From [Marc Abrams (2006.07.05.1426)]

> [From Bryan Thalhammer (2006.07.05.1321 CDT)]

>I don't know why the focus is so heavy on efficiency.

Because that is where Jim wants it to be.

> Math. I have always been math-challenged. I do well, but I am in awe of those who can see through the formulas and calculations to the >function, being described. Really. But perhaps what Rick means, by doing the math, is not restricting the presentation to math, but to >ensure that what is described is measurable in the data that are allegedly described. Words are not really measureable.

An interesting and important point. In my post yesterday I tried to point out that mathematics is but another metaphor that we use in trying to understand the world we live in. When you start viewing mathematical models _as_ the reality I believe you have crossed the line and are headed for big trouble. The map is _never_ the territory.

Mathematical manipulations do not make something real or concrete. What makes something "real" and "concrete" are our perceptions, and when you replace words with numbers, what exactly do those numbers actually represent? That is, what characteristics of the object do they purport to represent? If you are using symbols in your manipulations, than what the specific meaning those symbols have must also be "interpreted" as well. What does not have to be "interpreted" are the relationships between functions

Mathematics is extremely important and useful but in and of itself is not sufficient for good science; and the reason model building is so difficult is because it is half art and half science. The difficulty in "translating" what we perceive into useful mathematical functions, constructs and relationships is really an art form and like most everything else, some are better at it than others.

But I believe anyone who actually wants to, can learn the necessary math and can learn to model, if not well, than adequately.

>I just don't see why efficiency is so important in understanding PCT.

It's not, its useful for understanding some of Jim's ideas and point of view.

>Unless efficiency is a principle or program that is being maintained at high gain. Or?

I think Rick is right by calling "efficiency" a measure of human performance. I'm not so sure I would say the same of perceptual control. Perceptual control _is_ human performance (behavior) not simply a measure of it.

I also think Rick is right in replacing the word efficiency with control in the same way I would replace the word "rational" with control. That is, people are not efficient, they are controllers and they are not rational, they are controllers. This of course does not preclude an observer from saying that he/she is observing rational/efficient behavior.

Regards,

Marc

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