Cooper Union forum; 1; Spring 1970
National Educational radio presents the Cooper Union forum a program taken from a live broadcast by radio station WNYC in New York City on October 20th 1969. The chairman for this session of the Cooper Union forum is Professor Richard S. Bowman of the humanities department of the Cooper Union. The topic for the program is the paradox of communication. The speaker is Harry Emain to introduce the speaker. Here is Professor Bowman. Mr Maynard is president of the General Semantics foundation. Director of the International Society for General Semantics a director of the Institute of General Semantics. He's publisher of FNM guide incorporated. Formerly he was advertising sales director and associate us advertising manager for Time-Life International. He is widely known for his articles in printers ink the leading publication in advertising and marketing. And
numerous other magazines. Mr. Maynard has lectured on previous occasions in the great hall and has taught courses in semantics in the division of adult education for the past 15 years. He has also taught at Columbia University New York University and The Graduate School of the City College of New York. I have great pleasure. I present Mr. Maynard speak on the paradox of communication. Thank you so much. The paradox of communication. We now have reached the magnificent point in human history where we can communicate with one another at the speed of light speed of light in a perfect vacuum even though we've never discovered it is about as close to one hundred eighty six thousand miles a second as you can get.
But I think our human predicament was well illustrated in a cartoon that I remember several years ago. In the New Yorker as a patient typical patient on the college typical psych psychiatry just where you name your favorite school of psychotherapy and the doctor is pronouncing judgment on the patient and hears what he says he said. Ser I think you are suffering from over communication. I think in this time we're suffering from over communication. We've learned the trick of getting the message there in extraordinary speeds. But there are so many messages beating in earnest today and I don't mean just those of Madison Avenue press because I once worked on Madison Avenue I don't find Madison Avenue the people sending out the most pernicious messages.
Matter of fact I find most of Madison Avenue playing for pennies. But the big gut issues whether we drop the bomb or we don't drop the bomb. Whether we ought to get out of Vietnam or whether we ought to stay there etc.. These are the big issues and it's the politicians it's the theologists who play where the money is the biggest. But we know today that communication is a two edge sword. Just like all of the great things of science if we don't understand science in the profoundest sense in the ecological sense what happens is men in their short term opportunistic way let these fantastic techniques get away from them. And pretty soon we are. We're simmered in a kind of semantic pollution. And the people who operate the media of communication literally Bay the sun in
so many messages that we can't stand it. And I don't think what's good for a Republic Steel is good for Lake Erie. I think we're reached a point where we're suffering from so much over communication that we're a little bit like Mark Twain famous maxim he said familiarity breeds contempt and children. I think he said often breeds contempt in children. It doesn't necessarily have to. But certainly today where we've now reached the sort of a miracle point. In communication. Being able to pump messages all the way from the moon and back again and being able for the president to call the astronauts up on the mood. We do live in one sense and in an extraordinary way.
I noticed Bell Telephone has a big corporate campaign in the magazines and they say at least communication has to start with two people talking to one another. And I think I'll go along that far. But I'm not necessarily sure that what happens after two people talk to one another is invariably or necessarily of happy consequence. However I would go along with Bell Telephone and their corporate ad with this. Easy generalization that no human activity which involves two or more people occurs without cooperation no collaborative effort which involves two or more people occurs without communication even if it's done just on the ground level. No communication occurs without the use of some sort of symbols. And language and no large scale human communication
or human cooperation takes place without some sort of. Management of these communications. Matter of fact the management of communications and how we fashion our various associations that we have among each other and organizations will determine our futures. Our essential task as educators and as managers of education and I don't know any manager in a large scale corporate business activity that isn't essentially an educator. He doesn't do the work but he tries to tell other people how to do it how they ought to manage themselves. These people point out that in the managing of communication today we have to deal with change. Matter of fact. Max places pointed out in Fortune recently what
industrialization was to the 19th century. Management is to the 20 almost unrecognized in nine in the nineteen hundreds. Management has become the central activity of our civilisation and I would say the very pinnacle of this management is the management of our communications. We even have to have a hotline in between Moscow in New York right now to make sure that we don't somebody wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and unexpectedly drop a bomb. I happen to believe that to the educator belongs the most important formal role and responsibility for the management of change and for the management of communication more and more the educator is being asked to assume one more role after another. Parents are
so busy that they can't they haven't got time I notice. Even with this great quarrel about sex education 85 percent of the parents believe there ought to be some form of sex education in schools. Twenty years ago you wouldn't have gotten that kind of a vote. I know because I taught a course called marriage in the family which the kids call sexual engineering 3 0 5. And it was not a very popular course among the parents was quite popular among And it was considered then in. This is in college. I remind you this was considered very obvious on current very ABA. Now. Outside the family. The educator probably has to spend more time talking about change. And one of the implications of change that anybody in our society.
