Gregory Bateson
Quotations


Perhaps there is no such thing as unilateral power. After all, the man "in power" depends on receiving information all the time from outside. He responds to that information just as much as he "causes" things to happen it is an interaction, and not a lineal situation.

But the myth of power is, of course, a very powerful myth, and probably most people in this world more or less believe in it. It is a myth, which, if everybody believes in it, becomes to that extent self-validating. But it is still epistemological lunacy and leads inevitably to various sorts of disaster.

No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels.

Logic is a poor model of cause and effect.

Number is different from quantity.

The map is not the territory (coined by Alfred Korzybski), and the name is not the thing named.

There are no monotone "values" in biology.

Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction. Double description is better than one.

What is true is that the idea of power corrupts. Power corrupts most rapidly those who believe in it, and it is they who will want it most. Obviously, our democratic system tends to give power to those who hunger for it and gives every opportunity to those who donít want power to avoid getting it. Not a very satisfactory arrangement if power corrupts those who believe in it and want it.

Life and 'Mind' are systemic processes.

The meaning of your communication is the response you get.

Multiple descriptions are better than one.



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