Don't know much about history

[From Rick Marken (920905.1200)]

Posting from home again. So here's some more header.

Greg Williams (920905) says:

Eventually it will dawn on you
that the PCT model explicitly says that one's history (genetic
and environmental) plays an important role in determining
what one's current control structure is.

I don't understand how I might have given the impression that
I don't think that this is the case. Genetic history provides
intrinsic reference levels; envinronmental history provides the
constraints within which reorganization must discover control
organizations that end up producing inputs that satisfy these
intrinsic references.

(PCT doesn't say that one's past environment SOLELY
resulted in one's current reference levels, but that it
CONJOINTLY -- with one's control structure history --
determines the current reference levels.)

I think you might have misspoken here. It's not one's current
REFERENCE LEVELS that are the conjoint result of environmental
and control structure history. What is the result of this history
is one's CONTROL ORGANIZATION: the perceptual functions that determines
the variables controlled, which higher order system(s) will use
these systems by providing them reference inputs, the output
function that determines the environmental effects that will be
used to control the perceptual variables and the connection from
error to output (in terms of polarity and gain) that determines
the dynamic characteristics of the systems). So one conjoint
result of environmental and control structure history might be
a control system that controls the perception of the DISTANCE
BETWEEN yourself and other people. But this history cannot
determine the appropriate reference level for this perception; in
fact, the reference for this perception must vary in order to
control higher order variables. All that environmental and
control structure history can do is find that the "distance between
yourself and other people" is a perception that should be
controlled and it can find out HOW to control it. It is likely
that people with other environmental and control histories
will not end up developing control systems that control the distance
between themselves and others. In this sense, environmental and control
history does influence the nature of the control hierarchy one
ends up with. But I don't think that it is correct to say, then,
that one's environmental and control structure history
CONTROLS one's current behavior -- or even one's current
behavioral potential (defined as the control hierarchy). This is
because it is impossible to be sure what "solution"
reorganization will come up with (in terms of resulting control
organizations) to deal with a particular environment. I don't
think you can "hem in" the development of control organizations
so that only certain organizations are created. Something like
this kind of "hemming in" IS done in the classic operant
situation; the rat MUST learn to control the position of the lever
or it doesn't eat. But even here, it is not clear that each rat is
building the same control organization. Some rat's may be
building control systems that control the visual position of the
lever. Others may develop control systems that control their
own position in such a way that the lever always ends up going
down. You can usually produce the same physical result (such
as closing the circuit with the lever) by controlling different
perceptual variables.

Controlling for not altering variables associated with others is a
form of control, isn't it?


Such deliberate non-controlling-others control, I think, can also
result in screwed-up persons, sometimes.

I don't buy it. Your statement imples that at least SOME controlling
is good FOR THE CONTROLLEE (the kid in this case). I've already
admitted that controlling another person (like a kid) can be good
for the CONTROLLER. Your example of "spoiling" is not what I would
call spoiling. You describe a situation where a kid doesn't have
to develop certain control systems in order to produce certain
perceptions that it wants to control. I want to perceive myself
living in a house but I never learned to build a house because my
houses have always been built for me -- am I spoiled?. My way of producing
the perception of me living in a house is to plop down a big
down payment and qualify for a loan. I could learn to build a house
though -- just like the rich kid could learn to go out and get
a job in order to buy a car if, for some reason, asking Dad
for it didn't work any more. I think of real "spoiling" as a kind
of controlling -- where parents give their kids stuff in order to
keep the kids "out of their hair". The parent is controlling the
kid, keeping it "away". If the kid wants to be close to the parent
(and most kids apparently do) there is conflict between parent and
kid (they are both controlling for the same variable -- "closeness"--
but relative to different reference levels) and the parent is likely
to have the upper hand so the kid will be constantly reorganizing --
so kid will be a pain in the ass -- ie. "spoiled".

I think what you are saying is that it is possible to raise a kid
in such a way that it developes none of the control systems that will
be necessary to survive in the "real world". I agree that this is
possible -- but I would argue that the way to solve this problem is
not to control the kid but to EDUCATE IT. I think that there is a
big difference.

So keep it up, Rick, and together we can forge a broader
ideology based on PCT science. History AND physiology....

What is this "ideology based" PCT thing? I'm describing how I
think the PCT model works. If I'm wrong about something just
let me know. I'm willing to be corrected if I'm making a factual
mistake. I think of ideology as as belief that rules out such
correction. I'm really willing to be corrected if I have made
a mistake about the PCT model. What's my ideology???

Best regards




Richard S. Marken USMail: 10459 Holman Ave
The Aerospace Corporation Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 336-6214 (day)
(310) 474-0313 (evening)