Beyond the tracking task/control for "good serve"

[From Rick Marken (970919.0900)]

I'm afraid I'm way behind on responding to posts. I don't know
if I will get a chance to reply to any of these in the near
future and I'm kind of tired of arguing about the same stuff over
and over. I'm more interested in doing exactly what Rupert Young
(970919.1130 BST) calls for in his excellent post:

what us peasants should do is to take those stones and build
our own, bigger and better castle. Only then will those in the
conventional castle be tempted to leave it and join us.

That's a big job and we have a very small number of people.
But the job will _never_ get done unless some of us who can
do it stop wasting our time arguing with the people in the
castle and start building our own. For me, that means collecting
more and more "real life" examples of controlling and publishing
them so that people will see the ubiquity of what we are talking
about; once they see the nice solid foundations of the new PCT
castle, then they might notice that the conventional life
science castle is built on sand.

Our tracking studies have dug away at the sandy foundations of
the conventional life science castle, but very few of the
residents have abandoned the structure because (as Rupert notes)
they see no alternative. I think we should start building the
alternative. With only three or four of us doing the building it
might take a while to build anything that looks like it might
end up being a castle, but with none of us doing it (as seems
to be the case at the moment) it will unquestionably take forever.

My call for descriptions of everyday examples of control was part
of my effort to start building a PCT database, equivalent to the
database of current research results that make up the bulk of
the conventional life science castle. I think people who are
interested in contributing to the construction of the PCT castle
should consider keeping a journal of examples of control, using
something like the observation form found in earlier posts.
Here's the form and another everyday example of control of a
fairly complex perception that I noticed the other day .

Context: what's going on; what the situation is:

        Playing racquetball.

Proposed controlled variable (CV):

        The "goodness" of a serve. Actually, this is basically
a binary variable; a serve is either good or bad.

Reference for CV

        Good serve.

Disturbance: what I can do to vary the CV:

        Produce behaviors of the ball that don't fit the
        requirements for a good serve. The requirements for a good
        serve in raquetball are actually pretty complicated -- which is
        what makes this perception rather interesting and, I think,
        high level. For a serve to be good, the ball must hit the front
        wall first AND it must hit one of the two side walls OR the
        floor behind the back service line. If it hits one of the two
        side walls after the fromt wall it must hit the floor (behind
        the service line) before hitting any other wall.

        So a good serve in raquetball seems to involve the computation
        of a lot of logical relationships as well as some _rules_ relating
        lower level perceptions (ball hitting wall, hitting floor, behind
        service line, etc). Yet even a moderately skilled raquetball player
        can discriminate a good from a bad serve instantly. It's a
        non-verbal perception too; I can see a good serve right away;
        there's no inner talk involved.

Rationale: what makes this a disturbance:

        If the ball's path violates any of the requirements for
        a good serve it's a bad serve.

Predicted behavior: what should happen to the suspected controlled
variable if it is actually under control:

        If the serve is bad then the server should take another
        serve (if it was a first serve) or give up the serve, mumbling
        self-depracatory remarks while walking to the rear of the court.

Observation: what actually happens when each disturbance is applied:

        Every time my opponent served what I saw as a bad serve he
        did exactly as predicted above -- though the mumble occasionally
        became a shout;-) When he served what I saw as a good serve we
        just went at it -- with me panting away while taking notes on my
        observation form;-)

Conclusion:

        In raquetball the server is controlling for the perception
        of a good serve and will take the appropriate action (serve again
        or turn over the serve) if the serve is bad.

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 Gregory (970919.1610 EDT)]

Rick Marken (970919.0900)

I'm afraid I'm way behind on responding to posts. I don't know
if I will get a chance to reply to any of these in the near
future and I'm kind of tired of arguing about the same stuff over
and over. I'm more interested in doing exactly what Rupert Young
(970919.1130 BST) calls for in his excellent post:

> what us peasants should do is to take those stones and build
> our own, bigger and better castle. Only then will those in the
> conventional castle be tempted to leave it and join us.

I fear no one will leave their castle when doing so entails the
sense of a total loss of control. The social sciences are
academic enclaves where individuals control perceptions related
to prestige and standing in "the scientific community". Their
"scientific" findings are as irrelevant to the rest of the world
as are the arguments of those who "do" philosophy. (Thoreau
noted that there are no longer philosophers, but only professors
of philosophy -- things have gotten a lot worse since he made
that observation.)

I want to suggest that rather than converting the heathen to the
true faith, we might do better by identifying problems and
solving them. When we succeed in enhancing the ability of others
to exercise control, we will have no shortage of friends.

bruce

···

[From Rick Marken (970919.1450)]

Bruce Gregory (970919.1610 EDT) --

I want to suggest that rather than converting the heathen to the
true faith, we might do better by identifying problems and
solving them. When we succeed in enhancing the ability of others
to exercise control, we will have no shortage of friends.

I agree completely. I would like to see a lot more work that shows
how PCT can be used to help solve all kinds of human control problems.
I would particularly like to see examples of successful helping
(of others or oneself) that could not have been achieved without
a good understanding of the details of PCT. I want to see examples
of successful helping where the relationship between success and an
undertanding of PCT is well documented; and I want to see examples
of success that could _not_ have been achieved _without_ an
understanding of PCT. I think we need educators and clinicians
who really understand PCT to document, clearly and competently, the
role PCT played in any successful outcome.

Best

Rick

···

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