And the explosive changes of today. His job is to help the young with this opportunity. For the first time in history we generally sat down at our fathers feet and he told us what happened at the Battle of Gettysburg. It said Father hasn't got the time. No. The educator is deliberately organizing if he's a good one our civilization around the processes of social change. All of us have communication problems and those of you who've taken my courses the semantics know this is one of my favorite stories. But it does illustrate what how people bypass each other in the communication process. Morton Mockridge who writes for The New York world are used to. I'm indebted to him for this story.
He talks about a gentleman he said I know named Douglas who went into a midtown restaurant one lunchtime recently in order to him burgers sandwich with lettuce in tomato. Sorry sir said the waitress who didn't seem to be sorry at all. We don't serve them that way. You mean you don't even have any lettuce in the kitchen. Not even a teensy tomato. Yes Douglas pleasantly although he wasn't feeling very pleasant. Yeah we got him said the girl flatly. Although she herself wasn't very flat. Well then. Can't you just put a piece of lettuce in a slice of tomato on my hamburger please pretty please asked Douglas angrily because he was indeed a great service said the waitress. I already told you. We don't serve them that way. All right said Douglas giving up. Just put some lettuce and tomato on a plate and I'll fix up the
hamburger myself. Well and said the waitress I'll have to charge you for a salad. Okay charge me for a salad said Douglas. Give me a salad and I myself will put the lettuce and tomato on. Is that alright alright alright. Yes or said the waitress. No what kind of dressing do you want on your salad. OK. In one way perhaps a not quite as humorously away. I bet every one of you that day had a human situation in which in some want a way you bypassed or were bypassed in this way. How many people had that kind of a circumstance a day. Ok for those people who didn't put up your hands I
seriously doubt up because I don't know of a single day watching myself and other human beings around me that I don't notice this. At least three or four times. OK up. I believe that we're not going to dig our way out of some of the morass of human communications via symbols. And this is usually with words unless we become a lot more sophisticated semantically sophisticated in tackling these problems because. What we're having by speeding up the communication process where we now communicate with each other at one hundred eighty six thousand miles a second. It means that all of our basic fundamental premises and prejudice all of our cultural ethnocentrism just bump into each
other. That much faster. Now let me give you one of my. Favorite pet peeves among what I call a semantically unsophisticated. You constantly hear it said tell it like it is don't you hear that that's the popular cliche. Tell It Like It Is. Well luckily I had a very good philosophy professor in college and he said talking about three main points of view in modern philosophy. He said there are basically three naïve periods. The pre-human and primitive period of literal and general and unrestricted identification of the infant Tyler a period of partial restricted evaluation and the adult or no ne or scientific period based on the complete elimination of identification so literally we go through these three
stages. Or maybe more stages of semantic evolution. What the philosopher guest likes to call our a pistol a logical profile as we evolve. We talk about primitive realists. I call them as they are that is the primitive realism or sensing stage. The is of identity is taken is the adequate formulation of what is going on. Subjective experience. Total organism mix semantic reaction. It goes unchecked unanalyzed it is taken as the Revelation and the measure of the event. This is we see animals do this all the time that are fact have off points this out says is a low degree of conditionality.
There are signal reactions. The animal does this you can condition an animal to respond to a given stimulus. Have him salivate under certain circumstances. That's why I think there's an enormous confusion in many people's minds between training and education. Sure you can train anybody at all Fittler to train what were supposed to be some of the most educated people in Europe to go hail Hitler any marks go most 80 million people plus off a high diving board into the swimming pool and there wasn't any water in the swimming pool. And here was the so called educated nation of Europe. He he achieved that low degree of conditionality or whatever the fear are whatever the leader or whatever the authority figure said was true it was true. We used to like to say. He says here's where people are
copying the nervous systems of animals he talked in a big Polish dash. Russian accent. He says people become. Dog. Back to get the joke or they become cat took chorused. They suffer from a hardening of the categories. And so. Whenever we have this kind of primitive realist a more strictly sensing stage this is a very low level of. Reaction. It's an unsophisticated semantic reaction to what happens labeling with the traditionally accepted term without any critical examination of either the event or the turn the event is what the term says it is. There's a 100 percent correlation between the term and the man. It's like a girl once said pancakes cause in a
gesture because they once gave me in a gesture. The waters called because I feel it is called. Up we can. There are a whole lot of examples of this. The next stage in the epistomological profile of man. Is imperious ism or the classifying stage. There are Greek philosophers probably with the greatest classifiers in the world. It's a matter fact the great virtue of Aristotelian logic is the fact that it is a logic of classification. Vegetable mineral or animal member puts everything. Although today we have a phenomena called Planet animal that represents the largest total of organisms that neither. Fits in either one of those categories because it's bisexual. So classifications are very useful but classifications are
not in nature. But if you are naive empiricists or naive semantically you think that classification is in nature the classification is in your classifying system. Here the principle of identity. My map equals the territory becomes central the thing is identical with itself. It has an essence which is permanent and qualities that can be differentiated. Events are not triggered off by the whims of the gods but they are determined by the nature of things. A stone falls down to its natural place because of its inherent. Quality of happiness a feather floats in the air because it has the quality of lightness observation become systematic and the consistency of the thinking process is safeguarded by the rules of logic. Nature is broken down into elements that can be counted
measured and compared. Experiments or experimentation later it comes as differentiation as classification and counting and we have all sorts of things like the Gallup polls the Kinsey reports. And correlations of all stored statistical coding shifts the emphasis from Essence or natural to the typical case to the average or normal to the classic. Classification orientation but remains however. Now this is the stage of a kind of naive elemental lesson of democracy in the sense of counting noses of deciding an issue by striking a balance between the pros and cons of rugged individual ism of the pride in the biggest in the world of it. Time is money. Get down to the facts tell it as it is. Of digests in a nutshell of the more we teach the more they
learn it set it in medicine. We classify diseases in terms of infectious agents. In science as in business we seek the cause of a problem. Behind this huge panoply of scientific tools and rigorous rules of logic. Primitive identification is still hiding. Man thinks that he is objective and his mental constructs match the structure of the world. He does not realize that he's looking at the world through a distorted windows of his language of a syntax. Of a symbol systems that he takes is self-evident. Literally as high a car likes to say. We look at the world through our words colored glasses. Or another philosopher said the limits of my world.
Are the limits of my language the limits of my world are the limits of my life. Not. From the crude is of identity by cause them as they is we have pasts of the more subtle but equally dangerous. The is a prediction man symbol systems are the measure of all things no although. What lies beyond is supernatural miraculous impossible. Not worthy of scientific investigation. Read how Kurt Lewin describes the state of affairs when he contrasts. The Aristotelian mode of thought in the Galileo and mode of thought. Perhaps you saw this recent play on Galileo. The Church felt so rigid about their dichotomies their categories etc. that they were willing to burn Galileo at the stake.
Remember he said the earth was not the center of the universe. Is the church. And most philosophers and christian them claimed at the time but rather the sun was the center of the universe was Galileo right. No Galileo was wrong. We now know the sun is only part of our rather small solar system. Matter of fact why do people sit here you're going in four different directions at once. If you haven't thought about it this planet is going around in the temperate zone at 700 miles an hour. It's going around the sun which yet is going something like eighty thousand miles an hour. That sun is part of a larger galaxy that is also moving around and around some people estimated close to one million miles an
hour. And that galaxy which is part of a much larger constellation of stars etc. and super galaxies is headed in some and unknown destinations at such speeds that we can't even calculate it. So why you people sit here. You're going in four different directions at once. And if you want to walk backwards in a plane going from New York to Chicago you can add two more dimensions. So cold. The man who says he knows Maurice at any moment is obviously quite absurd. Classical science or the relating stage here we move on from the study of things in a very unheard qualities we pass to the study of active relations. We do not theorize on heavy or light bodies. We express experiment with falling in free space with rolling down an inclined plane.
Aristotle was a realist writes Morris Klein and he taught what observations actually do suggest Galileo's method however was more sophisticated and consequently more successful. Galileo approached the problem as a mathematician. He idealised the. Phenomena and by imagining motion taking place in purely Euclidean vacuum he discovered the correct fundamental principle. His trick was to geometric rise the problem and then obtain the law. Now this is a glorious reign of mathematics and science of relations expressed in formulas that tell us how the properties and actions of things follow from a few basic principles. These open new vistas into the unknown. It is sufficient to know a few points of the orbit of a comet to trace it completely. Neptune is discovered by the pencil of the astronomer
before it is located in the sky. With a telescope. And we find the atomic weight in the chemical properties of elements unknown in nature by that famous periodic table. The laws of nature are discovered one after another in sciences X achieve predictability and determinism is accepted is the normal closure of man's theory of the universe and we pass from an elemental list to an additive thinking to relational multi dimensional. Thinking. There is no single cause but an interaction of factors. The whole is not the sum of its parts. We speak of group dynamics of functional leadership of Psychosomatic Medicine of operational. Operations Research of symbolic logic abstraction is not nominalist stick anymore that is CA 1 cow 2 col 3. It is a relation of.
A squared equals B squared plus C squared. It is the phrase a forehanded science emptying upon our world. This is great. Colonel of its riches but we are left with matter space and time. And According to Korzybski we are not yet free from the shackles. Of adversity and this modern science of the postulating say ate nothing. I calls it. I have to postulate it first before I can learn how to live with it. In Manipur modern science is born of the reactivation of logic and mathematics by a more searching a pistol knowledge. Instead of man contenting himself with the success he was obtaining by hand handling his metal tools.
Man prompted in some cases by baffling experiments. Working in other cases on a ruthless reexamination of his long accepted assumptions. Set himself up to the task of testing the tools themselves and he found that mathematics is but a storeroom of conceptual patterns. He question these patterns look more closely at notions considered simple up to that time and ask himself if the formula that had already given such spectacular results could not be regained just. Is the equal distant parallel a necessary adjunct to the straight line. Einstein said quite clearly. He said I could not have invented the theory of relativity as long as I thought the sum of the angles of a triangle had to.
Equal 180 degrees. Fine in a carpenter shop. Fine if you're dealing in a strictly Euclidean world. But we now know the world. Quote. The bigger world and I hate to use the word real world. But the bigger word is non-Euclidean even Airlines talk about the great circle route. Is that. What Einstein asked a great many questions. These questions bring to mind the new geometries Einstein's physics. By being aware that Psion Ty's NG is postulating. The scientist has opened up a new and vaster world of possibilities. Nothing until I calls him. Till I dream him up conceptually and then see operating with these symbolic maps. Whether these
symbolic maps. Serve any useful function they give me any greater predictability than I had before. This is why John Dewey said it quite well. Every idea is a candidate for action. John Dewey was a much tougher educator than a lot of people have made him out to be. Every idea is a candidate for action if those ideas cannot be demonstrated in empirical action. Baby you better re-examine that idea. Now that's a pretty rigorous tough kind of education where every hypothesis you have is a candidate for action. I don't know many. Religious positions that would play by those tough rules. Matter of fact I know very few educational theory who will want to play by rules as tough as that. Let's look at the results. And that's how we'll examine the worth and
value of any hypothesis. That's pretty rough. I know an awful lot of traditional thinking that wouldn't want that we play that roughly So I think it is phony as $11 bill to say that doing was say not a living people. He was. A. Very rough fellow. Now from classical science to modern science. The joke. Is no less spectacular than from the stage two that I've talked about to stage three. There is no transition from the system of Newton to that of Einstein writes The philosopher Basho art. We did not pass from the first to the second by piling up detail information by measuring with double accuracy by sharpening the fine edge of the accepted principles. Quite the contrary nothing short of a great effort itself for a new world
made it possible. The passage from classical science to a relativistic science is a process of transcendental not of amplifying induction. Naturally once this induction is achieved we can by reduction. Bring out of it the Newtonian system. Now we can put the Newtonian system back into the Einstein system and say it's a special case which it is just like Euclidean geometry is a special case. But I don't want to live in a carpenter shop all my life. The astronomy of Newton is in the end a particular case of Einstein's parrot astronomy as the geometry of Euclid is a particular case of the pan geometry of Lobachevsky. There's no minimum or a fine by a piston ology reverts to the world of phenomena.
It discovers and creates in this world events that primitive realism of empiricism and classical science could not even suspect from the physics physio Mathematical Sciences this postulating stage is reaching into the social sciences. As can be seen by the event structure theory of Floyd age. And I might say if you've ever read chords of skis Big Tom sometimes call a blue peril science insanity he or many pages of Science and Sanity that deal with various aspects of this stage particularly Chapter 7 called linguistic. Revision. Now the advancing science or the unifying stages. I think we've come we're slowly coming into a world. That if we can accept. The principle of uncertainty we can achieve that kind of an ecumenical you're unifying role here that may bring
humanity together. If we can see the game at this sophisticated stage for a non-mathematician the last stage is the most difficult to describe. In this progress from primitive realist I'm onward man is Dean materialized his concepts emptied them of their experience contents disengage their formal structure. As he goes forward he questions more and more of the validity of sensory perception is the criterion for anything. And if you've ever attended my courses in General Semantics we play a whole lot of games and we pretty well demonstrate that people are better at purse at believing than they are of either seeing or listening.
How many people were in my class tonight on the listening how well did you do a lot of people think they're pretty good listeners. I've never found very many good A-listers and I've given these typical experiments to hundreds of thousands of people. And I know I like to pick the people who say yes I'm a good listener. Is this the businesses even struggling now. As man goes. Forward he questions more and more of the validity of sensory perceptions as a criteria. And he depends more and more on logical consistency of his mental constructs remaining aware all while let these constructs are working. Are working hypothesis a candidate for action. They're just a conceptual system. Now this is man's enormous ability. To dream up. These systems. The Egyptians who are the top mathematicians of their day could not handle a
list simple little problem. What number added to one fifth of itself equals 21. Now a not very bright kid in the sixth grade can handle it and the Egyptians were that way ahead of their time says mathematicians for their day walk because the Egyptians had not invented the symbology they game to manipulate the problem. Now X plus X over 5 equals 21 5 x plus x. Equals hundred. 5. 6 x equals. A. Hundred five. And X equals 17 in that here. So it becomes an easy game even. For. The. Idiot type like myself. Now. We finally reach of what 1 philosopher calls
the as if stage. No we've dropped a lot of our dog meat tism. We become a lot less. Categories and we become more flexible. Now we see. That we've reached a certain stage of semantic sophistication. Little by little. As if becomes. Why not. Let's see if it works. I've. Had the good fortune to have personal and intimate contact with some of the top. Investors of my time. Luckily I was. I've worked very closely. Being a member of the Armstrong Foundation but the top mathematicians of their time could prove to Armstrong that mathematically FM was impossible. FM frequency modulation was impossible.
And I keep running into these things in technology all day long. There's always some dog that says it can't be done. My father who had it over 95 patents in the patent office was considered a reasonable genius type. I said Dad how the hell did you ever do it you went to a liberal arts college like Amherst. He said You know I never went to a school like MIT or Cal Tech. These guys knew so much I had been taught so much that wasn't true. He said I wasn't carrying around a lot of impediment to get it in every age there's the orthodoxy the teacher telling what is true. Little by little as if becomes Why no. Homo. Mathematic us resolutely breaks through the walls of determinism and
faces the glaring vistas of the universe of possibilities. This is why it's always somebody often on the fringe. Einstein was not. In the early days of this career was not considered you know really even. He was a. He was a clerk in the in the patent office in Switzerland he wasn't you know right in their inner drawer. You know often it takes somebody this timing outside of things but still well enough informed to sometimes bring a fresh breath of air into the halls of orthodoxy. This universe is of his own creation man says. It may contradict at first sight his primitive auras educated experience but he learns to live in it with the intense fire of Olympian summit's. Brought into existence by it's faith in his own intellectual static
capacity. Yes at this stage according to bash a man becomes lyrical. He quotes the Hermetic poet. Mao arm I think that's how you pronounce it and exclaims the possible is homo genius with reality itself. Elsewhere he says reality is only one particular case. Of the possible. And you see now we've worked our way out of the might say the primitive semantic traps. Of. HUME That would let men build himself. This does not mean to say that we don't have to have tremendous rigor. We can and as Wendell Johnson the famous semanticist says you can't build a watch in dusty by assuming let's say you never could get inside a
watch that what makes the wheels go around inside our little plot place. No but. Perhaps one plus one does not just have to mean two maybe one plus one can equal one zero. And you can build a whole mathematical system that allows you to do. Do problems in. Microseconds that normally would take you. Forever. Even today we have to give up some of the Careful. Things we build around ourselves. In terms of our semantic environment we have to liberate ourselves. And that's why I'd like to quote Aulus Huxley on this matter. No.
Every man in every culture is immersed in an ocean of language. Like amphibians we are part of both the world of words and of none. This means we have all the accumulated wisdom and nonsense wrapped up together in our individual psyches and personalities that language is put there. Our only hope of improving our culture of seeing through it. Its accumulated nonsense as well as per serving its wisdom is to see through the symbolic or the verbal game or we will suffer not only from a tyranny of words but from the tyranny of nonsense assumptions and premises embedded in the words and symbols of our culture. Korzybski put it well I think when he said we do not realize what tremendous power the structure of our own in a bitch or a language has. It is not an exaggeration to say that in slaves this. Through the mechanism of semantic reactions these structural assumptions
and implications are inside our skins. You fun Raval they become conscious. If not they remain unconscious. I call some as they is a very semantically unsophisticated unconscious reaction. The next time you hear somebody. Say tell it like it is you know you're talking to somebody and semantically naive. He might step up they gain a little bit. Tell it as you see it is you react to the events recognizing that you are transacting with the universe might imply Oh you know slight forward step in semantic sophistication. Now how do we dig our way out of this predicament. And here's where Huxley who's had some awfully nice things to say about General Semantics says it better than anybody I've ever heard.
Oh as Huxley suggests. A culture cannot be discriminating only accepted. Much less modified except by persons who have seen through it. By persons who have cut holes in the confining stockade of verbalise symbols and so are able to look at the world in by reflection at themselves in a new and relatively unprejudiced way. Such persons are not merely bored. They must also be made. But how in the field of formal education what there would be whole cutter needs is knowledge knowledge of the past and present history of cultures. In all our fantastic variety and knowledge about the nature and limitations and the uses and the abuses of language. A man who knows that there have been many cultures and that each culture
claims to be the best in the truest of all. Will find it hard to take too seriously the boastings in dogmatize ing of his own tradition. Similarly a man who knows how symbols are related to experience who practices the kind of linguistic self-control taught by the exponents of general semantics isn't likely to take too seriously the absurd or dangerous philosophy that within every culture passes for philosophy practical wisdom and political argument. Now. If we are here we live in this extraordinary times which Professor Charles. C. P. M. I think that's his name at NYU. He he calls this time communications the golden age of paradox.
Here we stand. Modern man in this predicament. Never before. Has he reached this pinnacle of communication. He communicates with people on the move. And so forth. But in the intimate day by day way man has never been further apart. In many ways so. If we're going to get out of this predicament men has got to be the symbol manipulator not just the manipulated. He's got to learn to see through the symbol game. It's not enough to learn how to communicate faster. This means that disaster just approaches this that much faster. I think it was Robert Oppenheimer said. That our in the world we live
in today we're like two scorpions in a bottle. We both have a capacity of stealing each other to death he was talking about the Russians. Now we've got four or five scorpions in the bottle. So this is the paradox. Man has got the most sophisticated tool the tool that made equals MC squared possible. That gave us the atomic bomb that unlocked it. Is was a few very semantically sophisticated men's ability at least in a given specialized area to unlock these problems. So that symbols man must learn to use his symbols. Any must learn to be more symbolically sophisticated than he's ever been before or he is going to be in the real soup.
We constantly hear today we hear the talk. In the New York Times had a good section on it today by one of the editors of The Times. What man is doing to himself on this planet he says. But Rickover talks about this keeping our small planet habitable is a matter of utmost importance and great courage. If I may use a legal expression the last clear chance to avert catastrophe may soon be upon us. We have been brought up in this critical situation by the scientific technological revolution and can extricate ourselves only by a change of direction in thought and action. So drastic it would rate the term counter revolutionary. Spinoza says we are free only in that we know what we deal with.
If man is the manipulated obviously. He is not free in that what he deals with. He's like the as I said before tonight in another group. He's nothing more than a billiard ball ricocheting off the walls of fate. In so. The last big step for mankind will be seeing through the symbol making process and so man will be truly semantically sophisticated symbolically sophisticated. And I think you'll break out into a whole new free world. But so far he's been living in a deterministic world. People have confused technology with science. The spirit of science. Got a lot of good engineers out there Republic Steel. But can we call him scientists when they say what is good for a republic stay up is good
for Lake Erie. Obviously no one ever taught them about the science of ecology or whatever engineering school they went to. And so what he had at. A bunch of second rate intellectual mechanics. If they haven't heard about ecology ecology being the science of how every human being fits into this total universe and what his relationship is to this total universe. And I believe a good educational system would be talking as a basic fundamental science sometimes called the queen of sciences ecology because unless a man sees himself in relation to every other phenomena in the world then obviously he's a very egocentric very ethnocentric person. If he's not seeing himself in terms of his total environment. Now the first step to
break out of this thing is to see through the symbol manipulating again to become an effective hall cutter. As all of us Huxley says so you're not believing every bit of nonsense your culture tells you is true. At that point but you preserve your critical faculties and learn how yourself. To not to become. As I said a billiard ball ricochet off the walls of fate. And I can't remind you again of what Spinoza said. We didn't defeat polio until a lot of very intelligent people like Jonas Salk and so forth told us how we as a human being were related to this very complicated phenomena and then for the first time in our history in human history on a consistent basis no longer did polio. Did we live in a deterministic universe in which we had no freedom in relationship to polio.
Suddenly we had. Freedom. Probably the only freedom that man knows when he discovers how to manipulate the universe and self and to his own interest and not to anybody else's disinterest. And suddenly he's achieved that freedom and broken through. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Thank you and I. Thank you Mr. Maynard. You have been listening to Harry S. Maynard speaking on the paradox of communication. The talk was given on October 20th 1969 at the great hall of the Cooper Union in New York City and originally broadcast by W NYC in New York. This is the national educational radio network.
- Cooper Union forum
- Episode Number
- Spring 1970
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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