Conflict

[Dag Forssell (2007.01.15.1540)]

I don't read CSGnet much, but peruse sometimes and a few recent posts caught my eye so I'll venture a comment :slight_smile:

BTW, Happy New Year to all. I think 2007 will be an exciting year.

[Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1400)]

<snip>

I think we should be able to agree, however, that conflict is _never_ the result of "perceiving things differently".

This emphatic statement reminds me of the 20 or so reasons Rick came up with a year and a half ago to demonstrate that imagination _never_ entered into perception.

Best, Dag

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1620)]

Dag Forssell (2007.01.15.1540)--

Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1400)--

<snip>

I think we should be able to agree, however, that conflict is _never_ the result of "perceiving things differently".

This emphatic statement reminds me of the 20 or so reasons Rick came up with a year and a half ago to demonstrate that imagination _never_ entered into perception.

Boy, I was so sure that you were going to note what a brilliant observation that was. Ah well;-(

I don't think I came up with as many as 20 reasons why imagination never entered into perception. But I agree that I was not convinced that there could be control of a perception that has an imagination component because it wouldn't really be control. But it was actually me who realized that I had a demonstration of control of a perception with a large imagination component. It's my open loop control demo (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/OpenLoop.html). When the target cursor disappears you are controlling the perceived position of the cursor relative to the imagined position of the target. Of course, this isn't really controlling at all (as is most clear in the "Integral" control case) -- at least not from an observer's perspective, because there is no variable that is controlled from the observer's perspective. The controller may be successfully controlling in their imagination but not in the environment. So while I concluded that people can control perceptions that have an imagination component, I also concluded that systems that did much of this kind of controlling regularly will not be around to tell the tale, having been done in by their failure to reliably produce the results needed for survival.

As far as conflict never being the result of perceiving things differently, I guess I'll change my mind if you can show me how I can create a conflict in this way. That is, show me how you would build two control systems that get into conflict _because_ they are perceiving the same situation differently. It would be best to show that the conflict gets worse the more different the perceptual variables controlled by the two systems. I can show how a conflict gets worse the more _similar_ the perceptual variables controlled by two different control systems, the conflict being worst when the perceptual variables controlled by the two systems are identical. So show me how conflict can increase as the difference between the perceptual variables controlled by two systems increases and I'll agree that conflict can result from people perceiving things differently.

Best

Rick

路路路

----
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[Dag Forssell (2007.01.15.1710)]

Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1620)]

Ok, I'll get sucked in, but only a little and not long-winded.

How about the Rubber Band Demonstration. You and I in front of a blackboard agreeing to keep the knot over a dot on the board. No problem as long as we keep the rubber bands and the knot in the same plane as the board. Now let us move our hands four inches in front of the board. From my point of view, the knot will be too far toward you, so I will pull more. The converse from your point of view. Soon we break the rubber bands.

Apply this to most any situation and throw in a little imagination from your memories into your current perception, and you will soon realize that your statement that conflict is _never_ the result of "perceiving things differently" comes across as just a teensy weensy bit less than enlightened.

Best, Dag

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1810)]

Dag Forssell (2007.01.15.1710)

Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1620)]

Ok, I'll get sucked in, but only a little and not long-winded.

How about the Rubber Band Demonstration. You and I in front of a blackboard agreeing to keep the knot over a dot on the board. No problem as long as we keep the rubber bands and the knot in the same plane as the board. Now let us move our hands four inches in front of the board. From my point of view, the knot will be too far toward you, so I will pull more. The converse from your point of view. Soon we break the rubber bands.

Excellent! This is a case where the conflict clearly results from the fact that we are controlling nearly the same perceptual variable; the position of the knot relative to the dot. The conflict will occur whether the knot is in the same plane as the board or not. In your example, the conflict doesn't occur when the knot is in the same plane because the people are instructed to have the same references for the state of the same perceptual variable (distance of knot from dot): the reference for both people is "knot on dot". But ask one person to hold the knot even just 1/2 inch from dot and you get conflict big time -- because they are controlling the same perceptual variable relative to different references.

When you lift the rubber bands above the board, both people are still controlling the same perceptual variable -- the distance from knot to dot; call it k - d -- but you have created parallax so that one person is controlling k - d + p and the other is controlling k - d - p (where p is the parallax offset). The result is that, with the same reference (knot on dot) one person will be trying to make k - d + p = 0 and the other will be trying to make k - d - p. This will require moving the knot, k, to two different positions, which is, of course, impossible.

You could say that this particular conflict results from perceiving things differently, I suppose, though I wouldn't describe it that way. I don't think of k - d - p and k - d + p as examples of "perceiving things differently". In a control model these are the same perceptual variable because variations in one are perfectly correlated with variations in the other (because p is a constant). To me, they are the same perceptual variable with a constant offset which results in conflict when to systems have the same reference for these two variables. Perceiving things differently means, to me, controlling perceptual variables that are uncorrelated. So if one person were controlling the knot only in the x dimension and the other were controlling it only in the y dimension, then I would say that they are controlling two different perceptions. See if you can get a conflict out of that version of the the rubber band experiment.

Apply this to most any situation and throw in a little imagination from your memories into your current perception, and you will soon realize that your statement that conflict is _never_ the result of "perceiving things differently" comes across as just a teensy weensy bit less than enlightened.

My imagination leads me to believe that this kind of parallax based conflict is very rare. It results when people have the same reference for the same perceptual variable but where that variable differs in each person by a parallax offset. It's a conflict that occurs when there is no difference in goals. I would guess that it is _never_ the basis of an intrapersonal conflict and I cannot imagine many situations where it would be the basis of interpersonal conflict. Maybe it would occur when a dentist and his hygenist are both holding an inlay and are trying to insert it simultaneously.

So you'll have to try again. I would not use your parallax example as a demonstration of conflict resulting from different perceptions. But I might use it as an example of conflict resulting from control of the same perception.

Best, Dag

Best

Rick

路路路

---
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[David Goldstein (2007.01.15.2313 EST)]

Sometimes it is not clear what happened. A little girl reports to her
parents that she has been inappropriately touched. The man denies it.
The family is divided over the issue. Some believe the little girl who
never said anything like this. Some believe the man who never did
anything like this in the past as far as anyone can remember.

How to perceive what happened is unclear. The interpersonal conflict
within the family results from differently people believing different
things.

As a result of even a suspicion that the man did it, his wife intends to
divorce him. The daughter believes that something happened. She thinks
that maybe the little girl misinterpreted what happened. She wants her
father to receive some kind of counseling help.

The man was supposed to be drinking on the day it happened. The man and
the little girls father used to be very close.

This actual case of mine raises some questions: When the situation is
unclear, different people can interpret things differently. As a result
of different interpretations, the people may come into conflict.

路路路

-----Original Message-----
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU] On Behalf Of Rick Marken
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 9:12 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Subject: Re: Conflict

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1810)]

Dag Forssell (2007.01.15.1710)

Rick Marken (2007.01.15.1620)]

Ok, I'll get sucked in, but only a little and not long-winded.

How about the Rubber Band Demonstration. You and I in front of a
blackboard agreeing to keep the knot over a dot on the board. No
problem as long as we keep the rubber bands and the knot in the same
plane as the board. Now let us move our hands four inches in front of
the board. From my point of view, the knot will be too far toward you,

so I will pull more. The converse from your point of view. Soon we
break the rubber bands.

Excellent! This is a case where the conflict clearly results from the
fact that we are controlling nearly the same perceptual variable; the
position of the knot relative to the dot. The conflict will occur
whether the knot is in the same plane as the board or not. In your
example, the conflict doesn't occur when the knot is in the same plane
because the people are instructed to have the same references for the
state of the same perceptual variable (distance of knot from dot): the
reference for both people is "knot on dot". But ask one person to hold
the knot even just 1/2 inch from dot and you get conflict big time --
because they are controlling the same perceptual variable relative to
different references.

When you lift the rubber bands above the board, both people are still
controlling the same perceptual variable -- the distance from knot to
dot; call it k - d -- but you have created parallax so that one person
is controlling k - d + p and the other is controlling k - d - p (where
p is the parallax offset). The result is that, with the same reference
(knot on dot) one person will be trying to make k - d + p = 0 and the
other will be trying to make k - d - p. This will require moving the
knot, k, to two different positions, which is, of course, impossible.

You could say that this particular conflict results from perceiving
things differently, I suppose, though I wouldn't describe it that way.
I don't think of k - d - p and k - d + p as examples of "perceiving
things differently". In a control model these are the same perceptual
variable because variations in one are perfectly correlated with
variations in the other (because p is a constant). To me, they are the
same perceptual variable with a constant offset which results in
conflict when to systems have the same reference for these two
variables. Perceiving things differently means, to me, controlling
perceptual variables that are uncorrelated. So if one person were
controlling the knot only in the x dimension and the other were
controlling it only in the y dimension, then I would say that they are
controlling two different perceptions. See if you can get a conflict
out of that version of the the rubber band experiment.

Apply this to most any situation and throw in a little imagination
from your memories into your current perception, and you will soon
realize that your statement that conflict is _never_ the result of
"perceiving things differently" comes across as just a teensy weensy
bit less than enlightened.

My imagination leads me to believe that this kind of parallax based
conflict is very rare. It results when people have the same reference
for the same perceptual variable but where that variable differs in
each person by a parallax offset. It's a conflict that occurs when
there is no difference in goals. I would guess that it is _never_ the
basis of an intrapersonal conflict and I cannot imagine many situations
where it would be the basis of interpersonal conflict. Maybe it would
occur when a dentist and his hygenist are both holding an inlay and
are trying to insert it simultaneously.

So you'll have to try again. I would not use your parallax example as a
demonstration of conflict resulting from different perceptions. But I
might use it as an example of conflict resulting from control of the
same perception.

Best, Dag

Best

Rick
---
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.16.0930)]

David Goldstein (2007.01.15.2313 EST)-

How to perceive what happened is unclear. The interpersonal conflict
within the family results from differently people believing different
things.

As a result of even a suspicion that the man did it, his wife intends to
divorce him. The daughter believes that something happened. She thinks
that maybe the little girl misinterpreted what happened. She wants her
father to receive some kind of counseling help.

The man was supposed to be drinking on the day it happened. The man and
the little girls father used to be very close.

This actual case of mine raises some questions: When the situation is
unclear, different people can interpret things differently. As a result
of different interpretations, the people may come into conflict.

Yes. That's what I see as a conflict over a verbal description (or interpretation) of a situation. It's the state of a single perceptual variable -- the description -- that the parties to the conflict want in different states. One party wants to interpret the situation as a molestation; and the other wants it interpreted as drunken slobbering. The parties have different references -- different desired interpretations -- for a description of the same situation. If the different interpretations are seen as different references then these interpretations are, indeed, the cause of the conflict.

Best

Rick

路路路

---

Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[David Goldstein (2007.01.16.2032 EST)]

I am not sure that:

'It's the state of a single perceptual variable -- the description --
that the parties to the conflict want in
different states'

is what is happening. I don't think any of the parties want to think
that the man actually touched the girl in an
inappropirate way. However, some of the people come to one conclusion
and other people come to a different
conclusion.

Why this is so, I am not sure.

Also, I am not so sure that the phrase 'verbal description' is the key
thing. The people are coming up with
different verbal descriptions because they are imagining different
things.

My patient, who wants to maintain a relationship with 'her one and only
father' thinks that 'something
happened' but is not sure exactly what. She thinks her father needs to
speak to a couselor.

The mother is reacting to the fact that the father, who was warned not
to show up at Christmas by the
father of the little girl, didn't say a word to any member of the
family. This is very different than
what my patient, and others, would have expected from him. They are mad
at him for 'ruining Christmas'
and not saying something before it became a family drama.

In MOL, once a conflict is defined, say the father did it; the father
didn't do it; the father did something which the little girl
misinterpreted, one would ask the person to talk about each possiblity,
repeatedly if necessary, until the person could see all the
possibilities simultaneously. At this point, some sort of reorganization
may happen as the person is thinking about this possibilities. It is not
always possible to predict how the person will reorganize.

David

路路路

-----Original Message-----
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU] On Behalf Of Rick Marken
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 12:30 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Subject: Re: Conflict

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.16.0930)]

David Goldstein (2007.01.15.2313 EST)-

How to perceive what happened is unclear. The interpersonal conflict
within the family results from differently people believing different
things.

As a result of even a suspicion that the man did it, his wife intends
to
divorce him. The daughter believes that something happened. She thinks
that maybe the little girl misinterpreted what happened. She wants her
father to receive some kind of counseling help.

The man was supposed to be drinking on the day it happened. The man
and the little girls father used to be very close.

This actual case of mine raises some questions: When the situation is
unclear, different people can interpret things differently. As a
result of different interpretations, the people may come into
conflict.

Yes. That's what I see as a conflict over a verbal description (or
interpretation) of a situation. It's the state of a single perceptual
variable -- the description -- that the parties to the conflict want in
different states. One party wants to interpret the situation as a
molestation; and the other wants it interpreted as drunken slobbering.
The parties have different references -- different desired
interpretations -- for a description of the same situation. If the
different interpretations are seen as different references then these
interpretations are, indeed, the cause of the conflict.

Best

Rick
---

Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Dag Forssell (2007.01.19.1040)]

[Rick Marken
(2007.01.18.1230)]

Please don鈥檛 feel like you have
to stay out of these frays, by the way, because it seems to invigorate me
and I know it also makes Dag very happy;-)

Rick,

Pained is more like it, but I have come to recognize the wisdom of Bill鈥檚
approach to arguments and don鈥檛 take things personally. I do admire
Bill鈥檚 patience, thoroughness and eloquence in dealing with the fray you
create. I too would rather support you than give you a hard
time.

I have thought long and hard for many years now as to why it is that
people understand their world and PCT in so many different ways.

For me, I have come to appreciate the nine years I spent in an upper
secondary school in Gothenburg in the 1950s. The school, founded in 1895
or so, had a physics department with a large collection of experimental
devices and demanding teachers. From age 10 through 19, I had about three
lessons a week, and at each one I saw (sometimes hands-on) at least one
experiment performed, most often several. I learned to think in terms of
flows, molecular motion, strains, light waves and refraction, electrical
currents and magnetic fields, kinematics, and chemical
reactions.

My studies at Chalmers technical university leading to an MS in
Mechanical Engineering made little difference, exept that studies in
Strength of Materials, with numerous applications of calculus and
integration, gave me a sense of stresses and strains running around in
all matter of beams and structures.

No-one in my vicinity thinks quite the way I do. I don鈥檛 think the way
anyone else in my vicinity does. Everyone has individual experiences as a
child, youngster, student, adult.

I brought all of my background to bear when I first read Stations of the
Mind, followed by B:CP and as I have continued to experience life and
consider fresh experiences against the background of my understanding of
PCT for what is now more than 20 years.

When I made a presentation of memory and PCT at the CSG conference in
1994, I expressed how I think as a result of my early schooling and
technical background, not only as a result of reading B:CP with its
rather simplistic and cryptic acknowledgement that memory has to be a
part of the model somehow.

鈥淏y yourself you know others鈥 the saying goes, and that is the
basis for PCT in a very sophisticated way. So I feel free to interpret
PCT based on how I experience the world. When you listen to your beloved
Beethoven, your memories are in step with your listening, every note of
the way. If the musician were to play the wrong note, you know
immediately. If Linda says: 鈥淧lease take out the trash鈥︹ you
anticipate the endearment 鈥溾 honey鈥 and miss it if it does
not follow. (If that is how the two of you communicate). To me the reason
is that as we perceive, we fit what we hear into existing memories of
events, sequences, programs, principles and systems concepts and control
at the same time.

