from [Kenny Kitzke (991004.0730EDT)]
<Kenny, let me take a crack at this conversation. I hope to pre-empt a
Bill's time to learn more about modeling, so if I can engage you in his place
a moment maybe it will break up a circle of what looks to me like gradually
rising exasperation on both your parts.>
You are most welcome to do so. Knowing how good a controller Bill is though,
I think he responds to challenges that are important to him. Modeling one
day, human nature another. To get any of his time is an honor. If I ever
get too exasperated, I don't have to reorganize to deal with it. I just
change my behavior by intention. I suspect Bill does that too for persistent
error of disobedient or dumb followers.
<I hope you won't be offended if I suggest that I think you have
postulate about the reorganizing system in B:CP.>
Shucks, professor. I am fortunate to have a good teacher like you. No
offense at all.
<They found that they had to put a "random signal
generator" into the circuitry of the robot in order for it to do something
different from what it had done previously whenever its control of its
environment was disturbed. If you stop and think about it, this is purely
logical. How can you do something you've never done before, if you don't know
what to do?>
Well, this robot turtle, or whatever, is not a human. Why would you conclude
that since a random signal generator helped a robot turtle behave in new way
it is logical that such a generator would be needed to help a human being
establish new control loops or reference values?
I do things I've never done before every day. I drove to Mystic Connecticut
for the first time ever last week. I used my human intellect along with a
map and instructions from the Internet, not a random road number generator.
Got there fine on the first trial.
I have thought about it Dick, and still find the idea of a random
reorganization system preposterous. Random means all possibilities are
equally probable to be selected, at least mathematically. I don't think
humans normally behave or "reorganize" randomly in that sense. I'd like to
see your evidence if you have any.
I can appreciate that while intentionally behaving for one purpose, one may
discover new ideas accidentally or incidentally that are appreciated or
remembered and are useful for control of something else. But, I would not
say learning new things requires a truly random process, even if control does
not seem to be working for high level perceptual variables.
Bill's Little Man shows how effective a random behavior code can be in
helping a computer program achieve a known goal just like the robot turtle.
Bill even shows how the Little Man can outperform a human being using his
programming. Hurrah! For me, that would be a clue that what is being
modeled may not be a human at all and would mislead one in speculating how
humans must work.
<If you do know how then it's not a complete innovation.>
You don't know until you do it. Then you know. Then you remember. Up to
then, humans can use an educated guess, not a random guess, to achieve goals;
why not even the goals of reducing intrinsic error? This ability to create
from nothing is inherent in the human spirit and is not found in plants and
animals which seem programmed intrinsically but within smaller limits.
You don't need to run computer models or test pigeons for pecking preferences
to realize this, do you? And, you don't need to invent a random
"reorganization system" to explain it either, unless your control theory
model hypothesis of how humans work requires one.
<If you see someone doing a tennis stroke you have never done before--can you
imitate it on the first trial? Or, do you have to have "trial and error"
you latch on to it. You do recognize, don't you, that "trial and error" is a
synonym for "make random movements?">
Nope, I think that trial and error experimentation is intuitive, not random.
Perhaps that is my problem with your black magic science of reorganization.
A random movement would include standing on your head to create some new
to you tennis stroke. I don't think a human will do that. But, a programmed
robot might tumble upside down in its effort to find a way to make a new
shot. And, it would help eliminate the ways that don't work. Fortunately,
humans have a better method built into their humanity.
<I hope this is enough to start you thinking
about how a biological mess of nerves would have to develop circuits that
weren't there before and then have them "tested" by whether or not the fixed
(genetically) life-support controls of such things as blood sugar level, o2
level, co2 level etc. show readings moving toward the "red zone"
or the "green zone.">
I must be stupid professor. I see no reason to think that such development
is random with all possibilities equally likely and independent. It is more
easy for me to accept that our human circuits have preferred (intelligent)
innate abilities to deal with disturbances, unknown circumstances and error,
including intrinsic error.
What is your explanation of instinct? Is it the result random
reorganization? If animals have instinct built in that requires no
reorganization to perform a new task, why would it not seem plausible to you
that humans have an even superior ability to respond to intrinsic needs or
high level errors that are anything but random in nature?