TOPICS: War on Drugs; Suggestions for "Elephant" paper; What
      Innards?; Influence and Control, Again and Again; CLOSED LOOP

      CLOSED LOOP GW 920919

      My vote is for an issue on "Influence and Control" (seconding
      Hugh's vote actually) but if I can influence you Greg (which I
      can't prove that I have even after you produce the issue !?!) I
      would suggest that it be arranged as a conversation between Bill
      and you with whatever "comments" by others that seem to be
      relevant to the matters mentioned in the conversation. The
      conversational format would show the "linkages". You may want
      to delete some of the repetition and select those statements
      which most clearly (to you, of course) make the point. Perhaps
      a preface to the issue would give a reader an explanation of
      the style and format used and point out that the original posts
      are available on CSGNet. Finally, a summary statement by you
      and Bill about the conversation and the major points each of you
      have been try to make might end the issue. I think it would be
      a nice monograph to show others the central ideas of PCT. Since
      many others have been silent during this conversation the next
      issue of CLOSED LOOP could be composed of comments by others on
      the net and elsewhere about this conversation. These two issues
      of CLOSED LOOP could be then turned into another CSG publiction
      in book form. Sounds like a great idea to me!

      INFLUENCE AND CONTROL WTP 920918.0800; 18.1600; 19.0900; 20.0999
         AGAIN AND AGAIN GW 890918-3; 19.0800; 19-2; 20

      I have reached the tenative judgement that there is no way for
      one human being to influence (in Greg's terms) another human
      being and still maintain the principles and processes outlined
      in the HPCT or PCT model as proposed by Bill Powers. Bill has
      been extremely consistent and even precise about his model even
      though he states quite often that it is just a model and still
      has to be tested; I can find no recent significant modifications
      (except the addition of level names, which I usually collapse)
      in his model. The latest attempt by Greg to discuss "linkages"
      (along with comments by Bill about his cat) convinced me that
      influence was NOT possible in the model (by the way, I think my
      statements about "taking" as in "taking the role or attitude of
      another", "taking another into account", and such notions as
      "socialization", "acculturation," "learning", are very similar
      to Greg's "linkages").

      Greg keeps insisting that THE TEST will demonstrate that person
      A has influenced person B to control for X. But that is not so,
      THE TEST only shows (if done repeatedly and systematically with
      careful records) what B is controlling for BUT IT CAN'T SHOW
      THAT B TOOK X FROM A. A can only say that the X that B is
      controlling for seems to be exactly like the X I use and asked
      (told, demanded, etc.) B to use but since B is now using X it

      belongs to the "control system" of B and no longer to A even
      though A might use it also. Now this seems like a very "picky"
      point to make but it is crucial to PCT: my perceptions are mine
      even though they may look exactly like the perceptions that you
      say are yours. Runkel writes of "borrowing" (I would say
      "taking" again) reference signals from another but still when I
      am using it it is mine and it may become yours (again?) to use
      when I "return" it or you "borrow" it back.

      The PCT model has to insist on this autonomy or it will very
      quickly lose its differences from all other theories (as Rick
      indicates in his "elephant" paper). Thus, anything that looks
      like a "collective social act" is actually two or more persons
      controlling their own individual conduct in what appears to each
      and every party to action as influencing the others.

      NB: This is a "higher level" judgement by the parties not a
      "lower level" one since a "lower level" analysis, precisely done,
      should show a tremendous variation in actions of the parties. I
      also believe that as we associate with others we are told
      (either from a S-R or another perspective) that we SHOULD

      The "moving the bed" example strikes home (no pun intended)
      since I just helped my daughter move furniture from Columbia to
      Baltimore (yes, others did look at us funny as we carried the
      bed up I 95). But, in most instances of moving a piece of
      furniture I have established a "division of labor" where one
      person "carries" the major load while the others "guide" or at
      least "don't resist". But, even in these cases I think that
      careful analysis would show that each party to the "collective
      act" is acting on their own.

      If my tenative judgment (i.e., that influence [A affects or
      determines what B controls for] is not possible between human
      beings if they are negative feedback control systems) is turned
      into a "warranted assertion" with testing and evidence the
      question arises: Is the PCT (or HPCT) model useful for
      collective social action? That is an important question to
      answer for those of us who have a concern for human group life,
      social life, collective behavior or even Society. Maybe a new
      model has to be constructed !?!

      WHAT INNARDS? GW 920918-2

      Thanks Greg for the statements from Skinner which indicate to me
      that he (and perhaps other behaviorists) did not consider the
      "innards". I guess I just find it strange that someone would
      not wonder more than he did about the contribution of the
      "innards" to behavior but people I pay attention to (especially
      myself) firmly believe that the CNS is important to say nothing
      of the liver and bladder.


      You are disturbing the readers of your paper that don't already
      firmly believe in PCT and you know this; the evidence is
      overwhelming (and has been for years). Now you can either find
      out what they are "controlling for" (usually the S-R model) and
      "control" them indirectly by "rubber-banding" them or you can
      find a more direct way to say (again) that all other models
      (lets pretend they have models for the moment) of behavior
      presume PCT but none of them clearly recognize it and if they
      did they would have available to them a whole host of empirical
      studies which would make their efforts all they have wished for:
      a true science of human behavior.

      I would suggest that you get rid of the "elephant" metaphor (as
      I mentioned before - I think it is distracting) and use the same
      approach that John Dewey used in his 1896 "Reflex Arc" paper to
      show (with the vocabulary and technology of our day) the same
      thing he was trying to show: the human being is a negative
      feedback control system!!!

      WAR ON DRUGS RM 920918.1330

      I agree - the legalization of drugs (like alcohol is now) still
      is a method of forcing others to control their own drug using
      actions in a particular way (by decreasing them). The hope is
      that with legalization there would be a reduction of conflict in
      the "drug war" (raids by DEA agents and gang members killing
      each other) and that it would make it possible for "controllees"
      (see above note on influence) to reorganize themselves to reduce
      their drug use. But it does not eliminate all conflict or

      What do you think of my other suggestion - suspend all laws and
      law enforcement with regard to these special drugs. Perhaps, we
      could extend it to all drugs by eliminating the FDA and allowing
      anyone to self any substance they wished w/o any regulations or
      laws at all (the classic libertarian [actually this is Szasz's
      position on drugs and suicide] position)!?!

      If these are not adequate ways to solve the problem (which I
      admit they are not), then what would you suggest from a PCT
      perspective? NB: this might be the sort of thing your readers
      want from you in your "elephant" paper: practical solutions to