RM: Control theory doesn’t say that organisms (particularly humans) can’t be controlled; indeed, it shows that they can be controlled, mainly by disturbance to a controlled variable.
HB : If I read it right in first statement Rick is telling that people can be controlled through disturbances to Â»controlled variableÂ« (whatever controlled variable could mean).
RM: Yes, that’s exactly what I said.
But all this talk is really unnecessary once you understand equation 1 above.That equation shows that the behavior of a control system can be controlled.
Behavior can never be controlled from inside LCS as organism can’t survive. And this means that nobody or nothing from outside can Â»control behaviorÂ« if person is unable to do that. Some fundamental knowledge from other sciences would be needed to set defintion by equatations like Rick did.Â I would suggest finding some proofs that equatation really works in natural environment. Maybe equatation could apply to tennis game to see how it works. It’s not that we put some letters with our meaning and say this has solved the mistery of Â»controlled behaviorÂ«.Â Also some knowledge has to be in background.
MT : I read it as saying that actions occur because people maintain perceptions near their references, so that if you disturb a variable they are controlling, by acting on its environmental correlate, they will act.
HB : I think Martin that you Â»arrangedÂ« your oppinion so to look like Rick is thinking in Â»Control perceptionÂ« terms. But it seems that Rick agree with my oppinion. He admitted that he talked about Â»control of behaviorÂ«.Â So it seems Martin that our interpretations were quite apart, but everyone judge and treat text according to his knowledge, friendship, emotional inclinations, customaries…, andd so on. So perceptions can be very subjective, specially complexÂ content.
There are quite some things that I don’t clearly understand, as it seems to me that you exposed your oppinion about Rick’s oppinon. Like that you used Â»determinedÂ« logic like Â»disturb a variable they are controlling, by acting on its environmental correlate, they will act (it doesn’t seem to me that Rick said that, it looks like your oppinion). This seems quite problematic, because you are contraditcitng your example with Â»Alec and BethÂ«, where efect of disturbances are relaitve.Â You were a little bit more cautious than Rick about using term Â»control of other peopleÂ«. He used term Â»mainlyÂ«, but you used quite tricky thought Â»after disturbances to controlled variable they will actÂ«. But In any case I think that we can’t control anything except ourselves. The person you Â»attempt to controlÂ« is already controlling all the time.
HB : I see at least three problems in our discussion :
The problem is Â»generalizedÂ« Rick's statement (mainly control other people by disturbing Â»controlled variableÂ«) and Â»people will act when the correlate is disturbedÂ«. It's not necesary that people will act when somebody disturbed their Â»controlled variable or correlateÂ« outside (specialy not from output to Â»controlled variableÂ«).Â You showed that in example with Alec and Beth. You can expect other perosn to act but what they will do, you can maybe predict, but it's not necesary that will happen. Specialy if person isÂ acquanted with possiblity that you want to Â»controlÂ« her. That is usualy the case when the sports games are in question (we saw it in analyzing tennis). If you say that people will always act on disturbances to Â»controolled variable in environmentÂ« or Â»correlateÂ«, you are saying that when stimulus to Â»controlled variableÂ« or Â»correlate is aplyed and person will act in the determined manner, she is controlled. So it will be Â»stimulus-responsÂ« event as Rick is already using this relation in his sentences, even when he is using Â»control of perceptionÂ«. He is using term Â»responsÂ« what means behavioral terminology. Not action as you are using. Respons and action are quite different terminology.
Another problem I see is that Rick is not using usual PCT wording as you do. You are using Â»Control of perceptionÂ« and in the fundaments of his explanation we can find Â»Control of behaviorÂ«. He was quite clear abourt that. But I still don't underst and what you meant with Â»correlateÂ«. And If Â»correlateÂ« is already Â»controlledÂ« from output (behavior) to Â»controlled variable in environmentÂ« why should we need perception ?
