An Economic PCT Story

From [Marc Abrams (2004.08.24.0951)]

I'd like to pose a hypothetical situation to show the folly of some strongly
held beliefs. PCT is supposed to be the theory that accounts for _all_
behavior. I would say the theory has a ways to go before 'mission
accomplished' can be considered, when the discoverer of this theory feels
that entrepreneurs are leeches, successful venture capitalists are
'exploiters', and the only way to 'deal' with error & conflict (i.e. things
you find disagreeable, or don't approve of) is to avoid it, or try to
disassociate yourself from it (i.e. not accept or read the posts of others).

Bill Powers and Rick Marken have _never_ understood the 'economics' of PCT.
What I mean by this is that _all_ behavior has 'economic' consequences, and
if you don't understand this, then you can spend all the time you want
moving a joy stick, but you are going to miss some _very_ fundamental
aspects of human behavior. Let me try to make my point with this example.

I know Bill does not read my posts, but I know Mary does, so maybe she will
relay this role play to him.

Let's say that a venture capital group came to Bill Powers and asked him to
sell the intellectual rights of PCT to them. No, I don't mean simply for the
use of the name, I mean the right to take credit for the full discovery of
PCT and _all_ the associated ideas Bill has come up with over the years,
which includes _EVERYTHING_ Bill has done with relation to PCT.

So let's fantasize a bit. What if the venture capitalists came to Bill
because they felt they could make a better return on their investment from
'marketing' PCT as the one true theory of human behavior, and this
investment would be better than either putting their money in the bank or
into the stock market. Of course Bill would not know how much they could
make, if anything off the theory, and neither would the venture capitalists,
but the offer from the venture people was $100,000.

I know Bill would never consider such a deal in the real world but play
along with me here :-).

Bill thought he was being 'exploited'. How could these people offer him
'only' 100k? When Bill thought about the capital investment he had made in
PCT over the past 50 years, he became incredulous. He thought about the
time, effort, anguish, materials consumed, etc, that he had put into the
effort and figures that an average of 2k a year was chump change. But, not
only would these people spend a great deal of money in promoting his idea's,
which was the most important thing to Bill, not individual fame or fortune,
but the money would not hurt and he saw no better opportunity to get his
ideas out nor a better deal elsewhere. Reluctantly, Bill accepts the deal.

Two days later on the front page of the NY Times is the headline;
Behaviorism is conclusively shown to be the right theory of Human behavior.

I wonder, do you think Bill would still feel 'exploited' at this point? Does
he still believe entrepreneurs who 'use' other people's money don't actually
'earn' their money? Do you think Bill and Rick have a clue as to what
'capital' might be besides inanimate objects? How about the economic
concepts of 'price', 'cost', or 'present value'?

The real tragedy here is that neither Bill nor Rick probably fully
understands the significance of this little story, and PCT is for the worse
off because of it.

I may not know economics all that well, and I may not have a clue about PCT,
but I gotta tell ya folks, I think I'm coming to a better understanding
about actual human behavior then the people who might have knowledge of
either one of those subjects, but not both.

Have a nice day folks, :slight_smile: