Control Conundrum

[from Joel Judd 950811.1130 CST]

Rick (950810):

Since you have said this same thing twice now, I'll raise the following
question again. This has come up before. You said yesterday:

people can't help but think responsibly if they are control systems

While there may be a nice THEORETICAL consistency to this answer,
there's not a very helpful SOCIAL one. That is, I'm guessing you mean
that a control system blissfully controlling its perceptions and
reducing error is being "responsible" (read: "working efficiently").

Even if that's not what you meant, the issue for social institutions has
been and always will be the definition of "responsible." Part of one's
approach to an answer will lie in one's fundamental conceptualization of
human being. The implication of some of the writings on autonomy from a
PCT standpoint is that, all other things being equal, individual control
systems (in the form of human beings) will turn out OK. I think that
such an outcome will only happen if the social milieu is made up of such
well-running control systems in the first place. For human beings to
live and work in close proximity, there have to be certain ground rules.
The manifestation of those rules may change from culture to culture.

Yes, someone has to approve or disapprove of them, whether that be a
parent, teacher, or counselor. And yes, sometimes they must be
enforced, when one's goals do not include "consideration of others."

And so we're back to life's games, those who play them, those who make
up the rules, and what happens when rules are unfair or broken.



TO: CSG-L INTERNET Any user on the Internet, not at DESE Proj. Box

FROM: JUDDJ DESEINST Joel Judd - DESE - Division of Instruction

DATE: August 11, 1995
SUBJECT: Control Conundrum