An Open Letter

From [ Marc Abrams (2003.04.08.2211) ]

I have thought about this and decided to go with my gut.

Most of you on CSGnet could probably care less so here is an opportunity to use your delete key. :slight_smile:

I have thought about and reflected on the exchange between Rick and myself today. This was instigated by a good friend who asked me to look at my involvement and role in the exchange. I find exercises like this useful from time to time. It might be viewed as airing “dirty” laundry but I believe others can, and do see things I am incapable of seeing at the time. This request came from the heart and was recieved the same way.

I was very angry at Rick. No I don’t hate him, nor do I even dislike him. I don’t like some of his views nor do I like the way he sometimes conducts himself. But on reflection there is little I can do about either one. That doesn’t preclude the fact that sometimes I get angry with some of those efforts. Hindsight is wonderful, real time implimentation is another. Hitting the delete key is always an option and ignoring is another. Most times I can let things fly by. This time I could not. Why? I feel Rick talks a good game but does not walk the walk. I don’t think many of us do, including myself, most of the time, but I believe PCT has given me an edge in possibly understanding the phenomenon.

It all comes down to the familiar “It’s all perception…”. But what is a perception? and what does it mean to percieve. Philosophers ( with Bill being one of the latest :-)) have for centuries ( Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Voltaire, etc. ) tried to come up with an answer. I believe Bill P has it nailed. Important details need to be worked out and some adjustments probably will have to be made, but HPCT holds the key. A bold statement? Maybe, but I don’t think so. In short; “Perceptions are formed from impressions starting at the “intensity” level of the hierarchy and going up the hierarchy, and are adjusted and changed as they go both down the hierarchy and through each control process, most of which takes place in imagination” Phew! :-), that was a mouthful. Remember, It’s perceptions that are inputed into each control process. Perceptions are what is compared to the reference condition. The error signal although “different” from what went into the comparator is never the less derived from perception. You could say that subsequent “reference conditions” are in fact perceptions of a different kind so a comparator might be “comparing” one “kind” of perception with another. Bill, can this be shown mathematically? If not. How does an error signal differ from a perceptual signal? Qualitatively explained after the mathematical one if at all possible please .

If you add imagination/memory from both the comparator function and the error signal ( as suggested in Chap. 15 of B:CP) to the 4 other “modes” (“perceptual memory modes”) Bill has suggested, and integrate this all into a hierarchy ( or network) I beleive all manner of behavior and thought can be accounted for structurally. Obviously nailing down the specific levels of the hierarchy is a huge if not impossible task given our current resources and technologies. But we might be able to get a glimpse of how some of the upper levels of the hierarchy might work for good benefit. Its worth a shot.

Similar to Kenneway’s Bug, which explores control and some multi-level hierarchy, at some of the lower levels. I believe we can also look at some of the higher levels to the same benefit. What Kenneway did for understanding muscle control, I would like to do for “thouhgt”. I think that is a reasonable.

OK, so what does all this nonsense have to do with my posts? I believe my imagining at various levels in dealing with experienced error, and hence reference conditions and perceptions “set in motion” both emotions, and actions ( words, typing, other thoughts, etc. ) that led to the actions you witnessed as posts to the net. But my posts were not and are not the entire story. Upon reflection I am getting a different path and story as to waht happened. When given a chance to reflect I can “see” where certain “thoughts” and “ideas” might have been different given different antecendent impressions. I do not believe I would “react” the same way again given similar circumstances. This confirms my concept that different actions are used to get the same “results”. Which in this case was to get Rick to Shut up. :slight_smile: