*INTROCSG.NET* (Welcome letter)

Since we have a few newcomers and our listowner Gary Cziko has
abandoned us temporarily, I'll send an extra issue of our "first
of the month" INTROCSG.NET file as a temporary welcome letter.

Best, Dag

···

---------------------------------------------
         INTRODUCTION TO THE CONTROL SYSTEMS GROUP (CSG)
         AND THE CONTROL SYSTEMS GROUP NETWORK (CSGnet)

            Prepared by Dag Forssell with Gary Cziko
                       Updated 1994.06.14

This introduction provides information about:

     Our Subject: Perceptual Control Theory
     The Evolution of the Control Paradigm
     Demonstrating the Phenomenon of Control
     The Purpose of CSGnet
     CSGnet Participants
     Asking Questions
     The Control Systems Group
     Accessing and Subscribing to CSGnet
     How to Obtain Text and Program Files
     References
     Order Forms

             OUR SUBJECT: PERCEPTUAL CONTROL THEORY

Here are introductions by Bill and Mary Powers:

                         * * * * * * * *

  There have been two paradigms in the behavioral sciences since
  the 1600's. One was the idea that events impinging on organisms
  make them behave as they do. The other, which was developed in
  the 1930's, is PERCEPTUAL CONTROL THEORY (PCT). Perceptual
  Control Theory explains how organisms control what happens to
  them. This means all organisms from the amoeba to humankind. It
  explains why one organism can't control another without physical
  violence. It explains why people deprived of any major part of
  their ability to control soon become dysfunctional, lose
  interest in life, pine away and die. It explains what a goal is,
  how goals relate to action, how action affects perceptions and
  how perceptions define the reality in which we live and move and
  have our being. Perceptual Control Theory is the first
  scientific theory that can handle all these phenomena within a
  single, testable concept of how living systems work.

                          William T. Powers, November 3, 1991

                         * * * * * * * *

  While the existence of control mechanisms and processes (such
as
  feedback) in living systems is generally recognized, the
  implications of control organization go far beyond what is
  generally accepted. We believe that a fundamental characteristic
  of organisms is their ability to control; that they are, in
  fact, living control systems. To distinguish this approach from
  others using some version of control theory but forcing it to
  fit conventional approaches, we call ours Perceptual Control
  Theory, or PCT.

  PCT requires a major shift in thinking from the traditional
  approach: that what is controlled is not behavior, but
  perception. Modelling behavior as a dependent variable, as a
  response to stimuli, provides no explanation for the phenomenon
  of achieving consistent ends through varying means, and requires
  an extensive use of statistics to achieve modest (to the point
  of meaningless) correlations. Attempts to model behavior as
  planned and computed output can be demonstrated to require
  levels of precise calculation that are unobtainable in a
  physical system, and impossible in a real environment that is
  changing from one moment to the next. The PCT model views
  behavior as the means by which a perceived state of affairs is
  brought to and maintained at a reference state. This approach
  provides a physically plausible explanation for the consistency
  of outcomes and the variability of means.

  The PCT model has been used to simulate phenomena as diverse as
  bacterial chemotaxis, tracking a target, and behavior in crowds.
  In its elaborated form, a hierarchy of perceptual control
  systems (HPCT), it has lent itself to a computer simulation of
  tracking, including learning to track, and to new approaches to
  education, management, and psychotherapy.

  Control systems are not new in the life sciences. However,
  numerous misapprehensions exist, passed down from what was
  learned about control theory by non-engineers 40 or 50 years ago
  without further reference to newer developments or correction
of
  initial misunderstandings. References in the literature to the
  desirability of positive feedback and the assertion that systems
  with feedback are slower than S-R systems are simply false, and
  concerns about stability are unfounded.

  The primary barrier to the adoption of PCT concepts is the
  belief--or hope--that control theory can simply be absorbed into
  the mainstream life sciences without disturbing the status quo.
  It is very hard to believe that one's training and life work,
  and that of one's mentors, and their mentors, must be
  fundamentally revised. Therefore, PCT appeals to those who feel
  some dissatisfaction with the status quo, or who are attracted
  to the idea of a generative model with broad application
  throughout the life sciences (plus AI and robotics). There are
  very few people working in PCT research. Much of its promise is
  still simply promise, and it meets resistance from all sides.
It
  is frustrating but also tremendously exciting to be a part of
  the group who believe that they are participating in the birth
  of a true science of life.
                                    Mary Powers, November 1992

                         * * * * * * * *

              THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONTROL PARADIGM

The PCT paradigm originates in 1927, when an engineer named Harold
Black completed the technical analysis of closed loop control
systems. He was working with the negative feedback amplifier,
which is a control device. This led to a new engineering
discipline and the development of many purposeful machines.
Purposeful machines have built-in intent to achieve consistent
ends by variable means under changing conditions.

The explanation for the phenomenon of control is the first
alternative to the linear cause-effect perspective ever proposed
in any science.

The first discussion of purposeful machines and people came in
1943 in a paper called: Behavior, Purpose and Teleology by
Rosenblueth, Wiener and Bigelow. This paper also argued that
purpose belongs in science as a real phenomenon in the present.
Purpose does not mean that somehow the future influences the
present.

The first specific suggestion on how to use the concept of control
to understand people came in 1957 in a paper entitled: A General
Feedback Theory of Human Behavior by McFarland, Powers and Clark.

In 1973 William T. (Bill) Powers published a seminal book called
"Behavior: the Control of Perception," which still is the major
reference for PCT. See literature below.

This book spells out a complete model of how the human brain and
nervous system works like a living perceptual control system. Our
brain can be viewed as a system that controls its own perceptions.
This view suggests explanations for many previously mysterious
aspects of how people interact with their world.

Perceptual Control Theory has been accepted by independently
thinking psychologists, scientists and other interested people.
The result is that an association has been formed (the Control
System Group), several books published, this CSGnet set up and
that at latest count 16 professors are teaching PCT in American
universities today.

       DEMONSTRATING THE PHENOMENON OF CONTROL

The phenomenon of control is largely unrecognized in science
today. It is not well understood in important aspects even by many
control engineers. Yet the phenomenon of control, when it is
recognized and understood, provides a powerful enhancement to
scientific perspectives.

It is essential to recognize that this phenomenon exists and
deserves an explanation before any of the discourse on CSGnet will
make sense.

Please download the introductory demonstrations (demo1 and demo2
to begin with), which are interactive MS-DOS format programs. See
"How to obtain text and program files" below for obtaining files
via FTP, Gopher, and e-mail.

                      THE PURPOSE OF CSGnet

CSGnet provides a forum for development, use and testing of PCT.

                       CSGnet PARTICIPANTS

Many interests and backgrounds are represented here. Psychology,
Sociology, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Social
Work, Neurology, Modeling and Testing. All are represented and
discussed. As of June 1994 there were about 130 individuals from
17 countries subscribed to CSGnet.

                        ASKING QUESTIONS

Please introduce yourself with a statement of your professional
interests and background. It will help someone answer if you spell
out which demonstrations, introductory papers and references you
have taken the time to digest.

                    THE CONTROL SYSTEMS GROUP

The CSG is an organization of people in the behavioral, social,
and life sciences who see the potential in PCT for increased
understanding in their own fields and for the unification of
diverse and fragmented specialties.

Annual dues are $45 for full members and $5 for students
(subsidized).

The tenth North American annual meeting of the CSG will held in
Durango, Colorado, on the campus of Fort Lewis College. It will
be held 27-31 July 1994. There will be 7 plenary meetings
(mornings and evenings), with afternoons, mealtimes, and late
night free for further discussion or recreation. Full details will
be available on CSGnet or by mail after April 1, 1994. The first
meeting of the European Control Systems Group (ECSG) will be held
on 22-26 June 1994, in Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. Further information
can be obtained from Marcos Rodrigues <mar@aber.ac.uk>.

Net subscribers find it useful to have thematic collections of
some of the network discussions, and it enables non-net members
to keep up with them. Threads from this net are published on a
quarterly basis in a booklet called the Closed Loop. These
booklets, distributed to members, are available separately. A
complimentary copy of Closed Loop will be sent upon request. Back
issues are available: Volume 1 (4 issues) is $12. Single issues
of Volume 2, beginning with Jan. 1992, are $6 each.

For membership information and back issues of Closed Loop, write:
CSG, c/o Mary Powers, 73 Ridge Place CR 510, Durango, CO
81301-8136 or send e-mail to <POWERS_W%FLC@VAXF.COLORADO.EDU>.

        ACCESSING AND SUBSCRIBING TO CSGnet

CSGnet can also be accessed via Usenet where it is listed as the
newsgroup "bit.listserv.csg-l."

To subscribe to the listserv version of CSGnet, send a message as
follows to <LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU>:

Subscribe CSG-L Lastname, Firstname, Affiliation, Location
Help

"Lastname, Firstname," etc is optional but helpful. "Help"
requests a list of most commonly used commands. The Bitnet address
for the list server is LISTSERV@UIUCVMD. This server is not case
sensitive.

To remove yourself from the subscribe to the listserv version of
CSGnet, send a message as follows to <LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU>:

Unsub CSG-L

For the "unsub" command to work, the command must be sent with the
same return address as was used for the original "subscribe"
command.

Messages to the entire CSGnet community should be addressed to
<CSG-L@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU> (Internet) or <CSG-L@UIUCVMD> (Bitnet).

For more information about accessing CSGnet, contact Gary Cziko,
the network manager, at <G-CZIKO@UIUC.EDU>.

              HOW TO OBTAIN TEXT AND PROGRAM FILES

A number of ASCII documents and MS-DOS and Macintosh computer
programs are available on a fileserver maintained by Bill Silvert.
These files can be obtained via anonymous FTP, Gopher, World Wide
Web, and e-mail.

ANONYMOUS FTP

For anonymous FTP access, connect to biome.bio.ns.ca, logon as
anonymous, giving your e-mail address as your password. The CSG
files can be found in the directory pub/csg.

Two programs of particular interest for MS-DOS machines can be
found in the directory pub/csg/pctdemos. The file names are demo1
and demo2 and they contain Bill Powers's demonstrations of the
phenomenon of control and the perceptual control theory model of
behavior. Also of interest is the complete PCT bibliography
compiled by Greg Williams. This file can be found in the directory
pub/csg/documents as biblio.pct.

GOPHER AND WORLD WIDE WEB

For Gopher access, point your Gopher at biome.bio.ns.ca. This can
usually done by following the following path (although the first
four steps below may differ depending on how you access Gopher):

-> Other Gopher and Information Servers
-> North America
-> Canada
-> Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Canada)
-> Organizations
-> Control Systems Group

The exact link is:

Type=1
Name=Control Systems Group
Path=1/FTP/pub/csg
Host=biome.bio.ns.ca
Port=70
URL: gopher://biome.bio.ns.ca:70/11/FTP/pub/csg

which can also be used with World Wide Web.

E-MAIL

Document files and uuencoded versions of program files can also
be obtained via e-mail. Here are some basic commands for obtaining
files and information:

To: SERVER@BIOME.BIO.NS.CA

Message: help
            get pub/csg/00index

"help" requests commands and explanations
"get pub/csg/00index" requests index for the csg subdirectory.

Pay attention to letter case for commands! DOS is not dos.
The pub/csg/00index you receive in response will show additional
directories and enable you to send messages to find out what is
available in your area of interest.

                           REFERENCES

Here are some selected books, papers and computer programs on
Perceptual Control Theory. For a very complete list of CSG-related
publications, get the file biblio.pct from the fileserver as
described above. See order forms at the end.
                         * * * * * * * *

Bourbon, WT, KE Copeland, VR Dyer, WK Harman & BL Mosely (1990).
  On the accuracy and reliability of predictions by control-system
  theory. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 71, 1331-1338. The first
  of a 20-year series demonstrating the long-term reliability and
  stability of predictions generated by the PCT model.

Bourbon, W. Tom (In Press). Perceptual Control Theory. In:
  HL Roitblat & J-A Meyer (eds.). Comparative approaches to
  cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Chapter surveys
  applications of PCT modeling by Bill Powers and Greg Williams
  (pointing, from the ARM/LITTLE MAN program); by Rick Marken and
  Bill Powers (movement "up a gradient" by E. coli), by Bill
  Powers, Clark Mcphail and Chuck Tucker (social movement and
  static formations, from the GATHERINGS program), and by Bourbon
  (tracking). The PCT model is contrasted with some of the
  mainstream models and theories presented at the workshop.

Cziko, Gary A. (1992). Purposeful behavior as the control of
  perception: Implications for educational research. EDUCATIONAL
  RESEARCHER, 21(9), 10-18, 27. Introduction to PCT and
  implications for educational research.

Cziko, Gary A. (1992). Perceptual control theory: One threat to
  educational research not (yet?) faced by Amundson, Serlin, and
  Lehrer. EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER, 21(9), 25-27. Response to
  critics of previous article.

Ford, Edward E. (1989). FREEDOM FROM STRESS. Scottsdale AZ: Brandt
  Publishing. A self-help book. PCT in a counseling framework.

Forssell, Dag C., (1993). Perceptual Control: A Key Management
  Insight." In ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, 5(4), 17-25.
  Introduction to PCT as an answer to leadership issues.

Forssell, Dag C. (Ed.), (1994). PERCEPTUAL CONTROL THEORY: DOS
  COMPUTER DEMONSTRATION, TUTORIALS, SIMULATIONS, EXPLANATIONS.
  1.44 MB 3 1/2" disk (1 ea) or 1.2 MB 5 1/4" disk (2 ea). May be
  freely copied. $10 U.S. by air worldwide. Write:
  Purposeful Leadership, 23903 Via Flamenco, Valencia, CA, USA.
  Also available via anonymous FTP at biome.bio.ns.ca:
  /msm/ftp/pub/csg/pctdemos/

Forssell, Dag C., (1994). PERCEPTUAL CONTROL: USEFUL MANAGEMENT
  INSIGHT. Available from the author. Structure and evidence for
  HPCT, with basic applications of conflict resolution.

Forssell, Dag C., (1994). PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY: THE ACHILLES' HEEL
  OF TQM. ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT JOURNAL. Available from the
  author. Defining useful theory and assessing TQM.

Gibbons, Hugh. (1990). THE DEATH OF JEFFREY STAPLETON: EXPLORING
  THE WAY LAWYERS THINK. Concord, NH: Franklin Pierce Law Center.
  A text for law students using control theory.

Hershberger, Wayne. (Ed.). (1989). VOLITIONAL ACTION: CONATION AND
  CONTROL (Advances in Psychology No. 62). NY: North-Holland.
  16 of 25 articles on or about PCT.

Marken, Richard S. (Ed.). (1990). Purposeful Behavior: The control
  theory approach. AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST, 34(1). (Thousand
  Oaks, CA: Sage Publications) 11 articles on control theory.

Marken, Richard S. (1992). MIND READINGS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES OF
  PURPOSE. KY: CSG Books. Research papers exploring control.

McClelland, Kent. (In press). Perceptual Control and Social Power.
  SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES.

McPhail, Clark. (1990). THE MYTH OF THE MADDING CROWD. New York:
  Aldine de Gruyter. Introduces control theory to explain group
  behavior.

McPhail, Clark., Powers, William T., & Tucker, Charles W. (1992).
  Simulating individual and collective action In temporary
  gatherings. SOCIAL SCIENCE COMPUTER REVIEW, 10(1), 1-28.
  Computer simulation of control systems in groups.

Petrie, Hugh G. (1981). THE DILEMMA OF INQUIRY AND LEARNING.
  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Powers, William T. (1973). BEHAVIOR: THE CONTROL OF PERCEPTION.
  Hawthorne, NY: Aldine DeGruyter. The basic text.

Powers, William T. (1989). LIVING CONTROL SYSTEMS: SELECTED
  PAPERS. KY: CSG Books. Previously published papers, 1960-1988.

Powers, William T. (1992). LIVING CONTROL SYSTEMS II: SELECTED
  PAPERS. KY: CSG Books. Previously unpublished papers, 1959-1990

Richardson, George P. (1991). FEEDBACK THOUGHT IN SOCIAL SCIENCE
  AND SYSTEMS THEORY. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
  Press. A review of systems thinking, including PCT.

Robertson, Richard J. and Powers, William T. (Eds.). (1990).
  INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PSYCHOLOGY: THE CONTROL THEORY VIEW.
  KY: CSG Books. College-level text.

Runkel, Philip J. (1990). CASTING NETS AND TESTING SPECIMENS. New
  York: Praeger. When statistics are appropriate; when models are
  required.

                         * * * * * * * *

-----------------------------------------------------------------
   A free 15 page PCT Resource Guide with brief introductions and
   more detail on the references listed above and a few more --
   publishers, books, articles, videos, seminars, and the DOS
   demonstration disk -- may be obtained by sending a note with

   1) a self addressed, stamped (29 cents) envelope, or

   2) two "international reply" coupons - every post office in
   the world sells them. (One coupon is enough for Canada and
   Mexico).

   to: PCT Resource Guide, 23903 Via Flamenco
           Valencia, California, 91355-2808 USA.

The order forms below are reproduced from the PCT Resource Guide.
All prices current as of April, 1994.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CSG Book Publishing: Greg Williams Telephone: 606/332-7606
460 Black Lick Road, Gravel Switch, KY 40328 USA

___ ea INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PSYCHOLOGY @ $25.00 _______
___ ea LIVING CONTROL SYSTEMS @ $16.50 _______
___ ea LIVING CONTROL SYSTEMS II @ $22.00 _______
___ ea MIND READINGS @ $18.00 _______
       Kentucky residents please add sales tax, 6%. Tax _______
       Shipping & Handling (world wide) per order _5.00__
       Prepaid: Check, money order Total _______

NAME ______________________________Phone(______)_______-__________

ADDRESS
__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------
Purposeful Leadership: Dag Forssell Telephone: 805/254-1195
23903 Via Flamenco, Valencia, CA 91355-2808 USA Fax:(805) 254-7956

___ ea Articles & Program Info. Introduction book @ $20.00 ______
___ ea PCTdemos. DOS program disk __ 31/2" __51/4" @ $10.00 ______
___ ea Rubber Band Demo. Video & Script 63 minutes @ $20.00 ______
___ ea PCT supports TQM. Video 117 minutes @ $20.00 ______
___ ea Deming-Observ, Interpret., Comment. Booklet @ $10.00 ______
___ ea Freedom From Stress. Book by Ed Ford @ $10.00 ______
       California residents please add sales tax, 8.25%.Tax ______
       Shipping & Handling (world wide) per order _5.00_
       Prepaid: Check, money order Total ______

NAME _____________________________ Phone__________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------
Brandt Publishing: Edward E. Ford Telephone & Fax: 602/991-4860
10209 North 56th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85253-1130 USA

__ ea Freedom From Stress, Book @ $10.00 _______
__ ea Love Guaranteed, Book @ $ 9.00 _______
__ ea Love Guaranteed, Video @ $20.00 _______
__ ea Discipline for Home and School, Book @ $10.00 _______
      Arizona residents please add sales tax, 6%. Tax _______
      Shipping & Handling (world wide) per order _5.00__
      Prepaid: Check, money order Total _______

NAME______________________________ Phone__________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------

Journal Marketing, Sage Publications Phone orders: (805) 499-0721
2455 Teller Rd, Newbury Park, CA 91320 USA Fax: (805) 499-0871

  American Behavioral Scientist, Volume 34, Number 1 Sept/Oct 1990
       Stock number 201238 Richard S. Marken, Editor
       Purposeful Behavior; The Control Theory Approach,
___ ea Price for individuals and companies: @ $11.20 _______
___ ea Price for institutions and libraries: @ $22.40 _______
       California residents add sales tax 7.25%. Tax _______
       Shipping & Handling (world wide) per order _2.00__
       Prepaid: Check, money order, credit cards Total _______

NAME _____________________________ Phone__________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------

Elsevier Science Phone orders: (212) 633-3650
655 Ave of the Americas New York, NY 10010 USA Fax: (212) 633-3680

___ ea Volitional Action, Conation and Control, Hershberger, Ed.
       ISBN: 0-444-88318-5 @ $155.50 _______
       New York residents add sales tax Tax _______
       Shipping included with prepaid orders (within USA) _______
       Check, money order, credit cards, P.O's Total _______

NAME ______________________________ Phone_________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

Outside USA: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.
             P.O. Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands

------------------------------------------------------------------

Aldine de Gruyter Phone orders: 914/747-0110
200 Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne, NY 10532 USA Fax: (914) 747-1326

___ ea Behavior: The Control of Perception by William T. Powers
       Clothbound ISBN 0-202-25113-6 @ $41.95 _______
       The Myth of the Madding Crowd by Clark McPhail
___ ea Clothbound ISBN 0-202-30424-8 @ $47.95 _______
___ ea Paperbound ISBN 0-202-30375-6 @ $24.95 _______
       New York residents add sales tax Tax _______
       Ship: $4 1st book, $1 per add'l.(Outside US double) _______
       Check, money order, credit cards Total _______

NAME ______________________________ Phone_________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------