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Alfred Korzybski

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The map is not the territory ... The only usefulness of a map depends on similarity of structure between the empirical world and the map...
Edition:Institute of General Semantics, 1995, p. 58

Alfred Korzybski

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Genetics is the study of similarity between relatives, and the problem of human genetics is that, in a species with a family and social structure and a taboo against manipulating individual life histories experimentally, there is a confounding between the similarity of relatives that arises from biological causes and the similarity that arise from social causes.

Richard Lewontin

One social structure will be conducive to cooperation and solidarity another social structure to competition, suspiciousness, avarice; another to child-like receptiveness, another to destructive aggressiveness. All empirical forms or human needs and drives have to be understood as results of the social practice (in the last analysis based on the productive forces, class structure, etc., etc.) but they all have to fulfill the functions which are inherent in man’s nature in general, and that is to permit him to relate himself to others and share a common frame of reference, etc. The existential contradiction within man (to which I would now add also the contradiction between limitations which reality imposes on his life, and the virtually limitless imagination which his brain permits him to follow) is what I believe to be one of the motives of psychological and social dynamics. Man can never stand still. He must find solutions to this contradiction, and ever better solutions to the extent to which reality enables him.
The question then arises whether there is an optimal solution which can be inferred from man’s nature, and which constitutes a potential tendency in man. I believe that such optimal solutions can be inferred from the nature of man, and I have recently found it quite useful to think in terms of what in sociology and economy is now often called »system analysis«. One might start with the idea, in the first place, that human personality — just like society — is a system, that is to say, that each part depends on every other, and no part can be changed unless all or most other parts are also changed. A system is better than chaos. If a society system disintegrates or is destroyed by blows from the outside the society ends in chaos, and a completely new society is built upon its ruins, often using the elements of the destroyed system to build the new. That has happened many times in history. But, what also happens is that the society is not simply destroyed but that the system is changed, and a new system emerges which can be considered to be a transformation of the old one.

Erich Fromm

I come now to Berkeley’s empirical arguments. To begin with, it is a sign of weakness to combine empirical and logical arguments, for the latter, if valid, make the former superfluous. [Footnote: E.g., "I was not drunk last night. I had only had two glasses; besides, it is well known that I am a teetotaller."] If I am contending that a square cannot be round, I shall not appeal to the fact that no Square in any known city is round. But as we have rejected the logical arguments, it becomes necessary to consider the empirical arguments on their merits.

George Berkely

We have, over the centuries, devised a management structure for running things, whether firms or whole countries. This structure depends absolutely on the limitations of the human hand, eye, and brain. The discoveries of management cybernetics, coupled with the techniques of operational research and with the new technology of automation, make possible a new way of running things which is not so limited. Yet we insist on retaining the original structures and automating them. In so doing, we enshrine in steel, glass, and semiconductors those very limitations of hand, eye, and brain that the computer was invented precisely to transcend.

Anthony Stafford Beer

There has been outward progress from the bullock cart to the jet plane but psychologically the individual has not changed at all, and the structure of society throughout the world has been created by individuals. The outward social structure is the result of the inward psychological structure of our human relationships, for the individual is the result of the total experience, knowledge and conduct of man. Each one of us is the storehouse of all the past. The individual is the human who is all mankind.

Jiddu Krishnamurti
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