[Jim Dundon 07.07.06.1212edt]
I have have been reading and studying all the related posts and realize it would be good for me to be able to convert my thoughts into PCT math and descriptives. My son has agreed to help me, he doubles up in math classes in school and get straight A’s so that ought to speed things up a little.
I’m studying the math contained in the e-mails as well as the appendix in B:CP.
In the meantime I like to jump back in and continue the dialogue as best I can because it helps to clarify my thinking.
It looks like Rick’s observation that what I call the efficiency, PCT calls gain, is pretty close to the mark. I realize that these conversations have been focused on efficiency which is quite okay because they have all been very enlightening but it really was not my intent to focus on efficiency but to discover what it is on the unconscious level which inclined us toward least something [I thought good control implied minimum effort] which appears to be present in purposeful behavior. I suggested many possible descriptors one of which was efficiency and it seemed that efficiency was the one most easily thought of.
It may be simultaneously true that a least something corresponds simultaneously to a more something. In the case of PCT I suppose less error means more gain.
In reviewing some of the things I have on hand I was looking through the Oxford companion to the mind and came across the following.
“It seems clear that,… there is a major element of anticipation in response to a stimulus. If the importance of anticipation had been generally realized the history of experimental psychology would have been very different-- for the immensely [indeed seductively] powerful stimulus-response paradigm would surely not have been accepted as the basis of perception and behavior”
The above quote is under “personal equation”
Under “reaction time”
'… like all other successful animals human beings overcome their temporal lag behind events in the external world by learning to predict what will happen next. When they can do this they have reaction times of zero million seconds, responding to events just as soon as they occur, or they can even take leaps into the future, gaining an edge over a rapidly changing environment, or over rapidly moving adversaries, by anticipating events which have not yet occurred."
“it is now widely recognize that reaction time measurements make little sense unless we bear in mind that, although all living things can experience only the past, animals like ourselves have gained our success in the world by continuously, and accurately, predicting the very immediate future…[controlled perceptiond?]… reaction times do not provide us with measurements of the time necessary for sets of nerve impulses generated in the sense organs to activate those parts of the brain that in turn activate our muscles. They rather measure the duration of operation of processes of active, predictive control, by means of which we organize responses that anticipate, and preempt, very fast changes in the world.”
And under “perception as hypotheses”
The notion that perceptions are hypotheses… derives from the account of perception given by Herman Von Helmhultz who suggested that perceptions are conclusions of unconscious inductive inferences" [controlled perceptions?]
Helmhultz thinks of perception as given by learning, and as impirical. It is not passive acceptance of stimulus patterns but rather projection [though not merely geometrical projection] from the internally organized knowledge of objects and processes… we project our meanings of words on what we describe…[controlled perceptions?]… perceptual hypotheses and scientific hypotheses seem to share strikingly significant similarities"
"Powers to predict are vitally important uses of hypotheses both in science and in perception. In each case, prediction involves the application of analogies top-down from stored knowledge. In each case, also, it allows behavior to continue with only partial, or even no, available sensed information such as when we cross a familiar room in the dark. And the predictive “look ahead” registers thr speed is needed for example to return a fast-moving tennis ball, so that behavior is not generally delayed by the physiological reaction time.
“The present is read from the past to enable prediction and planning for the future. But for perception, this applies only to the immediate future, and generally less than one second ahead in time. Perception is remarkably fast, and needs to be, because unexpected events do happen, and they can be dangerous. In this respect perception differs from science and differs from our conceptual understanding. Indeed it may be said that we have perceptual hypotheses and conceptual hypotheses of the world and ourselves, which are different and which work on different time scales. The factor of differing time scales provides a clue to why perceptual and conceptual hypotheses differ, and why they may conflict. For it would be impossible to access the entire corpus of our knowledge for each perception, occurring in a fraction of a second.”
A good weekend to all