April fool

[From Rick Marken (990402.1000)]

Bruce Abbott (990402.1215 EST) --

Ah, so the movement of my finger toward my nose is NOT guided
by feedback (visual and kinesthetic).

That's right. Feedback (perception) is _guided_; it doesn't
guide.

And here I thought it was an example of closed-loop control.

It is. In a control loop it is perceptual feedback that is
guided.

By the way, if you thought at first that this was a serious
description of a real experiment ----

No. I thought it was an S-R description of an imaginary PCT
experiment.

P.S. -- try Metamucil -- it will do wonders to improve your
sense of humor.

My sense of humor (and other natural functions) are doing
just fine, thanks, sans assistance. I think what you have
to learn is that just because you _intend_ to be funny
doesn't mean that you actually _are_ funny.

Best

Rick

···

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

[From Bruce Abbott (990402.1215 EST]

Rick Marken (990402.0800) --

Example of Rick's never-ending battle to characterize me as one who does not
understand control theory:

Good satire requires a good understanding of what's being
satirized (PCT in this case). Since the author of this satire
clearly doesn't understand PCT (if he did he wouldn't say silly
thing like "movements are guided by feedback") the whole
thing backfires; the ideas that appear foolish are those of
the would-be satirist, not those of his would-be victims.

Ah, so the movement of my finger toward my nose is NOT guided by feedback
(visual and kinesthetic). And here I thought it was an example of
closed-loop control. I wonder how my finger gets there if its movements are
unguided. Chance? Ballistics? Or perchance have you forgotten the
distinction that can be made between a controlled movement (it is the
perception of position, really, that is controlled, but the observed
movement correlates with the perception almost perfectly) and an action?
(I've pointed this out before.)

By the way, if you thought at first that this was a serious description of a
real experiment ----

                            APRIL FOOL!

Bruce

P.S. -- try Metamucil -- it will do wonders to improve your sense of humor.

[From Bill Powers (990402.1106 MST)]

Bruce Abbott (990402.1215 EST)--

Ah, so the movement of my finger toward my nose is NOT guided by feedback
(visual and kinesthetic). And here I thought it was an example of
closed-loop control. I wonder how my finger gets there if its movements are
unguided.

The movements of the finger are not unguideded; you have simply
misidentified what does the guiding. The finger is "quided" by the error
signal, not the perceptual signal. The perceptual signal is compared with
the reference signal, and it is their _difference_ that drives the muscles
that move the finger and thus change the perception. If, while your finger
is moving toward your nose, you decide to touch your eyebrow instead, the
reference signal will change to specify a new destination, and without any
change in the perceptual signal whatsoever (at that moment) your finger
will start to be guided toward your eyebrow.

Your way of describing this process is compatible with the behavioristic
notion that stimuli cause responses. But "guidance" is not the same as
"stimulation." Guidance implies a reference signal, and more particularly
an error signal that varies to correct deviations of the perception from
the reference signal. The perceptual signals in a control system merely
report the current states of perceptual variables; they do not recommend
any particular states as a target. The target state of the perceptions is
specified in and by higher systems in the organism, not by the outside
world or sensory receptors.

Chance? Ballistics? Or perchance have you forgotten the
distinction that can be made between a controlled movement (it is the
perception of position, really, that is controlled, but the observed
movement correlates with the perception almost perfectly) and an action?
(I've pointed this out before.)

This paragraph needs to be expunged from memory and cancelled, since it is
based on an incorrect analysis.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (990403.1430 EST)]

Bill Powers (990402.1106 MST) --

Bruce Abbott (990402.1215 EST)

Ah, so the movement of my finger toward my nose is NOT guided by feedback
(visual and kinesthetic). And here I thought it was an example of
closed-loop control. I wonder how my finger gets there if its movements are
unguided.

The movements of the finger are not unguideded; you have simply
misidentified what does the guiding. The finger is "quided" by the error
signal, not the perceptual signal.

When I used the term "guided" I had in mind the fact that I am comparing the
perceived position of my finger _relative_ to where I perceive I want the
finger to be. I did not assert that the perception "does the guiding," as
you put it. I meant that visual and kinesthetic feedback provide the
information (state of the percpetion) required to make the appropriate
adjustments -- deprive me of these inputs and can no longer reliably guide
my finger to my selected target position (nose or elsewhere).

The perceptual signal is compared with
the reference signal, and it is their _difference_ that drives the muscles
that move the finger and thus change the perception. If, while your finger
is moving toward your nose, you decide to touch your eyebrow instead, the
reference signal will change to specify a new destination, and without any
change in the perceptual signal whatsoever (at that moment) your finger
will start to be guided toward your eyebrow.

Yeah, I know. And you know I know, too.

Your way of describing this process is compatible with the behavioristic
notion that stimuli cause responses.

Now I understand why you are at pains to argue that this way of describing
it is incorrect.

If you say so. Hard for me to see how, though, as it asserts a closed loop.
The idea that stimuli cause responses asserts an open-loop process. It
seems to me that you are attempting to read into my statements things that
simply are not there.

But "guidance" is not the same as
"stimulation." Guidance implies a reference signal, and more particularly
an error signal that varies to correct deviations of the perception from
the reference signal.

I think you've rebuted your own criticism. I know damned well what
"guidance" implies, Bill. That's why I used it.

Regards,

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (990403.1451 MST)]

Bruce Abbott (990403.1430 EST)]

I think you've rebuted your own criticism. I know damned well what
"guidance" implies, Bill. That's why I used it.

Then learn to express yourself more precisely. When you say that A guides
B, you are saying that A varies in such a way as to direct B toward a
target or goal state. Perception does not do that to behavior.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (990403.2155 EST)]

Rick Marken (990403.1500) --

Bruce Abbott (990403.1430 EST)

I did not assert that the perception "does the guiding"...I meant
that visual and kinesthetic feedback provide the information
(state of the percpetion) required to make the appropriate
adjustments

You are the best, Bruce. When you say "movements are guided by
feedback" you are talking control of input, not S-R.

Thanks, Rick. As you know, feedback is not a concept that applies to S-R,
so obviously I am _not_ talking about S-R. I think you're also aware of the
fact that movements can be controlled. For example, try making a circle in
the air with the tip of your index finger. You will find that you are quite
capable of doing that, so that the movement of your finger tip, as you
visually perceive it, conforms more or less well to a circular form. You
can do it even though gravity is constantly tending to accelerate your hand
and arm downward, and you might be able to do it even if I were gently
pushing and pulling on your elbow as you made the circular movement, thus
showing that you could resist mild disturbances to the motion.

You probably can make this circular motion with your finger tip reasonably
well without looking at your finger. This is presumably because you have
practiced making circular movements under visual guidance, and have learned
how it feels kinesthetically to move your arm in this way. Thus you can
produce a set of time-varying references that result in just the right
pattern of kinesthetic sensations, and your arm's motion describes the
required circle.

You do this, of course, by contracting the relevant muscle groups as
necssary to keep the kinesthetic or visual perceptions following their
time-varying reference values, but under normal circumstances the movement
of the arm, as seen by you or other observers, cannot do otherwise but trace
out the required pattern in space, if the relevant perceptions are kept
under control. So the movement of your arm, as perceived by third-party
observers, will appear to be just as much under control as the controlled
perceptions that vary in your own systems as a consequence of arm movement.

Is there anything you don't already know about PCT?

Probably (and I'm sure you'll be happy to clue me). But this isn't one of them.

Regards,

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (990403.2300)]

Me:

Is there anything you don't already know about PCT?

Bruce Abbott (990403.2155 EST)--

Probably (and I'm sure you'll be happy to clue me).

Nah. There's nothing I can teach you about PCT, Bruce. You (and all
your fellow psychologists) know all about PCT and they knew about
things like controlled perceptual variables way before Bill wrote
_Behavior:The control of perception_. I have no idea why I didn't
realize I was doing PCT back in graduate school and during my years
teaching undergraduate psychology courses. Just an April fool, I
suppose.

Best

Rick

···

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

[From Bruce Abbott (990404.0900 EST)]

Rick Marken (990403.2300)

Is there anything you don't already know about PCT?

Bruce Abbott (990403.2155 EST)--

Probably (and I'm sure you'll be happy to clue me).

Nah. There's nothing I can teach you about PCT, Bruce. You (and all
your fellow psychologists) know all about PCT and they knew about
things like controlled perceptual variables way before Bill wrote
_Behavior:The control of perception_. I have no idea why I didn't
realize I was doing PCT back in graduate school and during my years
teaching undergraduate psychology courses. Just an April fool, I
suppose.

No doubt you are hoping that by launching this sarcastic attack, you will
deflect attention from the fact that what I've been saying about control of
movement is correct and that your earlier severe criticism of it was nothing
but hot air.

You might have been a gentleman about it and simply admitted your mistake.
Was I hoping for too much?

Regards,

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (990404.1110)]

Me:

Nah. There's nothing I can teach you about PCT, Bruce.

Bruce Abbott (990404.0900 EST)

No doubt you are hoping that by launching this sarcastic attack

I was not being sarcastic or attacking. I had very high hopes
that you would eventually become a PCT researcher but I think I
can accept the fact that this isn't going to happen. You want
Bill and me and everyone else on this net to believe that you
understand PCT and that you and the rest of the scientific
psychology community have been studying control all along. I
think you want us to believe it because I am now quite sure
that _you_ believe it.

Since, from your perspective, you already know and do PCT, there
is really nothing for you to learn from me (or Bill) about PCT.
The fact that Bill and I have constantly disagreed with many of
your "understandings" of PCT (that feedback guides movement, that
many conventional research studies involve a test for controlled
variables, that conventional research methods are approapriate to
the study of control, etc) has only seemed to boost your confidence
in your own undertanding of PCT. That's why I say there is nothing
I can teach you about PCT; you can't teach someone something that
they are convinced they already know.

you will deflect attention from the fact that what I've been
saying about control of movement is correct and that your earlier
severe criticism of it was nothing but hot air.

What you said about "feedback guiding movement" was unclear at
best. Most people (certainly most conventional psychologists)
would think of "feedback" as perception and "movement" as response.
You were able to justify describing control as "feedback guiding
movement" by describing a PCT model where the word "movement"
referred to a controlled visual variable. But even in this little
story it is not really true that "feedback" (in whatever sence you
mean it: perception, output-input connection or loop) guides
"movement" (the controlled variable). In a control system it's the
_want_ (the reference signal) _and_ the feedback loop that guide
"movement" (the controlled variable).

What you have been "saying about control of movement" shows only
that it is possible to be able to give a good verbal description
of a control model, to be able, even, to write a computer
implementation of such a model and _still_ not understand 1) the
fact that the behavior of a _living system_ is the control of
perception and 2) what this fact implies about how to go about trying
to understand the behavior of such systems. But this is something we
already knew. That is, we already knew that an understanding of
engineering control theory is necessary but not sufficient for
understanding PCT.

Control theory has been applied to the study of behavior since the
early 1940s; none of these applications of control theory got it
right (for reasons given by Powers in his 1978 Psych Review paper);
some of the most clueless people on this net have been experts on
control theory. In my experience there is absolutely _no_
relationship (unless it's a slightly negative one) between an
understanding of control theory -- the engineering kind -- and the
ability to grasp the fact that behavior is the control of perception.

I don't mind you enjoying your fantasies about PCT. But I think it
would be nice if you stopped inventing results (like the VI results
and the "fixed action pattern" data) that you say are inconsistent
with PCT. This, I believe, is what led to Bill Powers' suggestion
that:

What you are doing here, Abbott, is disgusting.

Best

Rick

···

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

[From Bruce Abbott (990404.1600 EST]

Rick Marken (990404.1110) --

Me:

Nah. There's nothing I can teach you about PCT, Bruce.

Bruce Abbott (990404.0900 EST)

No doubt you are hoping that by launching this sarcastic attack

I was not being sarcastic or attacking.

Really? It sure feels that way. I wonder if I'm the only one who got that
impression.

You want
Bill and me and everyone else on this net to believe that you
understand PCT and that you and the rest of the scientific
psychology community have been studying control all along.

No. You want everyone on this net to believe that I don't understand
control theory or PCT. That way when I challenge your conclusions about
various matters no one will pay attention -- after all, I don't know what
I'm talking about. The problem with that is that I have been able to show on
more than one occasion that your analysis of some case has been incorrect.
It takes a very good understanding of control theory to do that, but don't
let empirical evidence get in the way of your pet beliefs, Rick.

The fact that Bill and I have constantly disagreed with many of
your "understandings" of PCT (that feedback guides movement, that
many conventional research studies involve a test for controlled
variables, that conventional research methods are approapriate to
the study of control, etc) has only seemed to boost your confidence
in your own undertanding of PCT.

