[From: Bruce Nevin (Thu 930223 12:28:31 EST)]

( Bill Powers (950223.0730 MST) ) --

I noted your thanks to Bill Leach. Is something going on that I don't
know about? I mean, more than usual?

That was in response to (Bill Leach 950217.20:10). He had said:

recognize just how easy it is (especially for Bill P.) to "get out of
sync" with someone in one of these threads. Just think for a bit about
the number of different threads in which he is active and consider how
thinking about one topic might influence how one thinks about a different
topic. Add to that a little programming and ...

I know that Bill Leach and I are not alone in being amazed again and
again at how much you carry forward in your life of quiet retirement in
rural Colorado. :slight_smile:

You supposed I might be angry at you. Seemed to me that Bill L. thought
that too. I hoped that saying "I think we're OK" was an answer to both.
Trying to say too much with too few words again.

Here's what was going on emotionally. I feel frustrated when I'm not
understood. I feel frustrated when most of what I have said is ignored
in favor of some singled-out piece of what I have said which out of
context can be made to sound like what currently preoccupies the other
person. (That's my perception of what happened.) But I don't usually
get mad at the person, any more than I usually get mad at myself when I
do the same.

(And of course I do the same. If some perceptual input produces error
it's ipso facto being perceived in context of the perceptions that I'm
currently controlling. It takes a kind of deliberate effort to broaden
attention and reconstrue that bothersome perceptual input in a context of
other perceptions where it might not produce error. Those other
perceptions don't matter so much to me, currently, or I would be
controlling them. Or if I am controlling them they don't come to
attention because there's no error. Sam Johnson said something like
there's nothing like a hangman to focus the attention. In general,
doesn't it seem that there's nothing like error to focus the attention?)

Getting mad is seldom an effective means of controlling any perceptions
that matter to me. Sometimes expressing myself in an angry way gets
another person to pay closer attention to what I am saying and "take me
seriously", but that can backfire in various ways (and there are
alternatives). In general, getting mad seems to interfere with effective
control. So I wait until the feelings of frustration don't come up so
strongly when I revisit the experience in memory and imagination.

Another choice would be to dwell on it. When I dwell on an experience
that I upset myself about, what *appears* to happen (without prejudice as
to any actual mechanisms) *seems* like a feedback loop between an
emotional state evoking a "cause" and remembered/imagined perceptions
imputed as cause evoking the emotional state, getting more and more upset
until one is good and mad about it. (This is, BTW, much like part of the
description developed by Buddhist teachers as careful observers of mental
and physical states.) Ever seem like someone had the emotional state
first, and attributed the "cause" when it came handy?

Anyway, no, I'm not "pissed off" at anyone. I am more grateful than I
can say for the quality of this list and the people participating in it.

This is much more than I thought I intended to say. :slight_smile: Probably a good
thing I don't have any spare time.

    Bruce Nevin