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April 25, 2001                                                                                           The truth IS out there.

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A NEXIALIST N+E+W+S EXPLANATION: What NEXIALISM Is

from L. Reichard White


Do you like the "A-ha!" experience?

The word "nexialism" (and "nexialist") were invented by A.E. Van Vogt in his 1950s science fiction novel "Voyage Of The Space Beagle." The hero of this novel was "jack of all knowledge, and master of none." His training was specifically in cross-fertilizing information from various disciplines -- in making connections among facts and paradigms not normally connected, to develop new paradigms and contexts from these combinations. He used these new paradigms and contexts to solve problems which baffled all the other experts -- which is how he finally got respect for the new science of "Nexialism." It was Van Vogt's observation, and a plot basis of the book, that specialists don't normally know about facts outside their own areas of expertise, and so usually don't make these connections themselves.

But the basis of "Nexialism" is more than simply an entertaining invention by an eccentric writer of science fiction. Van Vogt was a practicioner of General Semantics, a discipline developed by Alfred A. Korzybski and first presented in his classic, "Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1933)" Korzybski's insights show up in all sorts of strange and interesting places. Ingrigued? You can learn more by following some of these links.

Korzybski's most quoted one-liner is "A person does what he does because he sees the world as he sees it." A one sentence synopsis of General Semantics, might be, "The skill of learning the limitations of language and the hidden implications it carries and thus learning how to use language rather than having it use you." Most of Van Vogt's writings and novels count heavily on his expertise in the field of General Semantics and this makes his writing style and plot-lines entirely unique even today (although there are some other science fiction writers who emulate him, notably Colin Wilson.)

Van Vogt coined the word "nexialism" based on the word "nexus" meaning "connection." I first described myself, tongue in cheek, as a "nexialist" and was introduced as such by Michael Emerling, now Michael Cloud, when I was a guest speaker at one of his "Art of Political Persuasion" workshops in the early 80s. Michael has since added "nexialist" to his credentials, and he's a durn good one.

"Nexialism" is a logical off-shoot of General Semantics - - - and the link feature of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a natural tool for any nexialist. In keeping with the etymology of the word, NEXIALIST N+E+W+S presents new connections between known and reported facts and storys, helping readers document and develop new paradigms.

Health, happiness & long life,
L. Reichard White

N+N: Home Page mailto: L. Reichard


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