consciousness

[philip.17:30.02/12/15]

I would like to help propose a definition of consciousness.

consider the following:

In the accompanying activities CD for LCS3, we encounter the 3D oscillating ellipsoid; we are given a choice to control any one of 3 of its aspects while ignoring the others.

here’s my concept:

I think consciousness is the process of ignoring a previously-controlled variable. Furthermore, it is the process of resisting disturbances to the tendency to continue controlling what was previously controlled.

Note, this is significantly different from the process of reorganization proposed by Bill.

To me, consciousness is similar to a telephone relay network switching between all-or-none control in the midst of countless concurrent signals.

suggestions welcome.

kind regards,

Philip

Hi Philip,
I like this. It has a flavour of what cognitive psychologists as 'inhibiting a pre-potent response' which I have always thought had some truth to it, without the depth of a PCT framework to back it up.
I also like it because it seems to explain why consciousness can be so much of an effort sometimes! The need to 'concentrate'.
I think what you might be explaining is the primary function of consciousness. Maybe a secondary function is to facilitate reorganisation to the control system governing the currently controlled variable(s).
One question though. Don't we still control variables that are outside our conscious awareness? So can shifting consciousness really affect this?
All the best, Warren

···

On 13 Feb 2015, at 01:45, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN (pyeranos@ucla.edu via csgnet Mailing List) <csgnet@lists.illinois.edu> wrote:

[philip.17:30.02/12/15]

I would like to help propose a definition of consciousness.

consider the following:

In the accompanying activities CD for LCS3, we encounter the 3D oscillating ellipsoid; we are given a choice to control any one of 3 of its aspects while ignoring the others.

here's my concept:

I think consciousness is the process of ignoring a previously-controlled variable. Furthermore, it is the process of resisting disturbances to the tendency to continue controlling what was previously controlled.

Note, this is significantly different from the process of reorganization proposed by Bill.

To me, consciousness is similar to a telephone relay network switching between all-or-none control in the midst of countless concurrent signals.

suggestions welcome.

kind regards,
Philip

Here’s an interesting article about this new model of consciousness as integrated information. There seem to be lots of similarities with what you are saying here and it also explains what we might call different levels of consciousness (from highly integrated to highly disintegrated).

Article here -> http://www.biolbull.org/content/215/3/216.long

Nick

···

Le 2015-02-13 à 02:10, Warren Mansell (wmansell@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu a écrit :

Hi Philip,
I like this. It has a flavour of what cognitive psychologists as ‘inhibiting a pre-potent response’ which I have always thought had some truth to it, without the depth of a PCT framework to back it up.
I also like it because it seems to explain why consciousness can be so much of an effort sometimes! The need to ‘concentrate’.
I think what you might be explaining is the primary function of consciousness. Maybe a secondary function is to facilitate reorganisation to the control system governing the currently controlled variable(s).
One question though. Don’t we still control variables that are outside our conscious awareness? So can shifting consciousness really affect this?
All the best, Warren

On 13 Feb 2015, at 01:45, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN (pyeranos@ucla.edu via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[philip.17:30.02/12/15]

I would like to help propose a definition of consciousness.

consider the following:

In the accompanying activities CD for LCS3, we encounter the 3D oscillating ellipsoid; we are given a choice to control any one of 3 of its aspects while ignoring the others.

here’s my concept:

I think consciousness is the process of ignoring a previously-controlled variable. Furthermore, it is the process of resisting disturbances to the tendency to continue controlling what was previously controlled.

Note, this is significantly different from the process of reorganization proposed by Bill.

To me, consciousness is similar to a telephone relay network switching between all-or-none control in the midst of countless concurrent signals.

suggestions welcome.

kind regards,
Philip

consciousness.PNG

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure above because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can be seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I have edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from CV to input crossing a boundary line:

consciousness1.PNG

consciousness.PNG

···

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness. The difference between conscious control and subconscious control is awareness. You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these words until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call “What the heck is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?”.

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your diagram suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus. Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness is simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those particular word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for. Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control from subconscious control.

consciousness1.PNG

consciousness.PNG

···

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure above because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can be seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I have edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from CV to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In this sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to a position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of “well now that you mention it, I am in fact doing this” as it is “these are my choices, and I am choosing this option”. In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport back to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made another choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the first choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to distract you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy in the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer is greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a manner that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight makes me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do is to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words. Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say “the behavioral illusion is such and such”. The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do not study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do. Instead of saying “I am controlling a perception of doing such and such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such loop gain”, these people simply say “I am doing such and such because it is my intention and I am able”. It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult, and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man out there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force. Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should put his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature, hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he does not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

consciousness1.PNG

consciousness.PNG

···

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness. The difference between conscious control and subconscious control is awareness. You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these words until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call “What the heck is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?”.

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your diagram suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus. Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness is simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those particular word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for. Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control from subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure above because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can be seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I have edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from CV to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-15_12:42:49 ET]

What is a distraction?

The resources available for closing a control loop are finite. When I reach to move the mouse I must stop typing because my hand cannot be used for both purposes at once. Direction of gaze, controlling perceptions of this conversation rather than that, or of the music rather than either, … in any situation where the means for control cannot be employed for additional purposes simultaneously with present purposes, internal conflict is possible between the control loops that would use the same means for their disparate purposes. When we resolve the conflict by interrupting control of one variable so as to control another, we might call the second variable a distraction.

Or we might not call it a distraction. I’m beating a mixture in a bowl. Oh, I forgot to add cumin. I interrupt control of the perception of the ingredients being well mixed in the bowl and use my hands to open the jar and put the desired quantity of cumin on top of the mixture. Then I resume mixing.

There is also the well-known phenomenon of controlling perceptions that we enjoy purposefully so as to postpone resuming control of perceptions that are important to us but some aspects of controlling them are unpleasant. Procrastination is one of the names for this. “I’ve been distracting myself with this novel.” “I need some distraction. Let’s go see a movie.”

Just now I need to stop distracting myself from my work.

consciousness.PNG

consciousness1.PNG

···

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In this sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to a position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of “well now that you mention it, I am in fact doing this” as it is “these are my choices, and I am choosing this option”. In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport back to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made another choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the first choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to distract you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy in the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer is greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a manner that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight makes me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do is to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words. Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say “the behavioral illusion is such and such”. The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do not study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do. Instead of saying “I am controlling a perception of doing such and such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such loop gain”, these people simply say “I am doing such and such because it is my intention and I am able”. It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult, and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man out there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force. Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should put his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature, hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he does not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness. The difference between conscious control and subconscious control is awareness. You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these words until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call “What the heck is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?”.

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your diagram suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus. Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness is simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those particular word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for. Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control from subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure above because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can be seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I have edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from CV to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

no, those are not distractions. and i can tell you only read a portion
of my post.it would have been better if you didn't read it at all

···

On 3/15/18, Bruce Nevin <bnhpct@gmail.com> wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-15_12:42:49 ET]

What is a distraction?

The resources available for closing a control loop are finite. When I reach
to move the mouse I must stop typing because my hand cannot be used for
both purposes at once. Direction of gaze, controlling perceptions of this
conversation rather than that, or of the music rather than either, ... in
any situation where the means for control cannot be employed for additional
purposes simultaneously with present purposes, internal conflict is
possible between the control loops that would use the same means for their
disparate purposes. When we resolve the conflict by interrupting control of
one variable so as to control another, we might call the second variable a
distraction.

Or we might not call it a distraction. I'm beating a mixture in a bowl. Oh,
I forgot to add cumin. I interrupt control of the perception of the
ingredients being well mixed in the bowl and use my hands to open the jar
and put the desired quantity of cumin on top of the mixture. Then I resume
mixing.

There is also the well-known phenomenon of controlling perceptions that we
enjoy purposefully so as to postpone resuming control of perceptions that
are important to us but some aspects of controlling them are unpleasant.
Procrastination is one of the names for this. "I've been distracting myself
with this novel." "I need some distraction. Let's go see a movie."

Just now I need to stop distracting myself from my work.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN > <pyeranos@ucla.edu >> wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the
world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a
different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it
due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in
the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I
remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said
to
have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me
think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.
Consciousness
is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In
this
sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself
to
a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to
a
position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I'm
not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a
perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and
taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to
the
fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing "I am doing this" as well
as
to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am
doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and
tries
to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of
resisting the distraction that I know he's attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I
am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing
this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing
conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport
back
to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made
another
choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don't want to give the
impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of
remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the
first
choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another
choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of
intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by
disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is
a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If
this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate
thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to
distract
you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to
somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this
person's awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy
in
the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer
is
greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than
the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a
manner
that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes
elicit in them an "aha" moment where you can see them visibly radiate
energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight
makes
me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear
fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do
is
to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.
Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this
awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate
of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is
such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use
one
language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do
not
study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.
Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such
by
keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such
loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it
is
my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you
less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you're being more
precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about
life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with
expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply
expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done
naturally
before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn't help
them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I
truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say
something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within
the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is
"out
there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that
the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their
nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,
and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man
out
there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.
Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is
another. This man's task, which is to provide a unified theory of
everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity
depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should
put
his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time
when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature
concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this
culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental
results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,
hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and
investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am
appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We
should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he
does
not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next
scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin <bnhpct@gmail.com> wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you're talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.
The
difference between conscious control and subconscious control is
awareness.
You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your
body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these
words
until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest
that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you
were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the
heck
is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level
of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How
might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your
diagram
suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.
Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness
is
simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk
about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a
perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may
correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those
particular
word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some
fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some
kind, to exorcise the "ghost in the machine". I don't think they have
succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.
Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural
bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control
from
subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN < >>> pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure
above
because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can
be
seen by the circles labeled as "?" inside a closed region. In trying to
keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I
have
edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from
CV
to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN < >>>> pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

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[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-16_14:36:41 UTC]

Philip, I am sorry that what I wrote offended you. You are right, I wrote without having read all of what you wrote. I knew that I did not have time immediately to sit down and read through what you wrote with the care and consideration that it deserves, but your initial comments on distraction prompted some initial musings of my own that I did have time for.

I will look at your ideas about consciousness while I wait during my wife’s medical appointments today. (Because of seizures she is not permitted to drive.)

···

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 7:23 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

no, those are not distractions. and i can tell you only read a portion

of my post.it would have been better if you didn’t read it at all

On 3/15/18, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-15_12:42:49 ET]

What is a distraction?

The resources available for closing a control loop are finite. When I reach

to move the mouse I must stop typing because my hand cannot be used for

both purposes at once. Direction of gaze, controlling perceptions of this

conversation rather than that, or of the music rather than either, … in

any situation where the means for control cannot be employed for additional

purposes simultaneously with present purposes, internal conflict is

possible between the control loops that would use the same means for their

disparate purposes. When we resolve the conflict by interrupting control of

one variable so as to control another, we might call the second variable a

distraction.

Or we might not call it a distraction. I’m beating a mixture in a bowl. Oh,

I forgot to add cumin. I interrupt control of the perception of the

ingredients being well mixed in the bowl and use my hands to open the jar

and put the desired quantity of cumin on top of the mixture. Then I resume

mixing.

There is also the well-known phenomenon of controlling perceptions that we

enjoy purposefully so as to postpone resuming control of perceptions that

are important to us but some aspects of controlling them are unpleasant.

Procrastination is one of the names for this. "I’ve been distracting myself

with this novel." “I need some distraction. Let’s go see a movie.”

Just now I need to stop distracting myself from my work.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN

<pyeranos@ucla.edu

wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the

world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a

different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it

due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said

to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.

Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In

this

sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself

to

a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to

a

position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m

not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a

perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and

taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to

the

fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well

as

to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am

doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and

tries

to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of

resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I

am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing

this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing

conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport

back

to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made

another

choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the

impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of

remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the

first

choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another

choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of

intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by

disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is

a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If

this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate

thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to

distract

you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to

somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this

person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy

in

the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer

is

greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than

the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a

manner

that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes

elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate

energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight

makes

me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear

fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do

is

to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.

Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this

awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate

of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is

such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use

one

language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do

not

study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.

Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such

by

keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such

loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it

is

my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you

less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more

precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done

naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say

something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within

the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is

"out

there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that

the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their

nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,

and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man

out

there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.

Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is

another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of

everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity

depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should

put

his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time

when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature

concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this

culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental

results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,

hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and

investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am

appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We

should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he

does

not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next

scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.

The

difference between conscious control and subconscious control is

awareness.

You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your

body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these

words

until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest

that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you

were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the

heck

is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level

of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How

might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your

diagram

suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.

Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness

is

simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk

about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a

perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may

correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those

particular

word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some

fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some

kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have

succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.

Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural

bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control

from

subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure

above

because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can

be

seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to

keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I

have

edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from

CV

to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

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<#m_5571558372806882005_m_-5007146003425273016_m_-1074257353768290714_m_3761022265641341230_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

May God be with you

···

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 7:23 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

no, those are not distractions. and i can tell you only read a portion

of my post.it would have been better if you didn’t read it at all

On 3/15/18, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-15_12:42:49 ET]

What is a distraction?

The resources available for closing a control loop are finite. When I reach

to move the mouse I must stop typing because my hand cannot be used for

both purposes at once. Direction of gaze, controlling perceptions of this

conversation rather than that, or of the music rather than either, … in

any situation where the means for control cannot be employed for additional

purposes simultaneously with present purposes, internal conflict is

possible between the control loops that would use the same means for their

disparate purposes. When we resolve the conflict by interrupting control of

one variable so as to control another, we might call the second variable a

distraction.

Or we might not call it a distraction. I’m beating a mixture in a bowl. Oh,

I forgot to add cumin. I interrupt control of the perception of the

ingredients being well mixed in the bowl and use my hands to open the jar

and put the desired quantity of cumin on top of the mixture. Then I resume

mixing.

There is also the well-known phenomenon of controlling perceptions that we

enjoy purposefully so as to postpone resuming control of perceptions that

are important to us but some aspects of controlling them are unpleasant.

Procrastination is one of the names for this. "I’ve been distracting myself

with this novel." “I need some distraction. Let’s go see a movie.”

Just now I need to stop distracting myself from my work.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN

<pyeranos@ucla.edu

wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the

world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a

different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it

due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said

to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.

Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In

this

sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself

to

a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to

a

position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m

not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a

perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and

taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to

the

fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well

as

to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am

doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and

tries

to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of

resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I

am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing

this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing

conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport

back

to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made

another

choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the

impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of

remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the

first

choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another

choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of

intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by

disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is

a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If

this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate

thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to

distract

you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to

somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this

person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy

in

the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer

is

greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than

the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a

manner

that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes

elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate

energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight

makes

me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear

fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do

is

to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.

Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this

awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate

of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is

such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use

one

language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do

not

study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.

Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such

by

keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such

loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it

is

my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you

less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more

precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done

naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say

something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within

the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is

"out

there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that

the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their

nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,

and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man

out

there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.

Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is

another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of

everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity

depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should

put

his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time

when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature

concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this

culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental

results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,

hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and

investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am

appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We

should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he

does

not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next

scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.

The

difference between conscious control and subconscious control is

awareness.

You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your

body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these

words

until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest

that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you

were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the

heck

is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level

of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How

might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your

diagram

suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.

Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness

is

simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk

about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a

perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may

correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those

particular

word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some

fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some

kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have

succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.

Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural

bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control

from

subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure

above

because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can

be

seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to

keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I

have

edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from

CV

to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

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[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-17_19:42:31 ET]

philip 2018.03.14 –

I’ll start with your objections to using the terminology and concepts of PCT. You say that doing so makes what we say less clear than ordinary language used by other people.

PJY: Instead of saying “I am controlling a perception of doing such and such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such loop gain”, these people simply say “I am doing such and such because it is my intention and I am able”.

But of course when we talk about what we are currently intending and doing, as in this example, we do in fact use ordinary language like everybody else. We only use the terminology and concepts of PCT when we are concerned with modeling behavior, with understanding some aspect of the perceptual control hierarchy, or with learning better how to employ the terminology and concepts of PCT. And we do that here because this email forum is dedicated to such purposes.

PJY: It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more precise.

Well, no, we actually are being more precise when we are concerned with the purposes to which this email forum is dedicated, and actually it is very difficult and perhaps not possible to to be intelligible about such matters without using the terminology and concepts of PCT. This is true of any science. Speaking as a linguist, I can affirm that every science has its specialized sublanguage with subject-matter specific vocabulary, strict definitions, and consequent restrictions on word combinability that make the ways of talking within the science less intelligible to people who are not engaged in the science and have not learned to use its sublanguage. (On sublanguages, see e.g. Kittredge, Richard & John Lehrberger, 1982, Sublanguage: Studies of Language in Restricted Semantic Domains, de Gruyter, and Harris et al. 1989, The form of information in science, Springer Verlag.)

PJY: People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Perhaps you want to contact individuals privately and see if they are willing to talk to you about their personal philosophies and experiences. If they have time and interest they might do so.

PJY: The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to build another and so on.

You’ll have to explain what you mean. A language does contain subject-matter sublanguages, including its own metalanguage, but I would hardly say that was the purpose of language.

Your post has two other main parts, one concerned with your ideas about consciousness and the other advocating that we acquaint ourselves with Mr. Preda’s ideas about physics.

PJY: It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT.

I agree, and in particular exploration of Mr. Preda’s ideas about physics is outside the purposes of this forum. You could certainly invite people here to participate in an email discussion group devoted to this. It could be as simple as a list of email addresses that a group of people maintain in the headers of the email that they exchange with each other. But you are quite correct, this forum is not the place for it, and that discussion is not going to happen here. If you persist in trying to discuss it here, you will be frustrated by a lack of response because that is not what we are talking about here.

You give an agentive role to consciousness. Your diagrams show connections between control loops, such that a variable in the environment of one control loop (call it A) provides reference input to the comparator of another (call it B). This corresponds to the assertion in your post that

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention.

In the diagrams, loop A (the superordinate one) is closed through a blue dot in its environment, receiving input from it on the left side and influencing its state by its output on the right side. In addition, a disturbance influences the state of the environment variable represented by the blue dot. So taken by itself loop A is the familiar PCT loop (although the disturbance label is rather awkwardly placed at the same level as the input and output functions, so that the line separating the organism from its environment has to be hand-drawn like a bell curve.)

Subordinate loop B has the same familiar constituents in the same mostly familiar arrangement, except that it receives its reference input from the environment of loop A above it. This is like nothing in PCT. In PCT, the input that constitutes the reference signal for B comes from the error outputs of the other control loops which are thereby calling for the perceptual signal from B. Those connections in the perceptual control hierarchy are missing from your diagrams.

If the environment of loop A is also outside loop B and in its environment, then this says that one control system can reach inside another and set its reference value, much as a person can go over to the thermostat on the wall and change its setting. I don’t think this is what you intend this diagram to mean.

If loop A is above loop B in the perceptual hierarchy, then you are proposing something new and you need to provide the justification for it. Everything in the canonical PCT loop diagram has been subject to test and verification, including neuro-anatomical verification at the lowest levels. Loop B controls a perception, with the amount of that perception that is to be perceived determined by the strength of the error output from level A. There is no intervening disturbance, no intervening environmental variable to be disturbed nor perception of same to be controlled, indeed there is no intervening environment in the technical sense that is meant by that term in the theory.

Your reason for doing this seems to arise from your subjective sense that consciousness has an agentive role. In my experience–and it is also my experience so far that anybody can verify this–consciousness does not do anything; it just is.

You write about the shifting of attention from an ongoing control process to the control of some other control process, and then the resumption of the first when the second is concluded or abandoned. We are already able to describe and model this phenomenon reasonably well within PCT without adding consciousness as an agency. Two ways of doing this were discussed in connection with a quotation of Bill’s description of looking for his glasses. The simplest is at the sequence level. In B:CP, Bill proposes a neural structure (others are possible) that could recognize the sequence of phonemes /j/, /u/, and /s/ comprising the word juice. The signal that /j/ has been perceived is persisted by a local feedback loop, and then the /u/ likewise, until with perception of /s/ the recursive signals are terminated and a signal is sent up representing the word juice. A word is a brief event perception, not usually interruptable (pace things like “unbef*ckinglievable”). The same persisting of interim states applies at the sequence level, as long as a higher level is producing error that connects to the reference input for that sequence even while control of the sequence is temporarily not possible because the means of control are occupied for some other purpose. Example: I’m on the telephone with you and I’m writing down an address, my pencil breaks, I take it to the pencil sharpener and sharpen it, then I resume writing down the address.

You say that consciousness directs this.

PJY: Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory.

What you are talking about According to PCT, the reference signal for the first thing you were doing at the program or sequence level is still present even while your means of control (your eyes and hands, in many cases) are being used to control other perceptions that constitute the interruption. You had a moment of conflict–do I continue doing X, or do this interrupting Y instead? You resolved the conflict by interrupting control of X long enough to control Y, and then you could resume controlling X. We resolve these kinds of conflicts all the time, very often without any conscious thought at all. You get a telephone call from a friend. You want to get an address from her. You get a pencil out of a container on your desk. The pencil tip is broken. You sharpen it. All this while you are talking to your friend on the phone. You ask her for the address. As you hear the address, you write it down. You conclude your conversation. You put the pencil back in the container. There are at least three overlapping control processes here (treating the conversation as though it were a single process).

You’re saying that consciousness is a function of a control loop that sets the reference value or intention for other control loops. This is a homunculus theory of consciousness. Where does the reference value for the reference-setting consciousness agent loop come from? What determines the intentions of the homunculus? And how does it shift rapidly from one internal ‘environment’ to another? How does it stop setting the reference of one control loop and start setting the reference for another?

PJY: consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a position you have been to in the past[…].Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

These are similes (“like teleportation”) and metaphors. Similes and metaphors are suggestive, and may be useful for a non-technical presentation of a science, but they must refer to testable principles and demonstrable phenomena.

And very often, perhaps most of the time, an interrupted control process resumes after successfully concluding the control of perception that interrupted it, not after a ‘fork’ reaches a dead end.

PJY: I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a perceptual signal.

There is lots of evidence that memory is made of stored copies of perceptual signals. (A caveat: there is definitely a creative aspect to memory, not entirely separable from imagination. Lower-level signals from memory can be recombined at higher levels with a balance of strengths that is different from the strengths that they precisely had in any particular prior experience.)

PJY: Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

You don’t need to know anything about the disturbance or the origin of the disturbance to resist it. You might be aware of either or both, but it’s not necessary. All that is necessary is for the perception that you are controlling to deviate from its reference value, the way you want it to be.

Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances.

A disturbance can certainly interfere with control without ending control. You can take the mouse away from the cat, but the cat continues being quite alert for the possibility that you might drop it where it can grab it back. Gusts of wind can make your car veer from the center of its lane but your control by means of the steering wheel never stops. Someone opening the door on a windy day causes the ambient temperature to drop before the control loop with the source of heat is able to bring it back up to the reference level but thermostatic control never stops. You control the heading of the car while your conscious attention is on your conversation with a passenger in the back seat. The thermostat has no need of consciousness.

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity.

A disturbance is an influence which would cause the controlled variable to depart from its reference value unless it is resisted. A distraction is an alternative variable such that in order to start controlling it you must suspend controlling what you had been controlling. A distraction is not a disturbance unless it actually causes the variable that you were controlling to depart from its reference value.

But here you are talking about your homunculus of consciousness, where the reference value for control loop B is what homunculus control loop A is controlling. Yes, your diagram says that A is controlling something represented by a blue circle in its environment which is the origin of the reference value for B, but your words say that homunculus-consciousness control loop A controls the intention or reference value of control loop B, so your words take that spurious blue dot and that spurious internal ‘environment’ right out of the picture. The controlled variable for homunculus consciousness loop A is a perception of the reference value for control loop B. This is true for every control loop in the control hierarchy that may be subject to conscious attention–which is every control loop in the hierarchy. And the consciousness-homunculus control loop can shift from the reference value of one control loop to the reference value of another instantly and control it, even as that reference value is determined by the error outputs of other control loops in the conventional PCT hierarchy.

Please do explain how you are going to test that.

consciousness1.PNG

consciousness.PNG

···

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In this sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to a position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of “well now that you mention it, I am in fact doing this” as it is “these are my choices, and I am choosing this option”. In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport back to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made another choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the first choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to distract you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy in the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer is greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a manner that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight makes me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do is to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words. Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say “the behavioral illusion is such and such”. The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do not study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do. Instead of saying “I am controlling a perception of doing such and such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such loop gain”, these people simply say “I am doing such and such because it is my intention and I am able”. It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult, and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man out there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force. Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should put his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature, hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he does not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness. The difference between conscious control and subconscious control is awareness. You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these words until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call “What the heck is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?”.

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your diagram suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus. Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness is simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those particular word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for. Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control from subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure above because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can be seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I have edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from CV to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

[philip 2018.03.17]
Bruce, please allow me to be rude and opinionated for the sake of
brevity. I have a couple of stylistic issues and a couple of
scientific issues.
1. Can we please respond to messages without quoting each line of the
message?
2. The word hierarchy has a few meanings. The meaning I prefer is this
one: a taxonomic hierarchy, in which each level contains the last
(e.g. phyla, class, order, family, genera, and species), sets and
subsets. The PCT levels of perception are as follows:
intensity, sensation, configuration, transition, event, relationship,
category, sequence, program, principle, and system concept. They are
not taxonomic in the sense that a dog belongs to a species, genera,
etc. I know why they are not taxonomic, and you should know as well.
Just complete my example. The genus canis should contain all species
of canine; the canine is genus canis because canines have canis
traits. Let's talk PCT: the perceptual control hierarchy is inverted.
Canines evolve from canis in the sense that the traits of the canine
species vary less than the traits of the canus genus. Thus variability
increases as we go up the hierarchy. It increases.
3. Consciousness is perception, we'll leave it at that. For now, it is
not behavior.
4. Please describe a model of one behavior you have seen in MOL
therapy. Describe what the patient is doing and what questions the
therapist asks them. What is the patient's level of awareness? What is
lacking in the patient's experience? And how does the patient's
behavior vary?
5. I will introduce William Powers to Dan Preda. If the question comes
up: what are the practical applications of PCT. What do I say?

···

On 3/17/18, Bruce Nevin <bnhpct@gmail.com> wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-17_19:42:31 ET]

philip 2018.03.14 --

I'll start with your objections to using the terminology and concepts of
PCT. You say that doing so makes what we say less clear than ordinary
language used by other people.

PJY: Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and
such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such
and such loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and
such because it is my intention and I am able".

But of course when we talk about what we are currently intending and doing,
as in this example, we do in fact use ordinary language like everybody
else. We only use the terminology and concepts of PCT when we are concerned
with modeling behavior, with understanding some aspect of the perceptual
control hierarchy, or with learning better how to employ the terminology
and concepts of PCT. And we do that here because this email forum is
dedicated to such purposes.

PJY: It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the
same time makes you think you're being more precise.

Well, no, we actually are being more precise when we are concerned with the
purposes to which this email forum is dedicated, and actually it is very
difficult and perhaps not possible to to be intelligible about such matters
without using the terminology and concepts of PCT. This is true of any
science. Speaking as a linguist, I can affirm that every science has its
specialized sublanguage with subject-matter specific vocabulary, strict
definitions, and consequent restrictions on word combinability that make
the ways of talking within the science less intelligible to people who are
not engaged in the science and have not learned to use its sublanguage. (On
sublanguages, see e.g. Kittredge, Richard & John Lehrberger, 1982,
*Sublanguage:
Studies of Language in Restricted Semantic Domains*, de Gruyter, and Harris
et al. 1989, *The form of information in science*, Springer Verlag.)

PJY: People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about
life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with
expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply
expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally
before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn't help
them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I
truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Perhaps you want to contact individuals privately and see if they are
willing to talk to you about their personal philosophies and experiences.
If they have time and interest they might do so.

PJY: The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to
build another and so on.

You'll have to explain what you mean. A language does contain
subject-matter sublanguages, including its own metalanguage, but I would
hardly say that was the purpose of language.

Your post has two other main parts, one concerned with your ideas about
consciousness and the other advocating that we acquaint ourselves with Mr.
Preda's ideas about physics.

PJY: It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The
reality of what is "out there" is a discussion tangential to PCT.

I agree, and in particular exploration of Mr. Preda's ideas about physics
is outside the purposes of this forum. You could certainly invite people
here to participate in an email discussion group devoted to this. It could
be as simple as a list of email addresses that a group of people maintain
in the headers of the email that they exchange with each other. But you are
quite correct, this forum is not the place for it, and that discussion is
not going to happen here. If you persist in trying to discuss it here, you
will be frustrated by a lack of response because that is not what we are
talking about here.

You give an agentive role to consciousness. Your diagrams show connections
between control loops, such that a variable in the environment of one
control loop (call it A) provides reference input to the comparator of
another (call it B). This corresponds to the assertion in your post that

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention.

In the diagrams, loop A (the superordinate one) is closed through a blue
dot in its environment, receiving input from it on the left side and
influencing its state by its output on the right side. In addition, a
disturbance influences the state of the environment variable represented by
the blue dot. So taken by itself loop A is the familiar PCT loop (although
the disturbance label is rather awkwardly placed at the same level as the
input and output functions, so that the line separating the organism from
its environment has to be hand-drawn like a bell curve.)

Subordinate loop B has the same familiar constituents in the same mostly
familiar arrangement, except that it receives its reference input from the
environment of loop A above it. This is like nothing in PCT. In PCT, the
input that constitutes the reference signal for B comes from the error
outputs of the other control loops which are thereby calling for the
perceptual signal from B. Those connections in the perceptual control
hierarchy are missing from your diagrams.

If the environment of loop A is also outside loop B and in its environment,
then this says that one control system can reach inside another and set its
reference value, much as a person can go over to the thermostat on the wall
and change its setting. I don't think this is what you intend this diagram
to mean.

If loop A is above loop B in the perceptual hierarchy, then you are
proposing something new and you need to provide the justification for it.
Everything in the canonical PCT loop diagram has been subject to test and
verification, including neuro-anatomical verification at the lowest levels.
Loop B controls a perception, with the amount of that perception that is to
be perceived determined by the strength of the error output from level A.
There is no intervening disturbance, no intervening environmental variable
to be disturbed nor perception of same to be controlled, indeed there is no
intervening environment in the technical sense that is meant by that term
in the theory.

Your reason for doing this seems to arise from your subjective sense that
consciousness has an agentive role. In my experience--and it is also my
experience so far that anybody can verify this--consciousness does not
*do* anything;
it just *is*.

You write about the shifting of attention from an ongoing control process
to the control of some other control process, and then the resumption of
the first when the second is concluded or abandoned. We are already able to
describe and model this phenomenon reasonably well within PCT without
adding consciousness as an agency. Two ways of doing this were discussed in
connection with a quotation of Bill's description of looking for his
glasses. The simplest is at the sequence level. In B:CP, Bill proposes a
neural structure (others are possible) that could recognize the sequence of
phonemes /j/, /u/, and /s/ comprising the word *juice*. The signal that /j/
has been perceived is persisted by a local feedback loop, and then the /u/
likewise, until with perception of /s/ the recursive signals are terminated
and a signal is sent up representing the word *juice*. A word is a brief
event perception, not usually interruptable (pace things like
"unbef*ckinglievable"). The same persisting of interim states applies at
the sequence level, as long as a higher level is producing error that
connects to the reference input for that sequence even while control of the
sequence is temporarily not possible because the means of control are
occupied for some other purpose. Example: I'm on the telephone with you and
I'm writing down an address, my pencil breaks, I take it to the pencil
sharpener and sharpen it, then I resume writing down the address.

You say that consciousness directs this.

PJY: Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from
it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in
the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I
remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to
have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me
think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness
is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory.

What you are talking about According to PCT, the reference signal for the
first thing you were doing at the program or sequence level is still
present even while your means of control (your eyes and hands, in many
cases) are being used to control other perceptions that constitute the
interruption. You had a moment of conflict--do I continue doing X, or do
this interrupting Y instead? You resolved the conflict by interrupting
control of X long enough to control Y, and then you could resume
controlling X. We resolve these kinds of conflicts all the time, very often
without any conscious thought at all. You get a telephone call from a
friend. You want to get an address from her. You get a pencil out of a
container on your desk. The pencil tip is broken. You sharpen it. All this
while you are talking to your friend on the phone. You ask her for the
address. As you hear the address, you write it down. You conclude your
conversation. You put the pencil back in the container. There are at least
three overlapping control processes here (treating the conversation as
though it were a single process).

You're saying that consciousness is a function of a control loop that sets
the reference value or intention for other control loops. This is a
homunculus theory of consciousness. Where does the reference value for the
reference-setting consciousness agent loop come from? What determines the
intentions of the homunculus? And how does it shift rapidly from one
internal 'environment' to another? How does it stop setting the reference
of one control loop and start setting the reference for another?

PJY: consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a
position you have been to in the past[...].Think of it like encountering a
fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end,
teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

These are similes ("like teleportation") and metaphors. Similes and
metaphors are suggestive, and may be useful for a non-technical
presentation of a science, but they must refer to testable principles and
demonstrable phenomena.

And very often, perhaps most of the time, an interrupted control process
resumes after successfully concluding the control of perception that
interrupted it, not after a 'fork' reaches a dead end.

PJY: I'm not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of
a perceptual signal.

There is lots of evidence that memory is made of stored copies of
perceptual signals. (A caveat: there is definitely a creative aspect to
memory, not entirely separable from imagination. Lower-level signals from
memory can be recombined at higher levels with a balance of strengths that
is different from the strengths that they precisely had in any particular
prior experience.)

PJY: Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing "I am doing this" as
well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this.
Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes
along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in
my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he's attempting.

You don't need to know anything about the disturbance or the origin of the
disturbance to resist it. You might be aware of either or both, but it's
not necessary. All that is necessary is for the perception that you are
controlling to deviate from its reference value, the way you want it to be.

Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances.

A disturbance can certainly interfere with control without ending control.
You can take the mouse away from the cat, but the cat continues being quite
alert for the possibility that you might drop it where it can grab it back.
Gusts of wind can make your car veer from the center of its lane but your
control by means of the steering wheel never stops. Someone opening the
door on a windy day causes the ambient temperature to drop before the
control loop with the source of heat is able to bring it back up to the
reference level but thermostatic control never stops. You control the
heading of the car while your conscious attention is on your conversation
with a passenger in the back seat. The thermostat has no need of
consciousness.

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention. Well, the only thing that
can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on
your cognitive capacity.

A disturbance is an influence which would cause the controlled variable to
depart from its reference value unless it is resisted. A distraction is an
alternative variable such that in order to start controlling it you must
suspend controlling what you had been controlling. A distraction is not a
disturbance unless it actually causes the variable that you were
controlling to depart from its reference value.

But here you are talking about your homunculus of consciousness, where
the *reference
value* for control loop B is what homunculus control loop A is controlling.
Yes, your diagram says that A is controlling something represented by a
*blue
circle in its environment *which is the *origin *of the reference value for
B, but your words say that homunculus-consciousness control loop A
*controls
the intention* or reference value of control loop B, so your words take
that spurious blue dot and that spurious internal 'environment' right out
of the picture. The controlled variable for homunculus consciousness loop A
is a perception of the reference value for control loop B. This is true for
every control loop in the control hierarchy that may be subject to
conscious attention--which is *every* control loop in the hierarchy. And
the consciousness-homunculus control loop can shift from the reference
value of one control loop to the reference value of another instantly and
control it, even as that reference value is determined by the error outputs
of other control loops in the conventional PCT hierarchy.

Please do explain how you are going to test that.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN > <pyeranos@ucla.edu >> wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the
world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a
different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it
due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in
the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I
remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said
to
have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me
think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.
Consciousness
is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In
this
sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself
to
a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to
a
position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I'm
not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a
perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and
taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to
the
fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing "I am doing this" as well
as
to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am
doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and
tries
to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of
resisting the distraction that I know he's attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I
am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing
this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing
conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport
back
to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made
another
choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don't want to give the
impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of
remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the
first
choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another
choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of
intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by
disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is
a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If
this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate
thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to
distract
you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to
somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this
person's awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy
in
the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer
is
greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than
the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a
manner
that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes
elicit in them an "aha" moment where you can see them visibly radiate
energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight
makes
me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear
fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do
is
to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.
Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this
awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate
of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is
such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use
one
language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do
not
study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.
Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such
by
keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such
loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it
is
my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you
less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you're being more
precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about
life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with
expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply
expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done
naturally
before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn't help
them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I
truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say
something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within
the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is
"out
there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that
the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their
nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,
and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man
out
there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.
Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is
another. This man's task, which is to provide a unified theory of
everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity
depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should
put
his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time
when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature
concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this
culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental
results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,
hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and
investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am
appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We
should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he
does
not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next
scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin <bnhpct@gmail.com> wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you're talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.
The
difference between conscious control and subconscious control is
awareness.
You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your
body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these
words
until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest
that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you
were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the
heck
is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level
of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How
might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your
diagram
suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.
Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness
is
simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk
about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a
perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may
correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those
particular
word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some
fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some
kind, to exorcise the "ghost in the machine". I don't think they have
succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.
Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural
bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control
from
subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN < >>> pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure
above
because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can
be
seen by the circles labeled as "?" inside a closed region. In trying to
keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I
have
edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from
CV
to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN < >>>> pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

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[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-18_09:39:07 ET]

philip 2018.03.17 –

  1. Since you ask it, I’ll not quote what I’m replying to here (except for the numbers), but I doubt very much that others will change their

established practice.

  1. You say you prefer a taxonomic hierarchy. Does that mean that you prefer not to think about the perceptual hierarchy? Or do you think that the perceptual hierarchy is only an upside-down taxonomic hierarchy?

A taxonomic hierarchy comprises nested categories. The orders or levels of perception are not categories, nor are they related to each other in the way that the elements of a taxonomic hierarchy are related. For this reason, when you say that the perceptual hierarchy is inverted you are engaging in an analogy. A taxonomic hierarchy is analogous to the perceptual hierarchy in its form (homomorphous) but they are not directly comparable.

When we ask what subcategories are members of a particular category in a taxonomic hierarchy, it is a matter of definitions of the words that name the categories. When we ask about a particular specimen what category it ‘belongs to’ or ‘represents’ we consider other perceptions as criteria. A perception that is used as a criterion for category membership is not itself a category perception.

Every language has classificatory vocabulary with which the speakers of the language define and label their categorization of other perceptions (the things and phenomena of their perceptual universe). These differ from one another. They also differ from the strict definitional taxonomies established in the sublanguages of the sciences. The strict taxonomies of a science are are changed as the science develops. The re-categorization of T-cells and leucocytes communicated a pivotal insight in the history of immunology (Harris et al. previously referred to).

Categories are unusual in the great variety of their perceptual input. The perceptual input function for the category dog produces a perceptual signal given the perception of the word “dog” (written or spoken); the visual perception of a dog, or of some part of a dog such as the wagging tail seen through a doorway; the sound of a bark, growl, etc.; the smell of a dog; and possibly many other things depending upon what you associate with dogs or this particular dog in your memory. Maybe you have some skill as a tracker, for example, and you see dog tracks.

There are many open questions about what we are doing when we categorize.

  1. You ask me to model ‘one behavior’ that I have seen in MOL therapy. I am not an MOL therapist. I did view the video in Tim’s first MOL book when it first was published, but at this remove I do not remember details of what Tim said and did and what the client said and did. I have read some of the more recent writings about MOL, and they have examples of interactions which have been edited for brevity. My impression is that when the client shifts from a given theme to a ‘meta’ point view about that theme, the shift is not necessarily to a higher level of perception. The resolution of the conflict comes when the point of view encompasses both of the two motivations that are commanding perceptions that are incompatible with each other. However, the process of arriving at that comprehensive point of view is not stepwise up the levels.

Perhaps related to this, the reference signal is not always set from a higher level. It may be set from a different sensory modality. This is so in the control of pronunciation in language. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfXGP9TKJNQ

If you are more explicit about why you are asking these questions about MOL you might get a more satisfactory answer.

  1. You ask the “so what” question. You’ve named one practical application of PCT, MOL. Robotics is another. You cannot have autonomous robots without enabling them to perceive and to control their perceptions. There are important ramifications for social relations, organizations, and politics. In particular, the promise “prediction and control of behavior” is a cruel hoax, and among future practical applications of PCT must be the learning of skill in resolution of conflict to avert the coercive behavior upon which that hoax depends. Those are things that come immediately to mind. Perhaps you can think of others, if you try.
···

On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 11:31 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

[philip 2018.03.17]

Bruce, please allow me to be rude and opinionated for the sake of

brevity. I have a couple of stylistic issues and a couple of

scientific issues.

  1. Can we please respond to messages without quoting each line of the

message?

  1. The word hierarchy has a few meanings. The meaning I prefer is this

one: a taxonomic hierarchy, in which each level contains the last

(e.g. phyla, class, order, family, genera, and species), sets and

subsets. The PCT levels of perception are as follows:

intensity, sensation, configuration, transition, event, relationship,

category, sequence, program, principle, and system concept. They are

not taxonomic in the sense that a dog belongs to a species, genera,

etc. I know why they are not taxonomic, and you should know as well.

Just complete my example. The genus canis should contain all species

of canine; the canine is genus canis because canines have canis

traits. Let’s talk PCT: the perceptual control hierarchy is inverted.

Canines evolve from canis in the sense that the traits of the canine

species vary less than the traits of the canus genus. Thus variability

increases as we go up the hierarchy. It increases.

  1. Consciousness is perception, we’ll leave it at that. For now, it is

not behavior.

  1. Please describe a model of one behavior you have seen in MOL

therapy. Describe what the patient is doing and what questions the

therapist asks them. What is the patient’s level of awareness? What is

lacking in the patient’s experience? And how does the patient’s

behavior vary?

  1. I will introduce William Powers to Dan Preda. If the question comes

up: what are the practical applications of PCT. What do I say?

On 3/17/18, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-17_19:42:31 ET]

philip 2018.03.14 –

I’ll start with your objections to using the terminology and concepts of

PCT. You say that doing so makes what we say less clear than ordinary

language used by other people.

PJY: Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and

such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such

and such loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and

such because it is my intention and I am able".

But of course when we talk about what we are currently intending and doing,

as in this example, we do in fact use ordinary language like everybody

else. We only use the terminology and concepts of PCT when we are concerned

with modeling behavior, with understanding some aspect of the perceptual

control hierarchy, or with learning better how to employ the terminology

and concepts of PCT. And we do that here because this email forum is

dedicated to such purposes.

PJY: It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the

same time makes you think you’re being more precise.

Well, no, we actually are being more precise when we are concerned with the

purposes to which this email forum is dedicated, and actually it is very

difficult and perhaps not possible to to be intelligible about such matters

without using the terminology and concepts of PCT. This is true of any

science. Speaking as a linguist, I can affirm that every science has its

specialized sublanguage with subject-matter specific vocabulary, strict

definitions, and consequent restrictions on word combinability that make

the ways of talking within the science less intelligible to people who are

not engaged in the science and have not learned to use its sublanguage. (On

sublanguages, see e.g. Kittredge, Richard & John Lehrberger, 1982,

*Sublanguage:

Studies of Language in Restricted Semantic Domains*, de Gruyter, and Harris

et al. 1989, The form of information in science, Springer Verlag.)

PJY: People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Perhaps you want to contact individuals privately and see if they are

willing to talk to you about their personal philosophies and experiences.

If they have time and interest they might do so.

PJY: The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to

build another and so on.

You’ll have to explain what you mean. A language does contain

subject-matter sublanguages, including its own metalanguage, but I would

hardly say that was the purpose of language.

Your post has two other main parts, one concerned with your ideas about

consciousness and the other advocating that we acquaint ourselves with Mr.

Preda’s ideas about physics.

PJY: It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The

reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT.

I agree, and in particular exploration of Mr. Preda’s ideas about physics

is outside the purposes of this forum. You could certainly invite people

here to participate in an email discussion group devoted to this. It could

be as simple as a list of email addresses that a group of people maintain

in the headers of the email that they exchange with each other. But you are

quite correct, this forum is not the place for it, and that discussion is

not going to happen here. If you persist in trying to discuss it here, you

will be frustrated by a lack of response because that is not what we are

talking about here.

You give an agentive role to consciousness. Your diagrams show connections

between control loops, such that a variable in the environment of one

control loop (call it A) provides reference input to the comparator of

another (call it B). This corresponds to the assertion in your post that

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention.

In the diagrams, loop A (the superordinate one) is closed through a blue

dot in its environment, receiving input from it on the left side and

influencing its state by its output on the right side. In addition, a

disturbance influences the state of the environment variable represented by

the blue dot. So taken by itself loop A is the familiar PCT loop (although

the disturbance label is rather awkwardly placed at the same level as the

input and output functions, so that the line separating the organism from

its environment has to be hand-drawn like a bell curve.)

Subordinate loop B has the same familiar constituents in the same mostly

familiar arrangement, except that it receives its reference input from the

environment of loop A above it. This is like nothing in PCT. In PCT, the

input that constitutes the reference signal for B comes from the error

outputs of the other control loops which are thereby calling for the

perceptual signal from B. Those connections in the perceptual control

hierarchy are missing from your diagrams.

If the environment of loop A is also outside loop B and in its environment,

then this says that one control system can reach inside another and set its

reference value, much as a person can go over to the thermostat on the wall

and change its setting. I don’t think this is what you intend this diagram

to mean.

If loop A is above loop B in the perceptual hierarchy, then you are

proposing something new and you need to provide the justification for it.

Everything in the canonical PCT loop diagram has been subject to test and

verification, including neuro-anatomical verification at the lowest levels.

Loop B controls a perception, with the amount of that perception that is to

be perceived determined by the strength of the error output from level A.

There is no intervening disturbance, no intervening environmental variable

to be disturbed nor perception of same to be controlled, indeed there is no

intervening environment in the technical sense that is meant by that term

in the theory.

Your reason for doing this seems to arise from your subjective sense that

consciousness has an agentive role. In my experience–and it is also my

experience so far that anybody can verify this–consciousness does not

do anything;

it just is.

You write about the shifting of attention from an ongoing control process

to the control of some other control process, and then the resumption of

the first when the second is concluded or abandoned. We are already able to

describe and model this phenomenon reasonably well within PCT without

adding consciousness as an agency. Two ways of doing this were discussed in

connection with a quotation of Bill’s description of looking for his

glasses. The simplest is at the sequence level. In B:CP, Bill proposes a

neural structure (others are possible) that could recognize the sequence of

phonemes /j/, /u/, and /s/ comprising the word juice. The signal that /j/

has been perceived is persisted by a local feedback loop, and then the /u/

likewise, until with perception of /s/ the recursive signals are terminated

and a signal is sent up representing the word juice. A word is a brief
event perception, not usually interruptable (pace things like

“unbef*ckinglievable”). The same persisting of interim states applies at

the sequence level, as long as a higher level is producing error that

connects to the reference input for that sequence even while control of the

sequence is temporarily not possible because the means of control are

occupied for some other purpose. Example: I’m on the telephone with you and

I’m writing down an address, my pencil breaks, I take it to the pencil

sharpener and sharpen it, then I resume writing down the address.

You say that consciousness directs this.

PJY: Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from

it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory.

What you are talking about According to PCT, the reference signal for the

first thing you were doing at the program or sequence level is still

present even while your means of control (your eyes and hands, in many

cases) are being used to control other perceptions that constitute the

interruption. You had a moment of conflict–do I continue doing X, or do

this interrupting Y instead? You resolved the conflict by interrupting

control of X long enough to control Y, and then you could resume

controlling X. We resolve these kinds of conflicts all the time, very often

without any conscious thought at all. You get a telephone call from a

friend. You want to get an address from her. You get a pencil out of a

container on your desk. The pencil tip is broken. You sharpen it. All this

while you are talking to your friend on the phone. You ask her for the

address. As you hear the address, you write it down. You conclude your

conversation. You put the pencil back in the container. There are at least

three overlapping control processes here (treating the conversation as

though it were a single process).

You’re saying that consciousness is a function of a control loop that sets

the reference value or intention for other control loops. This is a

homunculus theory of consciousness. Where does the reference value for the

reference-setting consciousness agent loop come from? What determines the

intentions of the homunculus? And how does it shift rapidly from one

internal ‘environment’ to another? How does it stop setting the reference

of one control loop and start setting the reference for another?

PJY: consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a

position you have been to in the past[…].Think of it like encountering a

fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end,

teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

These are similes (“like teleportation”) and metaphors. Similes and

metaphors are suggestive, and may be useful for a non-technical

presentation of a science, but they must refer to testable principles and

demonstrable phenomena.

And very often, perhaps most of the time, an interrupted control process

resumes after successfully concluding the control of perception that

interrupted it, not after a ‘fork’ reaches a dead end.

PJY: I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of

a perceptual signal.

There is lots of evidence that memory is made of stored copies of

perceptual signals. (A caveat: there is definitely a creative aspect to

memory, not entirely separable from imagination. Lower-level signals from

memory can be recombined at higher levels with a balance of strengths that

is different from the strengths that they precisely had in any particular

prior experience.)

PJY: Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as

well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this.

Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes

along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in

my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

You don’t need to know anything about the disturbance or the origin of the

disturbance to resist it. You might be aware of either or both, but it’s

not necessary. All that is necessary is for the perception that you are

controlling to deviate from its reference value, the way you want it to be.

Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances.

A disturbance can certainly interfere with control without ending control.

You can take the mouse away from the cat, but the cat continues being quite

alert for the possibility that you might drop it where it can grab it back.

Gusts of wind can make your car veer from the center of its lane but your

control by means of the steering wheel never stops. Someone opening the

door on a windy day causes the ambient temperature to drop before the

control loop with the source of heat is able to bring it back up to the

reference level but thermostatic control never stops. You control the

heading of the car while your conscious attention is on your conversation

with a passenger in the back seat. The thermostat has no need of

consciousness.

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention. Well, the only thing that

can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on

your cognitive capacity.

A disturbance is an influence which would cause the controlled variable to

depart from its reference value unless it is resisted. A distraction is an

alternative variable such that in order to start controlling it you must

suspend controlling what you had been controlling. A distraction is not a

disturbance unless it actually causes the variable that you were

controlling to depart from its reference value.

But here you are talking about your homunculus of consciousness, where

the *reference

value* for control loop B is what homunculus control loop A is controlling.

Yes, your diagram says that A is controlling something represented by a

*blue

circle in its environment *which is the *origin *of the reference value for

B, but your words say that homunculus-consciousness control loop A

*controls

the intention* or reference value of control loop B, so your words take

that spurious blue dot and that spurious internal ‘environment’ right out

of the picture. The controlled variable for homunculus consciousness loop A

is a perception of the reference value for control loop B. This is true for

every control loop in the control hierarchy that may be subject to

conscious attention–which is every control loop in the hierarchy. And
the consciousness-homunculus control loop can shift from the reference

value of one control loop to the reference value of another instantly and

control it, even as that reference value is determined by the error outputs

of other control loops in the conventional PCT hierarchy.

Please do explain how you are going to test that.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN

<pyeranos@ucla.edu

wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the

world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a

different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it

due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said

to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.

Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In

this

sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself

to

a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to

a

position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m

not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a

perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and

taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to

the

fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well

as

to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am

doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and

tries

to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of

resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I

am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing

this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing

conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport

back

to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made

another

choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the

impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of

remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the

first

choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another

choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of

intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by

disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is

a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If

this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate

thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to

distract

you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to

somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this

person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy

in

the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer

is

greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than

the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a

manner

that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes

elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate

energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight

makes

me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear

fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do

is

to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.

Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this

awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate

of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is

such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use

one

language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do

not

study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.

Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such

by

keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such

loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it

is

my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you

less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more

precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done

naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say

something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within

the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is

"out

there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that

the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their

nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,

and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man

out

there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.

Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is

another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of

everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity

depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should

put

his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time

when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature

concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this

culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental

results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,

hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and

investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am

appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We

should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he

does

not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next

scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.

The

difference between conscious control and subconscious control is

awareness.

You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your

body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these

words

until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest

that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you

were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the

heck

is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level

of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How

might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your

diagram

suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.

Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness

is

simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk

about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a

perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may

correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those

particular

word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some

fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some

kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have

succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.

Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural

bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control

from

subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure

above

because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can

be

seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to

keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I

have

edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from

CV

to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

<https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=webmail&utm_term=icon>

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[philip 2018.03.20]

Consciousness, we propose, is the state of the feedback function in a subsystem

in the hierarchy which is being affected by the output of the N-system. (Powers, 1960, part 2).

The “imagination connection”, shown in Fig. 3 is the dotted line splitting off from the reference-signal in one system and entering the Feedback Function of the controlling higher-order system (Powers, 1960, part 1).

image435.png
Consider a conscious system seeing the imagination connection from a lower order system. What is the output of the N-system affecting?

···

On Sun, Mar 18, 2018 at 6:42 AM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-18_09:39:07 ET]

philip 2018.03.17 –

  1. Since you ask it, I’ll not quote what I’m replying to here (except for the numbers), but I doubt very much that others will change their

established practice.

  1. You say you prefer a taxonomic hierarchy. Does that mean that you prefer not to think about the perceptual hierarchy? Or do you think that the perceptual hierarchy is only an upside-down taxonomic hierarchy?

A taxonomic hierarchy comprises nested categories. The orders or levels of perception are not categories, nor are they related to each other in the way that the elements of a taxonomic hierarchy are related. For this reason, when you say that the perceptual hierarchy is inverted you are engaging in an analogy. A taxonomic hierarchy is analogous to the perceptual hierarchy in its form (homomorphous) but they are not directly comparable.

When we ask what subcategories are members of a particular category in a taxonomic hierarchy, it is a matter of definitions of the words that name the categories. When we ask about a particular specimen what category it ‘belongs to’ or ‘represents’ we consider other perceptions as criteria. A perception that is used as a criterion for category membership is not itself a category perception.

Every language has classificatory vocabulary with which the speakers of the language define and label their categorization of other perceptions (the things and phenomena of their perceptual universe). These differ from one another. They also differ from the strict definitional taxonomies established in the sublanguages of the sciences. The strict taxonomies of a science are are changed as the science develops. The re-categorization of T-cells and leucocytes communicated a pivotal insight in the history of immunology (Harris et al. previously referred to).

Categories are unusual in the great variety of their perceptual input. The perceptual input function for the category dog produces a perceptual signal given the perception of the word “dog” (written or spoken); the visual perception of a dog, or of some part of a dog such as the wagging tail seen through a doorway; the sound of a bark, growl, etc.; the smell of a dog; and possibly many other things depending upon what you associate with dogs or this particular dog in your memory. Maybe you have some skill as a tracker, for example, and you see dog tracks.

There are many open questions about what we are doing when we categorize.

  1. You ask me to model ‘one behavior’ that I have seen in MOL therapy. I am not an MOL therapist. I did view the video in Tim’s first MOL book when it first was published, but at this remove I do not remember details of what Tim said and did and what the client said and did. I have read some of the more recent writings about MOL, and they have examples of interactions which have been edited for brevity. My impression is that when the client shifts from a given theme to a ‘meta’ point view about that theme, the shift is not necessarily to a higher level of perception. The resolution of the conflict comes when the point of view encompasses both of the two motivations that are commanding perceptions that are incompatible with each other. However, the process of arriving at that comprehensive point of view is not stepwise up the levels.

Perhaps related to this, the reference signal is not always set from a higher level. It may be set from a different sensory modality. This is so in the control of pronunciation in language. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfXGP9TKJNQ

If you are more explicit about why you are asking these questions about MOL you might get a more satisfactory answer.

  1. You ask the “so what” question. You’ve named one practical application of PCT, MOL. Robotics is another. You cannot have autonomous robots without enabling them to perceive and to control their perceptions. There are important ramifications for social relations, organizations, and politics. In particular, the promise “prediction and control of behavior” is a cruel hoax, and among future practical applications of PCT must be the learning of skill in resolution of conflict to avert the coercive behavior upon which that hoax depends. Those are things that come immediately to mind. Perhaps you can think of others, if you try.

/Bruce

On Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 11:31 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN pyeranos@ucla.edu wrote:

[philip 2018.03.17]

Bruce, please allow me to be rude and opinionated for the sake of

brevity. I have a couple of stylistic issues and a couple of

scientific issues.

  1. Can we please respond to messages without quoting each line of the

message?

  1. The word hierarchy has a few meanings. The meaning I prefer is this

one: a taxonomic hierarchy, in which each level contains the last

(e.g. phyla, class, order, family, genera, and species), sets and

subsets. The PCT levels of perception are as follows:

intensity, sensation, configuration, transition, event, relationship,

category, sequence, program, principle, and system concept. They are

not taxonomic in the sense that a dog belongs to a species, genera,

etc. I know why they are not taxonomic, and you should know as well.

Just complete my example. The genus canis should contain all species

of canine; the canine is genus canis because canines have canis

traits. Let’s talk PCT: the perceptual control hierarchy is inverted.

Canines evolve from canis in the sense that the traits of the canine

species vary less than the traits of the canus genus. Thus variability

increases as we go up the hierarchy. It increases.

  1. Consciousness is perception, we’ll leave it at that. For now, it is

not behavior.

  1. Please describe a model of one behavior you have seen in MOL

therapy. Describe what the patient is doing and what questions the

therapist asks them. What is the patient’s level of awareness? What is

lacking in the patient’s experience? And how does the patient’s

behavior vary?

  1. I will introduce William Powers to Dan Preda. If the question comes

up: what are the practical applications of PCT. What do I say?

On 3/17/18, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-17_19:42:31 ET]

philip 2018.03.14 –

I’ll start with your objections to using the terminology and concepts of

PCT. You say that doing so makes what we say less clear than ordinary

language used by other people.

PJY: Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and

such by keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such

and such loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and

such because it is my intention and I am able".

But of course when we talk about what we are currently intending and doing,

as in this example, we do in fact use ordinary language like everybody

else. We only use the terminology and concepts of PCT when we are concerned

with modeling behavior, with understanding some aspect of the perceptual

control hierarchy, or with learning better how to employ the terminology

and concepts of PCT. And we do that here because this email forum is

dedicated to such purposes.

PJY: It is as if speaking in PCT makes you less intelligible but at the

same time makes you think you’re being more precise.

Well, no, we actually are being more precise when we are concerned with the

purposes to which this email forum is dedicated, and actually it is very

difficult and perhaps not possible to to be intelligible about such matters

without using the terminology and concepts of PCT. This is true of any

science. Speaking as a linguist, I can affirm that every science has its

specialized sublanguage with subject-matter specific vocabulary, strict

definitions, and consequent restrictions on word combinability that make

the ways of talking within the science less intelligible to people who are

not engaged in the science and have not learned to use its sublanguage. (On

sublanguages, see e.g. Kittredge, Richard & John Lehrberger, 1982,

*Sublanguage:

Studies of Language in Restricted Semantic Domains*, de Gruyter, and Harris

et al. 1989, The form of information in science, Springer Verlag.)

PJY: People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Perhaps you want to contact individuals privately and see if they are

willing to talk to you about their personal philosophies and experiences.

If they have time and interest they might do so.

PJY: The purpose of language is to contain language. We use one language to

build another and so on.

You’ll have to explain what you mean. A language does contain

subject-matter sublanguages, including its own metalanguage, but I would

hardly say that was the purpose of language.

Your post has two other main parts, one concerned with your ideas about

consciousness and the other advocating that we acquaint ourselves with Mr.

Preda’s ideas about physics.

PJY: It is not within the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The

reality of what is “out there” is a discussion tangential to PCT.

I agree, and in particular exploration of Mr. Preda’s ideas about physics

is outside the purposes of this forum. You could certainly invite people

here to participate in an email discussion group devoted to this. It could

be as simple as a list of email addresses that a group of people maintain

in the headers of the email that they exchange with each other. But you are

quite correct, this forum is not the place for it, and that discussion is

not going to happen here. If you persist in trying to discuss it here, you

will be frustrated by a lack of response because that is not what we are

talking about here.

You give an agentive role to consciousness. Your diagrams show connections

between control loops, such that a variable in the environment of one

control loop (call it A) provides reference input to the comparator of

another (call it B). This corresponds to the assertion in your post that

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention.

In the diagrams, loop A (the superordinate one) is closed through a blue

dot in its environment, receiving input from it on the left side and

influencing its state by its output on the right side. In addition, a

disturbance influences the state of the environment variable represented by

the blue dot. So taken by itself loop A is the familiar PCT loop (although

the disturbance label is rather awkwardly placed at the same level as the

input and output functions, so that the line separating the organism from

its environment has to be hand-drawn like a bell curve.)

Subordinate loop B has the same familiar constituents in the same mostly

familiar arrangement, except that it receives its reference input from the

environment of loop A above it. This is like nothing in PCT. In PCT, the

input that constitutes the reference signal for B comes from the error

outputs of the other control loops which are thereby calling for the

perceptual signal from B. Those connections in the perceptual control

hierarchy are missing from your diagrams.

If the environment of loop A is also outside loop B and in its environment,

then this says that one control system can reach inside another and set its

reference value, much as a person can go over to the thermostat on the wall

and change its setting. I don’t think this is what you intend this diagram

to mean.

If loop A is above loop B in the perceptual hierarchy, then you are

proposing something new and you need to provide the justification for it.

Everything in the canonical PCT loop diagram has been subject to test and

verification, including neuro-anatomical verification at the lowest levels.

Loop B controls a perception, with the amount of that perception that is to

be perceived determined by the strength of the error output from level A.

There is no intervening disturbance, no intervening environmental variable

to be disturbed nor perception of same to be controlled, indeed there is no

intervening environment in the technical sense that is meant by that term

in the theory.

Your reason for doing this seems to arise from your subjective sense that

consciousness has an agentive role. In my experience–and it is also my

experience so far that anybody can verify this–consciousness does not

do anything;

it just is.

You write about the shifting of attention from an ongoing control process

to the control of some other control process, and then the resumption of

the first when the second is concluded or abandoned. We are already able to

describe and model this phenomenon reasonably well within PCT without

adding consciousness as an agency. Two ways of doing this were discussed in

connection with a quotation of Bill’s description of looking for his

glasses. The simplest is at the sequence level. In B:CP, Bill proposes a

neural structure (others are possible) that could recognize the sequence of

phonemes /j/, /u/, and /s/ comprising the word juice. The signal that /j/

has been perceived is persisted by a local feedback loop, and then the /u/

likewise, until with perception of /s/ the recursive signals are terminated

and a signal is sent up representing the word juice. A word is a brief
event perception, not usually interruptable (pace things like

“unbef*ckinglievable”). The same persisting of interim states applies at

the sequence level, as long as a higher level is producing error that

connects to the reference input for that sequence even while control of the

sequence is temporarily not possible because the means of control are

occupied for some other purpose. Example: I’m on the telephone with you and

I’m writing down an address, my pencil breaks, I take it to the pencil

sharpener and sharpen it, then I resume writing down the address.

You say that consciousness directs this.

PJY: Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from

it due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval. Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory.

What you are talking about According to PCT, the reference signal for the

first thing you were doing at the program or sequence level is still

present even while your means of control (your eyes and hands, in many

cases) are being used to control other perceptions that constitute the

interruption. You had a moment of conflict–do I continue doing X, or do

this interrupting Y instead? You resolved the conflict by interrupting

control of X long enough to control Y, and then you could resume

controlling X. We resolve these kinds of conflicts all the time, very often

without any conscious thought at all. You get a telephone call from a

friend. You want to get an address from her. You get a pencil out of a

container on your desk. The pencil tip is broken. You sharpen it. All this

while you are talking to your friend on the phone. You ask her for the

address. As you hear the address, you write it down. You conclude your

conversation. You put the pencil back in the container. There are at least

three overlapping control processes here (treating the conversation as

though it were a single process).

You’re saying that consciousness is a function of a control loop that sets

the reference value or intention for other control loops. This is a

homunculus theory of consciousness. Where does the reference value for the

reference-setting consciousness agent loop come from? What determines the

intentions of the homunculus? And how does it shift rapidly from one

internal ‘environment’ to another? How does it stop setting the reference

of one control loop and start setting the reference for another?

PJY: consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself to a

position you have been to in the past[…].Think of it like encountering a

fork in the road and taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end,

teleporting back to the fork and taking the other path.

These are similes (“like teleportation”) and metaphors. Similes and

metaphors are suggestive, and may be useful for a non-technical

presentation of a science, but they must refer to testable principles and

demonstrable phenomena.

And very often, perhaps most of the time, an interrupted control process

resumes after successfully concluding the control of perception that

interrupted it, not after a ‘fork’ reaches a dead end.

PJY: I’m not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of

a perceptual signal.

There is lots of evidence that memory is made of stored copies of

perceptual signals. (A caveat: there is definitely a creative aspect to

memory, not entirely separable from imagination. Lower-level signals from

memory can be recombined at higher levels with a balance of strengths that

is different from the strengths that they precisely had in any particular

prior experience.)

PJY: Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as

well as to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this.

Suppose I am doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes

along and tries to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in

my behavior of resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

You don’t need to know anything about the disturbance or the origin of the

disturbance to resist it. You might be aware of either or both, but it’s

not necessary. All that is necessary is for the perception that you are

controlling to deviate from its reference value, the way you want it to be.

Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by disturbances.

A disturbance can certainly interfere with control without ending control.

You can take the mouse away from the cat, but the cat continues being quite

alert for the possibility that you might drop it where it can grab it back.

Gusts of wind can make your car veer from the center of its lane but your

control by means of the steering wheel never stops. Someone opening the

door on a windy day causes the ambient temperature to drop before the

control loop with the source of heat is able to bring it back up to the

reference level but thermostatic control never stops. You control the

heading of the car while your conscious attention is on your conversation

with a passenger in the back seat. The thermostat has no need of

consciousness.

PJY: consciousness is the control of intention. Well, the only thing that

can disturb your intention is a distraction to your awareness - a load on

your cognitive capacity.

A disturbance is an influence which would cause the controlled variable to

depart from its reference value unless it is resisted. A distraction is an

alternative variable such that in order to start controlling it you must

suspend controlling what you had been controlling. A distraction is not a

disturbance unless it actually causes the variable that you were

controlling to depart from its reference value.

But here you are talking about your homunculus of consciousness, where

the *reference

value* for control loop B is what homunculus control loop A is controlling.

Yes, your diagram says that A is controlling something represented by a

*blue

circle in its environment *which is the *origin *of the reference value for

B, but your words say that homunculus-consciousness control loop A

*controls

the intention* or reference value of control loop B, so your words take

that spurious blue dot and that spurious internal ‘environment’ right out

of the picture. The controlled variable for homunculus consciousness loop A

is a perception of the reference value for control loop B. This is true for

every control loop in the control hierarchy that may be subject to

conscious attention–which is every control loop in the hierarchy. And
the consciousness-homunculus control loop can shift from the reference

value of one control loop to the reference value of another instantly and

control it, even as that reference value is determined by the error outputs

of other control loops in the conventional PCT hierarchy.

Please do explain how you are going to test that.

/Bruce

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN

<pyeranos@ucla.edu

wrote:

[philip 2018.03.14]

I have written this to express something I feel about our place in the

world. It begins with a discussion relevant to this thread and ends on a

different note.

This is what consciousness means to me:

Suppose I am doing something and then I become totally distracted from it

due to some external event. The thing I was doing before is no longer in

the least occupying my attention. And then the distractor passes and I

remember what I was doing before and resume doing it. I cannot be said

to

have been doing this something while I was distracted and this makes me

think that the intention was totally gone for that interval.

Consciousness

is what allows me to resume what I was doing based upon my memory. In

this

sense, consciousness is like teleportation, where you teleport yourself

to

a position you have been to in the past (note that you are teleporting to

a

position you have already been to and not to an arbitrary position). I’m

not trying to give the impression here of memory being a copy of a

perceptual signal. Think of it like encountering a fork in the road and

taking one path, and then upon hitting a dead end, teleporting back to

the

fork and taking the other path.

Consciousness is inextricably tied to knowing “I am doing this” as well

as

to knowing that you are not being prevented from doing this. Suppose I am

doing something and someone knows what I am doing and comes along and

tries

to totally distract me from doing it. Consciousness is in my behavior of

resisting the distraction that I know he’s attempting.

Consciousness is not so much a matter of "well now that you mention it, I

am in fact doing this" as it is "these are my choices, and I am choosing

this option". In a big way, consciousness is involved in preventing

conflict or error before it happens. But once it happens, you teleport

back

to where you were before it happened and see if you could have made

another

choice. This may sound like the MOL. But I don’t want to give the

impression here of moving to higher levels. It is simply a matter of

remembering all the variables which existed at the time you made the

first

choice, and then seeing if the opportunity is there to make another

choice.

Taking a look at what I said earlier: consciousness is the control of

intention. Control is where the controlled variable is not affected by

disturbances. Well, the only thing that can disturb your intention is

a distraction to your awareness - a load on your cognitive capacity. If

this distraction it is an inanimate thing, you can remove this inanimate

thing from your presence. But if its a person who is intending to

distract

you or stand in your way, you cannot just remove this thing. You have to

somehow do something different. You have to somehow do something to this

person’s awareness.

Communication occurs through words and these words exist in a hierarchy

in

the sense that words contain other words. For example, the word computer

is

greater than the word transistor, and the word controller is greater than

the word computer. When you describe the truth to someone in such a

manner

that they truly understand something that concerns them, you sometimes

elicit in them an “aha” moment where you can see them visibly radiate

energy at the realization that you have helped them make. This sight

makes

me think about the release of energy occuring as a result of nuclear

fusion. And so it just seems to me like what we are always trying to do

is

to fuse nuclei by using words. There is no way to do this without words.

Thus the words are inextricably linked to our awareness. And it is this

awareness that keeps us from becoming feral as is the fate

of humans prevented from any exposure to language.

Now, the purpose of language is not to say "the behavioral illusion is

such and such". The purpose of language is to contain language. We use

one

language to build another and so on. I have noticed that people who do

not

study PCT often speak more clearly about behavior than those who do.

Instead of saying "I am controlling a perception of doing such and such

by

keeping a perception of it at my reference level and I have such and such

loop gain", these people simply say "I am doing such and such because it

is

my intention and I am able". It is as if speaking in PCT makes you

less intelligible but at the same time makes you think you’re being more

precise. People who have interesting and brilliant philosophies about

life become, upon adopting the language of PCT, more concerned with

expressing these philosophies in the language of PCT than about simply

expressing the philosophies in whichever way they would have done

naturally

before. It is as if PCT is a hindrance to people because it doesn’t help

them build a better language out of english. I am saying this because I

truly want to benefit from all of your experiences.

Now, I have come to the point in the conversation where I have to say

something useful to lead us all in the right direction. It is not within

the scope of PCT to discuss the laws of nature. The reality of what is

"out

there" is a discussion tangential to PCT. But physics is something that

the people of the world need help with to understand - to fuse their

nuclei, so to speak. The problems of physics are monumentally difficult,

and no ordinary man could solve them. But imagine there is another man

out

there like Bill, a man who could take the world by intellectual force.

Bill Powers was not alone, as it has come to my attention that there is

another. This man’s task, which is to provide a unified theory of

everything in physics, is so important that the fate of all of humanity

depends on it. He is a man worthy of attention, and I believe we should

put

his theories to the test. The renaissance and englightenment were a time

when knowledge was fueled by a growing body of literature

concerning the scientific exploration of natural phenomena. In this

culture, science was born through the reproduction of experimental

results. I have seen a man explain phenomena of nature,

hitherto unexplainable, through the use of scientific inquiry and

investigation. Yet he is accused of pseudo-science and ignored. I am

appaled at what I have seen, first with Bill, and then with Dan Preda. We

should reproduce his experiments and see if he tells lies. And if he

does

not, we should publish our results and plant the seeds of the next

scientific revolution. I have said my piece.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Bruce Nevin bnhpct@gmail.com wrote:

[Bruce Nevin 2018-03-14_19:07:06 ET]

Philip,

I think you’re talking about consciousness in the sense of awareness.

The

difference between conscious control and subconscious control is

awareness.

You are not aware of the numerous muscle tensions in many parts of your

body that maintain the orientation of your head and eyes toward these

words

until perhaps you might become aware of these tensions now as I suggest

that you pause and become aware of them. Before that, I suppose that you

were consciously controlling perceptions which we might call "What the

heck

is this Bruce Nevin guy saying now?".

Awareness is mobile. You can become aware of perceptions at every level

of the hierarchy. You can become aware of virtually any perception. How

might you represent this property of awareness in a diagram? Your

diagram

suggests a meta-control system functioning as a kind of homunculus.

Awareness has no outputs and does not control its inputs. Consciousness

is

simply aware.

People sometimes confuse awareness with use of language. You can talk

about any perception that you become aware of. But simple awareness of a

perception is without words, and words that seem perfectly plausible may

correspond to no nonverbal perception. The familiarity of those

particular

word co-occurrences seems to suffice. This happens frequently in some

fields.

A number of people have tried to make awareness an epiphenomenon of some

kind, to exorcise the “ghost in the machine”. I don’t think they have

succeeded. Awareness, consciousness, and qualia remain unaccounted for.

Perceptions as we experience them are not rates of firing in neural

bundles. A robot has no functions that distinguish conscious control

from

subconscious control.

/Bruce

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

I do not agree with the topology i have demonstrated in the figure

above

because I have drawn a controlled variable inside a controller. This can

be

seen by the circles labeled as “?” inside a closed region. In trying to

keep the controlled variable inside the environment at all times, I

have

edited the figure into the following, which always shows an arrow from

CV

to input crossing a boundary line:

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 11:22 AM, PHILIP JERAIR YERANOSIAN <

pyeranos@ucla.edu> wrote:

This is an incomplete diagram representing conscious control.

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[From Bill Powers (960310.1600 MST)]

Lars Christian Smith (960310 19:15 CET) --

     ... does a class of (control?) problems exist that can only be
     solved if you have a sense of self, or where you have to manipulate
     a self concept in relation to bringing an existing state of affairs
     closer to a desired state? What would be other defining
     characteristics of this class of problems?

The problem isn't a control problem. It's a problem of explaining
subjective experience. Sometimes we are conscious of perceptual signals,
and sometimes not. Yet the perceptual signals must, in many cases at
least, be there all the time (for example, the perceptions associated
with breathing). When we are focusing consciously on controlling one
level of perceptions, others must be present at lower levels to make the
higher level perceptions possible. For example, I must control the
perceptions of my fingers moving and contacting keys to write this, but
until the moment I chose that as an example, I was attending consciously
only to the sense of what I wanted to write. And still others must be
present at higher levels: If there were an error between my self-concept
and the way I am saying this, I would probably become aware of it -- but
for zero error to exist, there must be a higher-level perceptual signal
that matches the higher-level sense of self. Yet (until I mentioned it),
the subject matter of this post was in the foreground.

Even the "sense of self" doesn't really offer an answer. This sense is
simply another object of awareness, and is not in consciousness all of
the time. When you are attending to what you call your "self," what is
it that observes the self? Not the self that you are observing! The
effect is quite as if there were an Observer capable of selectively
tuning in to perceptual signals anywhere in the hierarchy. Yet the
Observer is never the Observed. A self is just a collection of high-
level perceptions; when you attend to them, you become aware of a self.
But who's looking?

There is nothing in the PCT model that emulates this Observer. The model
itself has nothing in it that requires the Observer. We lack
experimental data that might show us how control processes work
differently when they are conscious and when they work automatically.
Until we know what difference consciousness makes (as reported
subjectively -- there's no other source of information), we will have no
basis for assuming anything about consciousness -- except that we have
it, or are it.

···

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Best,

Bill P.

[From John E. Anderson (960311.1030 EST)]

[From Bill Powers (960310.1600 MST)]

Lars Christian Smith (960310 19:15 CET) --

     ... does a class of (control?) problems exist that can only be
     solved if you have a sense of self, or where you have to manipulate
     a self concept in relation to bringing an existing state of affairs
     closer to a desired state? What would be other defining
     characteristics of this class of problems?

The problem isn't a control problem. It's a problem of explaining
subjective experience. Sometimes we are conscious of perceptual signals,
and sometimes not. Yet the perceptual signals must, in many cases at
least, be there all the time (for example, the perceptions associated
with breathing). When we are focusing consciously on controlling one
level of perceptions, others must be present at lower levels to make the
higher level perceptions possible. For example, I must control the
perceptions of my fingers moving and contacting keys to write this, but
until the moment I chose that as an example, I was attending consciously
only to the sense of what I wanted to write. And still others must be
present at higher levels: If there were an error between my self-concept
and the way I am saying this, I would probably become aware of it -- but
for zero error to exist, there must be a higher-level perceptual signal
that matches the higher-level sense of self. Yet (until I mentioned it),
the subject matter of this post was in the foreground.

Even the "sense of self" doesn't really offer an answer. This sense is
simply another object of awareness, and is not in consciousness all of
the time. When you are attending to what you call your "self," what is
it that observes the self? Not the self that you are observing! The
effect is quite as if there were an Observer capable of selectively
tuning in to perceptual signals anywhere in the hierarchy. Yet the
Observer is never the Observed. A self is just a collection of high-
level perceptions; when you attend to them, you become aware of a self.
But who's looking?

There is nothing in the PCT model that emulates this Observer. The model
itself has nothing in it that requires the Observer. We lack
experimental data that might show us how control processes work
differently when they are conscious and when they work automatically.
Until we know what difference consciousness makes (as reported
subjectively -- there's no other source of information), we will have no
basis for assuming anything about consciousness -- except that we have
it, or are it.

B:CP (p200) offers at least a working definition of consciousness, one
which I think is quite intriguing, and which seems to me to contradict
Bill's last paragraph:

"Consciousness consists of perception (presence of neural currents in a
perceptual pathway) _and_ awareness (reception by the reorganizing system
of duplicates of those signals, which are all alike wherever they come from
[I'm not sure what this means...JA]). In effect, conscious experience
always has a point of view which is determined partly by the nature of the
learned perceptual functions involved, and partly by built-in,
experience-independent criteria. Those systems whose perceptual signals
are being monitored by the reorganizing system are operating in the
_conscious_ mode. Those which are operating without their perceptual
signals being monitored are in the _unconscious_ mode (or preconscious, a
fine distinction of Freud's which I think unnecessary)."

Now if we only knew what the reorganizing system (the Observer?) is.... Or
has the PCT view on consciousness changed since this was written?

John

···

--
John E. Anderson, Ph.D.
jander@unf.edu

[From Stefan Balke (980704)]

Rick Marken (980402.1330)

... I think the reorganization system is what you are trying
to get in touch with when you do the method of levels.

I think of the reorganization system as a "meta" control system
whose object is to control perceptual variables (like error signal
magnitudes) that are measures of the performance of the control
hierarchy itself. ...

The main point is that all this changing, whether it be of
goals or perceptions, is done by a system that is "outside"
the control hierarchy. When I talk about changing goals to
resolve conflict I am _not_ talking about the change in goals
that results from the hierarchical control process, where higher
level systems vary the goals of lower level systems as the
means of controlling their own perceptions. I am talking
about a change in the systems that set the goals for the lower
level system. This change is made (I think) by an agency external
to the control hierarchy -- the reorganization system (which
is basically what we call "consciousness").

Rick,

what do you think, how does the reorganization system control itself? Is it
following a simple hedonic rule like: produce a mininum error sum at the higher
levels?

How could the MOL approach affect the reorganization system. Do you have an
idea? Or is my question misleading?

Best, Stefan

[From Bruce Gregory 9980407.1015 EDT)]

Stefan Balke (980704)

Rick,

what do you think, how does the reorganization system control itself? Is it
following a simple hedonic rule like: produce a mininum error sum at the higher
levels?

How could the MOL approach affect the reorganization system. Do you have an
idea? Or is my question misleading?

Good questions Stefan. Rick is stepping well beyond the bounds
of HPCT when he identifies consciousness with the reorganization
mechanism. Clearly reorganization can and does take place in the
total absence of consciousness. And, as Bill points out, HPCT
works in exactly the same what with or without consciousness.
The orthodox anser to your first question is yes. If MOL has any
effect on reorganization it has nothing to do with
consciousness, in the orthodox view.

Bruce

[From Bruce Nevin (980407.1128)]

Bruce Gregory 9980407.1015 EDT) --

Rick is stepping well beyond the bounds
of HPCT when he identifies consciousness with the reorganization
mechanism. Clearly reorganization can and does take place in the
total absence of consciousness. And, as Bill points out, HPCT
works in exactly the same what with or without consciousness.

Doesn't follow. Consciousness can not be aware of itself. If you identify
consciousness with reorganization, it follows that we are not conscious of
reorganization itself any more than we are conscious of consciousness itself.

  Bruce Nevin