Ironing, Programs

[From Rick Marken (980721.1840)]

Marc Abrams (989718.1058) --

I do hope that Tom B, Rick and Bill can iron out their

We did, indeed. I realized that what Tom is doing with RTP
is not only wonderful -- it's _very_ difficult (more difficult
than getting Bruce Abbott to understand the concept of _controlled
variable_, if you can imagine _that_). Tom is as high gain about
having people get RTP right as I am about having people get PCT
right. Since I have never seen RTP in action, some of the things
I said (or seemed to be saying) about it on the net were clearly
wrong (and, thus, a huge disturbance to one of the variables Tom
is controlling for). So I agreed that I wouldn't say anything
about RTP until I had seen it in action. And Tom agreed to try
to arrange for me to visit an RTP school some time before the
next meeting (which will be in Vancouver again! horray Autumn

Until then, I'll try to stick to PCT. So with that in mind, I'll
try to answer Bruce Abbott (980714.2025 EST) on control of
program perceptions:

This doesn't seem to fit how I perceive myself to be operating
as I develop and carry out a course of action, with some parts
being filled in as conditions unfold. It would seem that in your
model, I would need to develop a reference signal that somehow
specified the variables to be controlled,

The setting of a reference for a program perception specifies only
that a particular program should be perceived as being carried
out. References for the lower level perceptions that make up
the program are being set as the _means_ of keeping the program
perception happening. I imagine that control of program perceptions,
which exit in the "temporal" domain, occurs in the same way as
control of relationship perceptions (like those controlled at
level 3 of my spreadsheet hierarchy), which exist in the "spatial"

the reference values to be attained, the contingent points at
which choices and branching are to occur, and the sequencing,

The _lower level_ references are being set (as a function of
error at the program level) as the means of maintaining the
program percpeption. I think the "contingent points" are part
of the _perceptual function_ that defines the program perception;
sequencing is also a perception; what is specified is references
for the sequence perceptions that must occur (if they must) for
the program perception to be maintained.

Do you really think that this is what we do as we carry out
what may be a rather nebulous and incomplete plan for, say,
meeting someone for dinner?

Yes. I think all behavior is the control of perception. If we
control programs (and I have shown experimentally that at
least one person -- me -- can control programs) then what
is being controlled is _not_ a program of action; what is
controlled is a program _perception_.





Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: