From Mary: CSG meeting; split lists

[from Mary Powers (950731)]

Rick Marken (950725)

Many thanks, Rick, for that summary of the CSG conference.
Anyone else with further descriptions and comments please put
them on the net.

Some minor things - Bob's last name is Hintz, Ken and Chris' last
name is spelled Kitzke, and the lady from Croatia is named Mirela
Despotovic. I hope before long to mail address lists from the
meeting to people who attended, along with receipts for their $.
But don't hold your breath. We were very lucky with the weather;
this week is high nineties all the way, and I feel wiped out.

We're sorry there will be no video. No audio tapes either.
Hardly anyone even took a photograph. No papers were
distributed, although books were available to look at and order.
It was a wonderful meeting for those who were at it - maybe
partly because all these things were missing :wink:

Nine people were new, and two were returning after some years.
In a very arbitrary and semi-accurate breakdown, keeping in mind
that several wear hats in more than one field, there were 7
Reality Therapists, 6 educators, 5 psychologists, 3 management
people, 2 sociologists, 2 engineers, one graduate student, and a
retired librarian. Rather more applications people than usual,
but plenty of theoretical and technical stuff also. What I mean
by arbitrary is that, for instance, several of the therapists
could be classed instead as social workers or educators, most of
the participants teach, and the engineers are Bill Powers and
Bill Leach, both of whom wear a lot of hats. All the boundaries
get fuzzy in PCT.

One thing Rick left out was Gary's seminar on WWW, held in the
computer room with a terminal for each person. And every time I
looked, it seemed that Tom Bourbon was giving a tutorial on PCT
during our "free" afternoons.

At the business meeting Brent Dennis was chosen as president-
elect. The current president is Dag Forssell, and the
secretary/treasurer is me. The dates for next year are July 17-
21, and serious effort is proposed to find a place in Phoenix for
the next meeting. Phoenix in July, hmm. The main advantage is
cheaper, more direct travel. Also more than 20 percent of this
year's attendees came from there. And they have offered to do
it. After 11 meetings that's all I need to hear.

          * * * *

About an applications list: Proposing a new list is easy, but the
practicalities include: where would it be, and who would run it.
This list is at the U of Illinois, and Gary Cziko is the net
god - it is our good fortune that Gary was in a position to set
this up, volunteered to do so, and continues to do whatever needs
to be done. Do applications people have such a resource?

And who would be on that list? Many of the applications people
are not on the infobahn and don't want to spend the time, money,
and effort to get on. Others like this list, taking what seems
of interest and ignoring the rest. If they have questions, they
ask them here, and usually get answers. On another list, who
would answer them but other applications people? That's not who
they are looking for answers from - I think they mainly want to
have the model explained by the theoreticians: Powers, Marken,
Bourbon or Leach, I believe. In Bill P's case, responding to
people on this list is already enormously time-consuming (some
retirement!). He has no plans to get on another list for more of
the same. I'm guessing the others feel the same way.

The point of this list is that it is intended to enable people
interested in PCT to get together, to learn it, test it, develop
it, and teach it. The idea is for people to learn it well enough
so that if they do go out and apply it and problems arise they
can, by thinking about the model, generate the answers
themselves. Thus, for example, rather than providing a list to
memorize of fundamental human needs with which to label or
diagnose or advise a client, it describes a model of what a need,
any need, is in any living organism - and what is involved in
achieving it or changing the way it is being met or not met.

As I see it, the people who want another list are fairly new, and
therefore may have the idea that the whole thing is a pretty
technical discussion among Bruce Abbott, Bill Powers, and Rick
Marken. This is a recent phenomenon - there have been dozens of
threads on other topics, such as:

The uses of control theory
The method of levels and internal conflict
Competition, morals, religion, and science
A (control) engineer among the psychologists
"Reality" therapy and "experiential" therapy
Social control
Statistics vs. generative models
Conflict, belief, standards

and linguistics, and information theory, and so on. In other
words, if you want to discuss something other than EAB and
reinforcement theory, write about it, and see what happens.

Mary P.

<[Bill Leach 950801.22:10 U.S. Eastern Time Zone]

[from Mary Powers (950731)] & others

I am also "swaying" back toward remaining with a single list. I think
that possibly we (ALL) may have to make a serious effort to not be overly
critical of terminology and forms of expression to the exclusion of the
basic issue(s) under discussion.

Pretty much all of us have been quilty of what Bruce stated rather
succinctly some months ago... and that is that many times one of us will
"zero in" on some error that might well be important but when such focus
ignores the original poster's point of discussion then the original
poster perceives a high level of frustration at the inability to discuss
the original topic.

I believe that it will take a great deal of effort to try to keep what we
believe might be the original intent of a posting at the forefront of all
comments. Thus a "critical" remark concerning a perceived error could be
phrased as much as possible in terms related to this perceived original

When I want to drive to the store I am far more concerned with how to use
an automobile than with how and why it works even though I recognize that
the theory is vital to the details necessary in developing the "how to".

I think that a gentle process of helping each other to see our own
tendencies toward s-r thinking will be more useful in the long run while
at the same time reducing anxiety for those less interested in the "dirty
details" of pure theory.