Environmental goals, tickle, unprincipled

[From Rick Marken (960418.0810)]

Hans Blom (960416) --

Organisms, viewed as hierarchical control systems, of course do achieve
goals (this trivially follows when we view organisms as control systems),
but hardly "their own" goals.

i.kurtzer (960417.1500)

Then i suppose that the goals are the enviroment's?

You called it, isaac! Here's today's gem from Hans (Hans Blom, 960418):

I can manipulate the disturbances...in such a way that I can determine
the values of all (lower level) goals/references of that control
system..."But the world doesn't do that!", you might exclaim. Doesn't it?
How would you know?

Can you say "The Test for the controlled variable"?

If the world had goals regarding your behavior, then the world would treat
behaviors of yours that were not in accord with these goals as disturbances,
and it would act to bring these behaviors to the goal state. For example,
if the world had wanted you to practice law rather than engineering, it would
have opposed your efforts to do anything except become a lawyer. You haven't
noticed the world doing anything like this to you, have you Hans? If so, I'd
suggest just keeping it to yourself and taking a long rest; you'll be better
in no time;-)

Clem McGowan (960417.2045 EDT)

This explanation [of why you can't tickle yourself] uses, in effect, a
hierarchical control model PLUS "efference" copies.

I don't see how efference copies help. Chris Kitzke's PCT based explanation
seemed right to me. In order to tickle yourself you have to produce a
perception that deviates from a reference. To do this, you would have to
_not_ be a control system; that is, you'd have to act to increase (rather
than decrease) error. A tickle from another person works because it is an
_independent_ contribution to the same perception we influence by
contracting our muscles or "tickling" ourselves; the resulting laugh is a
side effect of our own compensatory response to that abrupt disturbance.

Speaking of robots, has there been any discussion in CSG of Rodney Brooks'
robots built using a "subsumption hierarchy" that IS a hierarchy of control

Brooks' robots may be hierarchical perceptual control systems but Rodney
doesn't think of them that way. Both Tom Bourbon and Bill Powers have found
that Rodney has no use at all for PCT. It looks like Rodney will continue
to use his considerable technical skills to build robots that work by planing
output (using inverse kinematics, "mental models", etc.) rather than by
controlling perception.

Fred Nickols (960418) --

I would have taken "the principle" [of control of perception] as a given.
Is there some other view of human beings with which I am unfamiliar and that
is more pervasive than the one cited above?

There are several other views of human beings that are far more pervasive
than "control of perception" and completely incompatible with that principle
Among them are the following:

1. Control by consequences (reinforcement)
2. Control by input (stimulus-response)
3. Control of output (cognitive psychology, psychodynamics, eg. Freud)
4. Control by equilibration processes (chaos, non-linear dynamics)