As I interpret PCT, when we control for some high-level reference, the
output function signal will address some memory, which is played back and
becomes the reference for the next level down. The content of the memory
addressed serves as reference down, but can just as well be played back
into the perceptual channel, heading back up, though most likely with
less clarity or intensity as a current perception that originates at
lower levels in the sensory apparatus.

Thus, to my mind, perceptions can contain a large amount of playback of
existing memory. Seems to me that high level perceptions/interpretation
usually do.

This is what I meant in my article on 鈥淥nce Around the Loop鈥
where (clarified in response to your challenge, thank you) I wrote:
We can replay songs and events from memory, can anticipate what a
speaker will say next as we listen, and can visualize wet sand between
our toes, a beach, waves, and a sailboat on the horizon while closing our
eyes wherever we are. Seems to me that a major part of the perceptions
you create when you hear and see someone communicate may come from your
memories of prior interactions, while only a small part of your overall
impression may come from current sensory input. This provides for
sometimes rather subjective interpretations of the world around us and
explains how two persons can hear or see 茂驴陆the same thing,茂驴陆 yet construct
completely different meanings. We are very capable of 茂驴陆hearing茂驴陆 and
茂驴陆seeing茂驴陆 that which we want or expect to hear and see, as it relates to
past experience and convictions. Progressing up the hierarchy of
perceptual levels proposed in PCT, signals from sensors combined with
signals retrieved from memory are ultimately displayed in our brains in
living color and three-dimensional sound as well as non-visual,
non-verbal impressions, thoughts, principles, and systems understandings.
This is what we experience. This is what gets compared to the reference
signal.A year and a half ago you fought this idea tooth and nail, bringing
up a seemingly never-ending stream of objections in your dialog with
Bill, even suggesting that PCT would have to be revised. I see no reason
to think that you ever understood or accepted the idea that memories,
i.e. imagination, enters into perceptions. Your recent arguments suggest
as much to me.

Since our cultural backgrounds, scientific (or non-scientific)
understandings, ways of thinking (word pictures or mechanisms) and
everything else is different about us, I will never enjoy your
understanding of PCT and you will never enjoy my understanding of PCT. So
it is for all PCTers.

You seem to desperately want to keep perceptions and reference signals
completely separate. Perhaps because they are portrayed separate in the
typical hierarchical diagram, The Model. To me they get mixed as soon as
you get much above the lower four or five mostly physical levels of
perception.

To me, the Rubber Band Experiment is an illustration of the entire
hiearchy as well as an illustration of the particular physics of rubber
bands. You chose to see it as merely the latter and proceed to ignore or
misinterpret the message of perspective I was trying to convey. When Bill
spelled it out, you still could not grasp it.

You bring a vast array of personal memories with cultural and political
opinions into your perceptual interpretations of the world around us, yet
insist that you are merely perceiving low-level input signals.

The rest of us do the same thing, but are more willing to acknowledge
that our perceptions are not free from a good dose of input mixed in from
imagination.

Again, nothing about your fray makes me happy, except perhaps that I
appreciate Bill鈥檚 patience and clarity. I write this in the hope my
perspective will bring some clarity to the recent fray as well as other
frays and be of some use to you.

Best, Dag

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.19.2240)]

Dag Forssell (2007.01.19.1040)--

Rick Marken (2007.01.18.1230)

Please don't feel like you have to stay out of these frays, by the way, because it seems to invigorate me and I know it also makes Dag very happy;-)

Rick,

Pained is more like it, but I have come to recognize the wisdom of Bill's approach to arguments and don't take things personally. I do admire Bill's patience, thoroughness and eloquence in dealing with the fray you create. I too would rather support you than give you a hard time.

I have thought long and hard for many years now as to why it is that people understand their world and PCT in so many different ways

For me, I have come to appreciate the nine years I spent in an upper secondary school in Gothenburg in the 1950s...

No-one in my vicinity thinks quite the way I do. I don't think the way anyone else in my vicinity does. Everyone has individual experiences as a child, youngster, student, adult...

"By yourself you know others" the saying goes, and that is the basis for PCT in a very sophisticated way. So I feel free to interpret PCT based on how I experience the world...

Thus, to my mind, perceptions can contain a large amount of playback of existing memory. Seems to me that high level perceptions/interpretation usually do...

Since our cultural backgrounds, scientific (or non-scientific) understandings, ways of thinking (word pictures or mechanisms) and everything else is different about us, I will never enjoy your understanding of PCT and you will never enjoy my understanding of PCT. So it is for all PCTers...

What a nice, heartfelt message. I am moved.

I'll try to take what I think is your advice and just relax and treat CSGNet as a nice place for people to share their perspectives on PCT. I can save the knockdown drag out scientific discussions for academia, now that I'm back there -- at least occasionally.

I'm in a fun mood tonight anyway because I met a movie star. I'm not particularly star struck but this was an actor who I admire. Linda and I just went to a play at a little theater in Santa Monica and Tom Hanks showed up (with his whole family; I was told that a niece of his was in the play) and I told him I loved him in EVERYTHING, so we chatted a bit. What a nice guy. And he acted just like Tom Hanks. It never occurred to me to tell him that imagination plays only a small role in perception and that conflicts occur when people perceive things the same way. I think Tom liked that non-discussion as much as you would have;-)

Have a nice weekend.

