"Don't do that!" (was Re: A Question)

[From Bruce Nevin (980708.0910 EDT)]

Rick Marken (980707.1820) --

Kenny Kitzke (980707.1720EDT)--

Regarding coerecion, I contend we must know that the behavior of
a person intending to coerce is not actually wanted by the coercee
before we call it coercion. Isn't this easy to test?

It is easy to test. But it only tells the _observer_ whether or
not the coercee wants to do what the coercer wants him to do. I
consider the coercer coercive if he has not tried to determine
whether or not the coercee wants what he (the coercer) wants.
What the observer knows has no force on the coercer. If the
coercer acts to control the coercee's behavior _only_ when he knows
that the coercee wants to behave as the coercer wants then the
coercer is not coercing because he is _taking the intentions of
the coercee into account_.

It sounds like you now agree that the weaker system must be present in the
environment or else there is no coercion. Bill acknowledged this quite a
while back. This is implicit in the above, right?

Let's explore the gray area a bit, the area of negative injunctions. If the
strong one wants the weak one not to be present, the absence of the weak
one does not constitute coercion. The weak one is doing what the strong one
wants, that's one requirement for coercion. However, the weak one is not
present in the environment, so the other requirement is not met. I suspect
you might not be entirely comfortable agreeing with this.

But follow it out a bit further. If the weak one comes on the scene, the
strong one starts controlling a perception of him leaving, as means of
controlling the perception that he is not present. There is coercion as the
weak one is forced to leave. There is no coercion afterwards, when the weak
one is again absent from the environment. Coercive means, non-coercive end.
The strong one is still controlling a perception of the weak one's presence
at a reference level of zero, but he is not controlling the perceptions
that are involved in forcing him to leave. The latter is coercion, the
former is not.

An aside about labels: The strong one is controlling a perception at zero.
If that perception is disturbed in the future we have no certainty what
means the strong control system will use. Saying that the strong control
system is "a coercer" asserts that it will always use coercive means. When
applied to persons, that is simple bigotry. Otherwise known as S-R
psychology. Perhaps we shouldn't put a control system in a box with a label
like "coercer". Unless of course it is a box. If it's a model, a
simulation, or an implementation as a robot, we can know deterministically
that it will always use coercive means, and we can call it a coercer. But
humans are free to be unpredictable.

There is an interesting parallel between not wanting the weaker one present
and not wanting some other perception, such as noise in the classroom. In
both cases, you are controlling a perception at zero. In both cases, a
variety of specific possible actions by a weaker system could disturb your
control. In both cases, forcible opposition to some specific disturbing
action would be coercion.

If a teacher wants each student to be quiet, so that all the students can
concentrate on their classwork, and is willing to use coercive means, and
the students are in fact being quiet, you have said that constitutes
coercion.

If one student starts making a disruption--starts doing one of an infinite
variety of things that can disturb the teacher's control of the perception
of a quiet classroom--the teacher starts controlling a perception of
stopping that specific activity, as means of controlling the perception
that there are no disruptions in the room. The teacher might do this
coercively. (I make no assertion or denial here about RTP.) But while no
disruptions are happening there is no coercion.

The parallel is not superficial. There are no negative perceptions, right?
The way we get negation is by controlling a perception with a reference
level of zero: a perception that we don't want.

The hunch I am working on is that coercion can only be defined as
opposition to specific actions by the weaker control system. A variety of
activities could disturb a perception that you are controlling at zero. You
can coerce against any of those activities. You can't coerce against all of
them in the abstract. Wanting "no noise" is not itself coercion. Stopping a
child from beating on a desk like a drum could be done coercively.

I expect the image that will immediately spring to your mind as a
counterexample is something like an adult bodily holding a child still in a
chair. But this is control of a specific body location and configuration,
perceptions controlled at specific positive values. The adult might be
saying "Don't move!" but the negation there is a property of language, not
of the coercion actually being carried out.

If you are controlling a perception at zero, and no one is disturbing that
control, your monitoring of that perception does not constitute coercion.
If someone disturbs that control, you might use coercive means to cause
them to stop or change whatever they are doing so as to end the
disturbance. Or you might use non-coercive means.

While the bouncer is giving the drunk the bum's rush out the door he
coercing him. Afterward, that is, after the bouncer stops coercing him
(because the coercion was successful, and the guy is gone), he resumes
monitoring the scene for other people to coerce. The monitoring might be a
threat of coercion, and someone might even feel like getting rowdy and
decide against it, but a threat is not in itself coercion. The cop munching
donuts and joking with the waitress is not coercing when there is nobody
present in the environment disturbing some perception that he is
controlling at zero, nobody doing anything that he can stop by coercive
means--if he chooses.

Negative injunctions also apply to cooperation. A great many things can
disrupt cooperation. Two guys are carrying a couch, one of them says "Don't
go too fast!" If either has trouble controlling, he communicates to the
other. "Lift a bit higher, I can't hold on at this angle." Each may monitor
the other for signs of losing control. If they lose sight, e.g. going
around a corner, or can't see through the couch, they monitor for signs of
disequilibrium in the shared task, and they communicate. "You OK?" "Yeah,
if I can get around this ... OK, I'm clear, but go slow." The couch starts
tipping "What's happening? You need to turn it? Keep it level if you can."
Something like coercion may go on. The guy at the back of the couch has to
keep up, if he is to continue to hold up his end. Aspects of his behavior
are dictated by the other person, by way of the inflexibility of the
couch--as means for controlling perceptions of cooperating and moving the
couch. He volunteers to be coerced as means of controlling other perceptions.

  Bruce Nevin

[From Kenny Kitzke (980709.0910 EDT)]

<Bruce Nevin (980708.0910 EDT)>

<If you are controlling a perception at zero, and no one is disturbing that
control, your monitoring of that perception does not constitute coercion.
If someone disturbs that control, you might use coercive means to cause
them to stop or change whatever they are doing so as to end the
disturbance. Or you might use non-coercive means.>

This particular post is outstanding and has found its way into my Coercion
file for reference. We are thinking alike but you are more able to express
your thoughts in PCT terms and with the models for coercion.

Contrary to the way Rick and Bill wish to define coercion (from the mind of
the coercer only), most of us believe that coercion exists only between
living systems. It is a phenomena of interaction. When the coercer
controls some aspect of a coercee's behavior against the coercee's will, it
is coercion. Except when coercion is present, behavior is just the control
of perceptions of the coercer and the coercee. I believe this is a
fundamental exception to a PCT description of all behavior.

BTW, the coercer may still be controlling for the coercee's behavior but
unless some behavior of the coerecee cannot be performed because of the
overpowering ability of the coercer, the coercion is not real and not
experienced by the coercee. They may behave like the coercer seems to want
for a million different reference perceptions. They are behaving in
accordance with PCT, not in accordance with Coercion.

Best of all, this simple definition of coercion is easy to test. All we
have to do is test each party to the interaction for a behavioral variable
that is necessary for coercion to be present.

Kenny

From [Marc Abrams (980709.0945)]

[From Kenny Kitzke (980709.0910 EDT)]

Contrary to the way Rick and Bill wish to define coercion (from the

mind of

the coercer only),

Ken, I think your mistaken here. I think the _model_ _defines_ rather
then an observation alone. Bill, Rick, Bruce N & G, you, me, we all
_perceive_ what we want and _interpret_ the model accordingly. I
happen to agree with the interpretatation of the model from Rick and
Bill's perspective. I don't disagree with Bruce N as much as I just
don't know at this point what are or are not valid extensions to the
basic model. He ( Bruce N. ) poses some interesting points.

One of the problems with all this, and it probably can be argued till
the cows come home, is that cooperation ----- coercion take place on a
continum and _exactly_ where and when one turns into the other is and
will be a bit grey. It's really all perception.

Marc

From [Bruce Gregory (980709.1025 EDT)]

Marc Abrams (980709.0945)

Ken, I think your mistaken here. I think the _model_ _defines_ rather
then an observation alone. Bill, Rick, Bruce N & G, you, me, we all
_perceive_ what we want and _interpret_ the model accordingly.

I don't know about the others, but I sure as hell can't perceive what I
want. It must be very nice, though.

Bruce Gregory

From [Marc Abrams (980709.1158)]

[Bruce Gregory (980709.1025 EDT)]

I don't know about the others, but I sure as hell can't perceive what

I

want. It must be very nice, though.

Congratulations Bruce, your the _only_ one i know who actually
perceives the _objective_ world. Can I borrow _your_ glasses for a
spell.

If you are not perceiving what _you_ want ( "see" ) What are you
perceiving?

Marc

From [Bruce Gregory (980709.1217 EDT)]

Marc Abrams (980709.1158)

[Bruce Gregory (980709.1025 EDT)]
>I don't know about the others, but I sure as hell can't perceive what
I
>want. It must be very nice, though.

Congratulations Bruce, your the _only_ one i know who actually
perceives the _objective_ world. Can I borrow _your_ glasses for a
spell.

Sure, if you like. But aren't you making a rather grand leap from what I
said to what you concluded? I never mentioned an objective world. I simply
can't perceive what I want. I want to perceive Sinead O'Connor singing Danny
Boy a capella to me. Can't do it. I want to perceive myself as rich beyond
the dreams of avarice. Can't do that either.

If you are not perceiving what _you_ want ( "see" ) What are you
perceiving?

Here's a clue. If I held your head under water, could you perceive that you
weren't drowning (assuming that is what you wanted to perceive)? For how
long? Would you stop struggling if I told you, "It's all perception"?

Bruce Gregory

[From Kenny Kitzke (980709.0910 EDT)]

Except when coercion is present, behavior is just the control
of perceptions of the coercer and the coercee. I believe this is a
fundamental exception to a PCT description of all behavior.

How does it differ from an inanimate source of disturbance that the control
system is unable to resist?

In both cases, you may observe apparent actions that are due to the
disturbance rather than due to control of perceptual input. If my hand is
immobilized in a piece of machinery that itself is moving, the apparent
movements of my hand are not my behavior. If Rick is waving my arm like a
flag and I am powerless to resist, the apparent movements of my arm are not
my behavior.

If however I am struggling to remove my hand from the machinery, or from
Rick's grasp, the struggling movements are my behavior. An observer may
have difficulty discriminating between the effects of the disturbance and
my behavior resisting the disturbance. But there is no behavior here that
is an exception to the PCT generalization that behavior is control of
perceptual input. The components of observed activity that are due to
disturbance rather than to control are not my behavior.

  Bruce Nevin

From [Marc Abrams (980709.1248)]

From [Bruce Gregory (980709.1217 EDT)]

Sure, if you like. But aren't you making a rather grand leap from

what I

said to what you concluded? I never mentioned an objective world. I
simply can't perceive what I want.

You can perceive the world _any_ way you like. When I say "want" I _do
not_ mean "have a goal for". I mean you "interpret" what is
objectively out there. Your "interpretation" of what you sense is
_exclusively_ yours. Do you disagree with that?

I want to perceive Sinead O'Connor singing Danny
Boy a capella to me. Can't do it. I want to perceive myself as rich

beyond

the dreams of avarice. Can't do that either.

If your delusional, you can perceive whatever your imagination might
conjure up._regardless_ of what the objective reality might be. People
might have a difficult time accepting the gold coins only _you_ can
perceive.

If you are not perceiving what _you_ want ( "see" ) What are you
perceiving?

Here's a clue. If I held your head under water, could you perceive

that you

weren't drowning (assuming that is what you wanted to perceive)? For

how

long? Would you stop struggling if I told you, "It's all perception"?

What's the clue? Was my hair on fire? Was I wearing a mask and
snorkel? Were you trying to drown me? If you were coercing me it
doesn't really make a difference _what_ my perceptions are.

Marc

From [Bruce Gregory (980709.1540 EDT)]

Marc Abrams (980709.1248)

You can perceive the world _any_ way you like. When I say "want" I _do
not_ mean "have a goal for". I mean you "interpret" what is
objectively out there. Your "interpretation" of what you sense is
_exclusively_ yours. Do you disagree with that?

You'll have to tell me what you mean by interpretation, since it is not a
term in PCT. My perceptions are exclusively mine, but we seem to share a
common world. Furthermore, I do not experience that I can perceive whatever
I want to perceive, no matter what my interpretation.

If your delusional, you can perceive whatever your imagination might
conjure up._regardless_ of what the objective reality might be. People
might have a difficult time accepting the gold coins only _you_ can
perceive.

Does this imply that only delusional people can perceive whatever they want?
Does it imply that we are all delusional?

What's the clue? Was my hair on fire? Was I wearing a mask and
snorkel? Were you trying to drown me? If you were coercing me it
doesn't really make a difference _what_ my perceptions are.

Only insofar as your ability to control is concerned. I'm not sure what
point you are trying to make. Can _you_ perceive whatever you want to
perceive? Are _you_ delusional? (Your answer to these questions will
determine how I respond.)

Bruce Gregory

From [Marc Abrams (980709.1722)]

From [Bruce Gregory (980709.1540 EDT)]

You'll have to tell me what you mean by interpretation, since it is

not a

term in PCT. My perceptions are exclusively mine, but we seem to

share >a common world. Furthermore, I do not experience that I can
perceive >whatever I want to perceive, no matter what my
interpretation.

You and I do not interpret the coercion model the same way. Why not?
Meaning, I believe the model _shows_ a certain kind of behavior, You
according to your posts ) disagree with that "interpretation".

Me

If your delusional, you can perceive whatever your imagination

might

conjure up._regardless_ of what the objective reality might be.

People

might have a difficult time accepting the gold coins only _you_ can
perceive.

Bruce:

Does this imply that only delusional people can perceive whatever

they want?

Me:
The keyword being "whatever" they want I would say yes.

Bruce:

Does it imply that we are all delusional?

Me:
To a certain degree I think that is probably true.

Me:

What's the clue? Was my hair on fire? Was I wearing a mask and
snorkel? Were you trying to drown me? If you were coercing me it
doesn't really make a difference _what_ my perceptions are.

Bruce:

Only insofar as your ability to control is concerned.

me:
I was not talking about _controlling_. I was talking about perceiving.

Bruce:
I'm not sure what>point you are trying to make.

Me:
Then why are you answering me?

Are _you_ delusional? (Your answer to these questions will
determine how I respond.)

See my answer above.

Sorry Bruce, this has gotten pretty silly.

Marc

[From Bruce Gregory (980709.2112 EDT)]

Marc Abrams (980709.1722)

Sorry Bruce, this has gotten pretty silly.

On this we agree completely.

Bruce Gregory

[From Bruce Nevin (980709.1937)]

Marc Abrams (980709.1722) --

I believe the model _shows_ a certain kind of behavior

The spreadsheet simulation "behaves" in a certain way. Is that behavior the
same as the behavior of two people, where one is coercing the other? If
yes, then it is a model of coercion.

How would you know that they are the same? Make measurements of actions in
performance or attempted performance of a specific task. Then simulate the
environment and the effectors so that equivalent measurements can be made
of the performance of the model. Then run the model and compare model
measurements with live measurements.

However, the spreadsheet simulation appears to escape this requirement
(pace Isaac) in a kind of peculiar way.

Rick's tacit argument, which is persuasive, is that by definition of
coercion the relevant efforts of one participant are nullified by the
relevant actions of the other. Therefore the very simple simulation in the
spreadsheet suffices for the entire class of examples of coercion, no
matter what the actions are, and no matter what numbers are found by
measurement. In the simulation, qi stands for any environment variable
whatsoever, from ear wiggling to the national affiliation of Tibet, qo and
qo' stand for any actions that are relevant for each instance across the
varieties of qi, and so on for the other variables, and the single control
loop stands for any amount of complexity in the HPCT hierarchy, whatever is
required to control each instance across the varieties of qi. The
simulation is an effective generalization across all kinds of coercion
because, by definition, they all have in common the nullification of the
relevant actions of one control system by the relevant actions of the other.

It doesn't show the cases where the efforts of the weaker system produce
actions that do not disturb the perception controlled by the stronger
system, but let that pass.

The simulation serves for the duration of effort by the weaker system,
increasing up to and then staying at a maximum. But then the simulation
ceases to be an adequate model. In the simulation the weaker system
persists indefinitely long -- as long as the program runs. In the live
situation, the weaker system at some point stops producing the same action
in resistance to the action of the stronger one. It appears that resistance
continues longest at higher levels of the hierarchy. These various outcomes
need to be studied in live situations. Then we will know what it is that we
have to model.

Until then, the spreadsheet appears to be a generalization across models of
the initial phase of coercion, the phase during which the weaker system is
producing control actions in resistance to the actions of the stronger
system. Perhaps it could be claimed that this phase is the duration of
coercion, and that when resistance ceases, coercion ceases. If this were
agreed, then the spreadsheet could be called a model of coercion (or a
generalization across models of coercion).

If it is argued that coercion continues so long as the weaker system is
unable to resist (whether it is actually resisting or not), then the
spreadsheet is not a model of coercion, only of the initial phase of those
instances of coercion in which the weaker system is resisting.

You can't have it both ways.

I suspect that Bill and Rick have stopped following this thread, so I don't
expect any response from them.

  Bruce Nevin