Get a Life: (formerly) Waiting for the right funerals, sui gener

[From Bruce Gregory 9980406.1126 EDT)]

Rick Marken (980406.0800)]

Bill Powers (980406.0300 MST)

> I have had an increasingly uncomfortable feeling that once a
> person has become caught up in some other school of thought for
> a sufficient length of time, it becomes essentially impossible to
> abandon it and learn PCT.

I think you've known this since we met. In one of your sermoms
on Mt. Northbrook you said unto me "it is easier for a camel to
get through the eye of a needdle than for a person who has become
caught up in some other school of thought to get into PCT heaven".

Fellows. Fellows. Fun is fun, but let's get serious here. Other
than those for whom PCT is a religion, PCT is a model. It is a
great model. It is a powerful model. It may even be the
Newtonian model of the behavior of living systems. It does not
take a religious conversion to enable one to use a model.
Although it takes a kind of practice that most people in the
social sciences seem to lack. As Bill's post on systems
analysis states there are few if any model-based approaches to
behavior. You are in the same position as a mathematician
talking to a convention of psychoanalysts. Your intended
audience has no idea of what you are talking about. They are
clueless rather than resistant. They pay no attention to you
because you are practising a skill they cannot comprehend. (The
analogy that comes to mind is trying to explain computer
programming to a Witch Doctor.) Unless social scientists start
to use models it will take a hell of a lot of funerals before
any changes are forthcoming.

Brother Bruce, First Church of PCT