Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 6 - Looking Back

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Korzybski had begun to look back over his life and work. Recent events had likely stirred reminiscence: the Institute’s abrupt and traumatic move to Lime Rock after its years in Chicago; his concerns over the Society, the fate of the Institute, and misinterpretations of his work; Mira’s ill health and his own aches and pains and increasing age; and the recent deaths of friends. He had other reasons too for looking back. Manhood of Humanity, long out of print, had sat on the to-do list for several years. Mira had long stressed to him the significance of time-binding and, perhaps as a result of this, he had begun to more strongly reconnect to the importance of his earlier formulation as the foundation of everything he had done since 1921. The two encyclopedia articles he had written, as well as Guthrie Janssen’s work on Selections from Science and Sanity, which involved conferences between the two men, had also forced Alfred to review and reassess his lifework starting with Manhood. Now he, Kendig, and Charlotte had begun to plan for a Second Edition, for which he still had to write a new introduction. But work on Manhood would have to wait. 

Over the last year, the rate of sales of Science and Sanity had zoomed, and by the end of April 1947, the supply of the Second Edition was nearly exhausted.(31) Back orders would soon start to accumulate at the Institute (now that Science Press was going out of business as a distributor, the Institute had taken over that role). Enough had happened since 1941, over the last few years in particular, to justify putting out a Third Edition with a new Preface. That now topped his writing list. Although he could spit out something fairly quickly, getting it into publishable shape involved a much slower process for Korzybski. Completing the Preface, now gestating, couldn’t wait too long if he wanted to get S&S back in print anytime soon. But it too would have to wait a little longer since he had gotten very busy by mid-year.

Korzybski had decided to go to Georgia to visit Ken and Roberta Keyes during the period between the early June ending of the Harvard intensive seminar and the August 16 start of the seminar-workshop. Although the Keyeses had abandoned their previous plans for a GS-based foundation and school, Ken had gotten interested in writing Korzybski’s biography and had been bugging Alfred for months to come down to record his memoirs. Korzybski, although somewhat reluctant, finally agreed to go. As he wrote to Vocha Fiske just before the trip,
Dear DD:
Too rushed to write. It is about midnight and Charlotte and I have to leave in the morning for Warm Springs to visit Keyes, and of all things to work day & night on my g-d biography. I am so damned sick of myself, and to have to shout into a transcriber is a poor sense of vacation to me, but the bosses (Charlotte & Kendig) ‘decreed’ and so poor me has to obey. (32) 

On June 24, Guthrie Janssen drove him and Charlotte to New York City to catch the Atlanta train. In Atlanta Ken and Roberta met the two and drove them to Warm Springs where the Keyeses now lived. Ken, severely stricken with polio early in 1946, seemed indomitable. Although his legs were completely paralyzed and his arms showed only a flicker of activity, he was now up and about in a wheelchair. He and Roberta had moved to Warm Springs with their two children, buying a house a couple of blocks from the famous Warm Springs Foundation where Ken was receiving therapy.

With the Keyeses paying for Alfred’s and Charlotte’s trip and rooms at the Warm Springs Hotel, Alfred spent the next two weeks recounting his life into Ken’s Audograph recorder, filling up 36 acetate discs. Ken also recorded Korzybski’s “Historical Note on the Structural Differential”, took photographs of Alfred, and movies of him and Charlotte. Roberta Rymer Keyes’ transcription of the recorded biographical material amounted to 499 typed pages, taking her close to 300 hours to do.(33) Without question, Ken Keyes, Jr. had a deep interest in GS. Over the next two years, he wrote a popular book based on some of Korzybski’s methods, How to Develop Your Thinking Ability, published by McGraw-Hill in 1950. Over the next five decades, he wrote a number of other books on nutrition, futurism, and personal development. “I never got around to writing the biography, though”, he confessed in his own 1989 autobiography.(34) He eventually lost the biographical recordings, but Roberta’s transcription, an invaluable account of otherwise undocumented aspects of Korzybski’s life (especially from its first half in Europe), became a valuable source for this book.
Alfred's 68th Birthday with the Keyeses
On July 9, Korzybski and Charlotte hurriedly packed to leave Warm Springs with Ken and Roberta, who drove them to Atlanta for a jarring train ride back to New York City. Before returning to Lime Rock, they stayed for about a week in Greenwich Village near Washington Square Park at the genteel, though somewhat rundown, old Albert Hotel (both Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Wolfe had once stayed there). Exhausted from the trip, they could “hibernate” at the Albert while Alfred got a new eyeglass prescription filled, his dentures refitted, and tried to finish the “Preface To The Third Edition”. Although she appreciated some aspects of country living, Charlotte definitely felt the advantages of life in New York City, with its many delicatessens, restaurants, shops, museums, plays, etc., all within a short walk or ride by taxi, bus, or subway. Korzybski appreciated being away from the many distractions of the Institute house in Lime Rock; he could just concentrate on writing.(35) Over the next two years, he would return to New York City with Charlotte, now his amanuensis and chief editor, for a number of extended stays to write.

As soon as they returned to Lime Rock and unpacked, Alfred and Charlotte had to get ready for the summer seminar-workshop to be held again at the Indian Mountain School starting August 16. Despite counting as Alfred’s 57th seminar since the founding of the Institute, he still had to prepare—making notes to himself before his presentations, having his assigned student-assistant take notes during the presentation, and reviewing these with the student after the lecture. The assistant could also remind him when he ‘got lost in a footnote’ and needed a cue for where he had left off in the main body of his talk. Despite the reappearance of much material from one seminar to the next, he continued reshuffling it, as well as adding new formulations (e.g, chain indexing within the last couple of years), demonstrations (he may have started doing the ‘Atomic Mousetrap’ demo this year to illustrate exponential functions), and stories and examples from the news, his reading, etc. He would note important books for students to read; this year he recommended Philip Frank’s newly published biography, Einstein: His Life and Times, which he considered beautifully written and important for understanding his own work.

The stories Korzybski told—not to entertain, he would emphasize, but to make a point—might offend some people. By this time, he had begun telling the following one from the March 1947 Reader’s Digest. Some white African planters suddenly faced a strike by their native workers. When the planters asked the leaders to explain the reason for the strike, the leaders said they were doing it because the planters ate Negroes. The astonished planters vehemently denied it and called for their native cook to clear up the mess. As Korzybski would tell it:
‘Did you ever cook a Negro for me?’ one planter asked. ‘Of course I did,’ replied the cook. ‘What? How did you serve it? Fried, or boiled, or what?’ The cook answered, ‘Oh, they were chopped to pieces.’ And the planters, who had ordered the pancake mix picturing ‘Aunt Jemima’ on the box, could not persuade the workers that they didn’t eat Negroes. (36)
After all, didn’t the cans and boxes of food from America always come with a picture of the contents inside? Alfred began to use the story in his lectures, not to show the foolishness of African natives compared to other ‘ more enlightened’ people, but as a particularly stark example of identification, to which everyone seemed prone—whether in such gross or in more subtle forms. (Korzybski subscribed to Harry Stack Sullivan’s dictum: “We are all more human than otherwise.”)

One would hardly know that the Institute had gotten to its lowest financial ebb from the appearance of the people-packed seminar. A number of previously attending students had returned, including Ralph Hamilton, whom Korzybski asked to work at the Institute after the seminar ended on September 5: ‘Go home, arrange your affairs and come back to IGS to work as an unpaid ‘dogs body’ [to get room and board, living at the Institute]; You will get the benefit.’ Ralph went home to Ohio, bought a car, packed some belongings, and drove back to the Institute to start working there that month.(37)  

Nineteen-year old Texan, Delphus David Bourland, Jr., now a Harvard undergraduate, had come for his first Institute seminar-workshop. As a student several years before at Culver Military Academy in Indiana, he had gotten enthralled by A. E. Van Vogt’s 1945 serial, “The World of Ā”, in Astounding Science Fiction, and more enthralled when he realized there actually existed an Institute of General Semantics—not located on Korzybski Square in the City of the Machine as in Van Vogt’s story, but in Chicago. Bourland had found a copy of Manhood of Humanity in the school library, read it, and had also written to the Institute for a copy of Science and Sanity, then out of print; he had to wait impatiently, getting Institute reprints in the meantime. When he finally did get his copy, it qualified as major news. A Culver English teacher whom he liked asked him at a pre-class meeting, “What are you doing these days, Bourland?” He replied “I finally got my copy of Science and Sanity!” “Oh,” said the teacher, “I had trouble with that book; I couldn’t get beyond 50 pages.” Bourland decided that whatever else he would do, he would get past the first 50 pages; but he got nonplussed when he saw the 51-page “Introduction to the Second Edition.” He decided that he wouldn’t count it, which, as he later said, “significantly [de]creased the minimal read.”(38) 

By the time Bourland got to the 1947 seminar, he had read the book a couple of times, feeling more enthusiastic than ever about GS. He later recalled Korzybski’s lectures as interesting and coherent (feeling that his prior preparation allowed him to get more out of the course than others who hadn’t read Korzybski’s works carefully or had read only one or more popularizations). Altogether, Bourland would attend five seminars with Korzybski. He returned for the 1948 seminar-workshop as a “student assistant”; then for Korzybski’s February 1949 short seminar at Yale; then, while taking a leave from Harvard for the year, as the second and, as it turned out, last recipient of the Straus-funded Korzybski Fellowship, he attended Korzybski’s 1949 summer seminar-workshop and the 1949-1950 Holiday seminar. Korzybski and his work obviously had a great impact on him.

In September, Korzybski had the “Preface to the Third Edition” to get done, as well as the ever-waiting introduction to the Second Edition of Manhood, a Credo someone had asked him to write for an Indian publication, and continued work on Janssen’s Selections from Science and Sanity. However, he had distractions too—new people at the Institute. Ralph Hamilton was supposed to function as his personal ‘secretary’ or assistant to supplement Charlotte, taking dictation for non-personal letters (Alfred still dictated to Charlotte his letters to Mira), reading scientific books and journal articles that Alfred wanted him to pull the ‘gist’ from, organizing the library, and generally freeing up Charlotte to give more attention to the thousand and one details of administering the Institute with Kendig. Eventually Ralph, whom Alfred liked, would become a great help, but of course both men had a normal beginning period of mutual adjustment to get through. Another person, Surindar Singh Suri had come to the seminar from India, and had, with Alfred’s permission, stayed on at the Institute for further study. Alfred found him a brilliant fellow but also a burden, as one more person living at the Institute he had to deal with, with non-additive effects. (Suri shortly left, eventually going to study at the Northwestern University department of philosophy.)

On October 10, Alfred could finally write to Mira,
My preface, together with endless other materials, instructions to the printer, and so on, has finally gone to the printer yesterday. Last night we had a little 2-hour celebration after office-hours, for that finishing job. Today I took it easy, but tomorrow I have to start and finish my ‘Credo’ for that Indian publication, about which you know. Charlotte is the ‘slave-driver’, and I suspect that she is in love with Ghandi [sic], Tagore, etc., and that is why she is driving me so hard. Personally, I feel like going to bed and sleeping for a week, but of course there is no chance for it. (39) 

The new Third Edition of Science and Sanity would have a new cover as well, which had to be designed, proofed, etc. With everything else, including a new printer, the Third Edition would not appear until the following May. Korzybski’s five-page “Preface To The Third Edition 1948”, provided not only a pithy summary of his work, but for those who could read between the lines, a clear record of his and the Institute’s struggles with Hayakawa and the Society, that had come to a head over the last year. Hopefulness and pessimism seemed to naturally go together for Korzybski. In his October 10 letter to Mira, he had told her, “Yes, we both know a great deal about life and people. Neither you nor I have a very cheerful outlook. I am glad you remember how for years I insisted that human progress is extremely slow, and some situations can not be remedied short of decades.”(40) Both hopefulness and pessimism seemed reflected in the Preface, starting with the two introductory quotes he chose from Charles Saunders Peirce*:
If thinkers will only be persuaded to lay aside their prejudices and apply themselves to studying the evidences . . .I shall be fully content to await the final decision.

