1/2 OT Re: Alfred Korzybski ad nauseum
skh23ca at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 24 22:11:24 EST 2001
I'm concerned that this conversation has gone way
off-topic. Would anyone else deem it amiss if we
were to append 'OT' in the subject line of posts
not related to permaculture?
> From: Toby Hemenway <hemenway at jeffnet.org>
> and Sean, no you're bot boring me, at least.
Glad to know.
Thanks for the feedback.
> Also, where Souscayrous wrote
> > All words lie
> This is the stuff I've never been able to
> grasp. I've hacked my way, a
> little, through the thickets of Foucault and
> Derrida and some others of the
> language Left
I stopped paying attention to them after a brief
examination. I can't be bothered deciphering
their pompous linguistic posturings. Ralph
Kenyon, to who's writing I linked in a previous
post, describes the "lie" in all statements in a
way that even a child could integrate with a
little explanation. What's more, he doesn't take
the position of linguistic nihilism fashionable
among the pomo literati. He says
1. The map is not the territory.
2. The map doesn't cover all the territory.
3. The map reflects the map maker.
(Again, 'map' represents any noises or symbols
made in reference to any 'territory'.)
> From: "georg parlow" <georg at websuxxess.com>
> > Because 'the intelligible face of the sign
> remains turned to the word and
> > the face of God' (Jacques Derrida)
> sorry, communication didnt happen
Yeah, me as wel to some extent. I had no referent
for "to the word." I gather from the rest of it
that Derrida believes only God knows the correct
interpretation of a sign. For me, such a
statement amounts to little more than a
meaningless noise. No anthropomorphic God has
been shown to have any concern for the affairs of
Please do not mistake the satirical tone of the
Apparently Mr. Derrida did not take his head out
of a book long enough to see the durable products
that have come of the equations ("signs") of
> (chances are, most of you had a similar
> experience with my recent post...
> what a foggy world we are in!)
Actually, you came through crisp and clear. And I
owe it to your use of examples.
> From: "souscayrous" <souscayrous at wanadoo.fr>
> 'A semantics, a poetics of correspondence, of
> decipherability and
> truth-values arrived at across time and
> consensus, are strictly inseparable
> from the postulate of theological-metaphysical
> (From George Steiner's 'Real Presences', Faber
and Faber, 1989)
For all the postmodernists' socio-historical
wizardry with language, they failed to apply that
insight to their own gobbledegook.
I'm trained as an editor, and I'd say that
Steiner and Derrida have greater need of one than
does an ESL student. I was taught to chuck as
much as possible--these guys put no constraint on
the number of syllables they use. I was taught
techniques for gaining distance from my writer's
vanity--these guys spend all day preening prose
in front of the mirror. I was taught to prefer
effective communication--but for all their
purported wisdom, these guys sure make it
difficult to extract anything intelligible from
their writing. They sound like they say a lot,
but the rest of us are left guessing.
Ivory tower as pathology.
> From: "darren simo" <wannafarm at hotmail.com>
> Yes but these "simple words describing clear
> instructions" if then taken and
> put into use are the basis of a person learning
> for themselves how something
> is done.
True, but this describes only a rudimentary
educational method. Telling someone how to
operate a steam cleaner or a computer or a
tractor("simple words describing clear
instructions") does not help that person
contemplate their misfortune from the
sociological perspective of income inequality,
nor does it promote a search for other options
beyond one's immediate vista. In short, such an
educational method does not help people think for
themselves or make the choices necessary for the
life of complexity one is born into as a human
> So far no-one has said "tradition is the only
> way to keep information in
> your memory" but alot of people, including the
> Mollison quote are hinting
> down the road that anything else is a waste of
I would not hint at such a thing; please tell me
from which, if any of my comments you may have
formed such an impression.
I want to state here with vehemence that I reject
the assumption that tradition has more value than
modern forms of knowledge. On such a foundation
rests the anti-human character of doctrines as
diverse as rightwing social darwinism, Nazism,
political correctness and institutional religion.
Communicating with efficacy, elegance and wit
takes work--static adherence to tradition does
> "dry, graceless, witless scientific principles"
> that does not mean it is useless in formation
> and many different ways exist to help retain
> the knowledge as some others have said.
This criticism shouldn't be applied to my
position. Elsewhere I have made statements
equivalent to yours.
> Did not permaculture start as permanent
> agriculture and then grow to include
> the culture side of things.
I don't know the history of PC, but even if you
did make an accurate description of it, you've
missed my point. I took an anthropological point
of view, not an historical one.
> That means that we
> could already have billions of permaculturists
> in the world, it is just some still need a
> little bit more schooling in some areas of
> permaculture than in others
You butressed my own point with this comment. We
do need more education, which is addressed not by
the more specific 'agriculture' but by the more
general 'culture'--in this case, distribution of
effective methods of learning.
> From: <permed at nor.com.au>
> So many gems of wisdom and knowledge are
> encapsulated in short rhymes or
> sayings. I've been collecting these over the
> years and always interested
> in collecting more... that's an open invitation
> for contributions folks.
Hi Robyn. Did you get my piece about the sedges,
etc? In case not, here it is again:
Sedges have edges,
Rushes are round,
Reeds are hollow,
Grasses are sound.
Have you published your collection? I'd love to
read it. If no and you have it in electronic
format, would you consider putting it up on the
web? If you don't want the labour, I can do it
for you and pass ownership of the site over to
you. I'd do it prolly through Yahoo Geocities.
> Many are what Bill calls 'phenomonological
> information' about weather and
> seasonal indicators: e.g.
> "When the peaches flower there's perch in the
I learned about this at Linnaea. One of the
instructors, David Buckner, called it phenology,
the science of appearances.
In line with some of David's commments, I hope to
keep track of phenological changes daily for at
least a year to get a sense of place at my new
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