This little diatribe of yours is certainly a poor excuse for a bona fide
reasoned counterargument to the argument I presented. Evidently, you are
still trying to divert attention away from the fact that you _can't_ refute
it. So you resort to an ad hominum attack instead, effectively changing the
subject from my position to me peronally.

What you said about "feedback guiding movement" was unclear at
best. Most people (certainly most conventional psychologists)
would think of "feedback" as perception and "movement" as response.

Maybe, but I'm not thm. Perhaps you forgot who was doing the talking.

You were able to justify describing control as "feedback guiding
movement" by describing a PCT model where the word "movement"
referred to a controlled visual variable.

Or kinesthetic one. Barely visible in the above is your admission that my
description, while not exactly to your liking, is factually correct.

What you have been "saying about control of movement" shows only
that it is possible to be able to give a good verbal description
of a control model, to be able, even, to write a computer
implementation of such a model and _still_ not understand 1) the
fact that the behavior of a _living system_ is the control of
perception and 2) what this fact implies about how to go about trying
to understand the behavior of such systems.

Now you've slipped back into asserting that my description was incorrect --
or something, it's hard to say what. It's certainly a complaint. What a
load of dingo's kidneys. Still trying to "prove" that I don't understand
fundamental control theory, even against objective evidence to the contrary.
Keep going. Perhaps you will be able to obfuscate the issue so well that no
one will even notice the fact that you were and are unable to refute the
accuracy of my "verbal description" of control-of-movement.

I don't mind you enjoying your fantasies about PCT.

You have failed to establish that I have any "fantasies" about PCT. This is
pure demagoguery. Or as Bill might have described it, rhetoric rather than
reasoning.

But I think it
would be nice if you stopped inventing results (like the VI results
and the "fixed action pattern" data) that you say are inconsistent
with PCT.

The VI results are not inventions, nor were the fixed action pattern data.
Now you are resorting to pure lies.

When I began the thread which led to this, I noted that this is the way you
deal with data that fail to conform to your PCT-based expectations. In your
replies, you have provided the best possible confirmation of the truth of
this observation.

This, I believe, is what led to Bill Powers' suggestion

that:

What you are doing here, Abbott, is disgusting.

What you are doing, dear Richard, is far worse. By these actions of yours
you are undermining the very credibility of the position you hope to
promote. You, personally, are doing more damage to PCT than anyone would
care to imagine.

Have a nice day.

Bruce

[From Bruce Gregory (990404.1745 EST)]

Bruce Abbott (990404.1600 EST)

Rick Marken (990404.1110) --

The notion that we believe whatever we believe because it reduces total
system error seems to apply here. The problem is that we cannot confront
anyone else with this explanation, because to do so invariably leads to
their defending their beliefs even more vigorously (admitting that a belief
reduces total system error threatens to restore the error). We apparently
need to discover for ourselves what errors we avoid by defending a
particular belief.

Bruce Gregory

[From Rick Marken (990406.0950)]

Bruce Abbott (990404.1600 EST) --

By these actions of yours you are undermining the very credibility
of the position you hope to promote. You, personally, are doing
more damage to PCT than anyone would care to imagine.

I've had some time to think about this and I think it's only
fair to try to explain what it is I find so distasteful about
your contributions to the CSGNet.

First, let me say that I agree that you understand control theory
just fine, as well or better than me. Also, you have, indeed, corrected
me on several occasions when I have made mistakes (the
"control of behavior is an illusion" episode was the most recent).

My problem with you is that you either don't understand or
simply don't accept the basic insights of PCT while you
keep saying that you do. The basic insights of PCT (all made
by Bill Powers in various papers dating from 1961) are the
following (in my opinion):

1. "Behavior" refers to both the actions that produce results
and to the results themselves. PCT distinguishes the two.

2. Organisms produce _consistent_ results using variable means
(actions).

2a. There is a hierarchy of action and result; actions that
produce consistent may themselves be consistent results
produced by varying other (low level) actions.

3. The variations in action used to produce a result are
not random; they are precisely what is required to keep the
result itself from varying due to independent influences
(disturbances).

4. What organisms sense is always influenced by what they do;
and what organisms do is always influenced by what they sense;
organisms are locked in a closed feedback loop.

5. When you analyze this loop properly (using control theory)
you see that it's the inputs to the system (the perceived
results of the system's actions), not the actions themselves,
that are controlled

6. It _looks like_ the actions of such a closed loop system
are _caused_ by disturbances which look like "stimuli" that
cause these "responses". This is the _behavioral illusion_.

7. Since it is _perceived_ results that are controlled, an
observer cannot determine which results of an organisms' actions
are under control simply by looking; the observer must test to
determine which aspects of his own perceptions correspond
to the results controlled by the organism.

All this means that psychologists have been looking at (and studying)
behavior from the wrong point of view. They are trying to solve
problems (like "what variables cause behavior") that, according
to PCT, don't exist. The methods of conventional psychology
are based on the behavioral illusion because they are aimed at
determining the _causes_ of behavior (actions) -- rather than
the perceptual results controlled by these actions.

What PCT shows is that we have to start looking at behavior in
a whole new way; we have to look at it as a control process; the
process of controlling perception. This is the central insight
of PCT. PCT is _not_ about saying that the current findings of
psychology can be explained with control theory; PCT says that
the current findings of psychology are all suspect; they have to
be re-evaluated; re-made; retested.

PCT doesn't say that all behavior is control. What it _does_
show is that there is a _strong_ possibility that control is
involved in any behavior and this possibility should be
eliminated _before_ one starts studying behavior as an
"open-loop" (cause-effect) process. This is the step conventional
psychology has never taken because conventional psychology ruled
out the possibility that behavior might involve control (purpose)
early in the game. Conventional psychology _assumes_ that behavior
is a cause-effect process and studies it this way. That's why the
results of conventional psychological research are of no value to
PCT; conventional research doesn't prove or disprove the
possibility that control is not involved in any behavior.

This is the aspect of PCT that you (Bruce, and all other
scientific psychologists) don't accept. You simply don't seem
to believe that psychology and all those smart psychologists
could have missed something as important as control for over 100
years. But it has; it has missed the _possibility_ that any
behavior involves the control of perception(s). Because
you don't believe that conventional psychologists could have
missed what you now see as an obvious aspect of behavior, you
assume that all the observations made by psychologists are relevant
to our understanding of control and that they can be used as a
_test_ of PCT. Indeed, the fact that you can interpret these results
in terms of a control model convinces you that these results
must be a legitimate test of control.

But PCT shows that the observations made by conventional
psychologists are highly suspect. This is what we saw in the
egg retrieval example. You saw that as a clear example of
open loop behavior; we saw all kinds of untested possibilities
of variables under control. The conventional observations,
which were not made with an understanding of the possibility
that one or more of the observer's perceptions might correspond
to perceptions controlled by the goose, were simply inadequate
for answering questions about control. Those questions _can_
be answered, but _not_ using conventional methodology and not
without an understanding of _control of perception_.

So your basic approach to behavior is quite different than what
it would be if you _accepted_ the strong possibility that animals
produce consistent results in a disturbance prone environment --
that is, that they control. Because you don't buy the PCT emphasis
on understanding _control_, not just _behavior_ as conventionally
understood, you are always throwing the results of conventional
research at us as though it were a challenge to PCT or even
as though it were a "disproof" of PCT. It's not. Again, conventional
data was not obtained with the goal of eliminating the _strong_
possibility that control is involved in the behavior under study;
the data is collected under the assumption that it has already
been established that control is _not_ involved in behavior; that
behavior is a cause-effect process. This kind of data can't tell
us whether or not control is involved in behavior. As with the
egg retrieval (and operant) data, all we can say about this
research, from a PCT perspective, is "more research is needed to
determine _whether or not_ the observed behavior can be understood
in terms of controlled perceptual variables".

You have managed to find several studies (like the baseball catching
study) where conventional researchers have done work that looks
a lot like a study of control. But instead of looking at what
they did critically (based on understanding PCT) you always
assume that the data as fine -- that the conventional approach to
studying behavior can tell us what we need to know. The problem
is that we know that the results of this kind of research simply
can't tell us what we need to know; it can't tell us what perceptual
variables are under control. The baseball studies were close but
even they need more detailed tests to see what variables are
actually under control.

The basic problem, of course, is that you see no need for change
in the way psychologists go about their work; they are studying
control just fine from you perspective. And you can make up control
models (verbally at least) that make it seem to you that these
studies are control studies. But they are not because no systematic
tests were done to determine what results the organism was really
controlling.

