Alerting vs Reorganizing

[From Rick Marken (940614.2100)]

Martin Taylor (940614 11:20) --

I realize that Rick often prefer magic to reason

I prefer observation to both. The information about the disturbance
in the perceptual signal is the real magic, though, so I would suggest
that you are the one with the preference for magic. I like magic
too but the magical information about the disturbance that exists
in our perceptions is not that much fun anymore now that Bill, Tom
and I know the trick :wink:

Me:

Why "must" there be "ways in which control shifts from one
perceptual signal to another"?

Martin:

The simple answer is that there are more independent
perceptual signals than there are independent mechanical
actions with which we can affect the world.

This is not an answer; it is a version of "the number of angels
dancing on the head of a pin"-type speculation. Data is the only
thing that can "demand" that there be "ways in which control
shifts from one perceptual signal to another". Give us the data
or give it a rest.:frowning:

Me:

Along with Bill Powers (940609.0910 MDT) I suggest that we get
"back to phenomena".

Martin:

Well, I might ask the same in respect of discussions on the
reorganizing system.

And it would be so good if you would ask :-)). Any sign of an
interest in actual data would be most gratifying. If you did ask,
you would find that the NATURE of the reorganizing system is
based on precious little data, though it's existence is based on
much more.

The need for a reorganizing system (regardless of its form) is
demanded by the same kind of qualitative data as that you cite as
showing a need for an "alerting" system. The only difference is
that the qualitative observations you cite as evidence for an
"alerting system" are already handled by the existing hierarchy.

But there is no necessity in phenomena that a separate
"reorganizing hierarchy" affecting the main hierarchy has to
exist or that if it does, it be the only mechanism for learning.
But the discussions tend to say that THERE IS a reorganizing
system.

There is evidence that there IS a reorganizing system. There is
no evidence that it 1) is separate from the hierarchy or 2) acts
randomly. Research is needed; testing warm, cuddly control systems
is required; it could even be fun ;-).

In talking about an "alerting system," I don't intend there to be
necessarily special mechanisms relating to the phenomenon of
alerting,

Right. The phenomenon of alerting is already explained by
mechanisms that are part of the existing hierarchy.

although the different ways in which our senses work
suggests that there is.

So you still harbor hopes; understandable. But this kind of
make-believe won't make it so. The only thing that can "suggest
that there is" a special alerting mechanism is evidence that cannot be
handled by the existing HPCT model.

I think the evidence for this is at least as strong as the evidence
for a separate reorganizing system (as mechanism).

There is no -- repeat no -- evidence so far for an alerting system.
But there IS evidence for a reorganizing system (of some kind).
The reason is that the evidence you have mentioned for the existence
of an alerting system (such as auditory signals that change when
variables go out of limits) is simply a description of ordinary
controlling; disturbance resistance.

If you are just saying that the disturbance resisting properties
of a control system explain alerting then fine; we're on the same
track. Or if you are saying that some other property of the
behavior of a hierarchy of control systems explains alerting then,
fine, we're still on track.

What the data do not show is that some new characteristic of a
control hierarchy is needed to explain "alerting". There IS data
that suggests the need for a reorganizing system. The Robertson
data on learning is one kind. I believe Bill (and perhaps Tom,
too) have data on changes in control parameters over time.
These data are evidence of reorganization. I have simulated the
Fowler-Turvey two handed coordination data that could be
performed only by randomly changing control parameters; this
is a kind of reorganization and the fact that people and model
performed the task in the same way is another kind of evidence
for reorganization.

Maybe it would be clearer if I put it this way. There is evidence
that reorganization is a phenomenon; it is a phenomenon that is
NOT explained by the behavior of the control hierarchy. That's
why Bill P. invented the reorganizing system; to explain the
phenomenon of reorganization. There is also evidence that
"alerting" is a phenomenon; you described the evidence that
defines that phenomenon; it is a phenomenon that seems to be
explained by the behavior of the existing control hierarchy. So
there is no need for Bill P. (or anyone) to invent an "alerting
system". There would be such a need if there were evidence of
an alerting phenomenon that could NOT be explained by the
existing control hierarchy.

Best

Rick