[From Rick Marken (980830.1550)]
Tim Carey (980831.0630) --
Let's try another approach on the diagram. Maybe the problem
is your mailer's encoding system. Since Bruce Gregory got the
diagram OK maybe he could post them. OK, Bruce?
I think we're making some real progress on this control of
Tim Carey (980831.0600)--
I think we have already demonstrated that it is the _actions_
of living control systems that can be externally controlled.
I thought we have also demonstrated that _controlled variables_
can also be controlled. If we haven't, I will soon.
the reason I think it's possible to control someone else's
actions (at least for a little while) is because this is one
aspect of the individual's behaviour that they are _not_
Actions are not controlled from the perspective of the control
system that is _varying_ those actions as the means of controlling
it's perception. But actions are often themselves controlled
variables. For example, in the finger tracking demo, the subject's
finger position is an action that is varied to control the distance
between fingers. But finger position is also a controlled variable;
you can demonstrate this by pushing gently on the subject's
hand while she is moving it; the subject will push back against
your push in order to protect finger position from the disturbance.
Here is where I have the problem. When I read "behaviour", I
interpret that to mean: the working of the entire loop, that
is acting, perceiving and comparing. Bill goes over this in
chapter one of his new book
I don't think Bill ever says (or intends to say) that behavior is
the working of the entire loop. Behavior is what we see people
doing. PCT tells us that some of these doings are actions aimed at
producing intended results, some are intended results themselves
and many are both. Take a behavior like "swimming" for example;
this behavior involves actions (arm, leg and head movements) and
intended results (crawl, butterfly, backstroke). In fact, the
actions are also intended results (produced by muscle tensions)
and the intended results are also actions (aimed at controlling
for winning the race, impressing the girls, etc).
I think a good way to translate the phrase "behavior is the
control of perception" is as follows: the observable behavior
of a living control system is a visible side effect of a control
process that is aimed at controlling the system's private,
internal representations (perceptions) of the world in which
its behavior occurs.
I think people act as controllers of other people's actions.
OK. That's progress. Now, when you give a child a choice of
eating spinich or brocoli are you controlling the child's
actions or its controlled variables? Is eating stuff an action
or an intended result or both (hint: both)? Is eating a behavior
(hint: yes) ?
Because it is only by recognizing when people (others and
ourselves) are acting as controllers of human behavior
that we can consider _other_ ways of dealing with human
behavior -- other than controlling it.
Bruce Gregory (980830.1645 EDT)
Fascinating idea. Since we are essentially controllers, our options
seem rather limited.
Yes!! That's the problem! And you give a good account of the
We can attempt to control covertly (manipulation); we can refuse
to develop reference levels for the perceived behavior of others
(indifference or sainthood); or we can set our reference levels
in ways that do not conflict with their (permissiveness). Any
Yes. A very important one. Negotiation. It's the option that Bill
discusses in MSB (Making Sense of Behavior).
Whenever we or others have a reference level for the behavior
of others we are likely to attempt to control their behavior.
Right! (Even better without the "likely"). When we have a
reference for the behavior of others _and_ we are organized to
control our perception of that behavior then we are controlling
their behavior. As you (I think) said it's probably impossible
to not have references for how people should behave. The trick
(and it's a trick that would be worth figuring out) is to lose
the references or keep them and lower the gain on the behavior
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org