Best

Rick

路路路

---
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Rick Marken (960219.1150)]

I am taking the liberty of responding publicly to part of a private
post from Chris Kitzke. I do this because I think the conversation with
Chris is relevant to some excellent, recent comments by Kent McClelland
about conflict and control.

Chris and I were talking about the possible value of knowing PCT and
Chris said:

What it sounds like is that people who understand PCT will change more
easily when it is necessary to avoid conflict.

I agree with this completely.

Chris goes on.

The problem is that not everyone wants to reduce conflict in their world.

This is what I'd like to discuss. I think the problem is not that some
people _want_ conflict but, rather, that most people don't recognize
conflict when they are in it. They may notice side effects of the
conflict -- like violence -- but they don't recognize the conflict, per
se. I think that what seems like an interest in having conflict is
usually just people going about their ordinary business of controlling
(trying to get things to be the way they want them to be).

For example, I don't think that people in the US or the Soviet Union wanted
the cold war conflict. People in the US just wanted society to be the way
they wanted it -- capitalist; this was just the "right" state for society
to be in. People in the Soviet Union also just wanted society to be the
way they wanted it -- communist; again, this was just the "right" state
for society to be. (THere was not unanimity for capitalism or communism on
either side of course; I'm just simplifying). A side effect of controlling
for these visions of society was building defenses against the defenses of
the other side (defenses that look like offenses when they are pointed
at you).

The east-west conflict kept going, I think, not because anyone wanted
this conflict, but simply because the parties to the conflict kept trying
to control for the kind of society they wanted to perceive. (This conflict
was never resolved, by the way; their side, like the weaker arm wrestler,
just lost; resolution occurs when both control systems involved in the
conflict are able to control what they need to control; the arm wrestler
who loses has lost control; the arm wrestler who wins has gained control,
for the time being). [Note: I think the current small government,
unregulated capitalist zeal in the US may be the result of having
one the conflict with communism; when your opponent falls you don't
stop pushing instantlty; all the energy that when into defeating the
opponent is now unresisted; ergo, Newt Gingrich and the anti government
surge in US politics since the fall of communism].

I think it's possible for people to want conflict -- this is what happens
in sports. People like to compete against others to control the same
variable (the score of the game, for example). But in most real life cases,
I think, people persist in conflict not because they want conflict but
because they simply want to be in control (which is a good thing,
ordinarily) and they don't realize that, in the process of controlling
(or trying to control), they are creating and/or sustaining a conflict
situation. People who know PCT can "go up a level", see the conflict
and deal with it from that level.

Once you can get above a conflict (consciously) and see it for what it
is, you can deal with it in several different ways: 1) by changing the
reference that is producing the conflict (for example, Eisenhower could
have changed from controlling for capitalism to controlling for communism --
end of cold war;-)) 2) stop controlling the variable in conflict (for
exmaple, one can stop controlling for the type of society they want; turn
on, tune in, drop out) or 3) keep pressing for the results you want, but
do it with lower gain, recognizing that your efforts to get the results
you want are just a disturbance to the results that the other controller
wants (this is pretty much what I try to do on CSGNet; I know that most
people on the Net are controlling for ideas to which PCT is a disturbance;
so there is conflict -- that's why we get in all these heated debates; but
I'm not willing to become an S-R theorist or abandon trying to get the
results I want (a correct representation of PCT) ; so while I don't _want_
conflict, I also don't want to stop controlling for the results I want;
but I do try (with varying degrees of success) to reduce the gain of my
arguments with all those people on the net who have the _wrong_ reference
levels for a theory of behavior;-))

Best

Rick

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.29.1445)]

Does no one else see the tragic irony of the recent terrorist attacks on
Jews as they were busy celebrating the terrorist attacks (in the form of
the 10 plagues) on Egyptians? For what is Passover but the celebration
of God's use of terrorism (the massacre of innocents such as the
Egyptian first born) to convince an oppressor to "let my people go"?

I'd say the odds of anyone figuring out how to solve this conflict are
somewhere between zero and zero.

Best regards

Rick

路路路

---
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Kenny Kitzke (2002.03.30)]

<Rick Marken (2002.03.29.1445)>

<Does no one else see the tragic irony of the recent terrorist attacks on
Jews as they were busy celebrating the terrorist attacks (in the form of
the 10 plagues) on Egyptians?>

Yes, I see irony and lessons from God on how men should live without
_conflict_.

<For what is Passover but the celebration of God's use of terrorism (the
massacre of innocents such as the Egyptian first born) to convince an
oppressor to "let my people go"?>

God is revealed as one who uses His power to terrorize and strike fear into
the hearts of evil doers. :sunglasses:

<I'd say the odds of anyone figuring out how to solve this conflict are
somewhere between zero and zero.>

While you say that, the Bible says otherwise.

Once again, Rick, you bring onto this forum issues such as religion,
politics, etc., to seemingly try to make points about PCT issues such as
"conflict." I don't mind, but others on this forum do. And, in so doing, it
seems that an untended consequence (I assume) is to create conflict in this
forum.

If you want to discuss this "tragic irony" which you perceive, I'll be happy
to do so privately.

Kenny

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.30.0900)]

Kenny Kitzke (2002.03.30)--

Once again, Rick, you bring onto this forum issues such as religion,
politics, etc., to seemingly try to make points about PCT issues such as
"conflict." I don't mind

Gee, then why even bring it up?

