And futhermore...

[From Rick Marken (970925.1320)]

Fred Nickols (970924.1645 ET)

PCT won't get very far with most people if PCTers insist on
defining terms that are in common usage in ways that are
inconsistent with that common usage.

I guess this little sentence got me more ticked than I originally
thought. I kind of resent the implication that PCT has not
gotten very far because its advocates insist on discussing it
using arcane and idiosyncratic language. I also don't like
the implication that the responsibility for non-acceptance
of PCT lies with its advocates rather than with those who
aren't accepting it.

The idea that PCT has a problem because we "insist on defining
terms" idiosycratically came to mind while I was reading one
of the _Discover_ articles. Here's a little quote from an
article on "aggression':

"Despite all the neuroscientists have learned about brain
chemistry and structure, they in fact still know very little
about how the brain works, let alone how it governs action".

Now my idiosyncratic interpretation of this sentence (and
there is a sentence like this in nearly every paragraph of
every article) is that neuroscientists are trying to solve
the wrong problem. The brain doesn't govern action; it governs
the perceived consequences of action. But maybe I'm being
too idiosyncratic; maybe I should read sentences like this
under the assumption that the writer knows that behavior
is the control of perception, not action. I should realize
that, based on common usage, what the author is actually
saying is that neuroscientists are trying to figure out how
the brain controls its own percpetual signals. Yes, that must
be what the author meant! Only a hostile perceptual control
theorist would think otherwise;-)

As for those who blame lack of acceptance of PCT on those who
teach PCT rather than on those who are not accepting it, I
suggest that you learn PCT;-)

Oh, and I just had lunch with a group of people who scoffed at
my suggestion that people work in order to satisfy their wants,
not because they are reinforced (with money) for working.

I'm sorry, Sancho. There are a ton of people out there who believe
that reinforcement is real and _necessary_. I'm afraid I'm not
willing to humor them and say "well, that's a way to look at it";
I'm just going to tell them the truth -- it isn't!

Best

Rick

ยทยทยท

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bruce Gregory (970925.1750 EDT)]

Rick Marken (970925.1320)

I'm sorry, Sancho. There are a ton of people out there who believe
that reinforcement is real and _necessary_. I'm afraid I'm not
willing to humor them and say "well, that's a way to look at it";
I'm just going to tell them the truth -- it isn't!

I take a slightly different tack. I ask them why business
executives in the rest of the world require so much less
reinforcement than ours do. I also ask why there seems to be so
little correlation between the amount of reinforcement and the
profits made by the company...

Sancho