Australian General Semantics Society Inc.



17th April 2021 Seminar Summary

11am Sydney Time

"Dealing with the Media"

Facilitator: Robert James

MediaIs "all" our information mediated through layers of institutional processing?

  * Can we ever access the "unmediated truth"?
  * What use is advertising - can re resist it?
  * How can we find trusted sources?
  * How to separate fact/inference perceptions?
  * What, indeed is the territory, and what the map ... ?
  * "I wouldn't believe anything I read in Western media
    about China ... "

Our Seminar
on-line - missing the customary hospitality of Gavan and Pauline at Bonnet Bay,
but enabling us to reach out to include our GS friends in Canada and USA :-(.

Catching Up
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.

Discussion on "Dealing with the Media"

* Social Media

We considered our changing relationship with printed books and magazines, newspapers etc., and the huge shift to electronic media (including television).

Bruce Kodish has been a prolific writer on general semantics and contemporary themes. 
We considered his FaceBook offerings

* Public Affairs

Derek Chauvin was tried for the murder of George Floyd,
captured by a bystander's mobile phone and viewed all over the world,
and spawned the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

We considered the role of media access in this issue.

* Signs of Progress

Fake News: The Australian Government's website

Anyone can post a story online and news travels fast on social media.
So we need to question what we read and watch, before trusting that it's right.

* Shawn Lawrence Otto's views from ten years ago

Robert met him in 2012 in New York, and encountered his bery relevant book:
"Fool Me Twice" (Shawn Lawrence Otto 2011)
Fighting the Assault of Science in America

We considered some presentations on this, eg:
Publication party (Book launch)
some special humour from George W. Bush.

and Thomas Jefferson's assertion: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”.

* Media Ecology

Media Ecology Association - What Is Media Ecology?
an emerging discipline, very welcomed by general-semanticists!

* Media Watch

Media Watch is an Australian media analysis television program currently presented by Paul Barry for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The program focuses on critiquing the Australian media together with interconnections including political.  The style, content and alleged biases are all part of the public forum.

* Trusted News

Reuters Institute study found that BBC News is America’s most trusted news brand.

BBC News is the most trusted news brand in the United States, according to the new Reuters Institute 2020 Digital News Report, published: 15 June 2020.

At a time when American audiences increasingly demand facts, not opinions, we are proud to be able to offer exactly that.— Jim Egan, CEO, BBC Global News

56 percent of US respondents rated the BBC as “trustworthy”, which the study counts as a trust rating of six to ten points out of ten, ahead of all major US news brands. The annual study of media consumption is one of the most rigorous and influential reports on global attitudes towards journalism.


Some references:
 * "Language in Thought and Action" - S.I. Hayakawa,
 * "Can a Robot be Human? - 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles" - Peter Cave,
 * "The Infomedia Revolution" - Frank Koelsch,
 * "Communication Uncovered - General Semantics and Media Ecology" - Corey Anton,
 * "Fool Me Twice - Fighting the Assault on Science" - Shawn Lawrence Otto,
 * "How Do You Know?" - Christopher Mayer,
 * "Drive Yourself Sane" - Bruce and Susan Kodish,
 * "Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living" - Martin Levinson,
 * "Searching for Unmediated Truth" - Gregg Hoffmann,
 * "Media, Maps & Myths" - Gregg Hoffmann,
 * "The case for Courage" - Kevin Rudd (2021),
and, of course ...
 * "Science and Sanity" - Alfred Korzybski.


    On-line, by Zoom.

    Saturday 17th April, 11:00 am (Sydney time zone) for a catch up.
    The seminar will start at 11:30 am. We break briefly for lunch around 1 pm.
    Finishing around 2 pm.

    Please note that this is now a Sydney Saturday,
    so for those in North America, it will be a Friday.
    11am Sydney time is 9pm New York, Ohio etc. (Beware Daylight Saving time shifts)


Next meeting:
   10am (Sydney time) Saturday 12th. June 2021.
   "Alternative Hypotheses"
Applying the extensional device of ETC to alternative hypotheses, as used in science. 
   We will apply it to how people make up theories on life, the universe and everything. 
   Expect a challenging discussion as we apply “etc”, to our usual hot topics.

   Facilitated by Mr David Hewson.

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 Robert James
23rd April 2021