we fit in, and what we can contribute.

Led by Robert

Preliminary ... Catching Up

We were pleased to welcome some "returning" and "new" participants, as well as the "old faithfuls".  It's "always" envigorating to meet people encountering the discipline anew, to see what draws them, and how we can bring GS as a useful and exciting study.
WritingThis is a "living document", subject to ongoing evolution as recollections re-emerge from our memories of the event, and are re-evaluated in light of ongoing experience and reflection.  It will never be "the full truth and nothing but the truth", or "a map that expresses everyone's notion of the territory"!

Our little AGS group gains great comfort and encouragement from the global GS network, with its large and growing body of reference material, great people, and increasing "social media" facilities.

Today we conducted a quick survey of our global engagements and their contact points. "There's more to life than videos" - yes, we know that, but here is a very small selection of some of the videos of material relating to "GS Around the Globe" that we considered:

Let us not forget the source of this discipline, in Alfred Korzybski -
Here he is elucidating the Structural Differential:


The Institute of General Semantics
has a vast collection of material at

The Institute's Video Collection:

Bob Pula:
General Semantics defined

Irving J. Lee | "Why Do People Misunderstand Each Other?" (1952)

Steve Stockdale
"Calling out the Symbol Rulers - Oct 2004"

Alfred Fleishman
  1. Introduction to "Sense and Nonsense" Lecture

  2. "Language Habits That Destroy Effective Communication"

  3. "Why We Misunderstand Each Other"


The Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences
in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, is the centre of an enthusiastic and growing Indian GS community.

The Centre was founded by Balvant K. Parekh, major Indian philanthropist, and winner of the IGS 2011 Talbot Winchell Award for service in the interest and promotion of general semantics:

Sadly, Balvant died on January 25 2013 in Mumbai at the age of 89. Here is a short obituary.

Here is a 2007 video of Mr. Balvant Parekh speaking to a group of GS students in India
on communication in business: .  Bruce Kodish visited the Centre in 2013. 

Steve Stockdate wrote an excellent summary in this article "General Semantics in India - an Overview" which contains much detail.



Dom Heffer has a wonderful website, full of thoughts and extraordinary images: Jeanne and Robert are looking forward to meeting Dom on their visit to the UK.

Chris Larcombe
Debugging the Mind with General Semantics, Etc.  A great speaker with a great message.

Rod Smith provides a source of "Science and Sanity" and wide-ranging ideas:


Peter Shepherd has an vast collection of unusual material on GS and other things.  He provides a daily-email "motivational saying" service!

Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer, resident of Paris, carries the flag for the European Society, writes insightful articles, and is Secretary of the Executive Committee and Trustee of the institute of General Semantics.  Our David Hewson has met Vanessa on his travels to the USA.


Professor Isabel Caro, at the Universitat de València in Spain, received the J. Talbot Winchell Award from the Institute of General Semantics in 2002 for significantly furthering the work of general semantics. Laurie and Betty were privileged to visit Isabel on their travels to Spain.  Dr. Caro received her doctorate in psychology with here paper "General Semantics Theory - Its Implications for Psychotherapy".


Our very-own Laurie Cox has studied and practised GS over 50 years, and founded the Australian General Semantics Society in 1990.   We have enjoyed congenial company, sharing and learning in the context of this discipline for over 20 years.  We communicate with GS colleagues "around the globe", conduct a monthly seminar day and special events in Sydney, and have meetings in Melbourne.

You can find the Sydney group on Meetup, and the Melbourne Chapter Meetup as well.

Laurie received the J. Talbot Winchell Award in 2001 for hiswork in promoting GS in Australia.  You'll be amazed to hear that he had something to say at the AGS National Conference in August 2010:
Part 1:
Part 2:

We were priviled to have a visit from Milton Dawes for a series of seminars etc in 2002.
Here is a recod of three of the "Success Strategies Seminar" sessions:
   1. Milton Dawes (and Laurie Cox) (1 Hr 56 mins)

   2. "What We Mean by 'Old Ways of Thinking'" | David Hewson (8 mins)

   3. "'Hickory Hollow': The Use of Calculus in Everyday Life" | Milton Dawes (53 mins)

Tom Valcanis
In the AGS Melbourne Chapter, Tom maintains an amazing blog at w
You can see many of his writings there, including a series starting here.

The Melbournians maintain a AGS Melbourne Chapter Meetup Group to keep in contact and attract members.

Daniel Fogarty
shares his interests with friends in Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne.  As a student of Psychology and the human condition, he has created some remarkable little books that you can read.  We look forward to enjoying his unique contribution to our community.

Robert James
had the privilege and pleasure of attending the AKML Lecture 2012 and Symposium in 2012.  An account of his engagement with the Institute and adventures in New York, is available for your perousal here.


Next Meeting:

Sun 14th July 2013
"Applications of Creative and Critical thinking"
Here we are going to work at the problem of how to integrate and apply Creative and Critical thinking
methods along with
 GS formulations to our lives. So expect another very interactive and challenging
problem-based session.

Led by David

10:30am - 4:30pm at Bonnet Bay, Sydney, Australia.



(Updated by RJ 16/06/2013)

For details of our discussion meetings and seminars, locations and membership, Contact AGS
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