[From Bruce Abbott (961125.1540 EST)]
Rick Marken (961125.0820) --
I resort to sarcasm as an alternative to going over basic PCT with someone
who has been on CSGNet for over two years. Your little story is incorrect
because a control system must learn how to _vary_ acts (or actions) -- that
is, they must learn a transfer function -- in order to control a result (the
arrival of "reinforcement" in this case). Your little story describes a model
of reorganization that learns to control by setting _specific_ references
(for acts) -- references for the acts that are followed by reward.
Ah, now we're getting somewhere! I've described a _different_ model of
reorganization than the e-coli type! Did you reject it merely because Bill
didn't propose it, because I did, or because it fails on empirical or
little story is just an attempt to use PCT _language_ (reference signals,
perceived results) to describe a "selection BY consequences" process.
I would say that it is an attempt to describe how a rat learns what
reference signals to vary, and how. Nowhere have I suggested that a
consequence selects a response, reference signal, or any other thing. I
said that the _rat_ was doing the selecting.
problems with your little story are so basic that it is impossible for me to
deal with them (given my current level of immaturity) with anything other
That's a cop out. I don't think you have the vaguest notion what's wrong
with it (other than that it's not e-coli reorganization), but I could be
wrong. Perhaps I'm just too thick-headed to "get it," but how about
explaining for the others who may benefit from your explication?
After that, I will tell you why you're wrong.