PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION xxvii
certain industries, advertising agencies, banking establishments and the like to retreat for several days at a time while they receive intensive instruction and participate in seminar-workshops designed to indoctrinate them with the principles of general semantics. Comparable courses of instruction have been provided within recent years for the officers of the U.S. Air Academy, the traffic officers of the Chicago Police Department and the sales forces of several large pharmaceutical and biochemical houses. These innovations in business procedure entail, of course, enormous outlays of time, energy and money. They must in time pay perceptible dividends or suffer abandonment. That they are steadily on the increase appears to offer eloquent testimony of their effectiveness.
Other evidences of the growth and widening sphere of influence can be pointed to. Membership in the two major organizations concerned with the development, teaching and utilization of general semantics, namely, the Institute of General Semantics located at Lakeville, Connecticut and the International Society for General Semantics, with its central office at Chicago, has slowly but steadily increased over the years and, gratifyingly, has generally avoided the 'lunatic fringe' that appears ever ready to attach itself to convenient nuclei. The two current publications of these organizations, the General Semantics Bulletin and ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, continue to provide cogent original articles and synopses of progress in the field. Their subscription lists now include libraries scattered over the entire globe.
In 1949, the Third American Congress on General Semantics was held at the University of Denver. This turned out to be the last occasion at which Alfred Korzybski made a public appearance. During these stimulating sessions he had the satisfaction of hearing numerous reports of investigations by his former students and others who had profited roundly from their familiarity with the non-aristotelian formulations. Many of these papers, representing a wide and eclectic coverage of human interests, were subsequently published in the General Semantics Bulletin. Two additional conferences of national scope have been held in the interim - one in Chicago in 1951 and another in St. Louis in 1954. Another conference of international scope is planned for August, 1958. Meanwhile, numerous sectional conferences have been held in various cities each year and the number of courses sought and offered in general semantics is definitely on the increase.
All in all, then, a healthy state of affairs appears to prevail in respect of general semantics. The impact of Korzybski's work on Western culture is now unmistakable and there is every reason to be optimistic that his precepts will be read by ever-widening circles of serious students