Good Company

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Survival / Intelligence /

Good Company

Sir Fred, Count Alfred … pk?

I mention Sir Fred Hoyle above: and a few other places, a couple of points being made more than once. Sir Fred earned his knighthood, he wasn’t born with it. Throughout K. I mention Alfred Korzybski: Count Alfred Korzybski. I think he was born with his title. (See? Just because you’re an aristocrat doesn’t prove that you’re a villain!) I’ve been thinking recently that Sir Fred and Count Alfred have something in common, something precious: beyond being great thinkers, great scientists. Follow now:

I’ve seen it said in print: “What if Fred is right?” Many a scientist rejects Hoyle’s views; but at least they’re not altogether ignorant of him. They see clearly that his views and theirs are incompatible. If Fred is right; then they, the majority of scientists, are wrong.

I heard my brother-in-law, a professor at the University of Maryland, now retired, say, as he loaned me his copy of Korzybski’s Science and Sanity (that is, a University of Maryland library copy), paraphrase, I hope not inaccurate, “God forbid that Korzybski should be right: because, if he is, then everything else is wrong.”

Well, I suspect that Sir Fred is right, or close to right, or closer than many another, on more than one point. Science too has its inertia, its blindness, its vested interests … And I ardently see Korzybski as being right: on practically everything. Unfortunately, I also see Korzybski’s truth as permanently out of the reach of the bulk of human beings. When Peter Wason developed his test for falsification in thinking, he found that not only could few college graduates think to look for disproof in their thinking, but a significant portion of them — “educated” all — failed to understand the explanation of where they were deficient. They didn’t get the problem and couldn’t be shown the solution.

(The Hebrew general slaughtered the candidates among his soldiers who drank directly from the stream instead of first scooping up the water in their hands. If we were to slaughter those who couldn’t understand science, give the survivors a chance, we’d have very little population left. Of course I think that would be a good thing (though I don’t approve of anyone appointing themselves the slaughterers: bide your time, stupidity will die all by itself). (I’d also like to know the percentages on the Wason test for non-college graduates. It might be the same, it might be worse. But there remains a possibility that the uncolleged might be able to understand falsification better than the colleged.))

Present Korzybkian semantics to someone. They’ll say they get it. They’ll say that it’s obvious. But of course they DON’T get it. They don’t see it at all, and can’t be shown: not by Learning1. (Still, those of who can, try.) (Learning2 is not in our control. Neither is it in the control of our institutions!) (God may not control it.)

Now: simplify: If Hoyle is right — about life in the universe, for example, about the Big Bang being a fiction, for example — then much of accepted science is wrong. And if Korzybski is right — that we deceive ourselves by our symbols and signs, over-reifying them, then nearly everything normally thought is wrong.

I’m comfortable with that. I suspect that we’re far more wrong far more often than right.

But now: I’ve never heard anyone say, “God! What if pk is right?” I’ve never heard of anyone saying it. When my fans mention me to others, they mention me to a brick wall, a universality of silence.

Still: some people could be saying it, thinking it. Some few people now have read some pk.

Imagine that! If pk is right, then everything else is wrong. Wow. I love it.

I wish people would say that. If nothing else it would at least put me in that select company: Sir Fred, Count Alfred: great thinkers.

And I tell you, I invite you to see for yourself … how true it would be.

@ K. 2005 12 26

Social Survival

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in pk Teaching, social survival, society and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s