Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was ...))

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

I'm sorry you didn't understand my attempt to point out one subtlety

of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute
between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there
was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had
long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word
“Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was
wrong.
The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control”
(Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of
Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to
explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If
there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a
subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you
do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on
explaining a much more important difference, between both of those
and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that
does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all
three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say
I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.
Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe
judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made
might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair
proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages
whether you understood the difference between “command” and
“control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be
because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an
example to illustrate the difference.
In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between
Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like
“I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies
“Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they
come?”
In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and
Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if
Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about
control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the
difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and
perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the
difference between command and control, between the output part of a
control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer
can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the
desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does
not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not.
That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open
areas for PCT research.
Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command
influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of
perception and only of perception.
Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and
I hope this helps.
Martin

···

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman
wrote:

Martin,

Â

            So

if you and Rick don’t understand difference between
»Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of
perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to
understand PCT.

Â

Â

Â

rom:
Martin Taylor [] Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
Re: Examples of everyday control (was
Re: Somebody should take this on)

Â

      [Martin Taylor

2015.10.27.15.52]

        On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman

wrote:

Martin,

Â

          most

questions in your answers are refering to problem what is
»Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«,
»Behavior is Control«, etc.

      To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would

strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title
of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third
hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the
definition of the word “behaviour”.

        Rick

invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit.
I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to
explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like
you did to me.

      That's because I think Rick and I have the same underlying

concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of
words or not. When you get away from the words into the
mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree.
Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native
language, as is almost the case between Rick (American
English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder
when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

      As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his

“behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is
indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder
why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage.
“behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My
“behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the
controller acts on the environment to influence the
perception. The difference between those definitions is so
small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t
like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word
to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”,
and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to
describe something one does have to talk about when discussing
control.

Â

        As

far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are
concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff
Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with
common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s
possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

      I've never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I

never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet,
but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If
you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a
problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

Â

      MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can

correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to
loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that
the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and
neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable
infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control
perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so,
I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the
electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all
chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can,
if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if
needed, use internal physiological network structures. But
normally they don’t

Â

        HB

: Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my
oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one
aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or
»essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Â

Â

      Along with a

lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one;
whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How
the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used
is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is
another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally
modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different
animals and other organisms, what is the balance between
learning over evolutionary time and learning within a
lifetime?

      I wouldn't be surprised if one could write a book just listing

such problems and discussing what the answers might imply.
Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or
informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A
wide field for PCT research.

      Martin

mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net
Sent:
**To:**csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject:

Nice post, Martin.

In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.

Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception. The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception. Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity. In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input. Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ‘Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control. But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT. Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

···

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

  On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman

wrote:

Martin,

            So

if you and Rick don’t understand difference between
»Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of
perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to
understand PCT.

I'm sorry you didn't understand my attempt to point out one subtlety

of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute
between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there
was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had
long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word
“Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was
wrong.

The problem is in the difference between "Behaviour is Control"

(Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of
Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to
explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If
there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a
subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you
do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on
explaining a much more important difference, between both of those
and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that
does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all
three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say
I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe

judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made
might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair
proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages
whether you understood the difference between “command” and
“control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be
because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an
example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear's plays (Henry IV?) there's a scene between

Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like
“I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies
“Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they
come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and

Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if
Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about
control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the
difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and
perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the
difference between command and control, between the output part of a
control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer
can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the
desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does
not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not.
That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open
areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command

influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of
perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I'm sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and

I hope this helps.

Martin

rom:
Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was
Re: Somebody should take this on)

      [Martin Taylor

2015.10.27.15.52]

        On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman

wrote:

Martin,

          most

questions in your answers are refering to problem what is
»Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«,
»Behavior is Control«, etc.

      To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would

strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title
of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third
hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the
definition of the word “behaviour”.

        Rick

invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit.
I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to
explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like
you did to me.

      That's because I think Rick and I have the same underlying

concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of
words or not. When you get away from the words into the
mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree.
Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native
language, as is almost the case between Rick (American
English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder
when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

      As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his

“behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is
indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder
why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage.
“behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My
“behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the
controller acts on the environment to influence the
perception. The difference between those definitions is so
small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t
like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word
to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”,
and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to
describe something one does have to talk about when discussing
control.

        As

far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are
concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff
Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with
common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s
possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

      I've never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I

never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet,
but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If
you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a
problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

      MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can

correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to
loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that
the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and
neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable
infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control
perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so,
I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the
electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all
chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can,
if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if
needed, use internal physiological network structures. But
normally they don’t

        HB

: Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my
oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one
aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or
»essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

      Along with a

lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one;
whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How
the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used
is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is
another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally
modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different
animals and other organisms, what is the balance between
learning over evolutionary time and learning within a
lifetime?

      I wouldn't be surprised if one could write a book just listing

such problems and discussing what the answers might imply.
Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or
informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A
wide field for PCT research.

      Martin

[From Fred Nickols (2015.10.29.0545)]

Thanks for this, Bruce. I think you raise an extremely important point. (And I have read Martin’s response as well.)

The important point is that redefining “behaviorâ€? does indeed invite misunderstanding – and opposition. On my part I teend to say things like, “Our behavior serves to control our perceptionsâ€? and Bill himself had no problem with that.

Behavior, to the rest of the world, is a term that refers to “the activity of the organism.� That might be overt, observable behavior and it might be covert, difficult or impossible to observe behavior. Bill used to draw a distinction between “What is he doing?� and “What is he up to?� The former focuses on observable activity and the latter focuses on goals, control, etc.

To me, the value of PCT lies in it being a much better explanation of behavior than those offered by behaviorists or cognitivists and I see no need to alter the basic definition of behavior to make good use of PCT.

It hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post that a major source of opposition or objection to PCT isn’t that it criticizes much research or even that it attempts to prove the S-R view wrong; instead, it is an insistence on the part of some PCTers to redefine behavior itself. More’s the pity from my perspective because I don’t believe that is necessary.

Fred Nickols

···

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:34 PM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Nice post, Martin.

In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.

Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception. The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception. Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity. In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input. Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ‘Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control. But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT. Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

/Bruce

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Yes, Boris, I drink wine – and vodka and beer and bourbon and tequila and vaarious liqueurs – but always in moderation.

Fred

···

From: Boris Hartman [mailto:boris.hartman@masicom.net]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:42 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: RE: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Hi Fred,

I’m really looking forward to meet you one day. Do you drink wine ? J

Just a little advice. Don’t beleive everything what you read or hear from your friends, it can be that they are not right or that they just want to suit you, or they are not paying attention and they just nod.

And don’t beleive always what you think it’s right. It can be an illusion (perceptual, behvioral, whatever…).

By my oppinion it’s necessary to »redefine« behavior so that it will be in accrodance with PCT. J The interpretations of Bill’s work are different, and also understanding of terms, he used. But I remember Barb saying that her dad very carefully choosed words. And I agree with her. His terms are very well defined and I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t be a reference with his terms to all of us.

Best,

Boris

From: Fred Nickols [mailto:fred@nickols.us]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:59 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: RE: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

[From Fred Nickols (2015.10.29.0545)]

Thanks for this, Bruce. I think you raise an extremely important point. (And I have read Martin’s response as well.)

The important point is that redefining “behaviorâ€? does indeed invite misunderstanding – and opposition.&nbbsp; On my part I tend to say things like, “Our behavior serves to control our perceptionsâ€? and Bill himself had no problem with that.

Behavior, to the rest of the world, is a term that refers to “the activity of the organism.� That might be overt, observable behavior and it might be covert, difficult or impossible to observe behavior. Bill used to draw a distinction between “What is he doing?� and “What is he up to?� The former focuses on observable activity and the latter focuses on goals, control, etc.

To me, the value of PCT lies in it being a much better explanation of behavior than those offered by behaviorists or cognitivists and I see no need to alter the basic definition of behavior to make good use of PCT.

It hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post that a major source of opposition or objection to PCT isn’t that it criticizes much research or even that it attempts to prove the S-R view wrong; instead, it is an insistence on the part of some PCTers to redefine behavior itself. More’s the pity from my perspective because I don’t believe that is necessary.

Fred Nickols

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:34 PM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Nice post, Martin.

In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.

Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception. The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception. Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity. In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input. Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ‘Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control. But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT. Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

/Bruce

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Hi Bruce,

I tried to make a discussion with you first.

Sorry Martin and Rick. My time is really limited. As Rick is concerned I tried to read LCS I pages carefully, but I don’t find time to read it through. But till now I could say only that is possible that Rick again read Bill’s text as he wanted and of course involved many of his notes so to look like he is right. I warmly recomend reading it once again carefully and put some citations of Bill’s text, so that members could see how Bill wrote about it.

The most problematic place in Rick’s »interpretation« of Bill’s text is »Behavior involves… control«…. It would be ge good if you’ll find any Bill’s text that could support your interpretation. I’ll give an example :

Bill P :

The behavior column really lists consequences of the driver’s actions, consequences that are not determined by driver’s actions, but are only influenced by them.

HB : Your interpretation was simply that »Control is involved« in drivers actions. Can you prove it with other Bill’s citations ? And don’t read it with your references turned on. »Empty« your head as Bruce Nevin would probbaly suggest you. In that case you have chances to read text as it is, not as you want to read it.

As I said I read and write very hardly. I’m really in heavy »mental« state. So I don’t know when I’ll read all the text as it is not important only 172-176, but also text to 180. Maybe you could read them slowly and accurate.

So if it’s really not something urgently or of high importance that can’t be answered with Bill’s literature, I’d be greatfull for a little piece. Â Just read it carefully word after word and sentecnes after sentence, if you want to do right thing, to inform others about what Bill wrote, not what you think he wrote. Anyway it was long time ago (36 years) and Bill somtimes changed his mind. But I doubt that he wrote anything contradicting to modern literature he wrote when his theory was really stable at least 20 years. Maybe he used some terms differently but I doubt that meaning has changed into it’s opposition.

And if you discover any mistakes in his terms he used, I doubt that you will manage to change all his literature to this moment, so to change the main point of PCT. I also doubt that Powers ladies would alove that.

So I think that it doesn’t matter in which time you are exploring his work it has to be the same everywhere. So it doesn’t matter if you are analysing his text in near past or in distant past. It will be always »Behavior : The Control of perception«. If you doubt of something go read B:CP again and again.

Bill P.

If the driver had to execute any of the behaviors in Table 1 blindly, with no visual, auditory, kinestethic, or other sensory information to tell him the current status of the variable, it would be impossible for him to vary his actions so as to oppose unexpected disturbances. In Fact, we would find through continuing experiment that the only reliable consequences of the driver’s actions are those the driver can sense. This is a crucial hint about how this sort of phenomena is created (LCS I, p. 177)

Martin. If your final answer about Control and behavior is :

MT :

My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception.

HB : I have no comment. I agree as I think this is also very close to Bill’s definitions. I put it in the conversation with Bruce. But you managed to »wake me up«….

Conversation with Bruce Nevin is down…

···

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 4:34 AM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Nice post, Martin.

BN : In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.

HB : Please Bruce show me where Bill ever mentioned this equivalency ? Show me how it works through Bill’s generic diagram (LCS III for example).

And what does it mean if you say »Behavior is control of perception« ? Does it mean that solo output is «controlling input«? Does it mean that people through their outputs can »control« other people inputs ? Like Rick was affirming some time ago that people are controlling other people behavior through their input. Animals included. All LCS inclusive J

BN : Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception.

HB :

Cauld you be so kind Bruce and present any evidence that entire »control loop« (I presume that you are talking about contol loop that is going through »outer environment«) controls perception ? Can you go step by step and present what is happening in functions, comprator, though the entire »control loop« so that Perception is »controlled« ? If you can explain all the »Control loop« steps also with physiological means I’d be glad even more ?

BN : The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception.

Bill P. (LCS III) :

Therefor changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very realibly changes the magnnitude or state of the input quantity…

HB :

It seems that you and Bill disagree.

My oppinion is that perception is controlled in comparator and the other components are supporting parts to this only »control act« in the loop. If there is no comparator (nervous system) there is no control. If the »comparator« would be just a »full function« in Ashby’s terms (input-output), there would be no Control. In any part of control loop. At least this would aproximatelly suit to what is happening in nervous system. And PCT is general theory about how organisms work (including nervous system).

Other parts of the loop seems to be supporting parts so that control can be executed. Control can be executed also in other parts of organism and nervous system in many ways, without behavior and control loop going through the external evnironment.

PCT is about how organisms work. You also contributed to this cognition in participating to article 50th Anniversary.

Bill P. at all – including Rick Marken and Bruce Nevin - (50th Annivversary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the core concept of the theory is the obervation that living things control perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomen of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

HB : Could somebody explain to me what did you write in this article about, if extract shows most of what is written in all Bill’s literature ?

BN : Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

HB ; I think I expressed my view about this, one line up. It seems that you contradict yourself ?

BN :

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

HB : Could you give me some examples from Bill’s literature that I’ll understand what you are talking about ? Are we talking here about what people do (output), and different interpretations of people, among which Bill’s interpretation of »Behavior« is right ?

BN :

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

HB : Still I’d like an example ? What do you mean by »technical usage« and »common usage«. Are you trying to tell me that »behavior in technical usage« is not describing behavior of organisms, but »common usage« does ?

There are always problems in communication if pepole use different conotation about the same terms. So I’ve always proposed and I’m proposing that we use Bill’s terms as reference. I think that is here on CSGnet the only communication problem. Some are using Bill’s terms and some their own terms, like Rick for example.

BN : In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity.

HB : Is this equal to »output« of LCS activity from the obervers point of view ? Or Bill is not refering to »observable« activity ? What did you wanted to say ?

BN : In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input.

HB : To avoid communication problem, can you offer at least one example from Bill’s literature where exactly did he mentioned that »behavior is the control of perceptual input«.

I propose to use as much as possible Bill’s terms and examples from his books. In this way I’m sure we can avoid »communication disturbances«.

I’ll just picked up an example from Bill’s literature :

Bill P :

Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state … we have no direct knowledge of what we aree doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…

HB : In this example I see that Bill is talking about »Behavior« or output which is »control empty«. So here we can clearly see that your statement that »Behavior is control of perceptions« doesn’t stand.

We don’t know what we are doing to environment. So how can we control anything ? And this is not supportable only by physiological evidences in Bill’s time (see literature in B:CP), but increadibly also in our time. He was really a genius and when people will understand his geniosity it could make future progress as you nicely described. But till then we have to achieve that at least all the members understand PCT in aproximately the same way. Â Â

So in the example there is no trace of control in behavior (with physiological evidences included). So behavior or output or whatever we call people’s activity is having no involvement of control. Just effects to environment. We are speaking of course about »behavior« as output through the »control loop« in external environment.

I can found mostly examples which are talking about »control empty output«. Maybe some more…

Bill P :

The output function … represents the means this system has for caussing changes in it’s environment.

HB : I think that the output is just causing efects to outer environment as for example Martin wrote and again very close to Bill’s definition :

MT :

“Behaviour”, at least in PCT, is the consequences of the output signal that is distributed eventually to the organism’s environment.Â

Bill P.

OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects in the immediate environment of the system…

HB : As I see Bill and Martin are talking about the same effects in the environment as consequence of “signal inside the systemâ€?… Control in LCS seems to be bound to internal control structture which is maintaining homeostasis.

Bill P.

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected perceptual state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances"

Bill P.:

CONTROL SYSTEM : An organization that acts on its environment so as to keep it’s inner perceptual signal matching an inner reference signal or reference condition.

HB : As I see it, the central terms of PCT are talking about Control as the phenomenon inside organism. So i don’t see any possible »control« in external environment, even not by behavior (output).

We can speak also about outputs in higher hierarchical level, but please find example only from 1-3 level. These levels are very good physiologoically supported (B:CP)… More we go higher in hierarchy less physiological evidences, more space for phylosophy and »pub discussions«.

BN :

Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

HB : If I understood you right here, you are using behavior as a means of control as PCT does ?

BN :

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ’

HB ; What’s the difference between “behavioral outputs”, “actions” and so on. Can you explain what is  “control actions” ? You can maybe use Bill’s examples which I offered you up in text. But you are free to choose any example from Bill’s literature. It’s easier to think when we concretely see what it is about. Abstracting can cause »communication troubles«.

BN :

Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control.

HB : This is hard for me to understand ?

Please some examples from Bill’s literature that »Behavior is Control« ? Any ? Where did Bill ever mentioned that »Behavior is Control« ? You can use all his literature. At least in article where you partcipate »Behavior« is mentoned as »supporting« feature not aa control. Maybe you can find any example where we can see that what you are telling is true ?

BN : But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT.

HB : Good point. I think that to know something about PCT means to read Bill’s literature. That’s most realiable from my point of view. Or to talk to Bill. I’ve talked a lot. That’s how I get used to his terminology. I admitt I had terrible troubles in understanding him at the beggining. It was good that Kents’ texts were available and Bruce Abbotts’. And afterwords Martin, also good choice to talk about PCT. And as miracle Rick in his best days (2007). It’s good that I didin’t start with PCT nin this days and talk to Rick. I would be probably totaly confused and »brain-washed« and lost forever.

BN :

Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1.

That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

HB : I can understand that »imagining« is from of activity of nervous system. Can you show me how this example works in Chapters of B:CP, 2005. I’m speccialy interested in your explanation of perception »going« through first 3. levels ? What is happening to perception ? I really need something concretely to discuss. I hope it’s not distrubing your perception to much ?

Thanks for your answers Bruce. I’m looking forward for your further answers and insights…

P.S.

In one of your posts to Rick you defined behavior as :

BN : The key insight is that we do not control our behavior. Rather, behavior is variable in just the manner and extent necessary to make our experience be the way we want it to be. The title of the locus classicus of this science of psychology is Behavior: The control of perception, published in 1973 by William T. Powers.

HB : You didn’t mentioned that »Behavior is Control of Perception« and from what you are saying it’s hardly possible that could be a conclusion.Â

Boris

/Bruce

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Hi Fred,

I’m really looking forward to meet you one day. Do you drink wine ? J

Just a little advice. Don’t beleive everything what you read or hear from your friends, it can be that they are not right or that they just want to suit you, or they are not paying attention and they just nod.

And don’t beleive always what you think it’s right. It can be an illusion (perceptual, behvioral, whatever…).

By my oppinion it’s necessary to »redefine« behavior so that it will be in accrodance with PCT. J The interpretations of Bill’s work are different, and also understanding of terms, he used. But I remember Barb saying that her dad very carefully choosed words. And I agree with her. His terms are very well defined and I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t be a reference with his terms to all of us.

Best,

Boris

···

From: Fred Nickols [mailto:fred@nickols.us]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:59 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: RE: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

[From Fred Nickols (2015.10.29.0545)]

Thanks for this, Bruce. I think you raise an extremely important point. (And I have read Martin’s response as well.)

The important point is that redefining “behaviorâ€? does indeed invite misunderstanding – and opposition. On my part I tend to say tthings like, “Our behavior serves to control our perceptionsâ€? and Bill himself had no problem with that.

Behavior, to the rest of the world, is a term that refers to “the activity of the organism.� That might be overt, observable behavior and it might be covert, difficult or impossible to observe behavior. Bill used to draw a distinction between “What is he doing?� and “What is he up to?� The former focuses on observable activity and the latter focuses on goals, control, etc.

To me, the value of PCT lies in it being a much better explanation of behavior than those offered by behaviorists or cognitivists and I see no need to alter the basic definition of behavior to make good use of PCT.

It hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post that a major source of opposition or objection to PCT isn’t that it criticizes much research or even that it attempts to prove the S-R view wrong; instead, it is an insistence on the part of some PCTers to redefine behavior itself. More’s the pity from my perspective because I don’t believe that is necessary.

Fred Nickols

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:34 PM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Nice post, Martin.

In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.

Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception. The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception. Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity. In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input. Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ‘Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control. But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT. Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

/Bruce

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

[Bruce Nevin (2015.10.29.18:24)]

Boris,Â

First, thank you for taking the time, which you say is very limited for you, and for making the effort to express yourself very clearly. My time also has many demands on it.

These are problems with words. The basis of PCT is not words. In any confusion or contention about the words we use talking about PCT, we need to refer back to the equations and functional relations that define control.

In this case, I am saying that the word “behavior” has been used to refer to more than one thing (1) the observable behavioral outputs of a control system (which aligns with general usage), and (2) what the organism is doing (which is control). You are asking me to find quotations to back this up. I will demonstrate with quotations that Bill used this word in more than one way.Â

Going from the end of your post backward, you call me out for saying in a previous post “behavior is variable in just the manner and extent necessary to make our experience be the way we want it to be.” This is quoted from the introduction of something that I wrote recently (in the last year) to introduce PCT to people who know nothing about it. In this sentence, in the introduction to an introduction for PCT-naive people, I used “behavior” in its commonly accepted meaning. Bill’s use of the word also varied according to the audience and the context.

We also say “you can’t tell what a person is doing by watching what he is doing.” Rick came up with that saying, as I recall. The two meanings of “is doing” are exactly the two meanings of “behavior”. Bill, Rick, and the rest of us sometimes distinguished the two meanings by using different words, e.g. talking about the “behavioral outputs” of a control loop, or the “behavioral actions” of an organism.

Finding quotations is easiest with a searchable on-line text, so I will start with a fairly recent paper of which Bill was a co-author. Bill wrote a great deal of it, and closely reviewed (and changed) what the other authors wrote in this collaborative effort. I’ll pick quotations from sections where Bill was the main influence on the language. The paper is at http://pctweb.org/PCTunderstanding-2.pdf

There are many places where “behavior” is used in its conventional sense, and even contrasted with “control”, e.g.

At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with the epiphenomena of behavior playing an important but supporting role.Â

Or again (p. 4)

In sum, behavior is the externally visible aspect of a control process by which perceptual experiences are controlled.

But there, in the very next paragraph, and italicized for emphasis, we see:

We control perceived results, not behaviors or actions. Behavior is the control of perception.Â

In other places, the term seems equivocal, as though it could have either meaning, until we look closer. For example (p. 6):

The lower plot shows how the model’s behavior compares with the person’s.Â

The graph can be interpreted as comparing behavioral outputs, and it can be interpreted as comparing control by the program with control by the person. But it is, after all, the output quantities which are shown in the graph, and not the behavior. The behavior–the observable actions–is not a series of numbers. So when in the next sentence we read

The error of fit of the model’s behavior to the real behavior (labeled “Model % RMS Errorâ€?), is 3.6% of the target’s range.Â

“behavior” is equated with a quantitative measure of behavioral outputs.

A little farther on, we read

a careful look suggests that all behavior involves controlÂ

As Martin and I were just discussing, this dictum would require us to use some other word for unintended “observable actions” such as nervous twitches. And of course “unintended” needs to be disentangled from “unaware” (intention is conventionally thought of as conscious choice), so as to admit that e.g. the reflex arc and the heartbeat are examples of perceptual control, and e.g. breathing and postural control are examples that may be conscious or not.

On p. 7, "Behavior is a process of controlling perceptions, not actions. "

We could continue, but maybe that’s enough to go on.

I’ll try to respond to other points you raise, but I think this is the main one.

/Bruce

···

On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 9:22 AM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Â

I tried to make a discussion with you first.

Â

Sorry Martin and Rick. My time is really limited. As Rick is concerned I tried to read LCS I pages carefully, but I don’t find time to read it through. But till now I could say only that is possible that Rick again read Bill’s text as he wanted and of course involved many of his notes so to look like he is right. I warmly recomend reading it once again carefully and put some citations of Bill’s text, so that members could see how Bill wrote about it.

Â

The most problematic place in Rick’s »interpretation« of Bill’s text is »Behavior involves… control«…. It would be good if you’ll;ll find any Bill’s text that could support your interpretation. I’ll give an example :

Â

Bill P :

The behavior column really lists consequences of the driver’s actions, consequences that are not determined by driver’s actions, but are only influenced by them.

Â

HB : Your interpretation was simply that »Control is involved« in drivers actions. Can you prove it with other Bill’s citations ? And don’t read it with your references turned on. »Empty« your head as Bruce Nevin would probbaly suggest you. In that case you have chances to read text as it is, not as you want to read it.

Â

As I said I read and write very hardly. I’m really in heavy »mental« state. So I don’t know when I’ll read all the text as it is not important only 172-176, but also text to 180. Maybe you could read them slowly and accurate.

So if it’s really not something urgently or of high importance that can’t be answered with Bill’s literature, I’d be greatfull for a little piece. Just read it carefully word after word and sentecnes after sentence, if you want to do right thing, to inform others about what Bill wrote, not what you think he wrote. Anyway it was long time ago (36 years) and Bill somtimes changed his mind. But I doubt that he wrote anything contradicting to modern literature he wrote when his theory was really stable at least 20 years. Maybe he used some terms differently but I doubt that meaning has changed into it’s opposition.

Â

And if you discover any mistakes in his terms he used, I doubt that you will manage to change all his literature to this moment, so to change the main point of PCT. I also doubt that Powers ladies would alove that.

Â

So I think that it doesn’t matter in which time you are exploring his work it has to be the same everywhere. So it doesn’t matter if you are analysing his text in near past or in distant past. It will be always »Behavior : The Control of perception«. If you doubt of something go read B:CP again and again.

Â

Bill P.

If the driver had to execute any of the behaviors in Table 1 blindly, with no visual, auditory, kinestethic, or other sensory information to tell him the current status of the variable, it would be impossible for him to vary his actions so as to oppose unexpected disturbances. In Fact, we would find through continuing experiment that the only reliable consequences of the driver’s actions are those the driver can sense. This is a crucial hint about how this sort of phenomena is created (LCS I, p. 177)

Â

Â

Â

Martin. If your final answer about Control and behavior is :

Â

MT :

My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception.

Â

HB : I have no comment. I agree as I think this is also very close to Bill’s definitions. I put it in the conversation with Bruce. But you managed to »wake me up«……

Â

Conversation with Bruce Nevin is down… >

Â

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 4:34 AM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Â

Nice post, Martin.

Â

BN : In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.Â

Â

HB : Please Bruce show me where Bill ever mentioned this equivalency ? Show me how it works through Bill’s generic diagram (LCS III for example).

Â

And what does it mean if you say »Behavior is control of perception« ? Does it mean that solo output is «controlling input«? Does it mean that people through their outputs can »control« other people inputs ? Like Rick was affirming some time ago that people are controlling other people behavior through their input. Animals included. All LCS inclusive J

Â

BN : Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception.

Â

HB :

Cauld you be so kind Bruce and present any evidence that entire »control loop« (I presume that you are talking about contol loop that is going through »outer environment«) controls perception ? Can you go step by step and present what is happening in functions, comprator, though the entire »control loop« so that Perception is »controlled« ? If you can explain all the »Control loop« steps also with physiological means I’d be glad even more ?

Â

BN : The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception.

Â

Bill P. (LCS III) :

Therefor changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very realibly changes the magnnitude or state of the input quantity…

Â

HB :

It seems that you and Bill disagree.

My oppinion is that perception is controlled in comparator and the other components are supporting parts to this only »control act« in the loop. If there is no comparator (nervous system) there is no control. If the »comparator« would be just a »full function« in Ashby’s terms (input-output), there would be no Control. In any part of control loop. At least this would aproximatelly suit to what is happening in nervous system. And PCT is general theory about how organisms work (including nervous system).

Â

Other parts of the loop seems to be supporting parts so that control can be executed. Control can be executed also in other parts of organism and nervous system in many ways, without behavior and control loop going through the external evnironment.

Â

PCT is about how organisms work. You also contributed to this cognition in participating to article 50th Anniversary.

Â

Bill P. at all – including Rick Marken and Bruce Nevin - (50th Anniveersary, 2011) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the core concept of the theory is the obervation that living things control perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomen of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

HB : Could somebody explain to me what did you write in this article about, if extract shows most of what is written in all Bill’s literature ?

Â

Â

Â

BN : Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Â

HB ; I think I expressed my view about this, one line up. It seems that you contradict yourself ?

Â

BN :

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Â

HB : Could you give me some examples from Bill’s literature that I’ll understand what you are talking about ? Are we talking here about what people do (output), and different interpretations of people, among which Bill’s interpretation of »Behavior« is right ?

Â

BN :

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

Â

HB : Still I’d like an example ? What do you mean by »technical usage« and »common usage«. Are you trying to tell me that »behavior in technical usage« is not describing behavior of organisms, but »common usage« does ?

Â

There are always problems in communication if pepole use different conotation about the same terms. So I’ve always proposed and I’m proposing that we use Bill’s terms as reference. I think that is here on CSGnet the only communication problem. Some are using Bill’s terms and some their own terms, like Rick for example.

Â

BN : In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity.

Â

HB : Is this equal to »output« of LCS activity from the obervers point of view ? Or Bill is not refering to »observable« activity ? What did you wanted to say ?

Â

BN : In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input.

Â

HB : To avoid communication problem, can you offer at least one example from Bill’s literature where exactly did he mentioned that »behavior is the control of perceptual input«.

Â

I propose to use as much as possible Bill’s terms and examples from his books. In this way I’m sure we can avoid »communication disturbances«.

Â

I’ll just picked up an example from Bill’s literature :

Â

Bill P :

Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state … we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reeality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…

Â

HB : In this example I see that Bill is talking about »Behavior« or output which is »control empty«. So here we can clearly see that your statement that »Behavior is control of perceptions« doesn’t stand.

We don’t know what we are doing to environment. So how can we control anything ? And this is not supportable only by physiological evidences in Bill’s time (see literature in B:CP), but increadibly also in our time. He was really a genius and when people will understand his geniosity it could make future progress as you nicely described. But till then we have to achieve that at least all the members understand PCT in aproximately the same way. Â Â

Â

So in the example there is no trace of control in behavior (with physiological evidences included). So behavior or output or whatever we call people’s activity is having no involvement of control. Just effects to environment. We are speaking of course about »behavior« as output through the »control loop« in external environment.

Â

I can found mostly examples which are talking about »control empty output«. Maybe some more…

Â

Bill P :

The output function … repreesents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Â

HB : I think that the output is just causing efects to outer environment as for example Martin wrote and again very close to Bill’s definition :

Â

MT :

“Behaviour”, at least in PCT, is the consequences of the output signal that is distributed eventually to the organism’s environment. Â

Â

Bill P.

OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects in the immediate environment of the system…<

Â

HB : As I see Bill and Martin are talking about the same effects in the environment as consequence of “signal inside the systemâ€?… Control in LCS seems too be bound to internal control structure which is maintaining homeostasis.

Â

Bill P.

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected perceptual state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances"

Â

Bill P.:

CONTROL SYSTEM : An organization that acts on its environment so as to keep it’s inner perceptual signal matching an inner reference signal or reference condition.

Â

HB : As I see it, the central terms of PCT are talking about Control as the phenomenon inside organism. So i don’t see any possible »control« in external environment, even not by behavior (output).

Â

Â

We can speak also about outputs in higher hierarchical level, but please find example only from 1-3 level. These levels are very good physiologoically supported (B:CP)… More we go higher in hierarchy less physiological evidences, more space for phylosophy and »pub discussions«.

Â

Â

BN :

Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

Â

HB : If I understood you right here, you are using behavior as a means of control as PCT does ?

Â

BN :

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ’

Â

HB ; What’s the difference between “behavioral outputs”, “actions” and so on. Can you explain what is  “control actions” ? You can maybe use Bill’s examples which I offered you up in text. But you are free to choose any example from Bill’s literature. It’s easier to think when we concretely see what it is about. Abstracting can cause »communication troubles«.

Â

BN :

Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control.

Â

HB : This is hard for me to understand ?

Please some examples from Bill’s literature that »Behavior is Control« ? Any ? Where did Bill ever mentioned that »Behavior is Control« ? You can use all his literature. At least in article where you partcipate »Behavior« is mentoned as »supporting« feature not aa control. Maybe you can find any example where we can see that what you are telling is true ?

Â

Â

BN : But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT.

Â

HB : Good point. I think that to know something about PCT means to read Bill’s literature. That’s most realiable from my point of view. Or to talk to Bill. I’ve talked a lot. That’s how I get used to his terminology. I admitt I had terrible troubles in understanding him at the beggining. It was good that Kents’ texts were available and Bruce Abbotts’. And afterwords Martin, also good choice to talk about PCT. And as miracle Rick in his best days (2007). It’s good that I didin’t start with PCT nin this days and talk to Rick. I would be probably totaly confused and »brain-washed« and lost forever.

Â

Â

BN :

Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1.

That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

Â

HB : I can understand that »imagining« is from of activity of nervous system. Can you show me how this example works in Chapters of B:CP, 2005. I’m speccialy interested in your explanation of perception »going« through first 3. levels ? What is happening to perception ? I really need something concretely to discuss. I hope it’s not distrubing your perception to much ?

Â

Thanks for your answers Bruce. I’m looking forward for your further answers and insights…

<
Â

Â

P.S.

In one of your posts to Rick you defined behavior as :

Â

BN : The key insight is that we do not control our behavior. Rather, behavior is variable in just the manner and extent necessary to make our experience be the way we want it to be. The title of the locus classicus of this science of psychology is Behavior: The control of perception, published in 1973 by William T. Powers.

Â

HB : You didn’t mentioned that »Behavior is Control of Perception« and from what you are saying it’s hardly possible that could be a conclusion.Â

Â

Boris

Â

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

Â

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

Â

Â

Â

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

Â

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

Â

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

Â

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

Â

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

Â

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Â

Â

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Â

Â

[Bruce Nevin (2015.10.29.2113)]

I’m finally catching on that  the ‘50th Anniversary paper’ that you were quoting is the joint 2011 paper at http://pctweb.org/PCTunderstanding-2.pdf that I was quoting. The 50th anniversary of Powers, Clark & MacFarland (1960). I had forgot that detail.

BH: Show me how [the equivalence “behavior is control”] works through Bill’s generic diagram (LCS III for example).

BN: It is a matter of where you put the “behavior” label. In Figure 2-3 of LCS III (on p. 28), the word appears in the “Output Quantity” box as follows:

Bill P: [a] measure of [the] system’s physical output action or observed behavior

BN: So the word ‘behavior’ is qualified by the adjective “observed”, and is equated (using the word “or”) with “physical output action”.Â

BN: Now, place the word “behavior”, with no qualification, as a label on the diagram as a whole. That is how “behavior is control” works through Bill’s generic diagram. The diagram as a whole is a diagram of “behavior”; that is, it is a diagram of control. Behavior: the control of perception.

BH: Does it mean that solo output is «controlling input«?Â

BN: I’m guessing that I could paraphrase that question as "Does it mean that behavioral outputs alone control perceptual inputs?" “Output” is the ordinary, commonplace meaning of “behavior” as observable actions. Behavioral outputs are not control. Behavioral outputs are one phase of control, the observable means by which a control system adds its influence to all others affecting the CV, so as to make the perception of the CV match the reference for it. Behavioral outputs by themselves do not control. They are part of control only if they are intentional, that is, if they are part of a control loop.

BH: Does it mean that people through their outputs can »control« other people inputs ?Â

BN: I think you’re still insisting on the “behavioral outputs” meaning. But it is true that another control system with more powerful output could coercively control the input. (“This music will be coming through your headphones while you’re strapped into this chair. Bwahahahaha! (evil laugh).”) That’s one way that "people through their outputs can »control« other people inputs."Â

BN: Counter-control controls outputs rather than inputs. Person A can control disturbances in a clever way, so that the person B’s actions to protect controlled perception X have the unintended side effect of producing observed output Y.Â

HB : Cauld you be so kind Bruce and present any evidence that entire »control loop« (I presume that you are talking about control loop that is going through »outer environment«) controls perception ? Can you go step by step and present what is happening in functions, comparator, though the entire »control loop« so that Perception is »controlled« ? If you can explain all the »Control loop« steps also with physiological means I’d be glad even more ?

BN: B:CP pp. 285-289. LCS III pp.41-68 and the ‘Live Block’ demo. Pages 3 and 4 of the “Understanding PCT” text at http://pctweb.org/PCTunderstanding-2.pdf (mentioned previously). As to physiology, there are some neurological proposals in B:CP, and Henry Yin could provide more current information. The methodology of PCT has been to create generative, working simulations with extremely high fidelity to observed and measured behavior, with the proposal that the structure of such a model is informative about the structure of the behaving organism. Neuroscience is catching up. Much more is known about musculature and the integumentation of bones and joints, but these are not my area of expertise either.

BN (earlier) : The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception.

Â

BH: Bill P. (LCS III) :

Therefore changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very reliably changes the magnnitude or state of the input quantity…

Â

HB :

It seems that you and Bill disagree.

My opinion is that perception is controlled in comparator and the other components are supporting parts to this only »control act« in the loop. If there is no comparator (nervous system) there is no control. If the »comparator« would be just a »full function« in Ashby’s terms (input-output), there would be no Control. In any part of control loop. At least this would aproximatelly suit to what is happening in nervous system. And PCT is general theory about how organisms work (including nervous system).

BN: Without the other components of the control loop, the comparator can do nothing. You could as easily say that the behavioral outputs are the “only »control act« in the loop” because without them there would be no control of the CV. Likewise, without the perceptual input, there is no control. The thermostat on my wall is part of a control loop that maintains ambient room temperature near the setpoint on the thermostat. If I enclose my thermostat on the wall in an insulated box, or if I disconnect it and put it on the table, there is no control.

BN: But Bill and I are not in disagreement here. He said “changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very reliably changes the magnitude or state of the input quantity”. If you change the reference value, you are controlling the reference value with a separate control loop. The thermostat system is controlling the room temperature. I change the set point. It continues controlling the room temperature. A control loop does not control by changing its own reference signal. It controls according to the reference value, whatever it may be. In HPCT, a higher-order system controls by setting the references of lower-level systems. Its ‘behavioral outputs’ are the reference settings at lower levels. (This is why imagining is considered to be a form of ‘behavior’ in PCT.)

Bill P :

Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state … we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…

Â

HB : … here we can clearly see that your statement that »Behavior is control of perceptions« doesn’t stand. We don’t know what we are doing to environment. So how can we control anything ?Â

BN: Bill is talking here about an epistemological problem. Remember: we control the perception. You’re assuming that we control things in the environment. What the above passage says is that we have no way of knowing about the environment other than our perceptions. We have all sorts of inferential evidence that when we control the state of a perception we control the state of something real that is perceived. But we have no way of proving that, independent of our perceptions. We act so as to affect a perception. We can have perceptions of our actions; those are perceptions, too. The actions themselves are in the environment, and the only knowledge we have of them is our perceptions of them.Â

BN: Most of the time, Bill ignored this epistemological problem and acted (and talked and wrote) as though we control variables in the environment, because we have to assume that we do, even though there’s no way to prove it independently of our perceptions.Â

BN: Secondly, when we say behavior is control of perceptions, that is the comprehensive PCT meaning of “behavior”. Behavior, meaning behavioral actions (the narrow, commonplace meaning of “behavior”), is not control of perceptions. Behavioral actions are the means of influencing the state of a perceptual variable. A nervous tic is a behavioral action that controls nothing, because it is not part of a control loop. It is like the heat plant switching on and off because of some electrical disturbance in its controls; it has nothing to do with the setpoint on the thermostat, or the thermostat might be disconnected. Only a control loop can control.

BN : Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control.

Â

HB : This is hard for me to understand ?

BN: We do not control our actions, we use them to control our perceptions.Â

Again, quoting Bill in the joint 2011 50th anniversary paper (p. 4), "We control perceived results, not behaviors or actions. Behavior is the control of perception."Â

BN :

Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

Â

HB : I can understand that »imagining« is from of activity of nervous system. Can you show me how this example works in Chapters of B:CP, 2005. I’m speccialy interested in your explanation of perception »going«  through first 3. levels ? What is happening to perception ? I really need something concretely to discuss. I hope it’s not distrubing your perception to much ?

BN: I don’t have a clear sense of what you’re asking for here. Bill’s account of imagination is in the chapter on memory in B:CP, around Figure 15-3. His chapters 7 through 9 give an explanation of perception ‘going’ up through the first three levels. At each successive level, a new kind of perception is created out of combinations of perceptions sent up from lower down. That’s one way of saying ‘what is happening to perception’.

BN: To repeat what I said above, in HPCT, a higher-order system controls by setting the references of lower-level systems. Its ‘behavioral outputs’ are the reference settings at the lower level, and its ‘environment’ is the perceptual signals constructed and controlled at the level below and sent to its perceptual input function. Imagining is considered to be a form of ‘behavior’ in PCT because when the reference input, looped over to the perceptual signal, is the only input to the perceptual signal entering the higher-level perceptual input function, then as far as the higher-level system is concerned that signal is the entirety of its environment (with respect to that perceptual signal).Â

···

On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 9:22 AM, Boris Hartman boris.hartman@masicom.net wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Â

I tried to make a discussion with you first.

Â

Sorry Martin and Rick. My time is really limited. As Rick is concerned I tried to read LCS I pages carefully, but I don’t find time to read it through. But till now I could say only that is possible that Rick again read Bill’s text as he wanted and of course involved many of his notes so to look like he is right. I warmly recomend reading it once again carefully and put some citations of Bill’s text, so that members could see how Bill wrote about it.

Â

The most problematic place in Rick’s »interpretation« of Bill’s text is »Behavior involves… control«…. It would be good if you’ll find nd any Bill’s text that could support your interpretation. I’ll give an example :

Â

Bill P :

The behavior column really lists consequences of the driver’s actions, consequences that are not determined by driver’s actions, but are only influenced by them.

Â

HB : Your interpretation was simply that »Control is involved« in drivers actions. Can you prove it with other Bill’s citations ? And don’t read it with your references turned on. »Empty« your head as Bruce Nevin would probbaly suggest you. In that case you have chances to read text as it is, not as you want to read it.

Â

As I said I read and write very hardly. I’m really in heavy »mental« state. So I don’t know when I’ll read all the text as it is not important only 172-176, but also text to 180. Maybe you could read them slowly and accurate.

So if it’s really not something urgently or of high importance that can’t be answered with Bill’s literature, I’d be greatfull for a little piece. Just read it carefully word after word and sentecnes after sentence, if you want to do right thing, to inform others about what Bill wrote, not what you think he wrote. Anyway it was long time ago (36 years) and Bill somtimes changed his mind. But I doubt that he wrote anything contradicting to modern literature he wrote when his theory was really stable at least 20 years. Maybe he used some terms differently but I doubt that meaning has changed into it’s opposition.

Â

And if you discover any mistakes in his terms he used, I doubt that you will manage to change all his literature to this moment, so to change the main point of PCT. I also doubt that Powers ladies would alove that.

Â

So I think that it doesn’t matter in which time you are exploring his work it has to be the same everywhere. So it doesn’t matter if you are analysing his text in near past or in distant past. It will be always »Behavior : The Control of perception«. If you doubt of something go read B:CP again and again.

Â

Bill P.

If the driver had to execute any of the behaviors in Table 1 blindly, with no visual, auditory, kinestethic, or other sensory information to tell him the current status of the variable, it would be impossible for him to vary his actions so as to oppose unexpected disturbances. In Fact, we would find through continuing experiment that the only reliable consequences of the driver’s actions are those the driver can sense. This is a crucial hint about how this sort of phenomena is created (LCS I, p. 177)

Â

Â

Â

Martin. If your final answer about Control and behavior is :

Â

MT :

My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception.

Â

HB : I have no comment. I agree as I think this is also very close to Bill’s definitions. I put it in the conversation with Bruce. But you managed to »wake me up«…. /u>

Â

Conversation with Bruce Nevin is down…

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 4:34 AM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was …))

Â

Nice post, Martin.

Â

BN : In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.Â

Â

HB : Please Bruce show me where Bill ever mentioned this equivalency ? Show me how it works through Bill’s generic diagram (LCS III for example).

Â

And what does it mean if you say »Behavior is control of perception« ? Does it mean that solo output is «controlling input«? Does it mean that people through their outputs can »control« other people inputs ? Like Rick was affirming some time ago that people are controlling other people behavior through their input. Animals included. All LCS inclusive J

Â

BN : Consequently, in order to talk about “behavior” in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception.

Â

HB :

Cauld you be so kind Bruce and present any evidence that entire »control loop« (I presume that you are talking about contol loop that is going through »outer environment«) controls perception ? Can you go step by step and present what is happening in functions, comprator, though the entire »control loop« so that Perception is »controlled« ? If you can explain all the »Control loop« steps also with physiological means I’d be glad even more ?

Â

BN : The reference value doesn’t control perception. The behavioral outputs don’t control perception.

Â

Bill P. (LCS III) :

Therefor changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very realibly changes the magnnitude or state of the input quantity…

Â

HB :

It seems that you and Bill disagree.

My oppinion is that perception is controlled in comparator and the other components are supporting parts to this only »control act« in the loop. If there is no comparator (nervous system) there is no control. If the »comparator« would be just a »full function« in Ashby’s terms (input-output), there would be no Control. In any part of control loop. At least this would aproximatelly suit to what is happening in nervous system. And PCT is general theory about how organisms work (including nervous system).

Â

Other parts of the loop seems to be supporting parts so that control can be executed. Control can be executed also in other parts of organism and nervous system in many ways, without behavior and control loop going through the external evnironment.

Â

PCT is about how organisms work. You also contributed to this cognition in participating to article 50th Anniversary.

Â

Bill P. at all – including Rick Marken and Bruce Nevin - (50th Anniversary, 20111) :

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the core concept of the theory is the obervation that living things control perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomen of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.

Â

HB : Could somebody explain to me what did you write in this article about, if extract shows most of what is written in all Bill’s literature ?

Â

Â

Â

BN : Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Â

HB ; I think I expressed my view about this, one line up. It seems that you contradict yourself ?

Â

BN :

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It’s Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It’s Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else’s usage of the word.

Â

HB : Could you give me some examples from Bill’s literature that I’ll understand what you are talking about ? Are we talking here about what people do (output), and different interpretations of people, among which Bill’s interpretation of »Behavior« is right ?

Â

BN :

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the “same word” in another field, creates problems of communication.

Â

HB : Still I’d like an example ? What do you mean by »technical usage« and »common usage«. Are you trying to tell me that »behavior in technical usage« is not describing behavior of organisms, but »common usage« does ?

Â

There are always problems in communication if pepole use different conotation about the same terms. So I’ve always proposed and I’m proposing that we use Bill’s terms as reference. I think that is here on CSGnet the only communication problem. Some are using Bill’s terms and some their own terms, like Rick for example.

Â

BN : In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word “behavior” refers to observable activity.

Â

HB : Is this equal to »output« of LCS activity from the obervers point of view ? Or Bill is not refering to »observable« activity ? What did you wanted to say ?

Â

BN : In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input.

Â

HB : To avoid communication problem, can you offer at least one example from Bill’s literature where exactly did he mentioned that »behavior is the control of perceptual input«.

Â

I propose to use as much as possible Bill’s terms and examples from his books. In this way I’m sure we can avoid »communication disturbances«.

Â

I’ll just picked up an example from Bill’s literature :

Â

Bill P :

Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state … we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality tthat is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…

Â

HB : In this example I see that Bill is talking about »Behavior« or output which is »control empty«. So here we can clearly see that your statement that »Behavior is control of perceptions« doesn’t stand.

We don’t know what we are doing to environment. So how can we control anything ? And this is not supportable only by physiological evidences in Bill’s time (see literature in B:CP), but increadibly also in our time. He was really a genius and when people will understand his geniosity it could make future progress as you nicely described. But till then we have to achieve that at least all the members understand PCT in aproximately the same way. Â Â

Â

So in the example there is no trace of control in behavior (with physiological evidences included). So behavior or output or whatever we call people’s activity is having no involvement of control. Just effects to environment. We are speaking of course about »behavior« as output through the »control loop« in external environment.

Â

I can found mostly examples which are talking about »control empty output«. Maybe some more…>

Â

Bill P :

The output function … represents the meeans this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.

Â

HB : I think that the output is just causing efects to outer environment as for example Martin wrote and again very close to Bill’s definition :

Â

MT :

“Behaviour”, at least in PCT, is the consequences of the output signal that is distributed eventually to the organism’s environment. Â

Â

Bill P.

OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects in the immediate environment of the system…

Â

HB : As I see Bill and Martin are talking about the same effects in the environment as consequence of “signal inside the systemâ€?… Control in LCS seems to be boound to internal control structure which is maintaining homeostasis.

Â

Bill P.

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected perceptual state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances"

Â

Bill P.:

CONTROL SYSTEM : An organization that acts on its environment so as to keep it’s inner perceptual signal matching an inner reference signal or reference condition.

Â

HB : As I see it, the central terms of PCT are talking about Control as the phenomenon inside organism. So i don’t see any possible »control« in external environment, even not by behavior (output).

Â

Â

We can speak also about outputs in higher hierarchical level, but please find example only from 1-3 level. These levels are very good physiologoically supported (B:CP)… More we go higher in hierarchy less physiological evidences, more space for phylosophy and »pub discussions«.

Â

Â

BN :

Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

Â

HB : If I understood you right here, you are using behavior as a means of control as PCT does ?

Â

BN :

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like “behavioral outputs”, “actions”, and perhaps “control actions”. ’

Â

HB ; What’s the difference between “behavioral outputs”, “actions” and so on. Can you explain what is  “control actions” ? You can maybe use Bill’s examples which I offered you up in text. But you are free to choose any example from Bill’s literature. It’s easier to think when we concretely see what it is about. Abstracting can cause »communication troubles«.

Â

BN :

Behavior’ in the familiar sense of “activity” is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill’s title, is control.

Â

HB : This is hard for me to understand ?

Please some examples from Bill’s literature that »Behavior is Control« ? Any ? Where did Bill ever mentioned that »Behavior is Control« ? You can use all his literature. At least in article where you partcipate »Behavior« is mentoned as »supporting« feature not aa control. Maybe you can find any example where we can see that what you are telling is true ?

Â

Â

BN : But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT.

Â

HB : Good point. I think that to know something about PCT means to read Bill’s literature. That’s most realiable from my point of view. Or to talk to Bill. I’ve talked a lot. That’s how I get used to his terminology. I admitt I had terrible troubles in understanding him at the beggining. It was good that Kents’ texts were available and Bruce Abbotts’. And afterwords Martin, also good choice to talk about PCT. And as miracle Rick in his best days (2007). It’s good that I didin’t start with PCT nin this days and talk to Rick. I would be probably totaly confused and »brain-washed« and lost forever.

Â

Â

BN :

Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1.

That’s behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

Â

HB : I can understand that »imagining« is from of activity of nervous system. Can you show me how this example works in Chapters of B:CP, 2005. I’m speccialy interested in your explanation of perception »going« through first 3. levels ? What is happening to perception ? I really need something concretely to discuss. I hope it’s not distrubing your perception to much ?

Â

Thanks for your answers Bruce. I’m looking forward for your further answers and insights…

Â

Â

P.S.

In one of your posts to Rick you defined behavior as :

Â

BN : The key insight is that we do not control our behavior. Rather, behavior is variable in just the manner and extent necessary to make our experience be the way we want it to be. The title of the locus classicus of this science of psychology is Behavior: The control of perception, published in 1973 by William T. Powers.

Â

HB : You didn’t mentioned that »Behavior is Control of Perception« and from what you are saying it’s hardly possible that could be a conclusion.Â

Â

Boris

Â

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

Â

So if you and Rick don’t understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I’m sorry you didn’t understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn’t even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word “Behaviour” (or “Behavior”), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between “Behaviour is Control” (Rick) and “Behaviour as Control” (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn’t even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn’t understand. If there’s a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and “Control of Behaviour”, which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don’t understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between “command” and “control”, and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn’t. Just in case that was the problem, here’s an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear’s plays (Henry IV?) there’s a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like “I can call spirits from the vasty deep”, to which Hotspur replies “Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?”

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn’t know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour – calling the spirits – and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That’s the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That’s why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I’m sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

Â

Â

Â

rom: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

Â

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

Â

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill’s book, while I’m beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn’t think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word “behaviour”.

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I’m disapointed, because you didn’t »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That’s because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It’s much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his “behaviour” encompasses control. “Behaviour” in that sense is indistinguishable from “control”, BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. “behaviour” is a component of control, as is perception. My “behaviour” is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don’t like Rick’s definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word “control”, and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

Â

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it’s possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I’ve never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven’t read. If you get away from the word “Self-regulation” do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

Â

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it’s not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don’t

Â

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Â

Â

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular …? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Â

Â

Â

[From Rick Marken (2015.10.29.1600)]

Fred Nickols (2015.10.29.0545)--

 >

FN: Behavior, to the rest of the world, is a term that refers to “the activity of the organism.â€? That might be overt, observable behavior and it might be covert, difficult or impossible to observe behavior. Bill used to draw a distinction between “What is he doing?â€? and “What is he up to?â€? The former focuses on observable activity and the latter focuses on goals, control, etc.

Â

FN: To me, the value of PCT lies in it being a much better explanation of behavior than those offered by behaviorists or cognitivists and I see no need to alter the basic definition of behavior to make good use of PCT.

RM: The problem isn't one of definition. The problem is that the phenomenon called "behavior" by behaviorists and cognitivists (and all other psychologists, for that matter) -- is not the same phenomenon that is called "behavior" in PCT. The "behavior" studied by most psychologists consists only of "output variables". These variables are operationally defined and measured to see how they vary in relation to variations in other "input" variables. The "behavior" studied by control theorists (of the PCT persuasion) consists of what could be considered "output variables" (the "Means" variables in the "Behavior is Control" spreadsheet) as well as "controlled variables" (the variables that are maintained in Reference states, protected from disturbances by the "output' --Means--variables).
RM: Since the existence of controlled Variables -- variables maintained in Reference states -- is an empirically verifiable fact, Â most psychologists have failed to notice an important -- we would say, the most important -- component of "behavior": controlled variables. Thus, the theories developed by non-PCT psychologists don't explain the fact that organisms maintain variables in reference states; that is, non-PCT theories fail to explain the purposeful nature of behavior. This is why PCT is a better explanation of behavior than those offered by behaviorists and cognitivists; PCT explains an aspect of behavior that is invisible to behaviorists and cognitivists: its purpose, in the form of the variables that organisms control.Â
BestÂ
Rick

 >

···

Â

It hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post that a major source of opposition or objection to PCT isn’t that it criticizes much research or even that it attempts to prove the S-R view wrong; instead, it is an insistence on the part of some PCTers to redefine behavior itself. More’s the pity from my perspective because I don’t believe that is necessary.

Â

Fred Nickols

Â

From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:bnhpct@gmail.com>bnhpct@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:34 PM
To: CSG
Subject: Re: Comman and Control (was Re: Examples of everyday control (was ...))

Â

Nice post, Martin.

Â

In the title Behavior: the control of perception, the colon is equivalent to is in the sentence "behavior is the control of perception.Â

Â

Consequently, in order to talk about "behavior" in this PCT sense we have to talk about the entire loop, because it is the entire loop that controls perception. The reference value doesn't control perception. The behavioral outputs don't control perception. Circular causation around the entire closed loop controls the perceptual input in accord with the reference value.

Â

Behavior: the control of perception is an in-your-face title. A wake-up slap in the face. It's Bill telling his professors in the grad psych program that he abandoned that they are wrong. It's Bill telling the gatekeepers, the reviewers of journal articles and grant proposals, that they are wrong. Of course it also brilliantly encapsulates the essential thing about control, but it does so by seemingly putting the emphasis on behavior rather than on control, and in so doing it insists on a technical definition of behavior that is at variance from everybody else's usage of the word.

Â

Doing so, it creates a communication problem. Any difference between technical usage and common usage, or between technical usage in one field and technical usage of what we think is the "same word" in another field, creates problems of communication.

Â

In common usage, and in the established schools of psychology, the word "behavior" refers to observable activity. In PCT-talk, behavior is the control of perceptual input. Behavior in the sense of actions is the observable means of making an experience be the way we want it to be, but that is only part of the control loop.

Â

In PCT-talk, we make the distinction with words like "behavioral outputs", "actions", and perhaps "control actions". 'Behavior' in the familiar sense of "activity" is not controlled; behavior, in the technical PCT sense forced by Bill's title, is control. But these terminological specializations are a standing invitation to misunderstanding by our listeners and readers, and, frankly, an invitation to equivocation in those of us who claim to know something about PCT. Another layer of potential confusion arises when we say (as Martin recently wrote) that imagining is a form of activity, closing the loop through perceptions at level n which form the (interior) environment for control of perceptions at level n+1. That's behavior (control of perception) without any observable activity, unless we count introspection as observation.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM, Martin Taylor <<mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net>mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net> wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.28.08.54]

On 2015/10/28 1:08 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

...

Â

So if you and Rick don't understand difference between »Behavior is Control« and »Behavior : The Control of perception«, you wil have to read B:CP again to understand PCT.

I'm sorry you didn't understand my attempt to point out one subtlety of the English language that is the reason for an arcane dispute between Rick and me. You apparently didn't even realize that there was any dispute, as indeed I had not until quite recently. I had long thought Rick and I meant the same thing when we used the word "Behaviour" (or "Behavior"), and was quite surprised to find I was wrong.

The problem is in the difference between "Behaviour is Control" (Rick) and "Behaviour as Control" (Behaviour: the Control of Perception). Apparently you didn't even notice that I was trying to explain to you the difference that you say I didn't understand. If there's a problem having two so-called English speakers recognize a subtle difference, it must be very hard for you, even if you say you do. After all, in the message that annoyed you, I concentrate on explaining a much more important difference, between both of those and "Control of Behaviour", which to me is a nonsense concept that does not work in either engineering or psychology. You had used all three concepts as though they meant the same thing, and now you say I don't understand the more subtle of the distinctions. Strange.

Please try to be a little more careful when you make severe judgments. You have often claimed that some mistake you have made might be due to your command of English, and that is a very fair proposition. I wondered when I wrote one of my recent messages whether you understood the difference between "command" and "control", and I wonder whether your most recent diatribe might be because you didn't. Just in case that was the problem, here's an example to illustrate the difference.

In one of Shakespear's plays (Henry IV?) there's a scene between Owen Glendower and (I think) Hotspur. Geldower says something like "I can call spirits from the vasty deep", to which Hotspur replies "Aye, and so can I and so can any man. But when you call, will they come?"

In that scene, Glendower says he can command the spirits, and Hotspur agrees that everyone can do that, but then he asks if Glendower can control them (of course, Shakespear didn't know about control systems and the control of perception, but he did know the difference between Behaviour -- calling the spirits -- and perceiving the spirits rising out of the vasty deep. That's the difference between command and control, between the output part of a control loop and the effect of the entire loop on what an observer can see being influenced by the Behaviour. Command may have the desired result, Control, but it often does not. When Command does not produce Control, reorganization may happen, but often does not. That's why I included research on reorganization as one of the open areas for PCT research.

Reference values Command; the entire loop Controls. Command influences the environment of the control unit, Control is of perception and only of perception.

Anyway, I'm sorry you misunderstood my attempts at explanation, and I hope this helps.

Martin

Â

Â

Â

rom: Martin Taylor [<mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net>mailto:mmt-csg@mmtaylor.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:18 PM
To: <mailto:csgnet@lists.illinois.edu>csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Examples of everyday control (was Re: Somebody should take this on)

Â

[Martin Taylor 2015.10.27.15.52]

On 2015/10/27 9:41 AM, Boris Hartman wrote:

Martin,

Â

most questions in your answers are refering to problem what is »Control of behaviour« or »Behaviour as Control«, »Behavior is Control«, etc.

To me, those are three quite different concepts. I would strongly object to the first, the second is almost the title of Bill's book, while I'm beginning to realize that the third hides a disagreement I didn't think I had with Rick, about the definition of the word "behaviour".

Rick invented it and he is about to prove it with his spreadshit. I'm disapointed, because you didn't »come in« sooner to explain Rick what is behaviour« and put him quaetions like you did to me.

That's because I think Rick and I have the same underlying concept of control, whether we agree on the definitions of words or not. When you get away from the words into the mathematics and the experiments, we usually seem to agree. Words are slippery, even when two people have the same native language, as is almost the case between Rick (American English) and me (Anglo-Canadian English). It's much harder when our native languages are as different as yours and ours.

As I read Rick [From Rick Marken (2015.10.27.1000)], his "behaviour" encompasses control. "Behaviour" in that sense is indistinguishable from "control", BY DEFINITION. So I wonder why have two separate words for the same concept. in my usage. "behaviour" is a component of control, as is perception. My "behaviour" is not control, but is the means by which the controller acts on the environment to influence the perception. The difference between those definitions is so small that it often goes un-noticed (at least by me). I don't like Rick's definition because it seems like a waste of a word to use it as a substitute for a perfectly good word "control", and makes it impossible to use a perfectly normal word to describe something one does have to talk about when discussing control.

Â

As far other theories of psychological »Control loops« are concerned you can reed Carver&Scheier and Jeff Vancouver, etc. They are all grouped arround theories with common name »Self-regulaton«. There you can see how it's possible to make a control loop, where Behavior is Control.

I've never read Carver and Schrier. As for Jeff Vancouver, I never saw problems with his work that he discussed on CSGnet, but I guess he has a lot of other work that I haven't read. If you get away from the word "Self-regulation" do you have a problem with what he actually claims happens in control?

Â

MT : But maybe I can interpret it. You can correct me if I misinterpret. I think you may be referring to loops such as the Krebs Cycle and the myriads of loops that the physiologists find in their networks of chemical and neurological interconnections. These all provide a stable infrastructure on which the organism can reliably control perceptions of the outer world. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree, but it's not an aspect of PCT any more than the electron orbital structure of the atoms, on which all chemistry depends, is a part of biochemistry. Biochemists can, if needed, use electron orbitals, and PCT researchers can, if needed, use internal physiological network structures. But normally they don't

Â

HB : Very close. But there is one problem left. PCT is by my oppinion also holding for this aspect and at least one aspect more, But for that the arrow to »intrisic« or »essential« variables from genetic source has to be solved.

Â

Â

Along with a lot else. The actual set of levels in the hierarchy is one; whether the control structure is a hierarchy is another. How the different kinds of memory are stored and accessed and used is another. How many different kinds of reorganization is another. Is reorganization modular, nested modular, fractally modular, overlapped modular, non-modular ...? In different animals and other organisms, what is the balance between learning over evolutionary time and learning within a lifetime?

I wouldn't be surprised if one could write a book just listing such problems and discussing what the answers might imply. Many of them were mentioned by Bill either formally or informally. They are all unsolved, and mostly unaddressed. A wide field for PCT research.

Martin

Â

Â

--
Richard S. MarkenÂ
<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.mindreadings.com&d=BQMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=kyYByoPjRId7VqRHSQ_V5K3POUJi3qyq3ws5AJhuXTE&s=fHTWi77d4cAXSHXnHgMoCz0T18TLC4COj2_kWp8krLI&e=>www.mindreadings.com
Author of  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.amazon.com_Doing-2DResearch-2DPurpose-2DExperimental-2DPsychology_dp_0944337554_ref-3Dsr-5F1-5F1-3Fie-3DUTF8-26qid-3D1407342866-26sr-3D8-2D1-26keywords-3Ddoing-2Bresearch-2Bon-2Bpurpose&d=BQMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=kyYByoPjRId7VqRHSQ_V5K3POUJi3qyq3ws5AJhuXTE&s=kAfElA_6TuWDuST3PiWDwkQkQc0UI8S6r0nonffXVV8&e=>Doing Research on Purpose.Â
Now available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Bruce,

Thanks a lot. You’ve done a great job. You showed that many PCT authors understand behavior differently. But I think that the main point is achieved. Can we unite all these understandings and interpretations of »behavior« and consequently all PCT theory into one PCT »definiton« ?

My oppinion is that extract »wears« Bills’ view on control of living beings and behavior as supporting role.  And I see in it the main point how behavior has to be interpreted in accordance with PCT.

Bill P at all :

At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with the epiphenomena of behavior playing an important but supporting role.

So here I see that control is something that is happening in organisms where they control perception with means of their behavior. I can imagine most of Bill’s work supporting this »definition« and most of it seems that we have in our discussion.

Other »definitions« of behavior which you counted are by my oppinon more or less diverging from upper »defintion«, if I understand it right. Anyway I think that once CSGnet has to deal with it or it will not progress and achieve future state as you described it. That’s my basic wish.

Now the question is, can we unite all this diverging »definitions« to some appropriate »defitnion« which will match Bill’s. Or maybe some other, but united. But as fundamental point I’d like to see how different PCT’ers interpret PCT basic terms.

I’ll start with some Bill’s terms which I think are supporting PCT thinking. And maybe all of PCT’ers could express their agreement or disageement. But the final goal is that maybe we could start at last closing the gap between PCT model and »how organisms really work«, so to maybe move a little from »basic discusisons« that are seen on CSGnet for years, which by my oppinion lead to »nowhere«.

The problem of behavior (action) definition involve by my oppinion all the problems of every definition in PCT that was ever made. Any change in any defintion means by my oppinion »change«f other definitions.

So I propose that we try to analyse basic terms of PCT and see where we agree and where we don’t. Whether there are changes necessary to any of definitions. And probably to PCT itself. It’s easier than analysing all the literature and finding statements for and against, as we all know that Bill and Rick changed their minds many tiimes. So there is a lot of ambiguity all over the PCT literature. And I doubt this is good for PCT future. In my vision of PCT future I emphasized that united oppinion about PCFT terms and fucntioning of »control loop« is necesarry. Other wise I doubt that PCT will »survive« if main protagonists are not here any more.

Because all listed definitions are part of PCT control loop (organism and environment)  I choosed diagram form LCS III (so we can discuss whether is right or not). And of course if we see for example that »behavior is control« I assume that we have to chnage diagram in accordance with this cognition.

I think that »behavior« is involved in »output box« which you mentioned. So I think it has to be defined in »output function«. I was estonished to find out that »output quantity« is not defined in B:CP, 2005.  But it is defined in LCS III (p. 30).

I’ll just make the point :

Output function…includes…muscles that operate te the arm and hand (and probably other limbs, op. HB), and some neural signals that cause the hand to move. While it would be possible to go into considerable detail about the output function (quite a lot is known about the properties of muscles and spinla reflexes) for purposes of modeling this specific behavior we need only an overall picture of how a difference between the actual and desired states of the controlled variables gets turned into a change of position of the hand. We need a model that propose a way for the value of an error signal… to be converted into hand position, the OOUTPUT QUANTITY of this system….

So here is the diagram

image00227.png

Here are terms :

image00210.png

image0035.png

image0042.png

image0053.png

image00150.png

image0072.png

image008.png

image009.png

image010.png

image011.png

image012.png

image013.png

image014.png

image015.png

image016.png

image017.png

P.S.

I opened your first post. The other post with our discussion is waiting. My time… sorry…

Best,

Boris