[From: Bruce Nevin (Wed 950308 12:00:12 EST)]
I see that my date stamps have been out to lunch for a while.
( Bill Powers (950307.1625 MST) ) --
Thanks, that's very helpful.
Science is essentially social in nature.
I don't agree that the social side is any more important than the
facing-nature-in-isolation side. If you can't do both, you can't be a
I didn't intend "essentially" to mean "exclusively."
Perhaps I emphasize the social side of things because I see it left out
of account. Perhaps you see this emphasis as an assertion of social
processes, playing down the importance of individual control. Perhaps we
might fall into a polarization of the views we seem to express,
exaggerating the points that we want the other to "get." Perhaps this
would be an instance of a social process--a byproduct of individual
control of our perceptions of one another, constituting a loop.
Has anyone done any modelling of two control systems each controlling a
perception (inference -- a loaded term, I know) of how it is perceived by
the other, in the course of controlling other perceptions?
( Bill Leach 950307.20:54 ) --
I think I might have 'lost you' in the second, third and fourth
sentences unless "he" is a subject and you are applying the TEST.
Yes. My intent was not to give a definition or even a good example of
the Test, but to give an example of a syllogism of the category called
modus ponens (If p then q. p. Therefore q.). The point of this was to
show that categorization applies to higher levels. Another example:
Buddhism as exemplified by teachers like U Ba Khin and S. N. Goenka is a
high-synergy system concept.
The system concept referred to as la Cosa Nostra is a low-synergy
Regardless of the truth or falsity, or even sensibleness, of these two
assertions, they reflect a categorization of system concepts.
The point of this exercise was to question the status of categorization
as a level of perception. This questioning is weakened by Bill's
observation that perceptions at a given level may "be about" perceptions
at *any* lower level. It may be strengthened if categorization is the
only case that applies with equal facility (or perhaps at all) to
*higher* levels. The only way I can get a configuration of principles is
in using the configuration--or, rather, the relationships beneath the
configuration perception--as a metaphor for relationships among the
principles. This is I think quite important--it is how Einstein claimed
to do his thinking--and it is essential to how language works, but I
don't believe for a minute that it is the same thing as the derivation of
perceptions at one level from perceptions at another.
Finally, I wondered if these considerations might support Martin's
flip-flop mechanism for category perception, or some other scheme in
which category perception is pervasive rather than being located at a
given level in the hierarchy.