" and what is perceived

[From Fred Nickols (2017.12.04.0645 ET)]

Well, FWIW, I wrote that paragraph on the IAPCT page. Not sure who put it on the web site. I look through my materials and see exactly from whence it came.

Also, FWIW, I stand by it. Makes sense to me.

Fred Nickols

···

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:25 PM
To: CSG csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, because the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  1.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  1.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when wwe make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception…

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Dag Forssell (2017.12.04.09:00 PST)]

Fred, You wrote it for the then revamped IAPCT website when Bill passed.

I put it on the home page.

I edited slightly later on when Allie? suggested a rearrangement.

Dag

···

[From Fred Nickols (2017.12.04.0645 ET)]

Well, FWIW, I wrote that paragraph on the IAPCT page. Not sure who put it on the web site. I look through my materials and see exactly from whence it came.

Also, FWIW, I stand by it. Makes sense to me.

Fred Nickols

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:25 PM
To: CSG csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, because the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:
Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  2.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :
PCT…«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  2.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  3.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :
Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :
For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :
All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when wwe make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception…

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:
Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s
https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see
http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)
http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:
Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:
If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:
Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:
Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce


Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Dag Forssell (2017.12.04.09:00 PST)]

Fred, You wrote it for the then revamped IAPCT website when Bill passed.

I put it on the home page.

I edited slightly later on when Allie? suggested a
rearrangement.

Dag

···

[From Fred Nickols
(2017.12.04.0645 ET)]

Well, FWIW, I wrote that paragraph on the IAPCT page.� Not sure who
put it on the web site.� I look through my materials and see
exactly from whence it came.

Also, FWIW, I stand by it.� Makes sense to me.

Fred Nickols

From: Bruce Nevin
[
mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:25 PM
To: CSG csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to
say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of
variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our
perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of
    perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and
    claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of
perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«.
Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many
interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the
explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation
somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks
merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is
control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be
in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of
perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part
defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating
essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To
confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation
mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’
in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following
definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate
that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of
what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of
course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies
leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other
language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control
of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of
perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”.
It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”.
Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception”
is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title)
states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of
“behavior” and “the control of perception” is
interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control«
although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the
game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?
What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the
question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too
long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the
environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and
disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but
of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about
the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this
presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in
place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just
thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”,
meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”?
“Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it
is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense
of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is
represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the
control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire
control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he
might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully
apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that
they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their
behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in
PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting
role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly
encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can
be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.
(Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode,
it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs.
perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone,
that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on
the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for
reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose
behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around.
PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we
target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of
the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference
condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we
behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our
behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however,
other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are
trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known
in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they
can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of
writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking
the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all
    

organisms function

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope
of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with
    

supporting role to »Control of perception«

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables,
with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our
perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state
or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the
environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables
does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting
role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input
to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the
environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other,
because the control loop is closed through the environment. The
distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is
analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can
possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of
refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by
testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions.
In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science.
Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that
this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it
simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which
is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can
control.

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the
outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of
variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our
perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”,
evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control”
and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental
variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of
perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with
saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable
actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by
the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in
a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front
page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of
    variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are
    also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for
    organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of
the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of
the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control
systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological
control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that
this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not
mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other
aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this
website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in
mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s
writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in
organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about
»Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but
it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of
variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is
proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the
organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This
seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just
mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside
the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of
environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality
of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism
referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s
antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against
such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem
argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do
frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be
alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will
interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is
trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain
incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman > < > boris.hartman@masicom.net> wrote:
Hi all,�

From: Bruce Nevin
[mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/
more often, to
boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were
developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory
(PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T.
Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973
book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is
to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state
(reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any
disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on
the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of
perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«.
Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many
interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation
»Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow
determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit).
And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control«
although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the
game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception«
has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I
see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control
systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way
around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It
holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our
perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state
or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps
exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is
that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are,
however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same
variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances
as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem.
On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from
perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of
variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our
perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower
level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many
times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of
PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT
is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is
    

probably Ricks’ version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing
Control of variables in LCS environment)

  1.  »Behavior serves to control
    

perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean
that »Behavior is control«.

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So
we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT
should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not
inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great
citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his
Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the
real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of
functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the
observation that living things control the perceived environment by means
of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center
stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but
supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :
PCT�«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing
works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It
says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all
    

organisms function

  1.  Behavior is means of control with
    

supporting role to »Control of perception«

  1.  Phenomen of Control takes central
    

stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not
outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t
look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and
they support and even enable control.

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the
controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel
the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in
organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to
support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :
Obviously not every variable �.can be involved in this
wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of
organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :
For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical
system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve
also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and
algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are
produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old
cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are
concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They
cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as
outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning
is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific
psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal
activities that are essentially independent of current external
events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in
organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about
»Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but
it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of
variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is
proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :
All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical
interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without
significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory
information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist
in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some
reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be
controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled
perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the
neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to
make a perception change to our more desireble state � when wwe make the
perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the
mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality
that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result,
how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth�It
means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception�

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«,
but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s
obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about
how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in
environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is
about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in
perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is
the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and
feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience
ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds
from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT
understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion
represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and
physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a
    

system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system
into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the
system

Bill P (LCS III)::�the output function shown in it’s own box
represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s
environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box
    

represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages,
by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input,
the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of
a system’s output on it’s own input.

