Arguments about control theory

[From Bill Powers (931216.0900 MST)]

Osmo Eerola (931216.0910) --

I guess you guys up there in the frozen North just like to argue.
There must not be much else to do during those long winter nights

We've established that we both understand control systems the
same way. I'm pleased to talk with someone who understands what
op amps are, and who has done analog computing! I'll even agree
that knowing the internal circuitry of an op amp (which I do) can
help a little bit in understanding how to use them. Furthermore,
I'll agree that control theory and control systems do not
constitute a new science (although at my age I consider any
knowledge less than 50 years old "new").

The sciences that need renewing are the sciences of human
behavior. I have been applying the principles of control theory
toward that end for a long time. The problem in doing this is not
(for me) that of understanding control systems, but of taking a
new look at human behavior with these new principles in mind. The
best way for you to see how I have been doing that is to read my
published writings, and those of others who have been working
along the same lines, doing experiments to verify the
applications of the theory. We can skip around from subject to
subject forever without getting anywhere; you need to see the
systematic approach behind PCT, and the way we attempt to set up
a structure of control processes that match the way people
actually behave. That's where the "new science" comes in.

Do you have access to an IBM-compatible PC? A 386 or 486 would be
the best. If so, you should request some of our demo programs
that illustrate how the PCT model is used to explain and predict
simple behaviors. You won't learn anything new (to you) about
control theory, but you may learn something about the phenomenon
of control as it is seen in human behavior. There is really no
substitute for seeing what we are actually doing with control



Bill P.