Hal's reply to D. Gustavson

Last month Gary Cziko sent a syllabus of mine to Bill Powers, who
responded on csg-l. I entered a dialogue over whether higher-order
control could not be modeled. I worked off of Bill Powers's first
book, suggesting that his negative feedback levels would abate at his
tenth order of control insofar as actors perceived each other's
control referents to be shifting as an interactive function of one's
own prior referent and that seen in the other actor. Holding onto
referents at any level would, I hold, send all actors into negative
feedback loops. I went back and forth with others on the net telling
me that I was going beyond the bounds of PCT. In the course of that
conversation people on the net began asking one another whether
organizations could be control systems. I kept posting the mailing I
otherwise do to a regular list of readers (mostly criminal justice
types), illustrating how I and others engage in control as though
constrained by organizational demands. I noticed that as I did so the
discussion of organizational control systems kept expanding. I
thought periodically of coming back specifically to the terms of
discussion among csg-ers, but as I got back into other things I let
the connecting go.

Actually I had about decided it was time I stop posting my stuff on
csg-l about the same time I received your query. Sorry to have
strayed so far without hanging up the connection. I'll stay on the
net to see what y'all are saying, and refrain from posting henceforth
unless I have something direct to say to what I find there.

I will just observe this. I think the theoretical discussion might
lose some of its ambiguity if writers illustrated their points not in
generalities but in specific cases. I was thinking that perhaps a
little of my talking cases might rub off on the wider discussion, and
perhaps it has. Anyway, sorry to have filled your buffers with
increasingly extraneous material; I'll lay off now.

Anyone who wants the New World Order Diary and feminist justice
letters can get them from me directly: PEPINSKY@IUBACS.BITNET.

Meanwhile, many thanks to csg-ers for opening a new world of dialogue
to me. l&p hal