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Thread: Revealing the Map

  1. #46
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    Softboi post of the year

  2. #47
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    https://www.reddit.com/r/sorceryofth...the_territory/

    Whew! Strange days, Sorcerers. And will we claim we were ready? And will we say, "I told you so?"

    I don't know. I imagine many of us feel like Alfred Korzybski, the founder of the General Semantics movement, felt, during parts of WWI, just helplessly watching the idiotic self-defeating efforts of the Russian army against the somewhat less idiotic, self-and-other-defeating efforts of the Germans.

    There were other, more active moments, such as when, on an emergency retreat, he had to tip a huge artillery piece into a swamp to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. The hernia he gave himself meant he walked with a cane for the rest of his life. I sincerely hope no one is called on to make such sacrifices during the COVID social isolation period.

    But maybe even this comparatively light dose of collective terror and the war experience can serve us as it served Korzybski. I don't know about you, but I can't think of a more appropriate phrase than "the map is not the territory," to wheel out in many, many different contexts right now.

    Everywhere we look the terrain is unfamiliar. People are talking about months of isolation in our homes. We thought the world needed our hard work to keep going economically, and that if we didn't get paid much that just said how much we were needed. Meanwhile, the Feds have laid out trillions.

    Not going to tell anyone "I told you so." But I will tell you that the etymological root of "Jubilee," the forgiveness of debts, is the Hebrew word for TRUMPet. Strange days!

    The map is not the territory. We all had maps of life about a week ago. They more or less painfully pinged over to the pressure points of our lives. Some people have bad maps - they have maps that only take them to one place.... Maybe you had a good map. Maybe you had a VERY good map.

    But I doubt that your map (march 12, 2020) is really all that applicable to the territory (march 20, 2020). Oh, no doubt there are portions, maybe large portions, that still correlate. But the territory has shifted, and it will shift again, I imagine, in the coming weeks and months.

    General Semantics was a movement of map-makers - of CONSCIOUS map makers, of people who desired to be aware of themselves as map-makers. With Korzybski's leadership they had digested the discovery that a map, by its nature, is an ABSTRACTION from what is going on. An abstraction is a simplification of the territory which is nevertheless similar enough in structure to the territory that it helps us get around.

    Or, in fact, what is to say the same - the very fact that our map can help us get around is how we can tell it's similar to the territory. And per contra, if our map is not helping us get around, if it is leading us into a stupid lemming death trap, just for example, that tells us that there is something in the map which does not fit with what is going on.

    The General Semanticists had the temerity, the audacity, and the coherence of mind to accept that we never for one minute of our lives ever see the territory for "what it is." "Whatever you say it is, it is not." All we perceive through the senses, and all we analyze in our language or thought images and memories, is an Abstraction. A map of what is going on, not identical to what is going on,

    The map is not the territory, and all we have are maps!

    A story is shared among the GS shamans, of a high school in the 1950s in the Midwestern United States, wherein a science teacher named Mr. Mats began to teach his students General Semantics. His students, taken no doubt with the audacity and the coherence of the ideas, formed "The Mats Patrol." This was a student organization formed to spread "consciousness of abstracting." They would attend high school sporting events, all saturated with patriotism and the claustrophobia of the 1950s (which seems somewhat to have returned recently, no?), and produce incomprehensible and confusing (to the assembled crowd) cheers. For example, if the referee's shoe was untied and he bent to tie it, they would cheer. If a basket was scored by the home team, the Mats Patrol would erupt in jubilation: "The Map is not the Territory! The Map is not the Territory."

    The danger with jubilation over the fact that the map is not the territory is that it can lead to a kind of slack, crass indolence of mind; tired, stale habits. It's a bit vague as a statement. After all, if all we have are maps, if we never contact the territory, then every territory we have experienced is a map - what's the difference, then?

    As I will explain in the following post, to make the structural differences clear, Korzybski developed a special 'tool' or 'meta-model', a tangible diagram of neuro-linguistic process which he called the "Structural Differential." It is not enough to throw away the map. You will always already be working on another, possibly worse map. We need to examine the mapping process on its multiple levels. For this, we need to use the Structural Differential.

  3. #48
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    Not going to tell anyone "I told you so." But I will tell you that the etymological root of "Jubilee," the forgiveness of debts, is the Hebrew word for TRUMPet. Strange days!
    Perfection!

  4. #49
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    Another big one going round is
    CORONAtion virus. The lead up to the CORONAtion of King William.

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