To be a PCT researcher you have to start studying behavior with
an understanding that there is a _strong_ possibility that the
behavior you see involves the control of some perceptual variable(s).
That's it. You can't do this by trying to map control models
onto existing data; that leads to all kinds of problems (as Bill
discovered when trying to apply a control model to the ratio
schedule operant data) because conventional research methods
simply don't provide the kind (and quality) of data we need to
evaluate PCT models.

You are asking PCT to explain the results of research that
assumes that control doesn't exist; research that is unaware of
the possible existence of controlled variables; that is unaware
of the possibility that the apparent cause-effect relationships
that are found may be an illusion.

When you ask PCT to _explain_ the results of conventional research
you are inviting us to play in a game that is _rigged_; a game we
can't possibly win. If you understood PCT (my 7 points above) you
would see why conventional research is rigged against PCT. You
are asking us to explain data that _assumes_ that IVs cause DVs;
that assumes that outputs are caused by inputs (or internal
processes); that provides no systematic data about possible
controlled variables. There is no way PCT can win in _that_
game. That's why I have advocated not playing; PCT has to
start it's own game -- the game of "test for controlled
variables", which has never been played before.

I guess that's what I find so distasteful about your posts. You
are asking PCT to play in a rigged game -- a game you should
_know_ is rigged if you understand PCT.

Best

Rick

···

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

from [ Marc Abrams (990406.2250) ]

[From Rick Marken (990406.0950)]

Thanks for a well thought out post.

First, let me say that I agree that you understand control theory
just fine, as well or better than me. Also, you have, indeed, corrected
me on several occasions when I have made mistakes (the
"control of behavior is an illusion" episode was the most recent).

My problem with you is that you either don't understand or
simply don't accept the basic insights of PCT while you
keep saying that you do.

Rick I agree, and I think this holds true for many.

The basic problem, of course, is that you see no need for change
in the way psychologists go about their work; they are studying
control just fine from you perspective. And you can make up control
models (verbally at least) that make it seem to you that these
studies are control studies. But they are not because no systematic
tests were done to determine what results the organism was really
controlling.

No question, But again this is not limited to Psychologists. We all come to
PCT with "baggage" People who do not experience error will not change. PCT
tells us that. Why does this surprise you?

To be a PCT researcher you have to start studying behavior with
an understanding that there is a _strong_ possibility that the
behavior you see involves the control of some perceptual variable(s).
That's it.

Sounds so simple. But it's not, See your opening remarks . You sound very
smug about it. But I _know_ your not. People can understand _what_ the
control process does without understanding _how_ it does it. It's in the
"how" that problems usually arise. Not in the "what".

You can't do this by trying to map control models
onto existing data; that leads to all kinds of problems (as Bill
discovered when trying to apply a control model to the ratio
schedule operant data) because conventional research methods
simply don't provide the kind (and quality) of data we need to
evaluate PCT models.

Great point. Again, you and Bill are often accused of being "arrogant" or
"aloof" when you refuse to be sucked into winless, endless debates about
fruitless bridging attempts. In fact _this_ point I am making sounds kind of
smug :-), but it isn't intended

You are asking PCT to explain the results of research that
assumes that control doesn't exist; research that is unaware of
the possible existence of controlled variables; that is unaware
of the possibility that the apparent cause-effect relationships
that are found may be an illusion.

When you ask PCT to _explain_ the results of conventional research
you are inviting us to play in a game that is _rigged_; a game we
can't possibly win. If you understood PCT (my 7 points above) you
would see why conventional research is rigged against PCT. You
are asking us to explain data that _assumes_ that IVs cause DVs;
that assumes that outputs are caused by inputs (or internal
processes); that provides no systematic data about possible
controlled variables. There is no way PCT can win in _that_
game. That's why I have advocated not playing; PCT has to
start it's own game -- the game of "test for controlled
variables", which has never been played before.

Excellent points.

I guess that's what I find so distasteful about your posts. You
are asking PCT to play in a rigged game -- a game you should
_know_ is rigged if you understand PCT.

Sorry Rick. I don't believe that Bruce would willfully ask PCT to play in a
rigged game. I agree with your assessment that Bruce has an excellent
working knowledge of "what" happens in a control process. I don't think he
_fully_ understands "how" this happens. His persistence in believing that
PCT can in fact be described in S->R terms and concepts shows this.

Marc