[From Rick Marken (940202.1600)]
Bill Leach (01 Feb 1994 21:57:30) --
It makes no sense to say that you lost control of a reference signal.
Is it not possible that some appearent psychological problems could be
due to just that (loss of control signal)?
I just meant that control systems can't control their reference signals:
they don't sense the state of referernce signals or act to bring them to
a particular value. Since you (as a collection of control systems) have no
control over your reference signals, you cannot lose control of them.
Psychological problems could result from loss of a control signal
(where I am understanding "control signal" to be synonymous with
"reference signal") but that is different that losing control OF THAT
SIGNAL. Losing a control (reference) signal could result in a loss
of control of some perception(s) (which would look and feel like
having a "psychological problem"); but that is losing control of a
perception, not of a reference signal.
JIM DUNDON (940201 0026) said:
Getting back to two people fighting. Are they losing control
or controlling within the limits of their chosen reference
... I leave as an exercise...
Bill L. says:
I suggest that the answer might be well, yes... and no.
Of course we can't answer the question because we do not know the
reference signals nor the perceptions.
I think we can make some reasonable guesses. It seems to me that
when people are fighting it is because they are both trying to get
nearly the same perceeptual variable into two different states.
For example, one person want's THAT woman and only that woman
(regardless of what the woman wants, of course) and the other person
wants only her too. Fighting is output that is going to the limit
in order to produce the desred perception (and overcome the disturbing
output produced by the other control system; first the two people were
discussing, then arguing, then yelling, then pushing, etc. The outputs of
each just keep getting bigger and bigger, a process that only stops
when 1) one of the people physically overwhelms the other 2) both parties
physically exhaust their output production capabilties or 3) one or both
of the parties is able to change goals. But while the conflict is in
progress (while the parties are escalating from "having words" to "stepping
into the alley") neither party is in control (neither is getting the
desired perception). If, individually, each person was once in control
(Big Bad Bill could get Seismic Sadie any time he wanted before Rackish
Rick mosied into town, or vice versa) then when the other person showed up
one could say that BOTH "lost" control (over the perception of
Seismic Sadie as "his").
So my answer to Jim's question would be: two people fighting have
lost control if they once had control, individually, of the variable
involved in the conflict; whether they had it or not before, they
don't have control as long as they are in conflict. They are only
in conflict as long as the output limits of each party to the
conflict can match the output limits of the other.