According to PCT

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.21.23.16]

So, according to PCT, when we perceive ourselves to be planning, and

to be imagining that we are varying our influence on imagined
variables to bring them to reference values, we aren’t. It’s all an
illusion, and we are not doing that at all?

I wonder what version of PCT disallows the one thing that Powers

argued was the only incontrovertible truth – our own perceptions.
“According to PCT” is a very powerful all-encompassing truth, since
it can over-ride even that!

Martin
···

[Rick Marken 2018-05-21_15:52:54]

        ...
          RM: In theory, imagining involves replaying a reference

signal back into a perceptual function so that you
perceive exactly what you want to perceive. There is no
controlling involved. So your question should be “I am
replaying a perception in imagination mode. What is the
aspect of the environment that is being controlled? Can
you, an external observer, observe it?” To which the
answer is "Since the perceptual signal is not being
controlled there is no aspect of the environment that is
being controlled. So there is no aspect of the environment
that corresponds to it. And an external observer can’t
observe it because there is nothing to be observed.
According to PCT, a perceptual signal § corresponds to
the aspect of the environment that is being controlled
(q.i) when an aspect of the environment is being
controlled.

[Rick Marken 2018-05-22_11:22:20]

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.21.23.16]

...

RM: In theory, imagining involves replaying a reference signal back into a perceptual function so that you perceive exactly what you want to perceive. There is no controlling involved. So your question should be "I am replaying a perception in imagination mode. What is the aspect of the environment that is being controlled? Can you, an external observer, observe it?" To which the answer is "Since the perceptual signal is not being controlled there is no aspect of the environment that is being controlled. So there is no aspect of the environment that corresponds to it. And an external observer can't observe it because there is nothing to be observed. According to PCT, a perceptual signal (p) corresponds to the aspect of the environment that is being controlled (q.i) when an aspect of the environment is being controlled.Â
MT: So, according to PCT, when we perceive ourselves to be planning, and to be imagining that we are varying our influence on imagined variables to bring them to reference values, we aren't. It's all an illusion, and we are not doing that at all?

RM: According to PCT we are not perceiving ourselves imagining; we are conscious of ourselves imagining.  >

MT: I wonder what version of PCT disallows the one thing that Powers argued was the only incontrovertible truth -- our own perceptions.

RM: Powers made that argument in reference to the fact that scientific observations of what appears to be the real world are themselves perceptions. So the only "incontrovertible truths" of science are observations, which are perceptions. This is something that you don't seem to understand when you argue that the perceptual signal, p, is not equivalent to the controlled quantity, q.i, because p is a perception and q.i is in the environment. In fact, both q.i and p are perceptions. We talk about q.i as though it is an environmental variable for convenience sake -- so that we don't have to keep saying "it's really my perception". But, in fact, q.i is a perception in the observer of a variable that the behaving system is maintaining in a reference state protected from disturbance. The perceptual variable p is one component of the theoretical explanation of how q.i is being controlled (that theoretical explanation being PCT); p is the theoretical analog of the observer's perception of the controlled variable. Â
BestÂ
Rick

···

"According to PCT" is a very powerful all-encompassing truth, since it can over-ride even that!

--
Richard S. MarkenÂ
"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Fred Nickols (2018.05.22.1524 ET)]

OMG! I think I understand Rick’s last paragraph below.

Fred Nickols

···

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:22 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: According to PCT

[Rick Marken 2018-05-22_11:22:20]

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.21.23.16]

RM: In theory, imagining involves replaying a reference signal back into a perceptual function so that you perceive exactly what you want to perceive. There is no controlling involved. So your question should be “I am replaying a perception in imagination mode. What is the aspect of the environment that is being controlled? Can you, an external observer, observe it?” To which the answer is "Since the perceptual signal is not being controlled there is no aspect of the environment that is being controlled. So there is no aspect of the environment that corresponds to it. And an external observer can’t observe it because there is nothing to be observed. According to PCT, a perceptual signal (p) corresponds to the aspect of the environment that is being controlled (q.i) when an aspect of the environment is being controlled.

MT: So, according to PCT, when we perceive ourselves to be planning, and to be imagining that we are varying our influence on imagined variables to bring them to reference values, we aren’t. It’s all an illusion, and we are not doing that at all?

RM: According to PCT we are not perceiving ourselves imagining; we are conscious of ourselves imagining.

MT: I wonder what version of PCT disallows the one thing that Powers argued was the only incontrovertible truth – our own perceptions.

RM: Powers made that argument in reference to the fact that scientific observations of what appears to be the real world are themselves perceptions. So the only “incontrovertible truths” of science are observations, which are perceptions. This is something that you don’t seem to understand when you argue that the perceptual signal, p, is not equivalent to the controlled quantity, q.i, because p is a perception and q.i is in the environment. In fact, both q.i and p are perceptions. We talk about q.i as though it is an environmental variable for convenience sake – so that we don’t have to keep saying “it’s really my perception”. But, in fact, q.i is a perception in the observer of a variable that the behaving system is maintaining in a reference state protected from disturbance. The perceptual variable p is one component of the theoretical explanation of how q.i is being controlled (that theoretical explanation being PCT); p is the theoretical analog of the observer’s perception of the controlled variable.

Best

Rick

“According to PCT” is a very powerful all-encompassing truth, since it can over-ride even that!

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.22.16.24]

To what is this comment relevant? And looking a little more closely,

what does it mean? Does it mean that being conscious of something
means we are not perceiving it?

The main question is the first, because I cannot see how the

comment, however it might be interpreted, refers to anything I
said.

Yes, but they are not perceptions in the same mind. "p" is a

perception in the mind of somebody we will call “the subject”, q.i
is an imagined perception in the mind of an analyst who also
imagines p, or a perception in the mind of an experimenter who has
no observational access to p. The analyst imagines q.i to be a
property of the environment that corresponds to p, which the analyst
imagines to be a property of the subject. The experimenter perceives
q.i, and observes q.i varying.

Accepting what the analyst says, the experimenter imagines there is

a “p” being controlled, which accounts for the observation that q.i
is being controlled. Of course, if the analyst also imagines that
the subject’s imagination or memory contributes some part of p, then
the observed q.i reported by the experimenter will be related to p
but p will not be a function of q.i alone, in the analyst’s
imagination.

Nowhere are p and q.i perceived as direct observations in the same

mind, which would allow them to be compared and tested to see
whether they were actually the same variable.

I'm not sure how much it is "for convenience's sake" and how much it

is because billions of years of evolution in the real environment
followed by a lifetime of reorganization that we can say that q.i is
the value of a property in the environment. Apart from that, which
is quibble rather than a disagreement, I think we can agree on all
that you say in this last quote, provided you keep straight the fact
that p is truth in the mind of the subject, while the perception of
q.i is truth in the mind of the experimenter, and both are imagined
perceptions whose relationship is a controlled perception in the
imagination of the analyst.

Not all analysts imagine the same thing, of course, so in the mind

of some analysts the imagined relation of q.i and p might be
equality, or even in rare cases, identity. But analysts who use the
control loop diagram often reproduced by Boris as basic, q.i and p
are shown as different, with no necessary relationship between them.
That diagram has been a foundation of “according to PCT” for over 60
years, and I see no reason to change it now Bill P. is no longer
with us.

Martin
···

[Rick Marken 2018-05-22_11:22:20]

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.21.23.16]

            MT: So, according to PCT, when we perceive ourselves to

be planning, and to be imagining that we are varying our
influence on imagined variables to bring them to
reference values, we aren’t. It’s all an illusion, and
we are not doing that at all?

          RM: According to PCT we are not perceiving ourselves

imagining; we are conscious of ourselves imagining.


RM: In theory, imagining involves replaying
a reference signal back into a perceptual
function so that you perceive exactly what you
want to perceive. There is no controlling
involved. So your question should be “I am
replaying a perception in imagination mode.
What is the aspect of the environment that is
being controlled? Can you, an external
observer, observe it?” To which the answer is
"Since the perceptual signal is not being
controlled there is no aspect of the
environment that is being controlled. So there
is no aspect of the environment that
corresponds to it. And an external observer
can’t observe it because there is nothing to
be observed. According to PCT, a perceptual
signal (p) corresponds to the aspect of the
environment that is being controlled (q.i)
when an aspect of the environment is being
controlled.

            MT: I wonder what version of PCT disallows the one thing

that Powers argued was the only incontrovertible truth
– our own perceptions.

          RM: Powers made that argument  in reference to the fact

that scientific observations of what appears to be the
real world are themselves perceptions. So the only
“incontrovertible truths” of science are observations,
which are perceptions. This is something that you don’t
seem to understand when you argue that the perceptual
signal, p, is not equivalent to the controlled
quantity, q.i, because p is a perception and q.i is in the
environment. In fact, both q.i and p are perceptions.

