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On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology

On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology

Lance Strate explores our use of symbols, language, and media to relate to our environment, and how perception and communication influence consciousness, culture, and social organization

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On the Binding Biases of Time
and Other Essays on General Semantics
and Media Ecology

by Lance Strate

 

On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology consists of a series of explorations into our use of symbols, language, and media to relate to our environment, and how our different modes of perception and communication influence human consciousness, culture, and social organization.

These essays draw upon and integrate the perspectives of general semantics, systems theory, and media ecology, bringing them to bear upon a diversity of topics that include the future of consciousness, identity and meaning, the Ten Commandments, media literacy, The Lord of the Rings, and our relationship to time.

Throughout this volume, Strate grapples with the question of what it means to be human, and what the prospects may be for humanity's continued survival.

As he concludes in the title essay of this book: "As a species, we are binders of time, bound up by our biases of time; we are moved by our consciousness of time, as we tell time, and as we tell ourselves that only time will tell; as we play for time, and as we pray, as we pray for time."

Lance Strate will be donating all proceeds and royalties from this book to the Institute of General Semantics.

A collection of essays that reads like a picaresque novel, On the Binding Biases of Time takes the reader on a journey into the heart of ecological thinking.  Lance Strate—an artist at the process of abstracting—delivers on his promise in the Introduction:  for people unfamiliar with the fields he deals with, he provides a very good summary and explanation.  But he does much more:  for readers well versed in these fields, he provides a GPS—not a map but an entire navigational system—connecting between general semantics and media ecology; between Korzybski, Johnson, McLuhan and Postman; the Ten Commandments and Tolkien; Groucho Marx, Goldilocks and Pete Seger; Heraclitus and postmodernism; World War I and 9/11; consciousness and the self; space and time. And he does this in his usual lucid prose, with a deeply touching poetic streak and wonderful sense of humor. If Neil Postman whom he quotes was right and "clarity is courage," Lance Strate gets the Medal of Honor.

—Dr. Eva Berger, Dean of the School of Media Studies, College of Management and Academic Studies, Israel

What a wonderfully compelling and utterly inviting entry point to one of the most significant conceptual frameworks of modern times. Lance Strate should be applauded for bringing Alfred Korzybski and general semantics into the contemporary conversation as never before.

—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed, and Life Inc.

The Binding Biases of Time is a very humane book authored by a thoughtful and insightful writer. Lance Strate brings to life the central concepts of general semantics, systems theory, and media ecology in brief, sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious essays. This volume provides a better, more engaging discussion of these complex topics than anything else published in the past quarter century. It is packed with important insights about communication, media, and living in today’s world. It also happens to be great fun to read.

—Michael Cole, Dr. Sanford I. Berman Chair in General Semantics at the University of California, San Diego

Aristotle was wrong. A thing CAN be both A and not-A—and this collection of essays, combining scholarly rigor and compulsive readability, is proof positive.  Highly recommended for discerning meaning-makers of every stripe: from the specialist to the student to the simply curious.

—Susan Maushart, author of The Winter of Our Disconnect

Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing Lance Strate deliver one of his keenly illuminating addresses will know what to expect in this volume:  daringly original extrapolations of the work of McLuhan, Korzybski, Tolkien (that's right), and a flurry of thinkers familiar and perhaps not yet familiar to you.  If you're in search of some intellectual stimulation, coming upon this book is your lucky day."

—Paul Levinson, author of New New Media, The Plot to Save Socrates, and Twice Upon a Rhyme

This intelligent and well-crafted collection of essays by Professor Strate provides an essential, complete and accessible context for understanding the contemporary intersection of general semantics, media ecology and the broad array of disciplines that fall under the umbrella of communication studies. On the Binding Biases of Time is a “must read” not just for those interested in the historical and conceptual evolution of these fields of study, but for all who want to understand how and why these disciplines are enjoying a theoretical and practical resurgence in importance and popularity for scholars and the general public nearly 90 years after some of these ideas were first introduced.  

—Ed Tywoniak, Professor of Communication, Saint Mary’s College of California

Available in hardcover and softcover, as well as Kindle format from Amazon and Nook format from Barnes & Noble.

2011.  302 pages.  ISBN 0982755937.   9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches.

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