From [ Marc Abrams (2003.05.01.1828) ]
This post might seem inflammatory to some. I am ticked. Rick persists in
his attempt to “show” the world he is “right” and he
is the master. He “shows” not the least bit of concern for me
and “helping” me better understand HPCT and refuses to
acknowledge that I MIGHT have something useful to say and contribute.
Instead he is intent on me “getting it right”, that means, to
recite word for word HIS understanding of the model. I have no
use for this kind of Bull and in this post I will attempt in any number
of ways where he can stick it.
[From Rick Marken
I think if you read what I said more carefully you’ll see that I don’t
are nits at all. I said that they
might seem like nits, but, in fact, they are
fundamentally important to understanding PCT.
I see. It is I who needs to read more carefully. You have my
“meaning” nailed. Maybe I said something that does not
completely align with your perceptions, but is still valid none the less.
No, I guess we can only “understand” the model from ONE
perspective. Yours. LOL.
Feel free to clarify if you like.
The statement that I found most problematic was:
Feel free?, for what?, for whom? Who cares what you “found
problematic”. Ken Kitzke might admire you for being the CSGnet
police force but I don’t. Cops “enforce” laws. Since when are
we bound by any “laws of thought” on this net. Is that what
HPCT has become for you? Some collection of recited dogma. Sorry pal, I
thought this forum was for the open exchange of “IDEAS” about
PCT and HPCT. If I wanted to hear dogma I’d go to some house of worship,
thank you, and if I wanted to hear you expound upon the theory I’ll ask.
But you have been most unenlightening.
It sounds to me like you are saying that reaching goals and correcting
two separate things;
Why don’t you ask? I said no such thing. The ENTIRE model is
continuous, nothing happens discreetly. Everything is
“happening” all the time. I was talking about HUMAN
behavior not model behavior. Again, let me say it so you will hear me
this time. YOUR MODEL DOES NOT CONTAIN MEMORY. Actual human
“behavior” relies a great deal on it. Your models of it do not.
I have not seen any models or research by anyone with memory as a
component of an HPCT model. I was suggesting that “goals” (
specifically, “long term” ones) tend to “fizzle” out
because we wind up “adjusting” for error and often lose sight
of our “original” goals in an “entanglement” or web
of near term disturbances.
Is what you said consistent with that understanding of how
You ask after you lecture me? I’ll let you figure out whether I do or
don’t understand HPCT. I don’t much care if you do or don’t. You don’t
seem either willing to accept any other vantage point of the model and
you aren’t much concerned with what I know or don’t know. What you seem
overly concerned with is for me to say and repeat a 100 hail Mary’s and
repeat after you. Again, I am not interested in “acquiring”
your understanding of the HPCT model. I am interested in
“understanding” it through my own perceptions thank
I think “force” is a
better way to talk about control because it gets across the
idea that the controlled variable is continuously being pushed (forced)
control system output to the reference state.
So why not say “pushed”?
This “forcing” is quite
when the controlled variable is also influenced by disturbances that
Really? “Forcing” is not obvious to me. This is not a contest
between “used” and “forced”, they are being used for
The word “used” is wrong
because it implies that the perceived state of
the controlled variable is used by the controller as the basis of
regarding actions to take to get the controlled variable to the goal
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. First, where does “decisions” come into
this. I was talking about the “construction” of a
perception. Are you going to tell me that perceptions are not
“constructed” with memory? If so, we definitely do not see the
same HPCT model and I like my perceived model much better then
is just a version of the stimulus-response or information processing view
control, which PCT has shown to be wrong (see Bill’s 1979 Psych Review
I don’t need to see Bill’s paper. But it sounds interesting so I will
read it. Thanks, but not for the reasons you think.
Then why would I take the time to
try to help people understand it correctly? I
care very much what others do and don’t know about PCT.
This is a myth. You are interested in indoctrinating By this I
mean, from the Merriam-Webster dictionary;
2 : to cause to be impressed and usually ultimately imbued
(as with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or
You are not interested in helping people “understand” the
model on THEIR terms, only yours. As long as they understand and
agree on the mathematics they “know” the model. When we begin
to use words to try and define the primitives, ANYTHING goes and you
have NO exclusive domain over the language that is being used. I can
rip Bill’s “Glossary” apart in 5 seconds. Would you like to
start with the definition of “perception”? Hundreds of
Philosophers ( maybe thousands ) have been struggling for thousands of
years to come to some kind of “understanding” of this
concept. I guess if Locke, Kant or Berekely, et al. knew that
perceptions came from an “input function” and were nothing but
signals, we would have no need for Philosophy.
Teaching is about providing reasons why students should be
interested in what you have to say, and then, being able to deliver it in
a way meaningful to the student. HPCT has much to say about this. You
are not concerned with what other people perceive ( at least for the 8
years I have been on this net ) and you are only concerned with how well
they can repeat your point of view. Again Rick, outside of the
mathematics, which is unambiguous, the words we use are open to many
interpretations and those definitions are open to others still. Even in
Bill’s Glossary. At some point you and everyone else will diverge from
everyone else. Even Mr. Powers.
What makes you think that I don’t
By the way you “treat” people on the net, and your responses to
me over the years. I always felt you were doing me a favor and really
couldn’t and didn’t want to be bothered. You always liked telling
everyone how much you know and that you had the same level of
understanding as Bill. Why this is important to you I have no idea, and
really don’t care. Earlier this year you “suggested” I buy your
book on Experimental Methods. I read the Preface and thought it quite
good. I called you on the phone to discuss a point or two and you told me
the book was “bullshit”. Why did you recommend it to me in the
first place? You knew I was interested in doing PCT research. I read a
bit more, found it interesting, but since you said it was BS I put it
away. I don’t have time for intellectual exercises. That does not show a
great deal of respect for me or my attempts at research. I know a lot
more about HPCT then you think I do, and I am a hellava lot smarter then
you think I am as well.
Knowing this, you must also realize that
your understanding of
anything is unique to you.
To some extent, yes. But I do believe that I share some understandings
people. I am quite sure that my understanding of PCT, for example,
overlaps to a
large extent with Bill’s, and vice versa.
To some extent?, Excuse me. Exactly how do you “know”
that you “share” some “understandings” with some
people. How do you get into their minds? “Overlaps”, maybe, at
some level, with some things. So? Some of the ridges in my fingers are
the same as others but the WHOLE fingerprint is unique.
No one will ever
“understand” PCT the way you do.
I don’t think that’s true. I think Bill does.
No he doesn’t. At some level of defining your words you will diverge. Are
you a betting man? I’m not but I feel lucky.
I think there are some others
understand PCT as I do.
Everyone who understands the mathematics of the model
“understands” PCT like you and Bill. Where we all diverge is in
the meanings we give the words to describe and
“understand” certain aspects of the model, like the
I agree that my understanding is
not one for one with that
of others. But I think the overlap in human understanding can be
No, I don’t think the overlap is “substantial”. I believe it
really doesn’t matter to most people, most of the time, what, or how,
someone “interpreted” ( perceived ) something you did or said.
Most of the things you do simply don’t affect others directly and most
things you say are “heard” but not “listened”
When you go to a restaurant and order a “medium burger”. The
cook has his own ideas about what “medium” means. The closer
the cook comes to interpreting “medium” the way you do the more
likely you are to consider this a “good” place to go for
burgers. You would eat the burger if it was within an acceptable range of
“mediumness” and return it if it was either raw or well-done (
maybe you wouldn’t ) But there is a range of “mediumness” that
would not cause considerable error. This is true for everything in life.
Otherwise we would not be able to live with one another. ( Something we
have a very difficult time doing )
really easy to tell the extent to which people understand something (like
the same way; just see how much of a disturbance is created for you by
Really? You have a way of identifying, understanding ( i.e. putting a
specific disturbance with a specific variable, in real time ), and
measuring disturbances in the real world? Where have you been? Don’t talk
tracking task. Why don’t you simply provide a log of a days worth of
activities and all the disturbances you dealt with , the magnitude of
each one and the resulting perception from that disturbance.
All I know about what you do or
don’t know is what you say.
No, Not what I “say”. What I write. There is a big difference.
But when I or anyone else “writes” something they do so with a
certain intent or goal in mind. I try to use words that represent the way
I am thinking and hope others “interpret” those words the way I
“intended”. I can find out if the words where interpreted
correctly by the responses I get. If I get a question I know someone is
- Interested enough to inquire and clarify 2) What others may have
“problems” with. If I get back a typical Marken response, I
usually ( not always ) get Your perceived notion of what it is I don’t
understand. Just look at the word “used”, and the attributes
you gave to my intent. Of course everything that followed that was a
waste of both time and space.
Perhaps you really do
know, for example, that reaching goals and correcting error are
components of the same process: control. But when you say something
"…I don’t believe we spend a great deal of time trying to
“reach” goals. I
think most of our time is spent correcting error and getting
it sounds like you think they are two separate processes and that one can
without the other, which, of course, is not correct. So forgive me if
misunderstood what you said. Maybe you could try to say whatever you
another way to see if I would be able to understand
I really appreciate the apology, but why must it come to this?, I could
absolutely “describe” it another way if I knew what it was that
you didn’t understand. It is unfathomable to me that you actually believe
I think the model is a “set” of discrete events?
I am less interested in acceptance
of PCT than in understanding of PCT.
The two go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. If you are
interested in one, you need to be interested in both, equally. The
inverse is also true. If someone does not “accept” PCT they
don’t understand it and if they “understand” it and don’t
“accept” it they don’t know what they are missing. LOL
accept but don’t understand PCT are not really going to be very helpful
of making progress in the science (or application) of PCT.
I disagree completely. First, how does one “accept” something
with out “understanding” it? PCT is not a religion, we don’t
“accept” things on the basis of “belief” alone. ( at
least I hope not :-)) Second, you can’t “apply” HPCT
anymore then you can “apply” Physics. You can use it to get a
better understanding of how things work, Primarily, but not restricted to
Human behavior. ( Human Physiology being a close second ). ALL
“practical” applications “utilize” PCT. the same way
all matter and energy conform to the laws of Physics ( Thermodynamics,
etc. ) It’s unavoidable. The “problem” we have at this point is
- our science is not as developed as Physics. 2) Not enough people are
currently “working” on “understanding” the HPCT
In the 8 years I have been on the net, I have never seen Chapter 15.
explored. It remains the great unknown ( as far as I am concerned ) No
progress at all has been made on gaining any additional insight into
memory and how it is utilized in the model, then what Bill published 30
years ago. I am attempting to do just that. I am seriously trying to look
at “cognition” from an HPCT perspective. I have some major
prelim work to do ( which I am currently working on ) but I fully intend
on contributing something to the cause of advancing the use of
There are quite a few
people out there who have accepted PCT – Carver/Scheier, etc – without
understood it. I think such people are more of an impediment to progress
than are people who don’t accept PCT (whether the latter understand it or
Exactly what do these people accept about PCT? I read one of
Carver/Scheir’s books and distinctly remember walking away knowing they
knew very little about the theory. That was before I knew very much
about the theory myself.
I am no longer angry. I feel like junking the entire post, but I won’t. I
hope I haven’t wasted my time.
At 03:03 PM 5/1/2003 -0400, you wrote: