Re: The Common Public Interest, again

Richard Plourde (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 13:32:48 -0400

At 07:32 PM 9/24/97 -0500, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

>Strike one was the phrase: "Neuro-Semantic". I have never
>heard of anything called neurosemantics. Neuro-linguistic
>programming strikes me as being theoretically incoherent but
>having dangerous practical potentialities. The name remains
>totally off.

"Neuro-semantic" represents a technical term used in a particular
study called "general semantics." The term dates from at least
1933. It gets used in some studies of linguistics and psychology,
when those studies derive, in part, from general semantics.

Incidentally, E-prime, mentioned on the web-site as relevant to
extropianism, derives directly from general semantics. David
Bourland, the person who developed E-prime, currently serves as a
Vice President of the International Society for General Semantics.

I do not suggest that extropianism has a close association with
g.s., but do point out at least some common subset. I also point
out that many people on this list may have experienced some
experience with g.s. from the fairly popular text "Language in
Thought and Action" by S.I. Hayakawa; that book often serves as
required reading in "critical thinking" courses in colleges.
Another place where people may have run into some popularizations
of g.s. comes from the work of Science Fiction writer Robert
Heinlein -- something perhaps relevant in the context of a current
thread related to Starship Troopers.

As a technical term, you have no particular reason to have any
familiarity with "neuro-semantic," any more than you would have a
reason to know what "curl" or "convolution" mean in the context of
mathematics, or to know "uncertainty" or "charm" in the context of


Richard Plourde ..

"The word is not the thing, the map is not the territory"