For the mass of mankind . . . if it is their highest impulse to be intellectual slaves, then slaves they ought to remain. 
*[Alfred had told Ken Keyes, “Peirce has been a real and very important pioneer who originated new trends in mathematics and mathematical logic, and with William James established ‘pragmatism’...If you read the suggested book of Peirce [Chance, Love, and Logic] and some of the bibliography given there, you will get a glimpse of what a ‘system’ has to offer. Peirce in his lifetime was not popular, but today he is a foundation of the scientific progress we have achieved.” [AK to Ken Keyes, Jr., 9/11/1945. IGS Archives.]

Korzybski began by noting that despite new scientific discoveries since 1933, “...the fundamental methodological issues which led even to the release of nuclear energy remain unaltered, and so this third edition requires no revision of the text.” Interest in and application of GS had continued to spread since the founding of the Institute, exemplified by the 1941 American Congress and by Douglas M. Kelley’s World War II experiences in battlefield psychiatry.
I must stress that I give no panaceas, but experience shows that when the methods of general semantics are applied, the results are usually beneficial, whether in law, medicine, business, etc., education on all levels, or personal inter-relationships, be they family, national, or international fields. If they are not applied, but merely talked about, no results can be expected.
Notably, he returned to his work’s origin in Manhood’s 1921 definition of ‘man’, its development “[t]hrough the discovery of factors of sanity in physico-mathematical methods,” and its implications for cultural evolution in the shift from an aristotelian to a non-aristotelian system of orientation.

He then devoted more than a page to what had become a significant issue for him in his conflict with Hayakawa and the Society: the confusion between ‘semantics’ and his use of ‘semantic’ as a modifier referring to ‘evaluation’.

He ended the “Preface” with a call to action that managed to give both a sober warning and a hopeful note:
It is not generally realized that with human progress, the complexities and difficulties in the world increase following an exponential function of ‘time’, with indefinitely accelerating accelerations. I am deeply convinced that these problems cannot be solved at all unless we boldly search for and revise our antiquated notions about the ‘nature of man’ and apply modern extensional methods toward their solution. ... 
We need not blind ourselves with the old dogma that ‘human nature cannot be changed’, for we find that it can be changed. We must begin to realize our potentialities as humans, then we may approach the future with some hope. We may feel with Galileo, as he stamped his foot on the ground after recanting the Copernican theory before the Holy Inquisition, ‘Eppur si muove!' The evolution of our human development may be retarded, but it cannot be stopped.
Maybe he did care about those yahoos, just a little.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
31. Charlotte Schuchardt to Ken Keyes, Jr., 4/29/1947. IGS Archives. 

32. AK to Vocha Fiske, 6/23/1947. Ralph Hamilton Papers. 

33. Ken Keyes to AK, 7/18/1947. IGS Archives. 

34. Keyes, Discovering the Secret of Happiness: My Intimate Story, p. 22. 

35. Charlotte Schuchardt to MEK, 7/12/1947. AK Archives, Box 22, Folder 1.

36. Korzybski 1949, Draft Transcript, 1948-1949 Holiday Intensive Seminar, p. 1. 

37. Interviews with Ralph Hamilton, 11/21/2005 and 11/28/2005. 

38. Video Interview of D. David Bourland by Steve Stockdale, Part I of III, May 26, 1997. Accessed at on Jan. 5, 2010. 

39. AK to MEK, 10/10/1947. AK Archives, Box 22, Folder 1. 

40. Ibid. 

< Part 5      Part 7 >

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 5 - "I Have Done My Job"

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Alfred did worry about Mira, who at the start of 1947 had begun having problems with arthritis again. He and Charlotte—who had begun addressing her letters to Mira “Dear Edgy” instead of “Dear Countess”— stayed in touch mainly by letter and telegram. Pearl Johnecheck Scofield, still in Chicago, would see Mira when she could and also wrote to Alfred. In July, he heard from Pearl, now a mother, that she and her husband and son planned to move to Tucson, Arizona at the end of the year (largely because of Pearl’s health). Devoted to Mira, Pearl wanted to take her with them since Mira seemed to her rather isolated, unhappy, and now unsafe on her own. The weather in Arizona might also ameliorate her arthritis problems. They would need money from Alfred to build a small cottage for her near the house on the ranch property to which they planned to move. Alfred didn’t consider this a good move for Mira for a number of reasons, not least of which the cost—around $7000—more than they could afford. Mira seemed eager to go. He told her to hold off on making any decision about moving until he came to Chicago, which he planned to do after the August seminar (he ended up coming with Charlotte in November). When Pearl did move, Mira didn’t. 

Later in the year, he and Charlotte contacted Evelyn Garlick, who had done secretarial work for them at the Institute in Chicago. They asked Evelyn and her husband to keep tabs on Mira. In addition, the janitor of Mira’s building and his wife helped her with shopping and checked up on her frequently. And she was getting taken care of by some new doctors at Billings Hospital, who seemed to be doing a conscientious job. Regarding her problems, Mira seemed as stoic as Alfred did about his. She kept busy, reading a great deal and sending him books, newspaper articles, cartoons, etc., that she thought he might find useful. She also provided a sympathetic ear to him, as one of the few people in the world to whom he could vent his feelings. He wrote to her in August, expressing what was not an isolated sentiment:
...I know you ‘love’ mankind and this can not be helped. Personally I don’t care a damn about those yahoos and in many ways I am sick of them. Do not forget I am a world war veteran and the originator of my work. I have done my job, let others carry on if they want to. In my two books I gave all the credit to you, and privately, between you and me, I did my work and carried on uniquely because I want you independent and being taken care of. (25)

About his own health, he let Mira know that he felt in not-too-bad condition. He did have his aches and pains, his muscle cramps, his g...d... hernia, his heart ‘misbehaving’ if he exerted himself too much, his various cold ‘bugs’ when he got run down from fatigue. Still, he considered himself healthy enough, with some possibility for creative work left, if he didn’t have to squander his time struggling to keep the Institute afloat. Mira sent him encouraging notes—whatever value his work had for advancing civilization (and she believed it had considerable value), the eventual ‘manhood of humanity’ didn’t seem likely until long after her and Alfred’s coagulations. Alfred agreed with her. He seemed quite aware of his own mortality. He noted to Ken Keyes in early July, “People die like hell at my age” [and younger and older acquaintances and friends too].(26)  The deaths of Kurt Lewin and Cassius Keyser may have served as additional reminders that he needed to get on with his work while he still could.

Lewin had unexpectedly coagulated on February 12, at the age of 56. Alfred read about it in The New York Times and considered it, “a real loss, as he was very creative.”(27) The two met in person at least once and carried on a cordial correspondence over several years. While writing Science and Sanity, Korzybski had despaired about the scientific state of ‘psychology’. When Lewin’s Principles of Topological Psychology came out in 1936, Korzybski began recommending it to his students, seeing it—whatever its faults—as a pioneering non-aristotelian effort. By 1947, Lewin’s ongoing research served as one of the main factors convincing Korzybski that an adequate science of human behavior had indeed begun to develop.

Perhaps Lewin in turn had begun to see the relevance of GS to social psychology. He had used an illustration from Science and Sanity in one of his papers (28), had responded to Korzybski’s request for examples of over/under-defined terms for the “Introduction to the Second Edition” of S&S, and had agreed to serve on the organizing committee of the 1941 GS Congress in Denver. Lewin probably learned more about Korzybski and his work while at the University of Iowa, where he carpooled with Wendell Johnson. Lately, as Director of MIT’s new Research Center for Group Dynamics, Lewin had been involved with the Office of Naval Research and just a few days before his death sat beside Korzybski’s student who worked there, Navy Captain Karl F. Poehlmann, at a meeting of the Navy Advisory Panel on Human Relations.

Whatever lost possibilities Lewin’s death represented, Korzybski and others at the Institute would retain a deep interest in his work. In the next few years, Kendig would attend workshops at the National Training Laboratory (NTL) set up by some of Lewin’s students in Bethel, Maine and would introduce the NTL “T-Group” method of group discussion at the Institute seminar-workshops. When the first posthumous selection of Lewin’s papers, Resolving Social Conflicts, came out in 1948, Korzybski grabbed it up, studied it carefully, and made notes for a review in which he planned to deal with an important topic of the book, a topic he had long wanted to write about—Jews and antisemitism. Korzybski never managed to get the review in shape to publish, but he did put the Lewin volume on a short list of books he recommended and that the Institute sold.

On May 8, another death occurred with undoubtedly much greater significance for Alfred. His friend and mentor, the ‘dear dear old man’ Cassius Keyser died just a week short of his 85th birthday. Over the last few years, the two had only occasional contact by mail and had last seen each other at one of Alfred’s lectures for Scripta Mathematica. Elton Carter, a student of Irving Lee and of Korzybski (at the 1949 summer seminar-workshop), wrote his 1950 doctoral dissertation on Keyser, and many subsequent articles relating Keyser’s work to that of Korzybski. In one such article, Carter noted the “fundamental similarities...between Keyser’s and Korzybski’s Gedankenwelts”(‘thought’ worlds) (29) and their common concern for the humanistic aspects of science and mathematics in the pursuit of human excellence, which Korzybski had devoted himself to turning into a practical methodology for living. Of all the mathematicians/scientists whom Korzybski personally knew, Keyser more than any other served as his best friend, greatest influence, most enthusiastic supporter, and ablest critic. As a tribute to his friend, in the upcoming Second Edition of Manhood of Humanity, Korzybski planned to add Keyser’s Chapter XX on time-binding from Mathematical Philosophy to the book’s appended material and to express more explicitly than he had before his indebtedness to Keyser for the mathematician’s help in the book’s editing.(30)

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
25. AK to MEK, 8/15/1947. AK Archives, Box 22, Folder 1. 

26. Korzybski 1947, “AK Biographical Material”, p. 496.

27. AK to Karl F. Poehlmann, 2/17/1947. IGS Archives. 

28. Lewin, “Regression, Retrogression, and Development” , in Field Theory in Social Science, p. 89. 

29. Carter, “Keyser’s Gedankenwelt And General Semantics”, in General Semantics Bulletin 38, p. 137. 

30. Korzybski 1947, “AK Biographical Material”, p. 222.

< Part 4      Part 6 >

Friday, May 29, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 4 - "The Most Appalling Scandal of the Year"

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Academics overly interested in conventional respectability would probably not find Korzybski easy to take. He had plenty of idiosyncrasies to sneer at, from his blunt manner of speech, to the khaki clothes he favored, to the rolls of toilet paper he unashamedly kept on his desk for nose blowing. Other things made him easily misunderstood, like his profound hearing loss, which made conversations with him difficult. Since he had only a degree in engineering, those inclined to do so could easily mistake his remarkable erudition in dozens of subjects as bogus, the profundity of his aims and broad scope of his concerns as arrogance, his claim to have formulated the first—as far as he knew—non-aristotelian system as ridiculous, and his claim to have developed a practical methodology that could help one understand and ameliorate “the quarrels between two lovers, two mathematicians, two nations, two economic systems., [etc.,]...”(21) as absurd. Careless interpretations of his lectures or writings might easily follow, confusing his taking of all human knowledge as “within his scope”—certainly legitimate for a worker in epistemology—with “taking all knowledge as within his competence,” which he never pretended.(22) Korzybski often said, “I say what I say. I do not say what I do not say.” He would also repeat that he ‘offered no panaceas’ but many people still came to the conclusion of one seminar student who commented, “You seem to say that every human problem can be solved by general semantics.” Korzybski replied “Every thing I say is limited, limited, limited!”—a statement (or something like it) he repeated often.(23) 

By 1947, one could clearly see the divide about Korzybski among academics, exemplified by varying reactions to a spring seminar he taught at Adams House, Harvard University from May 30 to June 7, sponsored by The Boston Society for General Semantics and the Semantics Workshops Associates, a GS-based, Boston consulting group. On the one hand, a number of faculty from Harvard and other universities who felt favorably inclined towards Korzybski’s work signed on as honorary sponsors, including: John B. Fox, Assistant Dean; F. J. Roethlisberger of the Business School; Ernest Hooton and Clyde Kluckhohn of the Department of Anthropology; Norman T. Newton, Professor of Landscape Architecture; Roscoe Pound, University Professor; Arthur Stone Dewing, Emeritus Professor of Finance; Joseph G. Brin, Professor of Speech Correction and Edward A. Post, Professor of English, both of Boston University; Dr. William Healy, Emeritus Director of the Judge Baker Guidance Center; Porter Sargent, Educational Advisor; and Professor Emeritus Alfred D. Sheffield of Wellesley College. Forty-two people registered for the seminar, about half of them Harvard students, graduates, or faculty. Among the rest, students or faculty from MIT, Boston University, Andover-Newton Theological School, and Radcliffe also attended. Two Harvard Assistant Deans, J. L. Rollins and John B. Fox, who had attended a seminar with Korzybski in 1939, hosted a supper for him at the Harvard Faculty Club before his evening lecture on June 5. Obviously, if the Boston-area can be taken as typical of other places, Korzybski didn’t lack serious academic support

On the other hand, there were also people at Harvard like philosopher/logician Willard Quine. On a conscious level, Quine seemed to have gained nothing from his seminar with Korzybski except contempt. On May 2, he ended a long letter to Rudolf Carnap with this comment:
...In closing let me try to be the first to pass along to you the most appalling scandal of the year. For a week at the end of this month Korzybski is to lecture at Harvard, in Harvard. The senior common room of Adams House will be his temple. He will put on his regulation 40-hour show.  
With best regards... (24)
The opinions of influential academics like Quine, however few, undoubtedly would shape how others viewed Korzybski. Korzybski, who eventually got wise to the extent of Quine’s hostility, didn’t seem to care—much. How much did it pay to worry about the yahoos?

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
21. Korzybski 1994 (1933), p. 761. 

22. Communication scholar Neil Postman—Editor of ETC. for 10 years from 1976 to 1986 (when it was still published by the ISGS, not the IGS)—made this claim years later in an error-ridden essay entitled “Alfred Korzybski” in his book Conscientious Objections: “Korzybski’s thought was grandiose in that he took all knowledge to be within his scope [p. 138]....[I]n taking all knowledge as within his competence, Korzybski’s reach exceeded his grasp [p. 145].” As with Hayakawa, many people presumed Postman to know a lot more about Korzybski and his work than he actually did. Unfortunately, like Hayakawa, Postman seemed to presume this too. 

23. Ralph Hamilton to Bruce Kodish, 11/17/2005. For examples of Korzybski’s “epistemodesty” see Korzybski 1994 (1933), pp. 10, 43–44, 142–144. 

24. Quine qtd. in Creath, p. 412.

< Part 3      Part 5 >

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 3 - Members of the Institute

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

The Society, having officially cut loose from its former responsibilities to the Institute, now unfortunately seemed in competition with it for people’s attention and money. As Korzybski wrote in his March “Protest” letter, I am afraid to promote the Society or ETC., lest those who are interested in my work become monopolized, not only financially, but with harmful, incompetent dilutions of the discipline which amount to misinformations and misrepresentations of its fundamentals by commission or omission. (14) 
Perhaps the Institute and Society could work out ways of coordinating their separate functions. Perhaps even Hayakawa and others in his camp could come around in their treatment of him and his work—at least insofar as to take his input into account before publishing definitive articles on ‘general semantics’. But in the meantime, the Institute seemed in immediate financial peril—again. Both Korzybski and Kendig had stopped drawing their salaries and Kendig was spending her own money, as she put it “like a drunken sailor”, in order to get the house and property in shape.(15) Later in the year, Korzybski got upset when he found out Charlotte had stopped cashing her salary checks.(16) 

In spite of the difficulties, moving to Connecticut had also opened up new possibilities. A group of people outside of Chicago (many but not all in the New York City area), felt sympathetic to Korzybski in his problems with the Society and had an interest in contributing to the Institute’s survival and development. At a Trustees meeting at the end of 1946, Douglas Kelley was appointed the fourth Fellow of the Institute on the basis of his work using GS in wartime psychiatry (the three existing Fellows, including Hayakawa, still had to approve of him). Kelley, beginning a teaching stint at the Bowman Gray Medical School Psychiatry Department, also was appointed Institute Director of Research (his work in this area didn’t end up amounting to much) and with two other men, John Jacobs from Denver and Bob Redpath, was voted in as a Trustee of the Institute.

At the 1947 Annual Meeting of the Institute Trustees in May, the existing Board changed the By-laws of the Institute to allow for a total of sixteen Trustees and voted in eight additional members including: three from the New York City area—W. Benton Harrison; Marian Tyler Chase, the wife of Stuart Chase; and Marion Harper of the McCann-Erickson Advertising Agency—as well as Irving Lee and Wendell Johnson, both of whom were somewhat sympathetic to Korzybski’s concerns despite their involvement with Hayakawa and the Society; Elwood Murray; Delaware Supreme Court Judge George B. Pearson; and Captain James Saunders. Given the existing situation with Hayakawa, the IGS Board also changed its By-laws so new Institute Fellows no longer had to be confirmed by a unanimous vote of existing Fellows. Four new Institute Fellows—Ray Bontrager, Francis Chisholm, Elwood Murray, and Allen Walker Read—were appointed by Korzybski and Kendig and confirmed by the Trustees at the May meeting. While the initial group of Fellows had been chosen in 1941 for their publication of GS articles and books, the emphasis now was on Fellows who had shown exemplary competence in teaching and writing with the kind of rigor Korzybski had come to prize and who had demonstrated their interest in serving the Institute.

The Institute now had the personnel. It had a general plan to make clear its role as the world center of authority and training in Korzybski’s non-aristotelian extensional discipline. Now, what about funding?

At the next Trustees meeting in July, a finance committee was appointed to develop a membership/fundraising plan, and in August the committee approved materials and prepared for an all-out membership drive. Kendig and others had no illusions that this could substitute for other kinds of fundraising, but they hoped the membership drive would make a significant dent in their immediate need for money. Guthrie Janssen, whose Korzybski Fellowship was coming to an end, agreed to stay on as an Institute employee to administer the membership campaign. Membership benefits would include tuition and book discounts, a newsletter, special mailings of Korzybski’s and others’ writings unavailable elsewhere (Korzybski would no longer submit his writings to ETC.), and a “General Semantics Yearbook” that they intended to get into publication. Along with an information sheet and a reply card, the initial membership invitation letter signed by Bob Redpath went out to the Institute mailing list in August, leading to immediate good results, and also fomenting a minor crisis, as a result of the following passage:
Note we are offering you membership in the Institute of General Semantics, not the Society. When the Institute was incorporated its original by-laws provided for a membership structure. This was not acted upon because in 1942 the Society was formed ‘to secure financial support and wider recognition for the Institute’. Last winter in adopting a new constitution the Society abandoned this aim and formal connections with the Institute. This means that to keep in touch with Korzybski’s work and support it you should become a member of the Institute. We feel sure you will want to. Because of a severe drain on money reserves in the past year occasioned by having to move from Chicago the Institute badly needs your help NOW to keep going while we put long term programs into effect. The membership plan makes it easy for you to help. (17)

By October, 300 people had become members, contributing a total of $6000. New members received a special mailing, a copy of Korzybski’s unpublished Britannica article, “General Semantics: An Introduction To Non-Aristotelian Systems”along with a personally signed letter from Korzybski, dated August 1947, which read in part:
Dear Students and Friends:... 
‘Young birds,’ wrote Tolstoy, ‘...know very well when there is no longer room for them in the eggs’, nor ‘...can the fledgling be made to re-enter its shell.’ It often happens that the beak of the little bird is too soft or the shell is too hard, and the result is a rotten egg, utilized sometimes in political debates. 
...Our human shell of habits and prejudices is very hard and our old aristotelian beaks are not strong enough for us to emerge to mature and fuller life. In my work I tried to forge a method to break through the confining shell, but one man’s effort is not enough. My co-workers and I need your help, now. 
We live in a period of socio-cultural spasms, and we as individuals must unite in a concerted effort toward more maturity, to bring about the eventual ‘manhood of humanity’. (18)  

Until the first issue, in 1950, of the promised IGS yearbook, the General Semantics Bulletin, the Institute sent a series of at least 12 special mailings to members consisting of articles by Korzybski and others not available in ETC. Over the next few years, the membership program would account for about 25% of the Institute’s income. With few other major contributions, this and other income wasn’t enough to allow them to begin the training program Kendig had envisioned and to free Korzybski as they had wished, but it did allow the Institute to keep going.

The aforementioned minor crisis had to do with Irving Lee, now an Institute Trustee, who had also just gotten elected as President of the Society. Lee did not approve of the invitation letter, feeling that it misrepresented the facts of the relation between the Institute and the Society and would lead to conflict. He and Francis Chisholm, representing the Society, met on August 31 with the Institute representives: Bontrager, Kendig, and Robin Skynner (a British medical student who had just attended Korzybski’s summer seminar and would later become a well-known psychiatrist). The five of them hashed and thrashed out the Institute’s main difficulties with the Society, but the meeting seemed curiously unproductive. (Bontrager wrote a memorandum for Korzybski later published in Collected Writings.) Lee appeared conflicted—more or less defensive about Hayakawa’s actions and editing as well as Society decisions that the Institute had found problematic. He suggested he might resign from the Institute Board. Kendig said she would regret that and Lee ultimately didn’t do it. Otherwise the meeting ended with nothing solid, only a general sense of commitment among those attending about the need to reconcile the two organizations.(19) Lee and Chisholm pushed through a resolution at a November Society Board meeting to “earnestly request” that Korzybski withdraw his resignation as Consulting Editor of ETC. Lee, as Society President, officially wrote to him with this request, and Korzybski—although the ‘injured party’—agreed to continue having his name listed in ETC., where it remained until his death (although he would no longer offer anything for publication there).(20) The Society became more careful in its discussion of general semantics in subsequent circulars. And attempts at reconciliation from both sides would continue over the next two years.

Hayakawa seemed unmoved by any of this. It didn’t seem to matter to him what the Institute did or didn’t do. Korzybski’s complaints seem likely to have constituted for him (and Rapoport) more evidence of authoritarianism. One might expect Hayakawa, who had written about the ethics of time-binding, to at least acknowledge the lapse on his part for not consulting with Korzybski before having the Britannica article published. I’ve seen no evidence he did so. In the Autumn 1947 edition of ETC., he did print a long, civil but critical letter to the editor by Guthrie Janssen that critiqued the content of the article in some detail. But Hayakawa’s headline for Janssen’s letter, “Hayakawa’s Article Censured”, doesn’t seem accurate, while striking a resentful, censorious tone of its own. Hayakawa’s subsequent behavior on and off the pages of ETC. doesn’t indicate that he ever took seriously Janssen’s (and Korzybski’s) concerns, persisting in his private view of Korzybski as an embarrassment to academically respectable ‘semanticists’ like himself, continuing in his public treatment of Korzybski’s work as an extension, however brilliant, of linguistic semantics.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
14. Korzybski, March 1947 “Protest Letter to the Editor of ETC” in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, p. 821–822. 

15. M. Kendig to Vocha Fiske, 7/4/1947. Ralph Hamilton Papers. 

16. AK to MEK, 8/13/1947. AK Archives, Box 22, Folder 1. 

17. Robert Redpath, member solicitation letter, nd. AKDA Scrapbook 5.174. 

18. Letter from Korzybski to new IGS members, August 1949. Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, p. 585. 

19. O. R. Bontrager, “Memorandum to Korzybski on meeting with president of the Society and Institute representatives on 31 August”, 9/4/1947. Supplementary V (6) in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, p. 827–831. 

20. “Letter of the Society President [Irving J. Lee] to Korzybski”, 11/17/1947. Supplementary V (7) in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, pp. 833–835.

< Part 2      Part 4 >

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 2 - Antics With 'Semantics'

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

First, at the beginning of November, he, Charlotte and Kendig received what they all considered an outrageous mailing from the Society for General Semantics office, dated November 1. This included a new proposed Society Constitution and By-laws, which the Governing Board of the Society wanted members to approve or disapprove, sending in their ballots by November 15. The new by-laws, just approved by the Society Board, made only one mention of the Institute: “Article VII, Relationship to The Institute of General Semantics” stated “Financial contributions from Society funds shall be made to the Institute of General Semantics by two-thirds vote of the Governing Board.” This provision would mark a significant formal change in the relationship between the Institute and the Society and between the Institute and Society members, many of whom had joined the Society because they wanted to support Korzybski and the Institute. How could a regular voting member of the Society (basically anyone who had paid dues) be expected to necessarily know enough to make an informed vote on the proposed re-structuring, without a copy of the pre-existing constitution and by-laws, and in such little time? 

This bad news wasn’t completely surprising given the previous lack of responsiveness of Society leadership to efforts to improve coordination between the two organizations. Wendell Johnson, the President of the Society, had not informed Korzybski that this was in the works. As an added irritant, the brief time frame for voting gave Alfred, Charlotte, and Kendig very little chance to do anything that could have a palpable effect on the outcome of what they considered a very problematic vote.

On November 15, Korzybski, Charlotte and Kendig—as voting members of the Society—all X’d in their ballots at the line that said, “I disapprove the Constitution and By-Laws as submitted November 1, 1946.” Korzybski sent a protest telegram, and Charlotte and Kendig sent separate protests with their ballots, to the Society Board of Directors. None of them pulled any punches, as indicated by this paragraph from Kendig’s lengthy response:
I disapprove your methods of securing approval on two counts: Asking for a vote without documenting the content and intent of the proposed changes violates accepted parliamentary practice. More important, by ‘putting it over’ on the membership you violate the democratic spirit you profess—now and since the beginning—in running this membership association. The suppression of history by the ‘democratic and responsible leadership’ postulated distorts evaluations and rigs a ‘yes’ vote in good fascistic style. (2)
This surely must have stung Wendell Johnson when he read it. As President, he had presided over what had and hadn’t happened. To some extent, he did later acknowledge the problems that the Society reorganization posed for the Institute in his Editorial “Report of the Retiring President of the Society for General Semantics”, in the Spring 1947 Volume of ETC. But as far as the Institute was concerned, the damage had already been done. The new Society Constitution and By-laws overwhelmingly passed, just as Kendig had suggested it would, by a vote of 271 to 13. The Institute, in tenuous financial shape, was clearly going to have to restructure itself in order to survive. Still, Korzybski and his colleagues hoped the two organizations could find some way to cooperate more in the future “in setting up a mechanism of intercommunication, for consideration and evaluation of plans, policies and pronouncements before taking action.”(3) As Kendig had pointed out in her protest letter, “In the wider public relations aspects of the general semantics movement, the Institute and the Society are not and can not be separated in the ‘public mind’—identified as they are by the use of the term general semantics.”(4) 

Unfortunately, in the short run, Korzybski would soon feel the need to protest to the Society again—this time about the Society’s public representations of ‘general semantics’. Korzybski probably received the circular announcing the Society’s 1947 Chicago lecture series sometime at the beginning of January 1947, as he was finishing up his Holiday seminar. He had nothing to say about the six publicized lectures, planned from January 31 until April 4, which looked like an interesting mix of speakers and topics: Thurman Arnold on “Symbol and Reality in Public Affairs”, Wendell Johnson on “How to Become What We Might Have Been”, Irving Lee on “It’s Not Fun To Be Fooled”, S.I. Hayakawa on “The Semantics of Modern Art”, Anatol Rapoport on “Music and the Process of Abstraction”, and Hugh and Lillian Lieber on “The New Realism in Art and Science”. But Korzybski could not abide the way the circular depicted his work. Perhaps the most egregious distortion for him was in a boxed insert with the following text, that he considered a ‘masterpiece’ of confusion:
Semantics...The study of how people act, with and under the influence of words and other symbols.
General Semantics...A system for applying the findings of semantics to every-day life. (5)
These ‘definitions’, following the viewpoint Hayakawa had pushed for some time in ETC., now permeated the Society’s public portrayal of Korzybski’s work. Korzybski had had enough. The circular grossly and glibly misrepresented both the origin and scope of his formulations. He had certainly not based his work on the findings of any kind of ‘semantics’ commonly understood in relation to language and ‘meaning’. As he told Karl Poehlmann at the start of the year,
If I would have investigated language, ‘thinking’, I would have written a perfectly rotten book on ‘psychology’. ...The secret of my work is that I did not investigate ‘thinking’ or ‘speaking’. I investigated time-binding. (6) 
Certainly words and symbols had importance in this investigation, but as he later pointed out to Ken Keyes, “...we humans are human just because we can intercommunicate somehow, not only linguistically, and the future generations can benefit by the experience of the past generation.”(7) Not only linguistically. He repeated some version of this point in published writings, private letters, conversations, lectures, etc.; describing GS as a theory of evaluation “dealing with the inner life of the individual, on the silent levels.”(8) 

He felt he had some justification asking Hayakawa and others to stop promoting the confusion of ‘general semantics’ with ‘semantics’. His requests didn’t seem to matter. His choice of terminology in 1931, using ‘semantic’ as a synonym for ‘evaluational’ and ‘general semantics’ as the overarching name for his system, had now come back to haunt him.

In some distress, he spent at least a month working on a protest letter “To the Editor of ETC.”, carefully choosing each word about both the offending circular and his accumulated backlog of objections to ETC. editorial policy.(9)  He also referred to the Society’s uncooperative attitude in relation to the Institute, and the Society’s preemption of Institute functions without consulting him. So as to not appear as if he condoned serious distortions of his work, he also resigned as “Consulting Editor” of ETC., as did Kendig. He sent the letter in March, requesting that Hayakawa publish it in the next issue of the journal. Soon afterward, something else added fuel to Korzybski’s ire: a copy of a recently written article by Hayakawa distributed by the Society. The Encyclopedia Britannica had rejected as too technical Korzybski’s article on general semantics for their volume Ten Eventful Years. They eventually contacted Hayakawa who produced a piece “Semantics, General Semantics”—as usual not notifying or consulting with Korzybski, and as usual presenting ‘general semantics’ as a system of ‘semantics’, albeit in a category all its own as “the most ambitious and most controversial,...of all the systems of semantics.” Hayakawa published his Britannica piece as the lead article in the Spring 1947 issue of ETC. Korzybski was not happy.(10) 

His protest letter never got published in ETC. In the 1990s, it did become public as Appendix V (5), in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, along with other documents pertaining to the difficulties between the Institute and Society. In 1947, only a few individuals saw Korzybski’s letter, mainly trustees of the Institute and the leadership of the Society, which included Hayakawa and Rapoport. Wendell Johnson, as indicated by his subsequent editorial as the Society’s retiring President; Irving Lee, who became the Society President that summer; and Francis Chisholm, an Associate Editor of ETC., all sought to make peace with Korzybski. But appearing to defer to Hayakawa, more and more the dominant influence in the Society, the three men didn’t seem to fully get what bothered Korzybski. The issue boiled down to the integrity of his work and how it would get represented by those presumed by the public to know it. In July, Guthrie Janssen wrote to W. Benton Harrison,
...[M]any seem to feel AK’s reactions are based on some sort of personal pique against Hayakawa. Well, it just isn’t so. And that’s categorical. From what I have heard I am sure AK feels that with Hayakawa writing articles like this [the Britannica piece] his establishment as an ‘authority’ on GS will retard the advancement of the discipline for God knows how many years.” (11) 
As both Hayakawa and Rapoport later indicated, they seemed to consider Korzybski the main obstacle to the advancement of GS. But Korzybski’s desire to maintain standards in the presentation and development of his work didn’t mean he wanted unquestioning obedience to him as the ultimate authority, as the two men would at times insinuate. Ralph Hamilton would later observe,
Now and then someone would say “I agree with you,” or the Montessori method of teaching, or Einstein’s relativity, or whatever. And AK would say, with a dismissive wave of the hand, “Agree—not agree; that doesn’t matter. Observe; study the facts, and maybe you can make a new formulation, or verify an old one; and others can verify your work.” Sometimes the notion of doing original work on one’s own rather flummoxed the agree-er.” (12)
When Korzybski found a student doing original work that also represented his own work accurately, it delighted him. Harry Weinberg had returned to the Institute to attend Korzybski’s Holiday Seminar and had given a lecture there on the topic of a paper he wrote while on shipboard during his wartime Merchant Marine duty. Korzybski reviewed the paper, later published in the Spring 1947 ETC., and referred to it when he wrote this recommendation for Weinberg in April:
I consider Harry L. Weinberg one of the most gifted students I have had, with exceptional creative capacities and outstanding potentialities as a high-grade teacher...In his recent paper on General Semantics, ‘Some Functional Patterns on the Non-verbal Level’, . . he actually made some original contributions to my work...I can recommend him highly as an expounder of General Semantics and [modern] scientific method. (13)

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
2. M. Kendig Protest letter to SGS Board, 11/15/1946. AKDA, Scrapbook 41.577. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. From “New Viewpoints” circular in AKDA, IGS Scrapbook 5.78-8. See also Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, p. 825. 

6. C. Schuchardt. “Some Notes Taken At An Interview January 4, 1947, A. Korzybski and K. Poehlmann”.IGS Archives. 

7. Korzybski 1947, p. 311. 

8. Korzybski, March 1947 “Protest Letter to the Editor of ETC ” in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, Appendix V (5), p. 818. 

9. Charlotte Schuchardt to MEK, 4/17/1947. AK Archives, Box 22, Folder 1. 

10. AK to C. B. Congdon, 5/9/1947. IGS Archives. 

11. Guthrie Janssen to W. Benton Harrison, Jr., 7/31/1947. Ralph Hamilton Papers. 

12. Ralph Hamilton to Bruce Kodish, 3/13/2007. Personal correspondence. 

13. Korzybski, qtd. from 1947 letter in Note on Levels of Knowing and Existence, in General Semantics Bulletin 38-39-40, p. 61. See also “Charlotte Schuchardt Read, “Harry L. Weinberg, Ph.D. 1913-1968” in General Semantics Bulletin 35, p. 64. 

< Part 1      Part 3 >

Monday, May 25, 2015

Chapter 61 - "I Don't Care A Damn About Those Yahoos...": Part 1 - Introduction

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift’s book for ‘children and philosophers’, remained one of Korzybski’s favorites. “This little book”, he had written early in 1946, “is old but today more alive than ever.”(1) Having spent a lifetime wrestling with human folly in many forms, Korzybski seemed particularly taken by the book’s depiction of the yahoos—greedy, short-sighted man-creatures used by Swift to represent humans, capable of ‘reason’ but far from behaving ‘reasonably’. By the end of 1946 and start of 1947, the continued yahoo-like behavior of some of the leadership of the Society for General Semantics, crossed a threshold he could no longer discount nor delay confronting. 

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
1. Comments by Alfred Korzybski to “Excerpts From the William Alanson White Memorial Lectures, Second Series by Harry Stack Sullivan and Major-General G. B Chisholm.” AKDA, IGS Scrapbook 5.8-14.