"2. Chain-indexes, as in chair11 (in a dry attic),
chair12 (in a damp
cellar) ... chair1n; Smith11 (under normal conditions) or, say (on the
ground), Smith12 (under extreme starvation conditions) or, say (in a plane at
extreme altitudes). Smith1s reactions are entirely different in many ways
under the different conditions.
The role of the chain-indexes is to provide a technique for the introduction
of environmental factors, conditions, situations, etc. On the human level,
these would include psycho-logical, socio-cultural, etc., factors.
In a world where a given "cause" has or may have a multiplicity of
"effects," each "effect" becomes or may become a
"cause," and so on indefinitely. As we know from psychiatry, for
instance, a single happening to an individual in childhood may start a
chain-reaction series, and color and twist his psycho-logical or even
psycho-somatic responses for the rest of his life."
— Alfred Korzybski, The Role of Language in the Perceptual Processes.
© ESGS, 2002.