Bill's Long Post to Bruce Gregory

[From Fred Nickols 9980409.1635 EDT)] --

In a long post to Bruce Gregory (Bill Powers (980410.1929 MDT)), Bill
expresses exhaustion (and, I suspect, some exasperation) at having to
deal with issues that take him away from his own chosen work.

On my part, I suspect I'm one of those "dilettantes" whose "opinions"
are formed based on sketchy or superficial understandings. Actually,
that doesn't bother me: that's exactly who and what I am. I wrestle
with problems that affect lots of people in extremely significant ways,
and I'll gladly make use of anything that has the remotest promise of
being of help or value.

That said, I do not wish to be a "drag" on the work to which someone
else has dedicated a large portion of their lives (I have in mind Bill
and Rick). So, I'll pose a couple of questions and, then, as Bill
suggests in his post to Bruce G, my hierarchy of reference conditions
will kick in and the choice will be made for me.

        Does PCT have anything to say about how reference
        conditions (call them purposes, goals, expectations
        or whatever) are established? In particular, does
        it have anything to say about how an individual sets
        any reference conditions in a conscious, deliberate
        way?

        Does PCT have anything to say about how Person A might
        influence Person B's behavior, through the manipulation
        of disturbances, the establishment of reference conditions,
        or the imposition of restraints and constraints on action?
        Ditto for Person A influencing Persons B-C-D-n's reference
        conditions or actions?

I am not looking for ready-made, fully-formed answers (so Mary, please
restrain yourself and do not growl at me). I am looking for leads, for
ideas, for avenues to pursue and explore (short of actual scientific
research on account of that ain't my bag -- however, if it's promising,
I can probably get it funded).

Finally, I am not looking for new and better ways of manipulating other
people. I actually do believe that people are autonomous -- "living
control systems" in PCT terms -- however, I also believe that influence,
cooperation, and collaboration are essential to the maintenance and the
advancement of civilized society (supply your own definition of that),
and so I try to find and put to use ways of working together that are
better than those we currently have. I am well aware of the tragedies
that attempts to control others can create, and I am equally aware of
the tragedies that await us all if we don't work to improve the ways we
work together.

Enough preachin' (besides, I'm not very good at it). So, my questions
above stand. Does PCT have anything to say about those?

Regards,

Fred Nickols
The Distance Consulting Company
nickols@worldnet.att.net
http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm

[From Bruce Gregory (980411.1726 EDT)]

Fred Nickols 9980409.1635 EDT)--

       Does PCT have anything to say about how reference
       conditions (call them purposes, goals, expectations
       or whatever) are established? In particular, does
       it have anything to say about how an individual sets
       any reference conditions in a conscious, deliberate
       way?

Yes. Reference signals are always set by higher order control systems. The
highest level control systems are apparently "hard wired". The notion of
individuals setting reference conditions in a conscious deliberate way is
not part of HPCT.

       Does PCT have anything to say about how Person A might
       influence Person B's behavior, through the manipulation
       of disturbances, the establishment of reference conditions,
       or the imposition of restraints and constraints on action?
       Ditto for Person A influencing Persons B-C-D-n's reference
       conditions or actions?

Yes. I can easily disturb the perceptions closely guarded by Rick or Bill by
claiming that PCT is compatible in some way with S-R models. I can even do
this by making a statement that they interpret in this way. The more A
protects a perception the easier it is to "yank their chain." Try it. You'll
see. It is much harder to get a rise out of people who are not closely
protecting a perception.

Finally, I am not looking for new and better ways of manipulating other
people. I actually do believe that people are autonomous -- "living
control systems" in PCT terms -- however, I also believe that influence,
cooperation, and collaboration are essential to the maintenance and the
advancement of civilized society (supply your own definition of that),
and so I try to find and put to use ways of working together that are
better than those we currently have. I am well aware of the tragedies
that attempts to control others can create, and I am equally aware of
the tragedies that await us all if we don't work to improve the ways we
work together.

Notice how little an understanding of PCT contributes to civilized discourse
on this net. Notice how often some of those who understand it best resort to
efforts to dominate others. Discouraging, isn't it?

BO

[From Bruce Gregory (980411.2050 EDT)]

Fred Nickols 9980409.1635 EDT)

Finally, I am not looking for new and better ways of manipulating other
people. I actually do believe that people are autonomous -- "living
control systems" in PCT terms -- however, I also believe that influence,
cooperation, and collaboration are essential to the maintenance and the
advancement of civilized society (supply your own definition of that),
and so I try to find and put to use ways of working together that are
better than those we currently have. I am well aware of the tragedies
that attempts to control others can create, and I am equally aware of
the tragedies that await us all if we don't work to improve the ways we
work together.

The power of change lies in our abiilty to direct our attention. (BN's type
of meditation develops this "muscle.") This ability to "move awareness
around" is a fact , but it lies outside the formal structure of PCT.
Nevertheless, PCT tells us how we exercise control once we are controlling a
perception. Our "choice" (not a PCT term) is which perceptions to attend to.
In words calculated to give some fits, who you become is given by the
perceptions you control.

BO