A reply

from [Marc Abrams (2004.01.04.0012)]

Here lies the core of my anger. I will address this first and move on to
other, I hope, more hopefully constructive comments.

[From Bruce Gregory (2004.01.03.2200)]

> Bill Powers (2004.01.02.0846 MST)
> Do any of you see a coherent theory of emotion or behavior or
> experience
> arising out of what Marc has been proposing? I will apologize and
> subside
> if I have misconstrued what is going on. But I can't just let it go on
> without voicing my protest.

I guess that depends on whether you think HPCT embodies a coherent
theory of emotion or behavior or experience. As Rick has pointed out,
Marc is saying nothing that cannot be embodied in the spreadsheet

_IF_ this was the case, and I have no reason to believe it is not. Maybe
Bill, you can humor me and tell me why you just didn't come out and say that
you believe all of this is stuff I was saying on emotion was already covered
by the model. I don't believe it is, but why not come right out and say it
so we might have discussed the merits of _THAT_ argument, rather than nit me
to death on things _YOU KNEW_ you didn't believe existed. You set me up, and
I don't appreciate it. You also think it's _real_ cool to do this kind of
thing because in your imagination you're 'sparing' me the indignation of
being rejected out of hand., and _that_ Bill is a complete _FANTASY_ on your
part. Rick, you are even worse. Not only could you have said this after my
first post, but you also used the question Martin Taylor asked as a vehicle
to make me look even worse. In your reply to Martin you said;

Yes, it's easy to incorporate "internal" disturbances into my
spreadsheet hierarchy. But it's really not necessary to do this since
these internal disturbances already exist in the spreadsheet in the".."

Well to you and Martin and Bill, I was not talking about 'internal
disturbances' I was talking about the formation and construction of
perceptions, the input function, as Bruce just pointed out in this post.

As I read Marc, he is trying to explore ways that these functions could
themselves be modeled. Asking for details at this stage of the
investigation may be a bit premature."

THANK YOU Bruce. Maybe? I thought I made that _very_ clear right up front in
my initial post with:
from [Marc Abrams (2004.01.01.0001)]

There are several reasons and 'purposes' for this effort:

1) The more precisely we can define the various model functions, the better
the model
should be in being able to 'predict' what kind of perceptions and goals
people might be walking around with, given a particular set of inputs. The
better we understand what kind of perceptions people walk around with and
how they come to them, the better we will be able to deal with the goals
they have and actions they ultimately take which are all functions of those
perceptions. Even if it turns out that there are simply too many degrees of
freedom to 'predict' anything with any great accuracy, the enhancements
should help therapists and individuals better understand why people perceive
what they do and feel the way they do.

2) I think that both emotions and imagination/memory are key factors in
human behavior and need to be included in any model that purports to explain

3) I believe very strongly that an SD model just might be the right tool
that allows a systematized view and synthesis of a great deal of the
research that has been going on in neuroscience at the molecular level, and
would allow someone other than a molecular biologist to 'see' the control
and regulation that is going on. It would also work in the opposite
direction as well. It could provide the micro folks with a way of seeing
where they need to dig.

4) It's fun and interesting.

Does anyone see as a purpose a 'coherent theory of emotions' among the 4
purposes listed?

_IF_ at any time you thought I was straying from these purposes, why not
mention it?

"So I ask all onlookers and participants to render their verdicts here.
Is my opinion of Marc's recent communications off the track or inaccurate?
Do any of you see a coherent theory of emotion or behavior or experience
arising out of what Marc has been proposing? I will apologize and subside
if I have misconstrued what is going on. But I can't just let it go on
without voicing my protest."

Please tell me exactly. What were you protesting? and just for the record;

[From Rick Marken (2004.01.02.1300)]

Bill Powers (2004.01.02.0846 MST)--

So I ask all onlookers ...



At the end of your post you said:
[From David Goldstein (2004.01.02.1812 EST)]
[About Bill Powers (2004.01.02.0846 MST)]

No, I don't see a coherent theory of emotion or behavior in Marc's
[Marc Abrams (2004.01.01.0001)]

Much of what you will read here from me will be conjectures and speculation,
from me and others I have read and studied. But this is all a necessary
first step in working toward a construction of a new theory of emotions. You
cannot invent what you cannot conceive, so we must be able to imagine an
outcome before one can be invented. This effort is an attempt by me to throw
some ideas on the table and see what flies and what doesn't. This is an
opening salvo.

PLEASE! Try not to assume anything here. I have tried to outline my reasons
for posting and my intentions for doing so the best I can. If I am not clear
on any of these points now or in the future please ask for clarification


Bill, did you read and comprhend this? If so, what did you not grasp? Please
pint out where I was not clear here?

So Bill, you got three votes backing you up, but one, mine, you knew going
in so we won't count it. That leaves a total of 3, You, Rick and David. I
count a post by Bill Williams, Bruce Gregory, Martin Taylor and myself
supporting my effort, equal 4.

I guess you owe me an apology. But don't sweat it. I don't want it and I
wouldn't accept it anyway, but maybe what I am about to say will help you
from future embarrassments. (but I seriously doubt it)

I wrote a _very_ long vindictive rebuttal to your final post to me. I
practically answered your post line by line and tore you and your arguments
to shreds, but cooler heads stepped in and wisely counciled me to
reconsider. Not that what I had to say was false or untrue, But it _was_ the
worst kind of vidictiveness I could muster.

Bill, I wanted you to hurt just as badly as you hurt me. I wanted you to
feel the pain I felt. But after some thought and consideration I felt a
different tact should be taken. Sure, making you look small would have been
real nice, but I realized I didn't need to do anything in order to do that.
You did it for me. You should really think about the 'landslide' of opinion
you got in support of your position. I am a _supporter_ of PCT, how do you
expect people to flock to PCT when you take such blind outlandish positions,
don't listen to what others say and have absolutely no regard for the
feelings of anyone else involved. You really should look at this post every
day and remind yourself what your capable of doing. I don't think you have a

I'm not angry with you Bill, I feel _real_ sorry for you.



[From Bill Powers (2004.01.04.0806 MST)]
Marc Abrams (2004.01.04.0012)–
I’m glad you recovered from your anger. According to my theory of
emotion, this anger resulted from what you wanted to do, but could not
do, with a resulting large error and (unusable) physiological
mobilization for action. The mobilization for action, in my theory, would
have been driven by what you call cognitive error signals.
According to the theory you appear to be proposing, the feelings of anger
arose via spinal and autonomic pathways that are not part of the
conscious or cognitive systems involved. They arose, I think you would
say, at the same time as and independently of the conscious desire to
act, . This is what I am questioning, because it would imply that your
spinal cord, autonomic nervous system, and neuropeptide systems can read
emails and understand what they mean without needing the cognitive
systems, and then can prepare for action in a way appropriate to the
error still without the intervention of higher-order perceptual control
I think my theory makes much more sense. It says that you read the email,
comprehended what it said, and experienced one or more perceptions as a
result that were, for you, far from their reference levels. This led to
an immediate desire to act. This desire to act showed up in your
conscious experience as muscle tension (perhaps, if conflict at a higher
level did not prevent that) and as a large shift in bodily state
appropriate for going into action. I won’t presume to say what you
desired to do at that moment, but it seems to have been something rather
violent. I also presume that if you had had physiological monitoring
equipment attached to your body, it would have shown the General
Adaptation Syndrome, which only gradually would abate even after the
desire to act had simmered down (since the action needed to accomplish
the desired end could not take place).
You will notice that this theory says nothing about the specific levels
of perception and control that I have proposed. Your rough division into
sensory and cognitive systems would suffice, though of course your
description leaves out a lot of phenomena that we can easily verify. My
comments here don’t even bring in any of the details of control theory,
except the general notion that action is driven by error signals. We are
talking about the basic logic of emotions: what has to happen first, and
what can happen only after that. It commits to a specific causal diagram,
rather than saying things like “is associated with” or “is
involved with,” or “accompanies”, the sorts of words
people use to avoid a committment to a model.

This is why I think you are off on the wrong foot in trying to build a
new theory of emotions. So far, your “new” theory seems to be
pretty much what was proposed and argued about during most of the 20th
Century, and which I rejected as insufficient or just plain wrong back in
the 1950s. The theory I ended up with explains rather a lot of details
about emotions in a compact way requiring relatively few assumptions –
all of them physically meaningful and testable. So far, while yours
asserts a lot of things as facts, it explains nothing and offers nothing
to test.

I know that these arguments are not what you wanted from me, but surely
that is your problem, not mine. I have raised questions and objections
about your proposals, which you can either ignore or deal with. If you
ignore them, we have nothing to discuss. If you deal with them, you play
by the same rules I abide by or again we have nothing to

Bill P.