From Marc Abrams (2005.09.26.0820)]
Always the gentlemen, thank you for responding Bjorn
In a message dated 9/26/2005 3:23:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, bsimonsen@C2I.NET writes:
[From Bjorn Simonsen (2005.09.26,09:00 EST)]
From [Marc Abrams (2005.09.25.0735)]
I’m sorry I was not around for this thread, it sounds interesting.
If you are interested, I will send you private this thread as two Word files. They represent very interesting reading matter.
Thanks, but I have access to the archives, and it seems I am persona non grata here anyway. Like most threads here on CSGnet it ends with Bill pronouncing his views, Rick agreeing, and that ends all the discussion.
No diversity of thought is allowed and much more importantly, none is sought. This makes for very short threads that provide no learning or substantive movement toward a better understanding.
I guess what I am about to say will be viewed as divisive, but my intent is get some acknowledgement and acceptance of a big problem CSGnet and PCT have.
There have been no major advances in the theory of PCT for over 30 years. Now Bill will start screaming that I am saying he has not had any new ideas in 30 years and those are not the same thing.
Bill has had plenty of wonderful ideas over the years, but so have any number of others who have crossed paths on CSGnet.
For instance, when I say there have been no new advances I mean;
Do we have any better idea of what a ‘level’ might be than we did when Bill first published?
Any idea of how many ‘levels’ might actually exist?
What exactly is a ‘reference condition’? In fact, what are the physiological correlates to all the control functions?
I could go on and on but I’m not interested in beating this into the ground.
In order to get some of these answers you need people who are willing to do the necessary work. People are not on CSGnet and have not stayed on CSGnet because of one thing, and one thing only, and it has nothing to do with Rick Marken or my ‘vulgar’ language.
People just don’t see any value for themselves in staying here or in PCT, And as long as this forum is devoted solely to the ideas of one man, you will have what you have, a moribund list that keeps on repeating the same arguments with the same people, and this is a shame, because control could be important, if
folks actually saw some value in it for themselves.
The question becomes; “What value are you providing that folks can’t get somewhere else?” Figure out how to answer that question and you will go a long way toward getting PCT ‘accepted’.
How can a perception be ‘incorrect’? How is this decided? ’
Correctness’ implies a value judgment.
Look to [From Rick Marken (2005.09.25.0915)]
I saw that post Bjorn, I don’t buy into it. A control process cannot think. It is a very effective mechanical device if
certain things hold true, and those things are outside the control of the control processes themselves.
But ‘values’ come from our imagination, not from the ‘real’ world.
Whatever that might happen to be.
Yes, I agree.
Our perceptions are constructed from a number of different types
and kinds of inputs. The 5 senses are a holdover from Aristotle.
Today they believe we may have as many as 33 sensory functions.
And tomorrow there will be still more.
Maybe, maybe not. I certainly wouldn’t say we are finished in understanding how we ‘sense’ the world.
This is one reason why most of our perceptions are fully or partly
imagined. If we think about doing something, that thought must be
imagined, so any values we have attached to that thought is also
I think as Rick that thoughts are imaginations or reversed. And I think values are references.
I don’t understand this. All perceptions are ‘imagined’. That is, all perceptions are known to us by our sensory functions working through memory.
I ‘know’ something to be so now because I ‘learned’ about it sometime in the past.
How else could you ‘perceive’ something? What am I missing here?
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we actually ‘sense’
from the environments.
Yes, when errors are zero.
I’m afraid I disagree here. You can only have zero error after something has been identified and compared, not before.
What I meant by my statement is that from a very early age we learn to minimize error. We learn many behaviors tacitly so we don’t even have to think about them in order to do them and when we ‘sense’ sometimes, we make many gross and often wrong assumptions about what we are actually sensing. Control systems ‘like’ consistency of input and it doesn’t much matter to a control process whether the information it is ‘working’ on is valid or not.
Do you see this differently?
The really big question is, and has been for me; how is a perception constructed?
I think upon a perception as a matrix of nervous signals.
I think that is a very good beginning. The next question is from where and with what.
To me the really big question is how I can be conscious a perception.
Try reading i of the vortex by Rodolpho Llinas. I think he lays out a very nice control perspective on consciousness.
BTW, I’m very proud to announce I received my BS in
economics this past June and I am in a Masters program
in SUNY for Behavioral Economics.
Congratulations from me. Behavioral Economics is a new concept for me. I guess it is a kind of marketing?
Thanks, very gracious of you.
You might think about it that way but it would be a superficial one in my opinion. You could use the information gathered for marketing purposes but it’s a great deal more involved than that.
Bill Williams was really onto something but I’m not quite sure why it was taking him so long to write his book before his untimely, and unfortunate passing. His book was in the works for over 20 years and was really a lifetime goal of his.
Behavioral economics is about the merging of psychology and economics, and that was what Bill Williams had in mind for his book.
I did not agree with his approach, nor did we agree on economic philosophy, but we did agree on the importance of control in economic thought.
To often, people think about economics solely in terms of financial transactions, and that is unfortunate. Economics is about how we as individuals allocate scarce resources which have alternative uses.
Those scarce resources include money, but also include anything else we ‘value’. The concepts of ‘price’, ‘cost’, and ‘margin’ all have very significant implications for the world of psychology, yet how many psychologists that you know have any fundamental ideas about economic concepts and how many economists do you know that have any real clue about purposeful human behavior?
Behavioral economics is an attempt to bridge this very important gap, and I’m very proud to be able to enter this field with some new and fresh ideas.
I said this awhile ago, and I’ll say it again, Bill Williams will always be with me. We may not have agreed on a whole lot, but we each knew where the important focus needed to be, and I plan on completing something he could not. At least I’m going to give it my best shot.
I advantageously read your references to Tomas Sowell: â€œBasic economicsâ€? and â€œApplied Economicsâ€?.
Two excellent books for an introduction into economics.
Sowell is or was the Economics chair at Stanford University. He is one of my hero’s. A very clear thinker and excellent writer.
My central theme will of course be control, or the very little I
actually know of it, but I’ll plod along.
If I wore your shoes I would spend many days and nights on the model I would develop. I would not have generalized observations from statistics and I would neither have extrapolated the ideas from my adviser. Or maybe this is the next step?
I’m working on it. Any interest in the subject? If so I would be happy to share what I currently have. I would only do this privately though, so if you are interested post me privately and I’d be happy to send you some stuff, and we can continue our discussion off-line.