It looks to me like you do mind and I suspect that this is because you are
controlling for seeing wisdom in the story of Exodus. My post was a disturbance
to that perception.

Best regards

Rick

[From Bill Powers (2002.03.30.1033 MST)]

Kenny Kitzke (2002.03.30)--

Rick Marken says:
<For what is Passover but the celebration of God's use of terrorism (the

massacre of innocents such as the Egyptian first born) to convince an
oppressor to "let my people go"?>

And Ken says:

God is revealed as one who uses His power to terrorize and strike fear into
the hearts of evil doers. :sunglasses:

While I don't, as you know, share your beliefs, Kenny, I have to agree with
you that the above gratuitous remark was a cheap attempt to stir up trouble
on CSGnet. Apparently, as long as one believes in PCT and science,
religious persecution is OK. It's not OK with me.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.30.130)]

Bill Powers (2002.03.30.1033 MST) to Kenny Kitzke

While I don't, as you know, share your beliefs, Kenny, I have to agree with
you that the above gratuitous remark was a cheap attempt to stir up trouble
on CSGnet.

My intent was certainly not to stir up trouble at all. My intent was only to
express an observation made during a very depressing experience: sitting at a
seder as people (rightly) condemned the current terrorist acts in the Middle
East while celebrating the terrorism (murder of innocents) that mythologically
got them their freedom. It was depressing because it suggested to me that the
situation is hopeless; people have no trouble keeping completely incompatible
thoughts in their heads if it serves their purposes.

Apparently, as long as one believes in PCT and science,
religious persecution is OK.

Religious persecution? If anything it was a criticism of a religious practice.
The practice of Passover is a celebration of the achievement of liberty through
terrorism. I think this is not a good thing to celebrate. Is it religious
persecution to criticize religious teachings or practices? If so, then I do
think religious persecution is OK. But not because I "believe in" PCT and
science.

Best regards

Rick

[From Bryan Thalhammer (2002.03.30.1345 CST)]

Kenny et al.,

Let me get this straight. Religious/political discussion on the net should
probably be in terms of control of perception. The events of the last
months should not restrict CSGnet members from discussing how religous and
political perceptual control have "icked up" the world situation. The
recent actions by terrorists and Zionists have lessened the number of
minutes on the "Doomsday Clock" before midnight, lessening our ability to
live in a safe world. Because of these events, we may be Mother Earth's
worst enemy, since the asteroid that smeared Her ecosystems 65 mya.

IMHO, Rick *does* suggest how perceptual control creates both strife and
conflict in a social environment, in this case, the world situation. His
example of the confusion of holiness and evilness shows how perceptual
control of CVs can seem so tragically ironic. This is quite acceptable on
CSGnet, since it deals with the issues of how perceptual control results in
reorganization or a dissolution of quite a few living control systems
(learn or die/cause the death of others, I guess).

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.29.1445)]

Does no one else see the tragic irony of the recent terrorist attacks on
Jews as they were busy celebrating the terrorist attacks (in the form of
the 10 plagues) on Egyptians? For what is Passover but the celebration
of God's use of terrorism (the massacre of innocents such as the
Egyptian first born) to convince an oppressor to "let my people go"?

I'd say the odds of anyone figuring out how to solve this conflict are
somewhere between zero and zero.

Now Rick may not have come out and stated this in PCT jargon this time, but
I can't believe that a PCT subtext/interp is not far below the email text.
The statement "God's use of terrorism" IMHO seems to reflect the irony of
the situation of people controlling for solemn religous events which
represent really nothing more than incidents of people treating other
living control systems as rocks in a field or undesirable diseases. I can
envision the statement, "I see you have chosen to disobey god. So now,
courtesy of My god, I send you to your death." HMmmmm.... No loving God
could ever countenance that kind of evilness. Someone was cooking the
books...

What you mention below about "bring[ing] onto this forum issues such as
religion, politics, etc.," is not the same, tho. I DO object to
proselytizing, as in "The Bible says..." or "God is revealed" or "lessons
from God" (quotes from your note). So stating a belief based in the bible
as proof for some scientific theory just doesn't cut it, Kenny. God does
not choose to kill people, people choose to kill people, buddy. In fact,
what scares me the most about religious fundamentalists (Moslem as well as
Christian literalists) the notion that God "uses His power to terrorize and
strike fear into the hearts of evil doers" scares me the most about
religious fundamentalists." That they can call into action their tribal
god to take revenge, what antique tripe!

The above sanctimonious expression of either tribal or religious
righteousness is nothing more than living control systems controlling their
perceptual environment by means of varied social actions. What is tragic
irony is the way they redefine their evilness as good, simply because they
believe their god is on their side (Gott mit uns!). People can also do
this in a collective fashion, disrupting the social environment(s) of
anyone else using the same forums or geographical locations. Clark McPhail
discussed this in his book, The Myth of the Madding Crowd. Neither is
right in an arms race, whether it be with nukes, tanks, dynamite strapped
around one's person, or even words. The only "right" behavior is to
realize the impending result of the positive feedback loop, and control for
a reduction in one's arms race perception(s).

I was explaining the Middle East crisis to members of my family this past
week. "How could this be happening," they asked? I wanted them to see that
the arms race of revenge and oneupmanship may have started as early as the
alledged conquering of Canaan by Joshua, who was said to direct the
devastation of major Canaanite settlements (Jericho, etc.), so the
wandering Israelites could live in the "promised land." What does that
remind you of....? In historical times, there are chronicles of horrific
invasions, devastations, or conceptual/theological re-definitions of "The
Holy Land" by Israelites, Judeans, Samaritans, Greeks, Syrians, Romans,
Trinitarians, Arians, Moslems, Crusaders, Ottoman Turks, the League of
Nations, Franco-British conquerers, Zionists, Shiite Moslems, Palestinians,
the UN, and even Christian Apocalyptic Fundamentalists.

And in each case, the respective leaders saw nothing wrong in using the
sword, pen, and/or book as a justification for claiming/cleansing that land
to fulfill their own religious destiny! [Religion, who needs it! "God!
Save me from your followers, they're killin' me!"] Y'know, it seems to me
that the Israelites were no better than the Assyrians or Babylonians, and
the Israelis certainly no different in their strategy (except by magnitude)
than Hitler's final solution or Milosevic's ethnic cleansing in their
treatment of the people of the West Bank. Consider the eviction of
Palestinians from their sometimes hundreds of years old family compounds in
Jerusalem and other centuries-old Palestinian communities, and the
ghetto-like restriction of Palestinians. Of course, it goes both ways,
that Israelis want to be free of the threat of terrorism. But consider the
following:

In each tide of invasion, one may envision nothing more than a cycle of a
positive feedback loop, where one action begets a slightly higher, more
ruthless response (ie. revenge). We know from cybernetic analyses that
this does NOT result in stability, but in an eventual chaotic disruption of
the entire [social] system. What is necessary is the application of
measures that resemble a negative feedback loop, or "stepping away, turning
the cheek, or replacing evil with good will." What Rick says above seems
to me a comment on this incredibly stupid history of tribe vs. tribe, book
vs. book, and (incredibly!) god-image vs. god-image. Indeed, there cannot
be many people of Islam who do not see that Jews and Christians in
Passover/Easter are celebrating the demise Non-Judeo-Christians' demise, if
only symbolically, but probably in actuality. Likewise, Judeo-Christians
seem to regard the Qur'an as a document proscribing death to infidels,
which may have been originally the case, although in recent times, it has
been reinterpreted by peaceful people as somewhat less than that.

But the *coup-de-gras* to this inhumane history is the religio-political
support Israel by many Evangelical Christians of the United States and
other countries tolerating their activities. The support is said to be due
to the belief of many Christians that the establishment of Israel is one of
many events that forsage the "last days" and that when all Jews return
there, Christ would return. I was told that by a so-called Christian down
the alley. He santimoniously told me he gave money for air fare or
settlement funds so that one or two more Jews could return to the "Holy
Land". The Conservative Christian Lobby influences US Middle East Policy,
of course... And one by one.... Phew!

The bible, qur'an, and any other so-called "holy books" are only proof that
someone wrote those words down. Their mere existence is no proof that they
are divinely inspired. Unless, as a deist, you would like to say that as
the entire universe is a creation of God-beyond-time, both good *and* bad,
everything, including the bible is a work of God.

So, Rick, I would concur, that with the social inertia of the positive
feedback loop, and with the fanatic beliefs that surround the geographical
area of Palestine and Jerusalem held by Jews, Moslems, and particularly
Christians, we stand to witness even greater tragedies than 9/11. I hate
saying this, but I have a gut-level feeling that since no one will step
back, as they have in Ireland and other conflicts, this problem of
RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM [he shouted] may result in the whole world's
undoing!

Thank you both.

Bryan

路路路

[From Kenny Kitzke (2002.03.30)]

<Rick Marken (2002.03.29.1445)>

<Does no one else see the tragic irony of the recent terrorist attacks on
Jews as they were busy celebrating the terrorist attacks (in the form of
the 10 plagues) on Egyptians?>

Yes, I see irony and lessons from God on how men should live without
_conflict_.

<For what is Passover but the celebration of God's use of terrorism (the
massacre of innocents such as the Egyptian first born) to convince an
oppressor to "let my people go"?>

God is revealed as one who uses His power to terrorize and strike fear into
the hearts of evil doers. :sunglasses:

<I'd say the odds of anyone figuring out how to solve this conflict are
somewhere between zero and zero.>

While you say that, the Bible says otherwise.

Once again, Rick, you bring onto this forum issues such as religion,
politics, etc., to seemingly try to make points about PCT issues such as
"conflict." I don't mind, but others on this forum do. And, in so doing, it
seems that an untended consequence (I assume) is to create conflict in this
forum.

If you want to discuss this "tragic irony" which you perceive, I'll be happy
to do so privately.

Kenny

[From Bill Powers (2002.03.30.1345 MST)]

Bryan Thalhammer (2002.03.30.1345 CST)--

>IMHO, Rick *does* suggest how perceptual control creates both strife and

conflict in a social environment, in this case, the world situation. His
example of the confusion of holiness and evilness shows how perceptual
control of CVs can seem so tragically ironic. This is quite acceptable on
CSGnet, since it deals with the issues of how perceptual control results in
reorganization or a dissolution of quite a few living control systems
(learn or die/cause the death of others, I guess).