The last problem I see is the possible Â»control of othersÂ« so that on certain Â»disturbance to controll of perception, action will occurÂ«. Control means achieving and maintainance of Â»preselected perceptual stateÂ« in the controlling systemÂ« (Bill's definiton), And that can do only person Â»in controlÂ«. Nobody else can do that, as only person can set references for that state. So the only one who is controlling is person herself.Â She can't be controlled from outside so to make Â»preselected stateÂ«. Environment can't control system (see Bill's Asymetry of control). But it can make disturbances to that control. What will be done with that disturbances only people can decide for themselves. The vague effect of disturbances on Â»controlled variableÂ« you showed in case of Alec and Beth.
MT : You choose your disturbance according to your perception of what they are controlling and how they will counter your disturbance.
HB : Yes, but if you choose your disturbances, other person can also choose disturbances (counter-disturbances to affect some of yours perceptions). Other personÂ is not a machine (non-lining LCS) which can not Â»return disturbancesÂ« so that we could say that is Â»controlledÂ«. So I think that we shouldn’t mix Â»control of machinesÂ« with Â»control of LCSÂ«. Â»MachinesÂ« can’t counter-act disturbances, but LCS can and mostly unpredictable.
Maybe we can talk about Â»planed disturbancesÂ«, but they never go in only one way. Sometimes you don’t know who is Â»controllingÂ« who. Â»Choosen disturbancesÂ« canÂ go in both ways. Both LCS are quite Â»equal beingsÂ«. They both control. So in my vision both LCS are controlling, They are not Â»controllingÂ« each other. But they are disturbing each other and compensate disturbances due to Â»errorsÂ« in hierarchy.Â But Â»controlÂ« is always produced by references inside person. So person chooses which perception will control and which Â»predefined state in controlling system she will achieveÂ«. You showed that quite well in your example of Beth and Alec.
On the whole I think that your and Rick’s differences in understanding PCT stayed on the same point,Â as they were in previous discussions in the last few weeks.
MT erlier :
If what I am controlling for is getting the salt, I might ask someone else, or I might just reach across and get it. But if I am really controlling for having the person pass the salt and don’t care about getting the salt, I might ask why he doesn’t want to, or try other means to get him to do it. All of them are attempts at disturbing some perception he controls in such a way as to get the desired perceptual result. It doesn’t always workâ€¦
I think that you are not controlling anybody else but yourself. To get a salt according to your goal. All others are maybe for you Â»attempts of controlÂ«, for you to get a salt, so youÂ are disturbing others perception to Â»elicitateÂ« wanted behavior. But whoever will control for that it will be person herself. So whether they will control as you want or they don’t, they will still be controlling their perceptions, because Â»controlÂ« is something they are doingÂ continuously. But Â»disturbed personÂ«Â can change references and still control in accordance with Bill definiton of Â»maintaining preselected state in controlling systemÂ«. The LCS is the only one that can always set their references and change it. References are always hers. Not from environment. You can ask for a salt, but whether you’ll get it depends from the person you asked, whether she will set suitable references. Person will decide about that not you. In either case : refusal or agreement are equal processes in organisms of Â»setting or changing referencesÂ«.
It can’t be that in the case of refusal Â»person is not controlledÂ« and in case of agreement person is Â»controlledÂ«. These are not different processes in organism. It’s only control of perception in different ways.
You are talking about Â»attempts of disturbingÂ«, but Bill talked aboutÂ this sort of things as Â»attempts of controlÂ«. But I’m more inclined to your term Â»attempts of disturbingÂ«.
Maybe it could be a useful term Â»focused disturbanceÂ« with unknown effect.Â I’m experiencing that Â»behaviorÂ« of other persons is more unpredictable than predictable. So if we say that Â»disturbances to controlled variable or correlateÂ« will made people act is deterministic, Â»stimulus-responsÂ« no matter how you say it. On certain Â»influenceÂ« from environment, there is certain Â»observed behaviorÂ« or action. There is a Â»direct linkÂ« between these two events. It’s neglecting control inside person. It’s sounds like behaviorism.
If Alec is controlling a perception of Beth’s action, and her current action is not equal to his reference for it, he acts to disturb a perception Beth is controlling. If Beth actually is controlling the perception that he disturbs, she will act in some way to counter the disturbance….
HB : ….or she can change her mind and control somethhing else even if she already starts counter-controlling perception that Alec disturbed … She can change her mind in any moment. There are quitte complicated systems of heirarchies continuously working in organism so new refererence signals can come from any where… I don’t think that jjust Alec guessed wrong, reference signals of Beth can change in a second. Â»She can change her mindÂ« in any moment, she can just pretend that she doesn’t perceive distrubances from Alec or she can manipulate in other way with those disturbances. People lie, manipulate, hide their real intentions, do whatever it is necesary to reach their goals.
If he guessed wrong, and his action doesn’t in fact disturb any perception Beth is controlling, or if he guessed wrong, and Beth’s action to counter the disturbance isn’t what Alec wanted to see, he may try to disturb a different perception, or the same perception in a different way, until either she acts so that his perception of her action matches its reference, or he gives up trying to control his perception of her action.
Yes. This shows the ambiguity of Â»control of othersÂ« and upredictability of disturbing Â»controlled perceptionsÂ«, because most of the controlling happens inside organisms and I think you properly used only words Â»disturbingÂ«. In your Â»protocolÂ« I don’t see word Â»controlÂ« except in Â»control of perceptionÂ«. It seems to me right the way you presented it. It’s quite life-working example. It’s only not clear which disturbances you have in mind when you say Â»disturb any perception Beth is controllingÂ«. Is this Â»anyÂ« meant as any Â»perception of correlatesÂ« in outer environment or something else ?
All we can do to other person is disturb their perception on whatever level of hierrachy, but she decides how disturbances will be controlled as she is setting the references for their Â»preselected stateÂ«. Nobody else can. And until someone proves that refereces can be set from outside into LCS, I’ll confront to any kind of term that involves Â»control of othersÂ«. If in future (as Martin said) will someone prove that is possible, I’ll agree with the term Â»control of other peopleÂ«. But till then my oppinion stays at Â»smart disturbancesÂ« as Martin’s example shows. But the references for any perception are set solely in Beth and Alec themselves. And in accordance with references perceptions are treated as they are. There is no control of each other, specially not any Â»control of behaviorÂ« or determined behavior on certain stimuli.
Now let us see how I imagine Rick’s inetrpretation of Alec and BethÂ Â»communicationÂ«. My text is blue.
If Alec is controlling a perception of Beth’s action, and her current action is not equal to his reference for it, he acts to disturb a perception Beth is controlling and so he starts controlling Beth’s behavior. If Beth actually is controlling the perception that he disturbs, she will act in some way to counter the disturbance…so maybe she will try to control Alec’s behavior with counter disturbanves to Alec’s Â»controlled variableÂ« or Â»correlateÂ«. If he guessed wrong, and his action doesn’t in fact disturb any perception Beth is controlling, or if he guessed wrong, and Beth’s action to counter the disturbance isn’t what Alec wanted to see, … he is not controling Beth’s behavior. He may try to disturb a different perception, or the same perception in a different way, until either she acts so that his perception of her action matches its reference …and in that moment he is controlling Beth’s behavior, or he gives up trying to control his perception of her action….so he can’t control Beth’s behavior.
Sorry Martin to Â»deformÂ«Â your nice example, but I wanted to show how could look Â»controlÂ« if we use Rick’s understanding. At least I can say it’s odd.
MT earlier :
There is a whole spectrum of levels and kinds of understanding of PCT. One can get a basic understanding without even algebra, a better understanding of at least tracking in a continuum with algebra, and can compute the dynamic tracking behaviour of simple linear complexes of control systems with no more than Laplace Transforms. But, as Bill often said, nobody – not even he – can look at a complicated control structure in a complex environment and say what it will do.
So, yes, I agree with Rick that one should at least work through the equations in their algebraic form, and if possible go further to see how the dynamics of at least linear systems function. One should study all of Bill’s and Rick’s (and anyone else’s) demonstrations. One can get to understand control pretty well without doing those things, I guess, but it’s an easy way to get into a position in which one can reason in one’s own mind about what control might do in different situations.
You gave a good description of how people can understand PCT, although there are myriad other possible ways. Intuitivelly without algebra many people in history worked by Â»controlÂ« principles only that they were not probably aware of. They were simply forced to do it, as it seems that Â»control of perceptionÂ« is natural mechanism. I read in physiology from 1891 how they understand orgaisms Â»controlÂ« because they had to follow natural laws of control… From measurments of temperature, intake of food, and so on… thhey try to conclude how organisms stay alive. It’s interesting description in terms of chemical process which affect instability in organism. They simply had to follow laws of nature if they want to help people Â»stabilizingÂ« their Â»preselected stateÂ«.
And I was quite surprised by Carver’s new article. He gave a name to the Â»physiological control mechanismÂ«. He named them Â»prototypeÂ« of control. I think he got an idea to come to Â»pureÂ« control mechanisms in body and upgrade them to hierarhies. We’ll see how he will continue.
It’s good Martin that you presented example (Alec and Beth), that can be analyzed through it’s course. It’s so realistic and instructive, that I thought we should have more such examples. Some Â»phylosophyÂ« of PCT (various demos, experiments with machines, algebra…) is good, but can be dangerous because I think theey are simplifying PCT and can be misleading when serious analysis of Â»human relationshipÂ« are in question. And can be confusing when somebody is mixing Â»machinesÂ« with people functioning.
If you Martin enjoy algebra and Rick, it’s good that somebody is doing it. But if you want a wider audience, I think it would be construcitve that you put beside algebraic expressionsÂ also qualitative explanations. Because otherwise I think that you are talking to yourself. I don’t know how much of PCT’ers are enthusiastic in Â»talking in algebraÂ«, but as it’s seen by Â»resposesÂ« to your converstaion with Rick I think there aren’t many (if any) who join that conversation. But it’s interesting how many PCT’ers respond to other kind of converstaion. It’s just a suggestion. I hope your and Rick’s goal is to popularize PCT.
I think that demos,models, etc. need direct experience with Â»real realityÂ«, as Bill described (LCS II) :
Â»Real reality is simply what we experience. That is it, that is all there is to experience. If we can tell our models to shut up for a moment, thisÂ will become obvious. Even the physicist has to admitt it. No matter what the model says, the ultimate test of the model is to make it predict something in direct experience that we need no model to observe. …. If the effectts of the model are just as hypothetical as the model, we don’t have a model because we can’t check it against direct experience. The ultimate authority is always direct experience, the real reality we are incapable of doubting, because before we ca neven begin to doubt it, it is there. The only point of a model is to provide a hypothetical link between one direct experience and another.
So maybe you could describe Â»cooperationÂ« with your analysis tools and other life-examples. Maybe tennis game. Maybe you and Rick could try to Â»squize itÂ« into algebra form. I don’t beleive it will work, but you can try. It’s difficult to Â»squizeÂ« the reachnes of people’s control into simple form and formulas. Specially human brains. I think that life-examples are too complex for such a Â»simple analysisÂ«. As I understood Bill said, models and equatations and so on have to work in life (direct experience) with Â»real realityÂ«. And everybody has Â»accessÂ« to reality with own experiences, so everyone can contribute to an Â»ordinaryÂ« discussion.
Maybe we could analyze more life-examples where everybody can participate with experiences. As that is how I understood BillÂ : ultimate authority between one direct experience and another.
Staying on the level of demos, models and experiments with machines can be tricky in understanding Â»real lifeÂ«. The only examples I saw Rick presenting is Â»thermostatÂ«, Â»tracking experimentÂ« and Â»knot over dotÂ«. And that’s it. As if these examples can explain whole life and how organisms work. The final goal of PCT is to understand organisms if I understood Bill correctly. What are your’s and Rick’s goal ?
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Martin Taylor (email@example.com via csgnet Mailing List)
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: FW: FW: Cooperation
[Martin Taylor 2014.12.09,14 39]
On 2014/12/9 1:09 PM, “Boris Hartman” (firstname.lastname@example.org via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:
I answered below.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Martin Taylor (email@example.com via csgnet Mailing List)
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 7:45 PM
Subject: Re: FW: Cooperation
[Martin Taylor 2014.12.08.13.40]
On 2014/12/8 12:42 PM, “Boris Hartman” (firstname.lastname@example.org via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:
I think it’s no use if you don’t analyse your own text and what others wanted to say to you. I’ll put just some examples of your Â»confusionÂ« and than you can judge for yourself. Although I’m sure most of people here understood what you were writing about. I think It would be better if you and others direct conversations into improving PCT. But if you want converstaion about you and your possible Â»mistakesÂ« what can I do ? I don’t know, It sometimes seems to me that you are promoting to much yourself. Was this Â»ad hominum attackÂ« ? I apologize in advance if you feel it as an Â»attackÂ«.
RM earlier :
Control theory doesn’t say that organisms (particularly humans) can’t be controlled; indeed, it shows that they can be controlled, mainly by disturbance to a controlled variable.
RM earlier :
What we often notice about behavior are responses to disturbances to controlled perceptions and fail to notice that the responses only occur because people are controlling those perception.
HB : How can PCT moderator write such a contradictions ?
Boris, where do you see a contradiction? To me, the two quotes say exactly the same thing: If you want to control a perception of someone’s actions, you disturb a perception they control in such a way that they will oppose your disturbance by using the action you want to see.
Which of the quotes from Rick do you see as contradicting this?
It’s quite complicated, and I’m not a specialy good reader of American language.
If I read it right in first statemnet Rick is telling that people can be controlled through disturbances to Â»controlled variableÂ« (whatever controlled variable could mean). But I think it is meant Â»controlled variableÂ« out of organism.
I read it as saying that actions occur because people maintain perceptions near their references, so that if you disturb a variable they are controlling, by acting on its environmental correlate, they will act. You choose your disturbance according to your perception of what they are controlling and how they will counter your disturbance.
And in second if I read right he said that Â»responses to disturbances to controlled perceptionÂ« can’t be controlled from outside, because people are controlling those perceptions (so they can’t be controlled).
I don’t understand this interpretation at all. Here’s the quote again:
“RM earlier :What we often notice about behavior are responses to disturbances to controlled perceptions and fail to notice that the responses only occur because people are controlling those perception.”
I interpret this as referring to “the behavioural illusion”. He is saying that if you know nothing of perceptual control, and you see someone doing something right after an event has occurred, you may well think the event caused the action (i.e. an S-R process), never noticing that the action actually occurred because the event disturbed some perception and the action was to counter the disturbance.
I may be wrong. How did you read it…? Maybe Rick couuld tell what did he mean by that.
Maybe he didn’t mean the two quotes the way I read them. But that’s the way I read them.
Disturbances to controlled perception don’t mean that we can control responses (behavior) of other people. People decide whether they will control it or not.
No, we can only control our perception of the behaviour of other people.
If Alec is controlling a perception of Beth’s action, and her current action is not equal to his reference for it, he acts to disturb a perception Beth is controlling. If Beth actually is controlling the perception that he disturbs, she will act in some way to counter the disturbance. If he guessed wrong, and his action doesn’t in fact disturb any perception Beth is controlling, or if he guessed wrong, and Beth’s action to counter the disturbance isn’t what Alec wanted to see, he may try to disturb a different perception, or the same perception in a different way, until either she acts so that his perception of her action matches its reference, or he gives up trying to control his perception of her action.