# Beyond me

Hello, Martin ---
RE:Martin Taylor 950504 16:30

So our observer starts to look at the relationships among the three
wires, and finds that always, possibly apart from small time-shifts
that he ignores, S = X-Y.

(Figure 1)

···

CC: Rick
-----
X----->----| |
> - |---->----S
Y----->----|_____|

Interesting. But then our observer notices that S < X and S < Y.

I trust you mean that variance of s < variance of y and so forth. There
is no problem if the magnitude of S is less than that of X and Y.

Making allowances for when you are talking about magnitudes and when
about variances, the rest of this complicated argument makes sense. But
what is it about? I can't figure out the point you're trying to make;
you're getting altogether too complicated. You blame everyone but
yourself for the fact that your words are being taken in ways that you
claim you don't mean.
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RE:Martin Taylor 950504 10:30

Low-light vision:

The (conscious) perceptual effect is not of a Ping-Pong ball
smeared over its track, as your graph would suggest

No, because there is only one perceptual signal value at a time. My
graph would not suggest any smear to me. The actual position would
simply be ahead of the perceived position, for a continuously-varying
position. Draw a vertical line down through the diagram and slide it to
the right. The intersection with the various curves shows the states of
the variables at a given instant. You know that.
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Martin, this discussion is going nowhere. Every time I get into it, I
tell myself that I'm just going to make a brief comment, and then (as
this time, before I deleted it all) I find that I've written pages and
pages trying to follow your rhetoric and show what's wrong with this or
that. It's basically a waste of time, because nothing ever comes of it.
We get further and further into ivory-tower abstractions that have
essentially nothing to do with the projects I'm interested in, that by
their very nature are full of guesses and what-ifs and assumptions piled
upon assumptions, all in service of some agenda that I don't grasp at
all. It's clear that you do not intend to lose any arguments, and even
if you did lose one, I can't see that it would further our understanding
of anything. We are, as you yourself suggested, dangerously close to

I want to devote my energies to developing ideas that we can model on
computers and test against experiments with real people. I want to pose
questions that can be answered, not search for grand generalizations
that are nothing but pretty and useless conceptualizations. So I am
going to bow out of this argument, all arguments of this sort. I've lost
all interest in seeing how they come out. If you can come up with
compelling demonstrations of the ideas you're trying to get across,
demonstrations that anyone can perform, go to it. But if you can't, I'm
afraid that I will not be very interested in whatever you offer instead.
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Bill