          We talk about q.i as though it is an environmental

variable for convenience sake – so that we don’t have to
keep saying “it’s really my perception”. But, in fact, q.i
is a perception in the observer of a variable that the
behaving system is maintaining in a reference state
protected from disturbance. The perceptual variable p is
one component of the theoretical explanation of how q.i is
being controlled (that theoretical explanation being PCT);
p is the theoretical analog of the observer’s perception
of the controlled variable.

[Rick Marken 2018-05-23_09:53:33]

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.22.16.24]

MT: So, according to PCT, when we perceive ourselves to be planning, and to be imagining that we are varying our influence on imagined variables to bring them to reference values, we aren't. It's all an illusion, and we are not doing that at all?

RM: According to PCT we are not perceiving ourselves imagining; we are conscious of ourselves imagining. Â

MT: To what is this comment relevant? And looking a little more closely, what does it mean? Does it mean that being conscious of something means we are not perceiving it?

RM: It's just relevant to talking about control theory more clearly. In PCT imagining involves replaying perceptual signals. In PCT (or real life) we don't say that we perceive this perceiving; we say we are aware of it. This is a consciousness phenomenon that is conceived of as separate from perception. If you haven't read it I highly recommend this paper relating Bill's thoughts on the relationship between consciousness and control:Â
<https://www.dropbox.com/s/egf51l7wyf6u05l/Powerssystemsconsciousness.pdf?dl=0&gt;https://www.dropbox.com/s/egf51l7wyf6u05l/Powerssystemsconsciousness.pdf?dl=0&gt;&gt;&gt;

MT: I wonder what version of PCT disallows the one thing that Powers argued was the only incontrovertible truth -- our own perceptions.

RM: Powers made that argument in reference to the fact that scientific observations of what appears to be the real world are themselves perceptions. So the only "incontrovertible truths" of science are observations, which are perceptions. This is something that you don't seem to understand when you argue that the perceptual signal, p, is not equivalent to the controlled quantity, q.i, because p is a perception and q.i is in the environment. In fact, both q.i and p are perceptions.

MT: Yes, but they are not perceptions in the same mind. "p" is a perception in the mind of somebody we will call "the subject", q.i is an imagined perception in the mind of an analyst who also imagines p, or a perception in the mind of an experimenter who has no observational access to p. The analyst imagines q.i to be a property of the environment that corresponds to p, which the analyst imagines to be a property of the subject. The experimenter perceives q.i, and observes q.i varying.

RM: As with most things in life, this works better if we eliminate the middle man -- the "analyst". The experimenter is the only person we need here. The experimenter perceives that q.i is being controlled. The experimenter then imagines (develoies a theory) that control of q.i is explained by a model which has the controller acting to keep an analog of q.i called the perceptual signal, p, matching a reference signal. The experimenter writes a computer program implementing this model and finds that it fits the data perfectly. All this without the help of an analyst. Indeed, the analyst would just make things worse by making all kinds of confusing philosophical arguments. Clearly, the analyst is getting paid by the word while the experimenter is paid with the satisfaction that comes from learning something about how the world -- and, in particular, the living systems in that world-- works.
Â
BestÂ

···

Accepting what the analyst says, the experimenter imagines there is a "p" being controlled, which accounts for the observation that q.i is being controlled. Of course, if the analyst also imagines that the subject's imagination or memory contributes some part of p, then the observed q.i reported by the experimenter will be related to p but p will not be a function of q.i alone, in the analyst's imagination.

Nowhere are p and q.i perceived as direct observations in the same mind, which would allow them to be compared and tested to see whether they were actually the same variable.

We talk about q.i as though it is an environmental variable for convenience sake -- so that we don't have to keep saying "it's really my perception". But, in fact, q.i is a perception in the observer of a variable that the behaving system is maintaining in a reference state protected from disturbance. The perceptual variable p is one component of the theoretical explanation of how q.i is being controlled (that theoretical explanation being PCT); p is the theoretical analog of the observer's perception of the controlled variable.Â

I'm not sure how much it is "for convenience's sake" and how much it is because billions of years of evolution in the real environment followed by a lifetime of reorganization that we can say that q.i is the value of a property in the environment. Apart from that, which is quibble rather than a disagreement, I think we can agree on all that you say in this last quote, provided you keep straight the fact that p is truth in the mind of the subject, while the perception of q.i is truth in the mind of the experimenter, and both are imagined perceptions whose relationship is a controlled perception in the imagination of the analyst.

Not all analysts imagine the same thing, of course, so in the mind of some analysts the imagined relation of q.i and p might be equality, or even in rare cases, identity. But analysts who use the control loop diagram often reproduced by Boris as basic, q.i and p are shown as different, with no necessary relationship between them. That diagram has been a foundation of "according to PCT" for over 60 years, and I see no reason to change it now Bill P. is no longer with us.

Martin

--
Richard S. MarkenÂ
"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.23.13.11]

So planning to achieve some previously never experienced state is

not possible “according to PCT”. A lot of inventors would disagree.
Red Herring alert! Who would disagree with that?
Not by most people, even those who are PCT-aware. Those who are not
probably think that what we consciously is the only form of
perception. Those who know that Bill P needed a word for the neural
signals in a reorganized control hierarchy, and chose “perception”
because the effects were akin to those of conscious perceptions will
realize that there is a difference.
I used the word “theorist” when I wrote that message and changed it
because we have an agreed set of viewpoints: Subject (or controller)
who has only the perceptions based on sensory and internal data,
some of which are controlled, Experimenter who has access only to
the external environment (by way of the experimenter’s own
perceptions), and Analyst (who can access either directly or in
imagination all the variables and parameters of the system being
studied). If you remove the Analyst, nowhere is there a connection
between the Experimenter’s perception and the Subject’s perception.
The “Experimenter” has now become the Analyst who was dismissed
three sentences ago.
Actually, even if the experimenter carefully selects an experiment
in that most nearly allows this, perfection is never achieved.
I am going back to [Rick Marken 2018-05-22_11:22:20] and the
comment: “.”
[Aside] It is kind of interesting that there was a period not so
long ago when my lack of understanding was due to the fact that I
considered that for every controlled perception in the hierarchy
there was a corresponding environmental variable. Now by lack of
understanding is due to the fact that I don’t realize that for every
controlled variable in the hierarchy there is a corresponding
variable in the environment. I’m afraid my area of not understanding
is getting larger, and very complicated in its inconsistencies. But
I guess it must be an interesting study for some.
I’m leaving in this message the rest of my earlier one, because it
is relevant to my reasons for disagreeing with Rick’s comments on
the first part.

···

[Rick Marken 2018-05-23_09:53:33]

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.22.16.24]

                          MT: So, according to

PCT, when we perceive ourselves to be
planning, and to be imagining that we are
varying our influence on imagined
variables to bring them to reference
values, we aren’t. It’s all an illusion,
and we are not doing that at all?

                        RM: According to PCT we are not

perceiving ourselves imagining; we are
conscious of ourselves imagining. Â

            MT: To what is this comment relevant? And looking

a little more closely, what does it mean? Does it mean
that being conscious of something means we are not
perceiving it?

          RM: It's just relevant to talking about control theory

more clearly. In PCT imagining involves replaying
perceptual signals.

          In PCT (or real life) we don't say that we perceive

this perceiving;

          we say we are aware of it. This is a consciousness

phenomenon that is conceived of as separate from
perception.

          If you haven't read it I highly recommend this paper

relating Bill’s thoughts on the relationship between
consciousness and control:Â

https://www.dropbox.com/s/egf51l7wyf6u05l/Powerssystemsconsciousness.pdf?dl=0

                          MT: I wonder what version of PCT disallows

the one thing that Powers argued was the
only incontrovertible truth – our own
perceptions.

                        RM: Powers made that argument  in

reference to the fact that scientific
observations of what appears to be the real
world are themselves perceptions. So the
only “incontrovertible truths” of science
are observations, which are perceptions.
This is something that you don’t seem to
understand when you argue that the
perceptual signal, p, is not
equivalent to the controlled quantity, q.i,
because p is a perception and q.i is in the
environment. In fact, both q.i and p are
perceptions.

            MT: Yes, but they are not perceptions in the same

mind. “p” is a perception in the mind of somebody we
will call “the subject”, q.i is an imagined perception
in the mind of an analyst who also imagines p, or a
perception in the mind of an experimenter who has no
observational access to p. The analyst imagines q.i to
be a property of the environment that corresponds to p,
which the analyst imagines to be a property of the
subject. The experimenter perceives q.i, and observes
q.i varying.

