[From Bob Clark (930423:5:50 EDT)]
It has occurred to me that Dag's Demo's can be used to illustrate aspects
of HPCT in addition to those suitable for his present purposes. He already
covers the basics of negative feedback control systems very well.
The following comments apply to most (perhaps all?) forms of the "Portable
A combination of two "Levels" of Interpersonal Interaction are clearly
demonstrated. Here I speak of "Levels" rather than "Orders" since the
latter term has been given a special meaning in HPCT.
[Nearly 20 years ago I had occasion to establish a 3 level system for
Quality Control of a specific perceptual variable.]
Here we have Dag, with his systems and goals, establishing a working,
temporary, relationship with the Volunteer, who arrives with his own
independent systems and goals.
With a minimum of instruction, the Volunteer learns to use the rubber band
to control the position of the ball. Dag has arranged for the Volunteer, to
establish his own goal for the position of the Ball. This goal is
internal, as shown in the tape. It was not specifically set by Dag --
until he whispered further instructions to the Volunteer.
This tape demonstrates one HPC System combining with another to form a two
level system. This is a greatly reduced and simplified example of one form
of interpersonal interaction. Although Dag planned and arranged in advance
for the meeting, he could assume that at least one Volunteer would be
forth-coming, and that he would be cooperative. In such a situation, Dag
could count on the performance of the "lower-level" individual to
demonstrate the characteristics of a Negative Feedback Control System.
In fact, this demonstrates the combined operation of two Multi-Order
Hierarchical Arrays of such systems.
The lower order systems of the sub-ordinate Array are readily identified,
up to and including Configurations.
Sequences of Configurations as well as Relationships are readily perceived.
While Transitions are certainly occurring, I have difficulty perceiving
them as "controlled quantities" in this performance. Reviewing BCP, the
Glossary, p 286, I find: "Transition: Time and space changes; partial
derivatives." To me, these are not "Perceptual Variables," whether separate
or combined. Alternatively, I readily perceive Dag's Volunteer adjusting
the timing of his movements in relation to Dag's tempo. This becomes more
apparent when Dag changes his tempo and includes abrupt, sudden movements.
To me it is more natural to emphasize "Time Changes" here, placing
"Temporal Variables" at a position above Sequences.
Given the same Temporal Variables, various Sequences can be controlled
independently. Here we have "Fred & Ginger" using the same tempo, etc,
while using related, but different Sequences.
Dag's Volunteer illustrates relatively simple groups of Sequences, in
comparison with the complex Sequences used by each dancer as they combine
to become a "Dance," which is a form of interaction between the dancers.
Looking at these two examples, these individual performances could readily
be regarded as forming "Skills," composed of Sequences controlled in terms
of Temporal Variables, to achieve higher Order Goals. Such Skills would
resemble "Programs." BCP p 286, "Program: A network of choice-points
characterized by tests at the nodes." To me, "Skills" are composed of
combinations of lower order perceptions. Certainly "Programs" can also be
so regarded. But I find it more difficult to perceive "Programs" in terms
of perceptual variables.
I find the concept of "Skills" very useful in observing the activities of
groups of individuals as well as individuals themselves.
If carried a step further, this approach leads to such "Interpersonal
Interactions" as Dancing, Game Playing, Entertainment, Politics, Business,
etc. These all require coordinated Skills of the participants, as well as
a mutual agreement (perhaps tacit) about the "Rules" that apply.
Enough for now. Regards, Bob Clark