# FW: Bogus mathematics, (was Re: L'état de PCT, c'est moi (wa s ...))

[From Bruce Abbott (2018.08.21.0900 EDT)]

[From Rick Marken (2018.08.17.06:00)]

[From Bruce Abbott (2018.08.16.0930 EDT)]

BA: To get you started along this path, the first thing I need from you is evidence that you have read the argument against your conclusion and have understood it well enough to restate it correctly in your own words. In your reply, insert restatement here:

RM: I’m sure that I can’t provide such evidence even if I do.

You canâ€™t simply restate the argument I presented.Â Wow.

I think we’ve reached the point where this is getting us nowhere.

Well, yes, given that you refuse to cooperate, even to restate my position so that I know that you have read and understood it.

My goal in this whole long debate was simply to try to get people to ignore the power law and do some PCT research – research aimed at testing to determine what perceptual variable people control wen they move.

Ignore the power law?Â The power law research is aimed at finding valid explanations for why tangential velocity often is a power-law function of curvature. Â Your â€œexplanationâ€? – that itâ€™s simply an artifact of the way curvature is calculated – is false, so the problem of explaining why such relationships emerge remains.Â Ignoring the power law has to be the worst method ever for developing such explanations!

The power law is not a â€œbehavioral illusionâ€? – nobody is claiming that curvaturee is a stimulus, to which tangential velocity is a response.Â The relationship described as a power law probably emerges for many reasons, depending on the circumstances under which it is observed.Â For example, racecar drivers circulating around an oval track speed up on the straights and slow in the turns, thus conforming to the power law.Â This behavior emerges because (a) drivers are trying to win by going around the circuit as fast as possible, and (b) there are limits to how well the tires will adhere to the track when centripetal forces build up in the turns, requiring drivers to slow down in order to avoid losing control. Â (Note that drivers control their speed as the means to maximize average speed while maintaining control of the carâ€™s position on the track, to which excessive speed would produce a severe disturbance.)Â These factors are not in play as larvae move with respect to a source of nutrients; thus a different explanation will be required to explain why their movements tend to follow the power-law relation.

I think it’s pretty clear that no one wants to do this; they want to study the power law. So go ahead. Do the research, publish it and I’ll see what I think. Maybe you are all geniuses and I’m just a self- deluded moron.

Well, self-deluded for sure.Â You wonâ€™t even try to understand where your error lies.Â You act as if you think everyone else is a moron and you are the genius – the only one who can see that the eemperor has no clothes.

That will be OK. I’m still pretty rich and very good looking. So I’ll get by;-)

Rich for sure – I bought your book, Controlling People!

Bruce

[From Bruce Abbott (2018.08.22.1125 EDT)]

[Rick Marken 2018-08-21_15:35:23]

[From Bruce Abbott (2018.08.21.0900 EDT)]

BA: To get you started along this path, the first thing I need from you is evidence that you have read the argument against your conclusion and have understood it well enough to restate it correctly in your own words. In your reply, insert restatement here:

RM: I’m sure that I can’t provide such evidence even if I do.

BA: You canâ€™t simply restate the argument I presented. Wow.

RM: Not that I can’t. I won’t. Perhaps you will understand how annoying you sound if I said the same thing to you: The first thing I need from you is evidence that you have read the argument against your conclusion and have understood it well enough to restate it correctly in your own words.

If I had given no evidence to date that I had even read your analysis, much less understood it, I would understand why you asked me to state it.Â Far from being annoyed, Iâ€™d be happy to comply, just to show that I did understand your analysis.Â For my part, Iâ€™ve described your analysis many times over the course of this debate and shown why the conclusion you reached from it is wrong.Â So donâ€™t ask me to do it again.

RM: I have seen absolutely no evidence that you understand my explanation of the power law – the explanation that I laid out so clearly in Marken & Shaffer (2017) and Marken and Shaffer (2018).

RM: I think we’ve reached the point where this is getting us nowhere.

BA: Well, yes, given that you refuse to cooperate, even to restate my position so that I know that you have read and understood it.

RM: Well, excuuuuuuuuse me for not cooperating with you. But my people haven’t had a very good experience with inquisitions so I guess I just don’t respond well to them.

Dodge and weave, dodge and weave . . . .

RM: My goal in this whole long debate was simply to try to get people to ignore the power law and do some PCT research – research aimed at testing to determine what perceptual variable people control wen they move.

BA: Ignore the power law? The power law research is aimed at finding valid explanations for why tangential velocity often is a power-law function of curvature. Your â€œexplanationâ€? – that itâ€™s simply an artifact of the way curvature is calculated – is false, so the problem of explaining why such relationships emerge remains. Ignoring the power law has to be the worst method ever for developing such explanations!

RM: Then go ahead and start finding explanations. Publish papers that show how wrong I am and how right you are. But you are just wasting your time trying to get be to recant. I am obviously a hopeless case.

Apparently so.

BA: The power law is not a â€œbehavioral illusionâ€? – nobody is claiming that curvature is a stimulus, to which tangential velocity is a response.

RM: So I’ve been told. Nevertheless, it is a behavioral illusion, just like selection by consequences is a behavioral illusion. A behavioral illusion exists when the behavior we see is not what it seems.

It is not a behavioral illusion as Bill Powers defined the term.Â And by the way, neither is selection by consequences, which is just reorganization at work (actions that reduce error are â€œselectedâ€? from among all the actions tried at random).

BA: The relationship described as a power law probably emerges for many reasons, depending on the circumstances under which it is observed. For example, racecar drivers circulating around an oval track speed up on the straights and slow in the turns, thus conforming to the power law.

RM: It sounds like you are saying that in this situation curvature is a stimulus to which tangential velocity is a response. I thought inquisitors were taught to keep their story straight. Or was it that they are taught not to keep their story straight. That would work better, actually, wouldn’t it.

Here is the rest of that explanation, which you excised so that your claim would look reasonable:

This behavior emerges because (a) drivers are trying to win by going around the circuit as fast as possible, and (b) there are limits to how well the tires will adhere to the track when centripetal forces build up in the turns, requiring drivers to slow down in order to avoid losing control. (Note that drivers control their speed as the means to maximize average speed while maintaining control of the carâ€™s position on the track, to which excessive speed would produce a severe disturbance.)

So, Iâ€™m saying clearly that race car drivers control their speed around the circuit as well as the carâ€™s position on the track.Â Taking the curves at high speed generates sideways forces that threaten to break tire adhesion to the track surface, leading to a loss of directional control.Â If such a disturbance were not a factor, the driver could simply go around the track as fast as the car would go, but maintaining control in the turns requires the driver to reduce speed in order to prevent centripetal forces from creating an overwhelming disturbance to the carâ€™s position on the track and thus very likely to a crash.Â Thus, to maintain control of position while attempting to maximize their average speed, drivers must slow down on the curves. Â Itâ€™s control, man!

RM: I think it’s pretty clear that no one wants to do this; they want to study the power law. So go ahead. Do the research, publish it and I’ll see what I think. Maybe you are all geniuses and I’m just a self- deluded moron.

BA: Well, self-deluded for sure. You wonâ€™t even try to understand where your error lies. You act as if you think everyone else is a moron and you are the genius – the only one who can see that the emperor has no clothes.

RM: Then why not just ignore me and do your power law studies and show what’s really going on. And best of all, give your PCT explanation of the power law (if there is one) so you can get PCT out there for the public. You certainly don’t want me to be the only person publishing PCT stuff, do you?

Iâ€™d love to ignore you on this matter.Â Unfortunately you insist on repeatedly promoting your faulty analysis and refuse to engage your criticsâ€™ multiple demonstrations of its falsehood.Â At this point youâ€™ve been reduced to claiming offense at being asked merely to restate my argument against your conclusion.Â Thatâ€™s the clearest sign that you have no defense against it.

Bruce