Australian General Semantics Society Inc.




Seminar Summary - May 2017


"GS Formulations"
We're pretty familiar with the concepts of "time binding", "consciousness of abstracting" and "The map is not the territory".  But is that "all" there is to GS?

Led by Robert James


Our seminar
at "Cifftop View" Bonnet Bay in Sydney was hosted as usual by Pauline and Gavan - Thank you both!


Sharing of triumphs and tragedies and miscellaneous yarns.


GS Diary
In the spirit of "applying general semantics principles" to our lives, as opposed to dwelling in theory, we considered members' accounts of observations and applications relating to the principles and formulations of our discipline.


After a brief introduction to Korzybski’s background and motivation we covered some “basic” formulations.

Korzybski wrote: "We need not blind ourselves with the old dogma that 'human nature cannot be changed', for we find that it can be changed, i.e. changing premises from P1 => P2

We discussed (inter alia):


Revision from last month:
"GS for "Beginners - Applications to Health Care"

  • We recalled David's presentation last month on some of the "favourite" g-s principles / formulations, such as map-territory and non-absolutism.

  • We focussed on applications to promote good health for all of us, particularly in relation to weight management.

Introduction to David's "Mega List"of 90 of our Favourate Formulations

  • We surveyed David's "List of Our Most Loved Formulations",
    and discussed the scope and grandeur of it.

  • Because of our space-time and capacity-to-concentrate limitations, we did not undertake a systematic study of the list contents, but rather a less structured game of "RJ's "Formulations Bingo".

    This entailed players selecting a clutch of Formulation Cards, undertaking to make some statements about them, and inviting questions and sicussion.  This evoked a lively interchange of explanations, lookup into reference sources, questions, anecdotes and recounting of experiences.

    We do not, of course, have arguments, but a certain amount of exchange of views is always encouraged.

Focus on Habits - Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits ... "

  • Some of the g-s formulations relate to our habitual behaviour, and our attempts to harness habits as a servant rather than a master.

  • Observation of the phenomenal success of Covey's work ...

  • Comparative examples of promotional material:
      an öld school"presentation:      Irving Lee GS Video (1952)
      and an impressive new format: Stephen Covey's "Habits" video

  • Covey's Habit-2: "Begin with the end in mind":
    RJ's "Egg Speriment".

Focus on application of some formulations -

Remember from a couple of months ago, some Buddhist principles ...

  • From the "Eight-Fold Path", the principle of "Right Speech",

  • Video of a CIA perspective on this,

  • Ïnterpretation of this as an application of "Map-Territory"awareness. 

Now for some "Self-Mapping"-
Assign some Labels to our perception of Ourselves -



Business Meeting

We reflected on the year past and planned for the year ahead, in our usual style.

Next Meeting:

Sat 24 June
"GS for Skeptics"
  • What does skepticism and GS have in common?
  • How can Skeptics benefit from GS formulations?
    Led by David Hewson


Disclaimer: This "summary" is a collection of notes derived from our discussion by a number of means.  It is by no means a scholarly dissertation on the subject as presented.  It does not purport to be the "policy of AGS".  Comment and criticism (constructive or otherwise) is welcome.  If anyone has been misquoted, copyrights infringed or confidences betrayed, please Contact us.



Updated by RJ 16 May 2017

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