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a
    

system that receives signals or stimuli from outside the system,
and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received
signals or stimuli.

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control
    

system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between
perceptual and reference signal.

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott > bbabbott@frontier.com > wrote:
Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System
Demos.�?

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin
[
mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott
<bbabbott@frontier.com

Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos
abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/
(I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com
(apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott > bbabbott@frontier.com > wrote:
Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers
downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others
that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code
and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal)
programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but
I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site
is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me
personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs
centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often
are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control
systems and the
physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin
[
mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic
adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon
<tombourbon@sbcglobal.net

; Bruce Abbott
bbabbott@frontier.com;
j richard kenneway
jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert
Young
<
rupert@perceptualrobots.com>; Greg and Pat Williams
gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko
gcziko@gmail.com;
board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much
broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by
others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues
should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of
reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT
hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in
modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related
projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced
in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my
pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be
addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken > rsmarken@gmail.com > wrote:
If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to
Adam Matic
(adam.matic@
gmail.com
).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin > bnhpct@gmail.com > wrote:
Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and
referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active
development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet
for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin > bnhpct@gmail.com > wrote:
Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have
said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are
not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint
paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the
source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is
the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations
and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the
source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to
appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites.
Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists
(“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be
involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and
how it’s going.

/Bruce


Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add,
but when you
have nothing left to take away.�?
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Fred Nickols (2017.12.04.1257 ET)]

Thanks, Dag. I’m getting old.

Fred

···

From: Dag Forssell [mailto:csgarchive@pctresources.com]
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 12:00 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: RE: " and what is perceived

[From Dag Forssell (2017.12.04.09:00 PST)]

Fred, You wrote it for the then revamped IAPCT website when Bill passed.

I put it on the home page.

I edited slightly later on when Allie? suggested a rearrangement.

Dag

[From Fred Nickols (2017.12.04.0645 ET)]

Well, FWIW, I wrote that paragraph on the IAPCT page. Not sure who put it on the web site. I look through my materials and see exactly from whence it came.

Also, FWIW, I stand by it. Makes sense to me.

Fred Nickols

From: Bruce Nevin [ mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:25 PM
To: CSG csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, because the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman < boris.hartman@masicom.net> wrote:

Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]

Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM

To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)

Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  1.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living tthing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  1.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wronngness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when wwe make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception…<

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It̢۪s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.â€Â?

I̢۪m su surprised that a Google search didn̢۪t turn it up!
:p>

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [ mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]

Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM

To: Bruce Abbott <bbabbott@frontier.com >

Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to So SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as itâ€ââ„¢s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much thatââ’s reusable

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [ mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]

Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM

To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com

Cc: Tom Bourbon <tombourbon@sbcglobal.net >; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young < rupert@perceptualrobots.com>; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org

Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@ gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.â€Â?

<

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To Bruce Nevin …

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

For now just this :

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do you see that I describe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on…

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … Itt helps

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It helps J

AGM : One fucking example… for which one does not need to know any fucking ¦ Enjoy your CSGnet email masturbation…

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

AGM : ….one does not need to know any fucking…

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.Â

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

image001137.png

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection… Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Boris

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

···

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  2.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundameental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  2.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  3.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-deetection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when we make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the worrld of perception…

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output functiion shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.06.08:59 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM) –

image001137.png

···

No, as usual you do not understand what you are reading.

/Bruce

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

To Bruce Nevin …>

Â

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Â

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

Â

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Â

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Â

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

Â

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

Â

For now just this :

Â

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do you see that I describe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

Â

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

Â

Â

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

Â

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Â

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

Â

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Â

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on…

Â

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

Â

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

Â

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

Â

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … It helps

Â

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

Â

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

Â

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It hhelps J

Â

AGM : One fucking example… for which one does not need tto know any fucking… Enjoy your CSGnet email masturbation…¦

Â

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

Â

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

Â

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Â

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Â

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Â

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

Â

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

Â

AGM : ….<one does not need to know any fucking…

Â

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.Â

Â

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

Â

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

Â

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

Â

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

Â

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

Â

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

Â

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

Â

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

Â

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

Â

Â

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

Â

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Â

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

Â

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

Â

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….cann be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

Â

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

Â

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

Â

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

Â

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Â

Boris

Â

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

Â

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Â

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

Â

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Â

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He identifies what he sees as three problems.Â

Â

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word 'colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of 'colon’ as a punctuation mark:

Â

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

Â

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

Â

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Â

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

Â

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.Â

Â

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

Â

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or "behavioral outputs" is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Â

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

Here is the quote:Â

Â

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Â

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.Â

Â

1.      PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

Â

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.Â

Â

2.      Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

Â

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Â

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

Â

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

Â

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

Â

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Â

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

Â

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

Â

3. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.Â

Â

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.Â

Â

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.Â

Â

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

Â

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

Â

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

Â

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

Â

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

Â

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

Â

Â

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

Â

1.     »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks’ version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)

Â

2.     »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

Â

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

Â

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Â

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«ccan explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«Â

Â

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

Â

1.     PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

2.     Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

3.     Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

Â

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

Â

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Â

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in tthis wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Â

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

Â

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Â

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

Â

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

Â

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Â

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when we make the perception of the gllass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of perception…/p>

Â

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Â

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

Â

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Â

Bill P (B:CP):

1.     OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system

Â

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Â

Bill P (LCS III):

2.     FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of a system’s output on it’s own input.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

3.     INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

4.     COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.

Â

Â

Boris

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

Â

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

Â

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Â

Bruce A.

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

Â

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

Â

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Â

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Â

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Â

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

Â

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

Â

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

Â

/Bruce

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

Â

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

Â

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

Â

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Â

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Â

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?Â

Â

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

Â

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Â

Â

Â

Â

[From: Richard Pfau (2017.12.12 18:00 EST)]

I must admit that I liked Boris’s statements that “Behavior is a consequence of control of perception” and “Behavior is … used for changing the world of perception” (from his e-mails of Dec 5, 2017, 11:54 pm and Dec 1, 2017, 11:49 pm) – especially the first quote that I have copied for future use.

image001137.png

···

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.06.08:59 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM) –

BH: Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

No, as usual you do not understand what you are reading.

/Bruce

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

To Bruce Nevin …

Â

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Â

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

Â

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Â

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Â

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

Â

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

Â

For now just this :

Â

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do yyou see that I describe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

Â

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

Â

Â

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

Â

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Â

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

Â

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Â

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on…

Â

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

Â

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

Â

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

Â

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … It helps<

Â

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

Â

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

Â

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It helps J

Â

AGM : One fucking example… for which one does not need to know any fucking… Enjoy your CSGnet email masturbation…

Â

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

Â

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

Â

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Â

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Â

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Â

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

Â

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

Â

AGM : ….one does not need to know any fucking…

Â

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.Â

Â

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

Â

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

Â

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

Â

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

Â

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

Â

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

Â

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

Â

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

Â

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

Â

Â

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

Â

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Â

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

Â

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

Â

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wwrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

Â

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

Â

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

Â

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

Â

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Â

Boris

Â

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

Â

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Â

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

Â

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Â

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He identifies what he sees as three problems.Â

Â

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word 'colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of 'colon’ as a punctuation mark:

Â

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

Â

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

Â

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Â

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

Â

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.Â

Â

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

Â

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or "behavioral outputs" is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Â

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

Here is the quote:Â

Â

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Â

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.Â

Â

1.      PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

Â

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.Â

Â

2.      Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

Â

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Â

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

Â

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

Â

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

Â

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Â

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

Â

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

Â

3. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.Â

Â

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.Â

Â

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.Â

Â

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

Â

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

Â

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

Â

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

Â

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

Â

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

Â

Â

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

Â

1.     »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks’ version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)

Â

2.     »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

Â

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

Â

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Â

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every livving thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«Â

Â

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

Â

1.     PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

2.     Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

3.     Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

Â

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

Â

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Â

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ……can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Â

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

Â

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Â

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

Â

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

Â

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Â

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when we make the pperception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of perception…

Â

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Â

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

Â

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Â

Bill P (B:CP):

1.     OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system

Â

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Â

Bill P (LCS III):

2.     FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of a system’s output on it’s own input.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

3.     INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

4.     COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.

Â

Â

Boris

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

Â

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

Â

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Â

Bruce A.

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

Â

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

Â

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Â

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Â

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Â

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

Â

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

Â

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

Â

/Bruce

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

Â

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

Â

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

Â

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Â

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Â

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?Â

Â

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

Â

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Â

Â

Â

Â

Just be mindful of the ambiguity of the word “behavior”. Those statements use it in the sense of observable outputs, in contrast to the use of the word “behavior” in the title of B:CP.

image001137.png

···

On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 6:04 PM, Richard Pfau richardhpfau@gmail.com wrote:

[From: Richard Pfau (2017.12.12 18:00 EST)]

I must admit that I liked Boris’s statements that “Behavior is a consequence of control of perception” and “Behavior is … used for changing the world of perception” (from his e-mails of Dec 5, 2017, 11:54 pm and Dec 1, 2017, 11:49 pm) – especially the first quote that I have copied for future use.

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.06.08:59 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM) –

BH: Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

No, as usual you do not understand what you are reading.

/Bruce

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

To Bruce Nevin …

Â

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Â

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

Â

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Â

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Â

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

Â

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

Â

For now just this :

Â

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do you see that I ddescribe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

Â

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

Â

Â

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

Â

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Â

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

Â

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Â

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on… <

Â

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

Â

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

Â

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

Â

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … It helps>

Â

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

Â

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

Â

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It helps J

Â

AGM : One fucking example… forr which one does not need to know any fucking… Enjoy your CSGnet emaail masturbation…

Â

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

Â

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

Â

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Â

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Â

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Â

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

Â

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

Â

AGM : ….one does not need to know any fucking…

Â

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.Â

Â

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

Â

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

Â

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

Â

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

Â

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

Â

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

Â

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

Â

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

Â

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

Â

Â

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

Â

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Â

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

Â

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

Â

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….cann be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

Â

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

Â

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

Â

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

Â

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Â

Boris

Â

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

Â

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Â

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

Â

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Â

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He identifies what he sees as three problems.Â

Â

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.Â

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word 'colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of 'colon’ as a punctuation mark:

Â

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

Â

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

Â

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Â

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

Â

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.Â

Â

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

Â

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Â

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or "behavioral outputs" is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Â

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)Â

Â

Here is the quote:Â

Â

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Â

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

Â

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.Â

Â

1.      PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

Â

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.Â

Â

2.      Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

Â

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Â

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

Â

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

Â

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

Â

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Â

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

Â

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

Â

3. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.Â

Â

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Â

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.Â

Â

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.Â

Â

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

Â

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

Â

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

Â

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

Â

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

Â

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

Â

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Â

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

Â

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

Â

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.Â

Â

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

Â

Â

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

Â

1.     »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks’ version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)

Â

2.     »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.

Â

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

Â

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

Â

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Â

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundamentaal aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«Â

Â

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

Â

1.     PCT is general theory about how all organisms function

2.     Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«

3.     Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

Â

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

Â

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

Â

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Â

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes aree burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Â

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

Â

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Â

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

Â

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Â

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

Â

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

Â

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Â

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when wee make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception…

Â

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Â

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

Â

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Â

Bill P (B:CP):

1.     OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system

Â

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own boxx represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Â

Bill P (LCS III):

2.     FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of a system’s output on it’s own input.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

3.     INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.

Â

Bill P (B:CP) :

4.     COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.

Â

Â

Boris

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

Â

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

Â

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Â

Bruce A.

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

Â

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

Â

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Â

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Â

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Â

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

Â

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

Â

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

Â

/Bruce

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

Â

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

Â

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

Â

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

Â

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Â

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Â

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?Â

Â

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

Â

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Â

Â

Â

Â

I think that you just couldn’t help yourself Bruce Nevin … did you ? You just had to make a bigger mess and confussion on CSGnet. This is fourth time that you enter discussion without substantial evidences.

If I understood you right I was wrong just because »allmighty« Brucy said so. Who are you anyway. Some distinguished American star whos oppinion has some value ?

I just have to citate Alex, because it seems to me that we are quite close in our »temperament«…

AGM : Enjoy your CSGnet email masturbation…

image001137.png

image00294.jpg

···

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:30 PM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: " and what is perceived

BN : Just be mindful of the ambiguity of the word “behavior”. Those statements use it in the sense of observable outputs, in contrast to the use of the word “behavior” in the title of B:CP.

HB : O.K. smart phylosopher. It seems that we go again for who know s which time if I count in also Rick… You two seem to be the same kind of confussion mmakers.

The contrasting use of the word »behavior« in the Title is pobabbly disturbing »all mighty« Brucy, because Brucy just don’t want that Alison would accept my proposal about Bills’ diagram and definitons of PCT to become part IAPCT. And we thinks that his word should be final because of his »blown« ego.

Â

Why somebody should be mindfull if Bill quite clearly presented his theory and it’s also clear Title ? There is no cotrast. Only you see it.

If you ment contrast for my statements in relation to Title of the book you can relax. There is no contrast, It’s all in harmony.

I use the word »Behavior« in the sense Bill used it in his PCT theory. It’s huge possibility that Title of the book is corresponding to his whole PCT theory.  So I don’t see where you see a contrast,

As I wrote to Alison, »Behavior is control of Perception« in the meaning that is presented in LCS III diagram and explained in detail with definitions of PCT (BC:P). I know that you have troubles reading, specialy Bills’ books so I’ll try to sketch it more plastically. It goes tha same for Rick.

In diagram (LCS III) you can see that »observable behavior« is following control of perception in comparator (only place in the loop where something is controlled) and that just effects of »output« are proceeded through »Feedback function« to »input« with added effects of disturbances.

I’ll add diagram because I know that you could understand something in your own style and start to use your imagination and your phylosophy which I have enough.

cid:image002.jpg@01D344B9.96A28C30

HB : So you can see that »Behavior« is defined as measure of system’s physical output action or obervable behavior and is clearly coming from comparator where control of perception happens.

So from diagram it’s clear where behavior is situated and his function in control loop. It’s obviously that it is following »control of perception«.

Bill P (B:CP) :

COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.

HB : The result of »mismatch« between ordinary perceptual signal (no control) and reference signal is »error«.

ERROR : The discrepancy between a perceptual signal and a reference signal, which drives a control system’s output function.

HB : It’s also obviously that »error« (result of control of perception) drives »behavior«…

Bill P (B:CP) :

OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system.

Bill P (LCS III):…the outputt function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

HB : You can see clearly from Bills’ diagram what is output of a system (action or behavior). It’s also obviously that output cause changes in environment. No controlled changes.

No matter if you call it »observable behavior« or »measure of system’s physical output action« it’s the same effect on environment. There is no controlled effects to inuut or even that »output could be controlling input« as Rick is suggesting.

You showed quite some times Brucy that you have troubles understanding PCT, function of behavior in control loop or what is output and how it affects input.

BN earlier [Bruce Nevin 2017.07.08.10:33 ET)]: Just a reminder that organisms can also control perceptions of their own behavioral outputs,

HB : It’s not that organisms can control also (???) own behavioral outputs. You don’t understand PCT and function of behavior. That’s your problem. Feedback function is part of the control loop so organisms don’t also control perceptions of their own behavioral outputs… What a nonsesnse to say. Control off perception of own behavioral outputs is part of the control loop.

Bill P :

FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That’s what feed-back means : it’s an effect of a system’s output on it’s own input.

So what you don’t understand about position of behavior in control loop ???

Behavior is consequence of »control of perception« (error drives output) and it’s just causing effects to immediate environment. No »controlled effects«. So behavior can’t be »control of perception« in the sense that it is controlling »input«, becuase simply behavior is not controlled. But it is affecting input among many other effects.

You’ll have to go in-line with Rick in competing who is telling more nonsense.

There is no controlled effects through external environment. Behavior among many other effects to environment affects also input function with adeed effetcs of disturbances. The only »controlled variable« is input, which is to be controlled in »comparator«.

So what is it that you don’t understand about Title »Behavior : The control of perception« and PCT and »Behavior is consequence of control of perception« ???

If you want to say something I want to hear at least your oppinion about diagram and definitions of PCT. I don’t want to hear your phylosophical discourses without any evidences. I want to hear your oppinion whether you agree with diagram (LCS III) and definitions (B:CP). If you don’t then write what about you don’t agree.

Do we understand ???

Boris

On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 6:04 PM, Richard Pfau richardhpfau@gmail.com wrote:

[From: Richard Pfau (2017.12.12 18:00 EST)]

I must admit that I liked Boris’s statements that “Behavior is a consequence of control of perception” and “Behavior is … used for changing the world of perception” (from his e-mails of Dec 5, 2017, 11:54 pm and Dec 1, 2017, 11:49 pm) – especially the first quote that I have copied for future use.

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.06.08:59 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM) –

BH: Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

No, as usual you do not understand what you are reading.

/Bruce

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

To Bruce Nevin …

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

For now just this :

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do you see that I describe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on…

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … It helps

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It helps J

AGM : One fucking example… for which one does not need to know any fucking… Enjoy yo your CSGnet email masturbation…

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

AGM : ….one does not need to know any fucking…

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

cid:image001.png@01D119FD.595FDCD0

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Boris

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  2.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«cann explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  2.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  3.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processses are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when we make thhe perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of perception…

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents tthe means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hi Richard,

RP : I must admit that I liked Boris’s statements that “Behavior is a consequence of control of perception” and “Behavior is … used for changing the world of perception”

HB : Thank you Richard for your support. There are not many who understand PCT and how organisms function. By my oppinion You are with no doubt one of the strongest promoter of PCT with range of biological physiological, psychological etc. evidences abiut how organisms I can just express my admiration for you as a scientist.

Best regards,

Boris.

image001137.png

···

From: Richard Pfau [mailto:richardhpfau@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:04 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: " and what is perceived

[From: Richard Pfau (2017.12.12 18:00 EST)]

I must admit that I liked Boris’s statements that “Behavior is a consequence of control of perception” and “Behavior is … used for changing the world of perception” (from his e-mails of Dec 5, 2017, 11:54 pm and Dec 1, 2017, 11:49 pm) – especially the first quote that I have copied for future use.

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.06.08:59 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM) –

BH: Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

No, as usual you do not understand what you are reading.

/Bruce

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

To Bruce Nevin …

What is this ? You must be kidding. You are a joker. Aren’t you ?

Do I understand right that with your phylosophy and imagination you wanted to prove that behavior (output) is controlled ??? Do I understand right ? And there is some »controlled perception« leaving »input function«. Is this right ?

If it is right than I will conclude that this is the top joke of the year. Your definitelly formalized your BNCT (Bruce Nevin Control Theory). Congratulations. Now all you have to do is to publish it. Somewhere. But first you have to prove how muscle tension is controlled and what is »controlled percreption« ?

Beside that I see you answered just to some parts of my whole post and adapted it so that it suits your purposes where you could show your phylosophical and imaginational construct »powers«. As usual you don’t put any evidence on the table, just some your imaginational constructs, which should be true, because Bruce Nevin said so. And whole World will have to beleive his word, because Brucy is so smart ?

Who is Bruce Nevin anyway ?

As you made dissection of my post I won’t answer you in whole for now. Read my post once again and I want an answer on the whole including your interpretation of Bills’ citations and of course physiological evidences, as you gone need them. Do you understand ?

For now just this :

BN earlier : He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : This is a lie. Where exactly did I wrote that…??? So where do you see that I describe it as wrong by adding »is« to Title ??? I just wrote that there are some possible directions of interpretations of the Title, but I never said that adding »is« to title is worng. I just said that you put it wrong as being the Title.

I wrote :

HB earlier : Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So what I wanted to say is that »Behavior is control of perception« is not wrong, but it offers many interpretation of Title of the book. What is totaly different from what you wrote about my writings.

BN : According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception.

HB : Again. The Title of the book is not »Behavior is the control of perception« but »Behavior : control of Perception«. And this is much more than just adding »is«. Do you understand what problem was ? You falsifed the Title of the book and made it look like your own interpretation of the Titile being the only right.

Again. The Title of the book is »behavior : Control of perception« and one of the interpretations can be also »Behavior is control of perception«.

So where do you see in my statements that adding »is« to Title is wrong ???

Wrong interpretation could be that the meaning could be »Behavior is control« what has nothing to do with PCT. Behavior (output) is not controlled in PCT. Maybe in BNCT and RCT and so on…

Nowhere is mentioned that adding »is« to Titile of the book is wrong. It just has many possible interperetations and at least one is by my opinion wrong.

The problem in the statement is somewhere else and you misssed it as you wanted to prove something else about me. This is third time that you tryed with so low »Kicks«. I hope it’s the last time.

I think that your way of phylosophing is the worse kind. You made a distortion to my original text and adapted it so, to prove your point. The lowest level of discussion I ever saw. You didn’t want to understand what I wanted to say but you just tried to make your »sensless« points, You made a distortion to my post and building on pieces you made your own story, BNCT story. But this is who you are. Mess maker.

I’ll use a little Alex terminology … It helps

AMG : I am really sick of all this. I have demonstrated it from the fucking…

BN earlier : So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

HB : You are continuing with your lies. Are you a born lier ? First I didn’t say anywhere that »Behavior is Control of perception« is wrong. And second clear alternative was shown with support of Bills defiinitions.

I’ll use again a little Alexs’ wording … It helps J

AGM : One fucking example… for which one does not need to know any fucking… Enjoy your CSGnet email masturbationâ…

HB : I’ve put it so many times on CSGnet that you could remember. Go through arhieves. »Behavior is Contol of Perception« in my meaning is consequence of control od perception. what is clear alternative !!!) and is argumented all the way through the whole my post with Bills citations but you read as you wanted to read it and you made a mess.

So if you would read it carefully you could see that alternative to one direction of understanding of »Behavior is control of Perception« is another direction which can be seen clearly from diagram (LCS III) where we can see that behavior is the result of »control of perception« in comparator and driven by »error« signal hence »Behavior is control of perception« in the meaning that »Behavior is consequence of control of perception«. You are not only a lier, you also imagine not existable things.

And you could also find all this in all Bill’s definitions if you’d wanted to read them right and if you wouldn’t make such a distortion to my post by letting definitions and diagram out. But you were afraid of true picture of PCT which is supporting that Behavior is consequence of control of Perception. Behavior does not carry any control. Behavior is not controlled in PCT.

Bill P : (LCS III) : Note that we classify the controlled variable as an input variable, not an output variable.

Mary P: PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional approach : that what is controlled is not behavior, but perception.

Statements in my post are all supported by Bills’ citations, so that they represent the whole with my interpretations.

Read it all and I want answer on the whole post with all my and Bills citations which support what I wrote. Read it again carefully. It’s clear that you tried to avoid Bills text and you just extract pieces. Don’t try to make idiot of me, because in reverse I’ll try to make idiot from you. Do you understand ???

What is supporting you statements ? Just your imagination ? Did you find an answer how imagination is added to real time perception ??? No ? Well you want me to help you find it ?

AGM : ….>one does not need to know any fucking…

HB : You could find out answer also from Bills’ citations if you would be smart enough to understand PCT. But I see now that you are not.

BN : I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly.

HB : O.K.smart guy. First whatever you explained above is problematic because we don’t know what you meant with »homeostatic system«. Is it in the meaning Bill used it ? Maybe one day I’ll tell you where you misssed the point. So for now I think you are the only one who agrees with what you wrote. So I’m more interested in who understand what you wrote, who agrees and who is going to explain it ? You ? Let me see it ?

So if you really understand and by your thinking all on CSGnet you will have no problem explaining and solving the problem in Bill-Dag diagram which is improved version (by me and Bill) of diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005). Read first the text bellow very carefully before you start writing, because it’s obviously that you don’t know to read what is written and you make your own imagined constructs which feed your EGO. We saw what mess you can made with your imagination in my Post.

cid:image001.png@01D119FD.595FDCD0

So let me see your explanation or anybodys’ else if you all understand how organisms function ???

BN : Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

HB : Right. May well have written. Is this a hope ? Although I’m quite sure that first statement which I citated is Bills’. But it can be true that you fully agreed. So why you don’t respect what was written ? Behavior is supporting element to control. It’s not control.

BN : Why divide “control” from “control of perception”?

HB : Who divided »control« from »Control of perception« ? It’s just your imaginational construct again like your lies and other distortions.

BN : There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived.

HB :

O.K: Explain to us what is »controlled perception« ? It was never mentioned in Bills’ literature and it has no physiological background. So what it is ?

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

BN : I don’t know who wrote this,

HB : Be shame Bruce Nevin for not recognizing Bills’ thoughts. Poor Brucy didn’t recognize Bills’ writings. You should read more of his literature.

Bill wrote it. But you already knew it, didn’t you ? This is lowest trick you made and lowest level of the conversation you reached. And you say you’ve been so long with him ? What kind of human are you ? Sorry what kind of LCS are you ?

It’s in LCS I or maybe in LCS II. Well read it all so that you will finally understand what PCT is ?

BN : I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

HB : What a mess and confussion. Of course you have troubles in understanding as you didn’t mentioned here Bills’ explanations which you obviously don’t understand. But that could mean also that you don’t understand PCT.

Bill P : Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-ddetection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P : For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : So let us understand what is the problem with your way of making interpretations. You »attacked« my interpetation of Bills citations but letting his citations out. So here is such a mistake you made.

You are claimimg that you have troubles with my assertation that control in organism »is not just about controlling variables in the organism«. You are having troubles because you didn’t also reveal what was the source of my assertation. It was Bills text or his understanding of what is happening also in organism beside control loops. You understand where your mistake is ???

It’s obviously that you don’t understand in the bases how organisms function. I could explain it to you but I’m not instructor for physiological »dummies«. But if you would pay for instructions, I’ll reconsider it J.

You don’t have only troubles with understanding my explanations, but you have troubles with yourself (your EGO) and of course you have troubles with understanding PCT and understanding how organisms function. And the result is mess that you made. Start reading books !!!

And I hope this is the last time you made dissection of my post for your own purposes on such a low level. This is the third attempt. So I want the whole answer to my first post which will include also your interpretation of Bills citations, and then we can make further discussions. Do you understand ?

Boris

P.S. By the way. Do you agree with Bill’s and Marys’ Thesis about PCT ? And if you don’t agree, show me where ?

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 5:25 AM
To: CSG
Subject: “:” and what is perceived

[From Bruce Nevin (2017.12.03.23:00 ET)]

Boris Hartman (Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM) –

I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say.

Referring to a passage quoted from the IAPCT front page, Boris says:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He identifies what he sees as three problems.

  1. He sees that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception is being interpreted or paraphrased as “is” and claims that this is wrong.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

HB : So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

HB : So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

A colon divides a sentence into two parts, such that the second part defines the first part by paraphrasing it, elaborating on it, stating essential inferences, or summarizing such elaborations of its meaning. To confirm this understanding of the function of a colon as a punctuation mark in a sentence, after I wrote the above I looked up the word ‘colon’ in the Random House dictionary of English, where I find the following definition of ‘colon’ as a punctuation mark:

the sign (:slight_smile: used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes

A colon is analogous to the equals sign (=) in mathematics, though of course not all mathematical usages apply to language. (All analogies leak.) Maybe the colon has a different significance in some other language, but Bill was writing in English.

There can be no doubt that the colon in the title Behavior: the control of perception asserts that the phrase “the control of perception” is Bill’s definition of the word “behavior”. It is also the accepted PCT definition of the word “behavior”. Therefore the sentence “behavior is the control of perception” is an accurate and adequate paraphrase of the title and (like the title) states what Bill’s book is about.

Boris’s further complaint seems to be about how this equivalence of “behavior” and “the control of perception” is interpreted.

HB: it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

Why divide “control” from “control of perception”? What distinction is being made? This seems to have to do with the question what is controlled. There was some controversy on CSGnet not too long ago whether only perceptions controlled or whether variables in the environment are also controlled. Boris has expressed distaste and disinterest in philosophical questions about the epistemology of PCT, but of course that is exactly what this is, an epistemological question about the veridicality of perceptions.

In my view, the answer to the question is “both”. More on this presently.

So far as I can find, Boris does not offer an alternative paraphrase in place of “behavior is the control of perception”. He just thinks its wrong. So why does he think it’s wrong?

Is he invoking a more behaviorist sense of the word “behavior”, meaning “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs”? “Behavior” in this sense is not the control of perceptions, it is the observable means of controlling perceptions. Behavior in the sense of “observable actions” or “behavioral outputs” is represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior as the control of perception is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop.

Farther on, he quotes the 2011 jointly authored paper. (I wonder if he might think less highly of that paper and this quote if he fully apprehended that Rick, Martin, and others were co-authors, and and that they may well have written or modified this very passage.)

Here is the quote:

living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

The phrase “control the perceived environment” neatly encapsulates the “both” answer that I offered above. There can be no controlled perception in the absence of that which is perceived. (Bear in mind that in the PCT model imagination is not in control mode, it is in imagination mode.) During that argument about environmental vs. perceptual variables we found several passages, authored by Bill alone, that say much the same thing

Boris asserts that the above 2011 passage contrasts with a paragraph on the front page of the IAPCT website. Here is that paragraph for reference:

PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it does not matter. Almost any piece of writing can be improved in one way or another, and as we begin reworking the website we are open to suggestions. Let’s review his objections.

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    

This is evidently a sin of omission. He quotes from B:CP about the scope of PCT extending to all living things.

  1.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    

I believe I can paraphrase this more clearly as

Behavior is [the or a?] means of control of environmental variables, with a supporting role from control of perception.

I believe he gets this from the IAPCT website sentence

we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables.

He does not like the idea that we control perceived variables in the environment. But this assertion that we control environmental variables does not relegate the control of perception to a “supporting role”. Control of a neural signal generated by environmental input to a sensor is inseparable from control of whatever it is in the environment that is being sensed. You can’t have one without the other, ebcause the control loop is closed through the environment. The distinction between environmental variable and perceptual variable is analytical but not actual. The perceptual variable is all that we can possess of the environmental variable. There is a well-known process of refining our perceptions and becoming more sure of their veridicality by testing them and by freeing them from a clutter of imagined perceptions. In its most careful and rigorous form, this process is called science. Less formally, it’s called learning from experience. To the extent that this process gives us perceptions of which we can be more confident, it simultaneously gives us that which is perceived. It gives us that which is perceived precisely because (and to the extent that) we can control.+

Going back now to the paragraph from Boris’s post that I quoted at the outset:

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

He objects to saying “behavior is the control of perception”, evidently because someone might read only “behavior is control” and think that it means “behavior is control of environmental variables”. But no, it clearly says “control of perception.” Anyway, I do not understand what problem he finds with saying that behavior is control, unless he is referring to observable actions, behavioral outputs that are represented in a control diagram by the output function. Behavior, understood as that which is represented in a control diagram by the entire control loop, is control.

His third objection to the above paragraph quoted from the IAPCT front page seems to be another sin of omission:

  1. Phenomen of Control … involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don’t look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.

I think everyone here agrees that there are variables within the body of the organism which are controlled variables in the sensed environment of the nervous system, and that there are also many biochemical control systems (homeostatic systems) which interact with the neurological control hierarchy only indirectly. And I think we probably all agree that this needs more research. The paragraph on the IAPCT front page does not mention this. It does not contradict it either. And there are many other aspects of PCT that it does not mention. As we begin to reorganize this website we can consider adding something about that, always bearing in mind that this is an introductory paragraph for a lay audience.

Going farther down, after some quotations snipped from some of Bill’s writings, things get murkier.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

I’m having trouble understanding the assertion that control in the organism is not just about controlling variables in the organism. This seems to refer to control of variables within the body such as I just mentioned. Homeostatic systems do not directly concern variables outside the body, but that is not an argument about the existence of environmental variables.

Studies of collective control pretty conclusively demonstrate the reality of controlled environmental variables. That’s an important part of PCT.

Finally, Bill strongly disapproved of any sort of PCT fundamentalism referring to what he said or wrote as authoritative gospel. It’s antithetical to the proper character of science, which guards against such natural human proclivities as argument from authority, ad hominem argument, confirmation bias, and so on. Of course, scientists do frequently fall into these traps, but the stance of science is to be alert to them and guard against them. Any kind of authoritarian cult will interfere with the acceptance and establishment of PCT that we seek.

As I said, I’ve been putting some effort into understanding what Boris is trying to say. I’m not sure the effort has been much rewarded.

I will not respond to vituperation, ad hominem attack, or just plain incoherence.

/Bruce

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:49 PM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi all,…

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code

We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking. :slight_smile:

HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :

This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.

HB : Ttitle of the book is not : »Behavior is control of perception«, because somebody could think that »Behavior is control«. Titile is »Behavior : Control of Perception«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.

So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation »Behavior is control of perception« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers »Behavior is control« although also other mening as »control of perception« can be in the game.

So in which way the sentence »Behavior is control of perception« has to be understand ?

The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :

IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.

HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as »control of variables« and of course that »behavior serves to control our perceptions« what seems to mean that »Behavior is control«.

Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of »lower level« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.

In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :

  1.  »Control of variables« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
    
  2.  »Behavior serves to control perception« or »Behavior is Control of Perception« what could mean that »Behavior is control«.
    

Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.

So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.

My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :

Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Bill P (B:CP) :

PCT…«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living tthing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.«

HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :

  1.  PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
    
  2.  Behavior is means of control with supporting role to »Control of perception«
    
  3.  Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also »control of variables« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
    

So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

HB : Achievement and maintainance of »preselected state« in organism is also enabled by »control« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.

Bill P :

Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Some processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.

Bill P :

For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.

HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :

Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.

HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that »control in organism« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about »Controlling variables in organism« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where »control of variables« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.

Bill P :

All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.

The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.

HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be »controlled perception«. So how »Control of Perception« really function :

Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when we make the perception of the glass change from »on the table« to »near the mouth« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions thaat alter the world of perception…

HB : It’s obviously that »Behavior is not controlling perception«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we »Control behavior« or some »Controlled variable« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about »Control of perception« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.

Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.

HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :

Bill P (B:CP):

  1.  OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
    

Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shhown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Bill P (LCS III):

  1.  FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives  signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
    

Bill P (B:CP) :

  1.  COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
    

Boris

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. It’s

https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/

The title I gave to the site is actually “Perceptual Control System Demos.�

I’m surprised that a Google search didn’t turn it up!

Bruce A.

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com
Subject: Re: source code

URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see

http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)

http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com wrote:

Hi Bruce,

I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I don’t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as it’s tied to me personally.

Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So there’s usually not much that’s reusable

Bruce A.


From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic adam.matic@gmail.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon tombourbon@sbcglobal.net; Bruce Abbott bbabbott@frontier.com; j richard kenneway jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk; Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com; Greg and Pat Williams gwill@mis.net; Gary Cziko gcziko@gmail.com; board@iapct.org
Subject: Re: source code

BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.

BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.

/Bruce

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (adam.matic@gmail.com).

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Friends,

I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary

My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?

/Bruce

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,

For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.

Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.

Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?

It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).

You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.

/Bruce

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery