Blaming who?

From Greg Williams (930618)

Rick Marken (930617.1500)

My wife is currently as fired up against Workman's Comp stress
claims as I am against information in perception -- she thinks the
former should not exist, I know that the latter doesn't exist. It
turns out that these obsessions are related. Workman's Comp
stress claims are based on the idea that what happens to people
("stressful information") causes what they do ("have stress"). PCT
shows that people control what happens to thjemselves. So it is
as incorrect to blame stress on "stressful information" as it is to
"blame" the output of a control system on perceptual information.

So how would you assign blame, based on PCT ideas?

A Workman's Comp stress suit is based on the same mistaken
concept of behavior as is the notion that there is information
in perception. The apparently academic mistake of locating the
information for action in perception becomes, with a few word
changes, the basis of a destructive myth that is stifling the quality
of life in my state. The criteria for stress claims would change
significantly if people understood how control works -- it's control
OF perception, NOT control BY perception.

How, specifically, do you think the criteria would change?

It seems to me that "stress" claims have more to due with (putative)
conflicted or otherwise dysfunctional control systems and (various
peoples') stories about the reasons those systems became (putatively)
dysfunctional, rather than (putative) discomfort in fully functional
control systems. Right off, it appears strictly from orthodox PCT
theory that threats based on overwhelming physical force perceived by
a person could "trigger" ongoing dysfunction, in the sense that if the
threat were not present, the dysfunction would not exist. But I also
think (apparently in opposition to some other PCTers) that more subtle
triggers are possible.

Rick, if I convinced you that someone near and dear to you had died,
and you got terribly worked up and had a serious heart attack, when I
told you later that I had just been joking, would you blame yourself
TOTALLY for the heart attack ("Gee, Greg, I was silly to jump to
unwarranted conclusions -- I should have checked out the facts.)? Or
do you think that you might possibly confer with a lawyer about the
situation? (Especially if you didn't have insurance to cover your
medical bills.)

It would be easy to give examples of subtle triggers of dysfunctional
control in the "world of work" (that's what my high school guidance
counselor called it). For instance, a boss could determine assembly-
line rates which are achievable without worker complaint, then boost
the rates to higher levels (as high as the boss can take, with regard
to the frequency of worker complaints).

I am not trying to defend the lineal cause-effect thinking of some
lawyers. I am trying to express my view that PCT is fully compatible
with the notion that blame for the (very real) "pain" of a
dysfunctional control system deserves to be shared, at least in some
cases, among the individual with the dysfunctional control system and
others without whom there would be no dysfunction. I believe that, in
at least some cases, it is incompatible with PCT to blame EITHER
solely the "victim" OR solely the "perpetrator(s)."

Your wife couldn't be a Republican, could she?

It matters.

It certainly does.

As ever,