SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

296                V. MATHEMATICS A A LANGUAGE
It is impossible to eliminate completely from our lives or nerve currents the higher abstractions and their psycho-neural effect. Curiously enough, this elementary fact has never been emphasized or taken into account seriously; yet it is a crucial semantic factor in our attitude toward science and our future. Those who attempt such elimination, whether by actively persecuting science, or by emitting propaganda against science, or by the cynical or ignoring attitude toward 'mental' achievements, whether personally, or in education, or in public prints, or other public activities, do not succeed in eliminating the higher order abstractions, but simply introduce pathological semantic reactions and succeed in disorganizing their own nervous systems and those of others. I intended this implication when I said that our existing educational., systems produce morons, but 'geniuses' are born. Such very general semantic directives are, perhaps, responsible for the extremely low level of our non-technical development. Humans are not to be judged simply by the ability to drive an automobile or by the knowledge of how to use a bathtub; nor yet by their capacity for buying and selling things produced by others.
The tendency of some public prints to appeal to the morbidity of mob psycho-logics and to its ignorance, insisting that all that is said should be said in 'one-syllable' words, so that the mob can understand, in a human class of life, is an arresting or regressive tendency. What should be urged for sanity, and for humans, is that the mob should also learn the use of at least two-syllable words! Then, perhaps, the day would come when they could follow easily and habitually the use of non-el terms and, perhaps, even of words connected by a hyphen.
This appeal to mob psycho-logics and ignorance affects profoundly our s.r and should be investigated. It definitely appears that in countries where the majority reads only the sort of publications referred to above and commercial advertisements, their psycho-logical equipment and standards are lower than those of perfectly illiterate peasants of other countries. It is not fully realized that in a symbolic class of life, symbolism of any sort - e.g., public prints - plays an environmental role and creates s.r which may be distinctly morbid. The problems of public prints, commercialism., and their psycho-logical effect on the s.r should undergo a searching analysis by psychiatrists, and definite suggestions should be formulated by psychiatric scientific organizations or congresses.
Under the conditions prevailing at present, it is futile to preach 'morals' of any metaphysical kind. They have never worked satisfactorily, and increasingly they cannot work, particularly under the present much more complex conditions of life. They disorganize the survival