          RM: As with most things in life, this works better if

we eliminate the middle man – the “analyst”.

          The experimenter is the only person we need here. The

experimenter perceives that q.i is being controlled. The
experimenter then imagines (develoies a theory) that
control of q.i is explained by a model which has the
controller acting to keep an analog of q.i called the
perceptual signal, p, matching a reference signal.

          The experimenter writes a computer program implementing

this model and finds that it fits the data perfectly.

  •  ...the only "incontrovertible truths" of science are
    

observations, which are perceptions. This is something that you
don’t seem to understand when you argue that the perceptual
signal, p, is* not * equivalent to the controlled
quantity, q.i, because p is a perception and q.i is in the
environment*

            Accepting what the analyst says, the experimenter

imagines there is a “p” being controlled, which accounts
for the observation that q.i is being controlled. Of
course, if the analyst also imagines that the subject’s
imagination or memory contributes some part of p, then
the observed q.i reported by the experimenter will be
related to p but p will not be a function of q.i alone,
in the analyst’s imagination.

            Nowhere are p and q.i perceived as direct observations

in the same mind, which would allow them to be compared
and tested to see whether they were actually the same
variable.

                        We talk about q.i as though it is an

environmental variable for convenience sake
– so that we don’t have to keep saying
“it’s really my perception”. But, in fact,
q.i is a perception in the observer of a
variable that the behaving system is
maintaining in a reference state protected
from disturbance. The perceptual variable p
is one component of the theoretical
explanation of how q.i is being controlled
(that theoretical explanation being PCT); p
is the theoretical analog of the observer’s
perception of the controlled variable.Â

             I'm not sure how much it is "for convenience's

sake" and how much it is because billions of years of
evolution in the real environment followed by a lifetime
of reorganization that we can say that q.i is the value
of a property in the environment. Apart from that, which
is quibble rather than a disagreement, I think we can
agree on all that you say in this last quote, provided
you keep straight the fact that p is truth in the mind
of the subject, while the perception of q.i is truth in
the mind of the experimenter, and both are imagined
perceptions whose relationship is a controlled
perception in the imagination of the analyst.

            Not all analysts imagine the same thing, of course, so

in the mind of some analysts the imagined relation of
q.i and p might be equality, or even in rare cases,
identity. But analysts who use the control loop diagram
often reproduced by Boris as basic, q.i and p are shown
as different, with no necessary relationship between
them. That diagram has been a foundation of “according
to PCT” for over 60 years, and I see no reason to change
it now Bill P. is no longer with us.

                Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                  "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
  Â
            Â
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Rick Marken 2018-05-24_10:50:07]

···

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 10:35 AM, Martin Taylor csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2018.05.23.13.11]

MT: I used the word "theorist" when I wrote that message and changed it

because we have an agreed set of viewpoints: Subject (or controller)
who has only the perceptions based on sensory and internal data,
some of which are controlled, Experimenter who has access only to
the external environment (by way of the experimenter’s own
perceptions), and Analyst (who can access either directly or in
imagination all the variables and parameters of the system being
studied). If you remove the Analyst, nowhere is there a connection
between the Experimenter’s perception and the Subject’s perception.

RM: Actually, the connection between the Experimenter’s and Subject’s perception is very clear; the Experimenter perceives q.i being controlled and theorizes that this is happening because the Subject’s is controlling a perceptual signal that is an analog of q.i.Â

MT: [Aside] It is kind of interesting that there was a period not so

long ago when my lack of understanding was due to the fact that I
considered that for every controlled perception in the hierarchy
there was a corresponding environmental variable. Now by lack of
understanding is due to the fact that I don’t realize that for every
controlled variable in the hierarchy there is a corresponding
variable in the environment. I’m afraid my area of not understanding
is getting larger, and very complicated in its inconsistencies. But
I guess it must be an interesting study for some.

RM: Actually, your lack of understanding of PCT was always based on your inability (or, unwillingness) to understand the difference between an environmental variable (called v in Bill’s 1973 Science paper, reprinted starting on p. 61 of LCS I) and an aspect of environmental variables (a function of the v’s, called q.i) For every controlled perception in the hierarchy of control (per PCT) there is a corresponding aspect of the environment that is controlled. For only the lowest level controlled perceptions – the intensity perceptions – is the corresponding aspect of the environment that is controlled an environmental variable.Â

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery