Let us now praise Phil Runkel

[From Rick Marken (970816.1510)]

Bruce Abbott (970816.0900 EST)

I hope I haven't driven you into Rick's camp. I understand the
mosquitos are pretty bad over there . . . (;->

It's been quite some time since I've seen a mosquito out here
in PCT Land. But I can imagine that it might look that way when
you're looking through the mosquito cloud of EAB;-)

I'm afraid that Bill is already in my camp, by the way; that is,
he is in the camp that knows that the only person who can change
your mind about the relationship between PCT and EAB is _you_.

I'm no longer intersted in giving detailed answers to your posts,
by the way, because we've been through all this stuff before and it's
quite clear that you have no intention at all of abandoning the idea
that PCT is an explanation for the "facts" that have already been
discovered by EAB. Bill can't seem to resist responding in detail
to the disturbances that are your posts regarding the relationship
between PCT and EAB and I'm glad he does this because it
provides all of us with good reading. But Bill knows as well as I
do that all the talk, logic and even _evidence_ in the world
can't _convince_ someone of something that they are determined
not to believe. As Bill himself [Bill Powers (970815.0553 MDT)]
said, in a recent moment of resignation:

There is nothing much I can do to heave you over the edge of the
local minimum you're in. That's an act that only you can perform.

I can see that my own determination not to assist in the heaving
process has resulted in some posts that may seem a bit flip; I'm sorry
for this. I imagine the flippant character of my posts may be giving
you the impression that I don't like you. In fact, my feelings are
quite the opposite; I like you very much because you are obviously
very bright. It's not dislike that makes me flip; it's disappointment;
deep disappointment. There is nothing I want more for PCT than more
bright, capable, hardworking scientists like you to contribute to its
development. I'm still not giving up on you; but I am giving up on
trying to make it happen.

While I was reflecting on this today I realized that there is
really a depressingly small number of people who have been able
to get out of the "local minimum" of a successful career in
conventional behavioral science and go all the way with PCT. But
then I got undepressed by reflecting on the most inspiring example
of one who did did make it all the way to PCT: Dr. Philip J. Runkel.

Phil apparently discovered PCT shortly before being asked to start the
_seventh_ edition of his textbook (with J. McGrath) on researh methods
in psychology, one of several books Phil wrote that were apparently
_standards_ in the field of educational psychology. I mention this
because I want to make it clear that Phil was a "big guy" in
conventional education and psychology. He came to PCT with plenty
to protect. So when Phil was learning PCT it would have been
understandable if he had been defensive, busily rejecting its
implications: viz., that everything he (Phil) had done and said
over a long and distinguished career was basically wrong. But for
some reason Phil didn't do that: instead, he did something rather

Shortly after Phil learned PCT, he was prevailed upon by his publisher
and co-author to write the seventh edition of his research methods
text. The amazing thing Phil did was say "no". Moreover, I am told
that Phil also said that he couldn't write it in good faith because he
now knew that everything in that book was bunk. Phil was willing to
acknowledge that all of his previous work, done in the context of the
cause-effect model of behavior, was out the window. This is real
intellectual courage; this is real intellectual integrity; this real
is class.

Phil then went on to write the best book on PCT since B:CP -- "Casting
Net and Testing Specimens".

I think that what Phil did is something that PCT itself can't explain.
I don't know what it is that made it possible for Phil to turn away
from his past and embrace PCT; I imagine it's the same thing that made
it possible for Jesus to turn away from the principles of revenge and
embrace the principles of forgiveness.

Phil. You are a saint, and an inspiration. I am also sure you
are completely embarassed by this. But that's what you get for
being so wonderful. You are my hero.





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