Thank you for a well-argued defense of Rick, and to some extent I agree
with you. There are people who use their own religions as an excuse for
rejoicing in the mistreatment and destruction of other people, with God
being used as a sort of Big Brother who will get even for everything real
or imagined that has been done to them. That, of course, has nothing to do
with religion as most people (of any faith) see it.

We always hear from the haters, the violent, the extremists who use
religion in a cynical way to further their own wars with other parts of the
human race. But there is another side to religion. For a lot of people,
religion is the only approach to subjects like being a good person,
designing a tolerable society, and answering questions that science has
shrugged off, like "what is purpose?" and "how come I have this sense of
awareness?" I don't agree with the answers that have come out of this
aspect of religion, but I certainly think the questions are important, and
I'm glad that a lot of people think about them and want answers. I want
neither to mock them nor discourage them.

The problem with painting religions as if all religious people were
terrorists at heart is that the brush is too broad -- you end up spattering
people who don't deserve it.

Best,

Bill P.

Rick,

I think Passover is the celebration of the result, namely, freedom from
slavery.

It is not a celebration of the means by which this is achieved.

In my Hagadah, the book one reads to retell the Passover story, there are
passages that make clear that there is no joy in other people's suffering.
Does not your Hagadah have such passages?

Notice that the Passover story does not say that the Jewish people, who were
slaves in Egypt, actually carried out the plagues. They tried to persuade
the authorities there to let the Jewish people be free from slavery. This
seems much more PCTish to me.

The Palestinian people who are carrying out the terrorist attacks against
Israeli people, and who are not their slaves, seem to declare proudly that
they are responsible. They do not give credit to any other being. Their
basic argument seems to be that the Israelis forced them to do this because
the Israelis would not agree to all their demands.

Your friend,
David Goldstein

路路路

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Marken" <marken@MINDREADINGS.COM>
To: <CSGNET@listserv.uiuc.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 2:44 PM
Subject: Conflict

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.29.1445)]

Does no one else see the tragic irony of the recent terrorist attacks on
Jews as they were busy celebrating the terrorist attacks (in the form of
the 10 plagues) on Egyptians? For what is Passover but the celebration
of God's use of terrorism (the massacre of innocents such as the
Egyptian first born) to convince an oppressor to "let my people go"?

I'd say the odds of anyone figuring out how to solve this conflict are
somewhere between zero and zero.

Best regards

Rick
---
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Rick Marken (2002.03.30.1710)]

Bill Powers (2002.03.30.1345 MST) to Bryan --

Thank you for a well-argued defense of Rick, and to some extent I agree
with you.

I appreciate Bryan's remarks, too. But I need no defense, thanks, because I did
nothing wrong.

The problem with painting religions as if all religious people were
terrorists at heart is that the brush is too broad -- you end up spattering
people who don't deserve it.

I didn't say religious people are terrorists. I said that a particular
religious observance is a celebration of god's use of terrorism to solve a
conflict. I think this story, which is passed on from generation to
generation, teaches a bad lesson about how to solve conflicts. As David
Goldstein notes, modern, liberal minded people have tried to work around the
problem by emphasizing the result of the terrorism (freedom) and by expressing
no joy for the suffering of the innocent victims of the terrorism. But the
basic message of the story remains: the Jews got freedom because god pulled the
biggest terrorist attack of all time, finally breaking pharaoh's will by
killing what he cherished most -- his first born son. The problem for me is not
Judaism or religion or religious people; the problem is that I think the story
gives a bad message about how to resolve conflicts, such as the one going on in
the Middle East right now.

Best regards

Rick

路路路

--
Richard S. Marken
MindReadings.com
marken@mindreadings.com
310 474-0313

[From Rick Marken (2002.04.01.0930)]

Me:

<It looks to me like you do mind and I suspect that this is because you are
controlling for seeing wisdom in the story of Exodus. My post was a
disturbance
to that perception.>

Kenny Kitzke (2002.04.01)--

Sure, I mind, otherwise I would not have responded.

Right. That was my only point. Of course you mind. You (like me) are a control
system.

Aren't there plenty of examples of conflict in the news
every day that are not so personally charged that would provide adequate
examples of PCT in real life situations and applications?

I think that, to the extent that PCT applies to real life, it's going to apply
to things that are personally charged to people. Indeed, I would expect that
this would always be the case when PCT is applied to "real" situations. Aren't
"real situations" just "tracking tasks" that people take very seriously. The
events in the Middle East are nothing more than the rubber band demonstration of
conflict writ large: instead of a too taught rubber band we have people blowing
each other to pieces because they want to place the same "knot" over different
"dots".

Nor, will I continue the dialogue you began on this forum about the
celebration of
Passover or what it or God teaches by it publicly. I will respond to you
privately on those matters.

My experience with people who will only talk about things in private has been
that they have something to hide from public scrutiny.

Have a great day! The problems in Israel will not be solved by you or by
anyone on this forum.

Why be so pessimistic? I happen to think that PCT really could help solve the
problems in the Middle East. What good is PCT if it can't help us solve a real
world problem to which it so clearly applies? Why not be optimistic? Why not
believe that we really can solve such problems? Why not believe that PCT really
is useful? A solution in the Middle East can be found; all the contestants have
to do is go up a level see that there are more important things than the belief
systems that make it important that the "knot" be over "my dot".

Best regards

Rick

路路路

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org