Living among the incompetent

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1830)]

Bill Powers (2007.01.11.1203 MST)

Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1040) --

Now can we switch to something more interesting, like what to do when you are living in a country full of people who thought it was a good idea to impeach a competent, articulate and generally successful President like Bill Clinton but who will not even consider impeaching a couple miserable incompetents like Bush and Cheney.

Clinton was up for impeachment because he was accused (incorrectedly, as Starr finally admitted) of an actual crime involving Whitewater. He did lie, but it's hard to find anyone in Washington who sees anything wrong with that.

In Amerika a lie is wrong only when it is about sex. Lying us into war -- no problemo.

Being superstitous, gullible, and incompetent, which is very bad for those who depend on you, is not a crime or misdemeanor.

Of course not, since the superstitious, gullible, and incompetent leader was been elected by his peers;-)

Actually, I think we should run the government like a business, at least in the regard that you simply fire incompetent managers.

We can. It's called an election. The people voted to keep the nincompoop on the job. The 2004 election should have been a landslide for Kerry. But the coalition of the incompetent went and extended Bush's contract. That's why I asked the question; what do you do when you are living among incompetents who want one of their own as the manager?

Best

Rick

···

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Sure, Bush lied, but unlike Clinton, he did it for _moral_ reasons.

It's not incompetence, its that for many of those who re-elected Bush
this statement actually makes sense.

Lakoff's _Moral Politics_ is an analysis of some of the relevant
controlled perceptions and their respective reference settings on the
left and right. Obviously we would want to do more to confirm his
hypotheses, but it's a good start, including examples of resisting
disturbance.

  /BN

···

-----Original Message-----
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU] On Behalf Of Rick Marken
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 9:31 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Subject: Living among the incompetent

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1830)]

Bill Powers (2007.01.11.1203 MST)

Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1040) --

Now can we switch to something more interesting, like what to do when

you are living in a country full of people who thought it was a good
idea to impeach a competent, articulate and generally successful
President like Bill Clinton but who will not even consider impeaching

a couple miserable incompetents like Bush and Cheney.

Clinton was up for impeachment because he was accused (incorrectedly,
as Starr finally admitted) of an actual crime involving Whitewater. He

did lie, but it's hard to find anyone in Washington who sees anything
wrong with that.

In Amerika a lie is wrong only when it is about sex. Lying us into war
-- no problemo.

Being superstitous, gullible, and incompetent, which is very bad for
those who depend on you, is not a crime or misdemeanor.

Of course not, since the superstitious, gullible, and incompetent leader
was been elected by his peers;-)

Actually, I think we should run the government like a business, at
least in the regard that you simply fire incompetent managers.

We can. It's called an election. The people voted to keep the
nincompoop on the job. The 2004 election should have been a landslide
for Kerry. But the coalition of the incompetent went and extended Bush's
contract. That's why I asked the question; what do you do when you are
living among incompetents who want one of their own as the manager?

Best

Rick
---

Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.11.0940)]

Sure, Bush lied, but unlike Clinton, he did it for _moral_ reasons.

Really? How do you know? What were Clinton's non-moral reasons? What were Bush's moral reasons?

It's not incompetence, its that for many of those who re-elected Bush this statement actually makes sense.

Which statement is the one people thought made sense: That we should have invaded Iraq because they might have had WMD? Because they might have had links to the terrorists who took down the WTC? Because bringing democracy to the Iraq might have made the Iraqis stop hating Israel for treating their fellow Muslims like shit? Why is re-electing the person who told these lies after they had been exposed as lies not a sign of profound incompetence on the part of the voters?

Lakoff's _Moral Politics_ is an analysis of some of the relevant controlled perceptions and their respective reference settings on the left and right. Obviously we would want to do more to confirm his hypotheses, but it's a good start, including examples of resisting disturbance.

I think the controlled perceptions on the left and right are pretty obvious, though some are not consistently held by people identified with the left or the right. But it's pretty easy to see individual people protecting these perceptions from disturbance. Control of these "right-left" perceptions is actually an unfortunate aspect of politics because it prevents people from evaluating the consequences of their policies and changing those policies, if necessary, in order to improve those consequences. What usually happens is that control of policies (means) that are consistent with one's political beliefs becomes more important than control of the consequences (ends) that are, supposedly, the reason for implementing the policies. The Clinton administration was orders of magnitude better at implementing policies that produced good consequences than has been the Bush administration. I don't believe this is because Clinton was more left than Bush; I think it's simply because Clinton was _far_ more competent. Of course, it could be that the Bush administration is competent that it wants to produce the consequences that its policies are producing. In that case, I would describe them as evil rather than incompetent. But I'm willing to them the benefit of the doubt.

Best

Rick

···

On Thursday, January 11, 2007, at 08:27 PM, Bruce Nevin (bnevin) wrote:
-----

Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01.12,10:40 EUST)]

From Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1830)

That’s why I asked the question; what do you do
when

you are living among incompetents who want one of
their own as the

manager?

I don’t think you need to ask that question, Rick. You
know an answer that you are happy with (?).

We all control our perceptions and you control your
perceptions. I have sometimes tested what perceptions you really controlled
when I observed some of your actions. I have not always asked you special
questions, but I have marked what question other list mates have asked and I
have marked your answers (that is a way to test, isn’t it?).

Now I will ask if my thinking about which perceptions
you control when you write muck about Bush is correct.

You don’t control the perception of being a president
yourself.

You don’t control the perception of being a member of
a president’s gang.

Sometimes you control the perception of letting other people
in L.A. know what you mean (when you tell us that you have written a reader’s
letter to a newspaper).

You don’t control the perception of changing the
meaning to other list mates on CSG. You know better than that.

Sometimes
(when you write muck about Bush on this list) you control the perception of
letting other list mates know that you are indignant. When you write that other people are
incompetent I am sure you think that that is your perception. I know you don’t
try to say that there is any thing relating to the external world that is not a
perception. Therefore I know that you know that other people are not
incompetent. It is your perception that they are
incompetent.

bjorn

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.12.1010)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01.12,10:40 EUST)

Rick Marken (2007.01.11.1830)

That's why I asked the question; what do you do when you are living among incompetents who want one of their own as the manager?

I don�t think you need to ask that question, Rick. You know an answer that you are happy with (?).

Actually, I don't have an answer. Just a question: Do I rise up against the sea of troubles (and by opposing, make myself miserable) or ignore it and hope things get better by themselves?

We all control our perceptions and you control your perceptions. I have sometimes tested what perceptions you really controlled when I observed some of your actions. I have not always asked you special questions, but I have marked what question other list mates have asked and I have marked your answers (that is a way to test, isn�t it?).

Yes.

Now I will ask if my thinking about which perceptions you control when you write muck about Bush is correct.

Well, I think it's pretty easy to tell that I am trying to get the horrible perception of that moron as president to change into a perception of him being frog marched out of the White House into a nice country club prison somewhere for the rest of his life (along with his fellow war criminals: Cheney, Condi, Rumsfeld and every neoconservative on the face of the planet).

You don�t control the perception of being a president yourself.

I thought you were figuring out which perceptions I _am_ controlling for. But you're right, I'm not controlling for being President. I don't think the US is ready of a non-believer, let along an anti-believer.

You don�t control the perception of being a member of a president�s gang.

For sure.

Sometimes you control the perception of letting other people in L.A. know what you mean (when you tell us that you have written a reader�s letter to a newspaper).

Yes. I am controlling for making my point of view known. So I'm controlling for letting people know some of the things I'm controlling for. I would _hope_ that that would make it pretty easy for you to figure out what I'm controlling for.

You don�t control the perception of changing the meaning to other list mates on CSG. You know better than that.

I don't? I think I control for that like crazy.

Sometimes (when you write muck about Bush on this list) you control the perception of letting other list mates know that you are indignant. �

RIght on.

When you write that other people are incompetent I am sure you think that that is your perception.

Yes. I know it's a perception (just like Bush being President is a perception); it's a perception I don't like (because of those damn references of mine) and I would feel much happier perceiving someone else as President, as long as it's not a Republican (also a perception, and a horrible one).

I know you don�t try to say that there is any thing relating to the external world that is not a perception. Therefore I know that you know that other people are not incompetent. Itis your perception that they are incompetent.

Your concept of perception is quite different than mine. From my point of view, perception _is_ reality. To the extent that there is a real reality on which perception is based (and I think there is) I think that reality is more like what physics says is out there. There is no competence (or incompetence) in that real reality; competence (or incompetence) exists only as a perception. It is an aspect of real reality that only a human brain can experience, because only a human brain can compute that perceptual variable. So, from my point of view, your statement above makes no sense. I certainly don't "know" that people are really not incompetent and I don't think that the incompetence I see is _just_ my perception; it's what I perceive. I know nothing about what is "really" out there; all I know about and deal with are my perceptions. And my perception is that I am dealing with a population that was stupid enough to vote for a venal, greedy, unimaginative and inarticulate moron to be their leader. I imagine it's because they perceived him differently than I do. But that's my problem; how do you deal with living among people who see things so differently -- or have such different references for the kind of person they want as their president.

Best

Rick

···

----
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01,13,01:00 EUST)]

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.12.1010)]

That’s why I asked the question; what do you
do when you are living

among incompetents who want one of their own
as the manager?

I don’t think you need to ask that question,
Rick. You know an answer

that you are happy with (?).

Actually, I don’t have an answer.

I don’t wish to be too opinionated, but I know that
you know PCT from A to Z.

What I meant was that you know that living organisms
(you) either control perceptions or not. The “incompetents” are a part of your
environment. I think we agree that they belong to a unit that affects the Input
Quantity. I know you often use the name IV.

Because you know PCT you know that your perception is
compared with your reference. If the difference is zero, you don’t control that
perception (composite loop).

If the difference is greater than zero you control the
perception. Then you often do something. If you analyse these last sentences, you
do something dependent on your reference. That was the answer I meant you knew.
And saying that you were happy with that knowledge, I meant that you think that
the answer is OK.

Just a question: Do I rise up against

the sea of troubles (and by opposing, make myself
miserable) or ignore

it and hope things get better by themselves?

You are the best to answer that question. My
perception is that these Bush years you rise up against the sea. That is OK.
Other person ignore or don’t see the troubles. They do something else. That is
also OK. People control different perceptions.

You don’t control the perception of changing
the meaning to other list

mates on CSG. You know better than that.

I don’t? I think I control for that like crazy.

I don’t think you are serious here. How do your
perceptions change our meaning?

Yes. I know it’s a perception (just like Bush
being President is a

perception); it’s a perception I don’t like
(because of those damn

references of mine) and I would feel much happier
perceiving someone

else as President, as long as it’s not a
Republican (also a perception,

and a horrible one).

Well you have the possibility to change your
references. Some people stop smoking and maybe it is most easy for them who don’t
like smoking. The problem is that if you reorganize, it is difficult to plan
future references. Maybe you become a Bush fan?

I know you don’t try to say that there is any
thing relating to the

external world that is not a perception. Therefore
I know that you

know that other people are not incompetent. It
is in your perception that

they are incompetent.

Your concept of perception is quite different than
mine. From my point

of view, perception is reality.

Don’t say that. Also from my point of view, perception
is reality. It is my representation of what is going on outside and inside me. It
is all I have, I think.

To the extent that there is a real

reality on which perception is based (and I think
there is) I think

that reality is more like what physics says is out
there. There is no

competence (or incompetence) in that real reality;
competence (or

incompetence) exists only as a perception.

I knew you would say what you say above. And I say the
same.

It is an aspect of real

reality that only a human brain can experience,
because only a human

brain can compute that perceptual variable. So, from my point of view,

your statement above makes no sense.

My statement was: “Therefore I know that you know that
other people are not incompetent”.

If there is no competence in the real reality, other
people can’t be incompetent.

I certainly don’t “know” that

people are really not incompetent and I don’t
think that the

incompetence I see is just my perception; it’s
what I perceive. I

know nothing about what is “really” out
there; all I know about and

deal with are my perceptions.

I think, I think like you. Rick. But people have
different references. They control different perceptions and I think it is
everybody’s right to control the perceptions they wish without being classified.
Special classified in a negative way. I know you try to help them to be better
people by referring to them as incompetent. But maybe they don’t understand
that (incompetence again).

I am sorry I am talking as if you and other people
exist as I perceive. But if you and they do that, they should experience to
disagree with you without being described as incompetent.

And my perception is that I am dealing

with a population that was stupid enough to vote
for a venal, greedy,

unimaginative and inarticulate moron to be their
leader. I imagine it’s

because they perceived him differently than I do. But
that’s my

problem; how do you deal with living among people
who see things so

differently – or have such different references
for the kind of person

they want as their president.

I am a PCT-er. Therefore I experience that people see things different
from me.

I think people shall control the perceptions they wish to control. If
our being together leads to too many conflicts, I don’t visit them often. If
they do something wrong, I think they should be responsible for controlling the
perceptions they wish to control.

I am quite sure that I think it is OK if other people have different
references for the kind of person they want as their prime minister (we have a
king in Norway, just as in fairy tails).

bjorn

[From Dick Robertson,2007.01.13.0940CDT]

···

From: Rick Marken <marken@MINDREADINGS.COM>
Date: Friday, January 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Subject: Re: Living among the incompetent

>> That's why I asked the question; what do you do

when you are

living among incompetents who want one of their

own as the manager?

>
Actually, I don't have an answer. Just a question:

Do I rise up
against the sea of troubles (and by opposing, make
myself miserable) or

ignore it and hope things get better by themselves?

Well, one thing, a distant goal at present, for
sure, would be to support every kind of venture that
might make space-migration a possibility; so we (our
descendants actually) might--if worst comes to
worst--leave the morons to the mess they created.
(After all, this is not the first, nor will it be
the last.)

In the long run it might be one of the more
constructive things to do.

Best,

Dick R

[From Bruce Nevin,2007.01.13.1317EST]

Dick Robertson,2007.01.13.0940CDT --

we (our
descendants actually) might--if worst comes to
worst--leave the morons to the mess they created.

You have a guarantee that the human capacity for idiocy (always easiest
to perceive in the other guy) won't travel with them?

If you were on the evaluation committee of intergalactic society, would
you invite us out to join? Or if only some of us, how would you
discriminate? Or would you wait until we grew up a bit more?

Just as the radical impulse was commandeered and exploited in Russia by
the Bolsheviks so communism never really got off the ground, the
conservative impulse in America got exploited, and a lot of people got
neoconned. Might it be useful to find out how that happened? All those
people who elected Bush once and cheered his judicial appointment the
second time, what were they controlling, how were their CVs manipulated,
and how does rhetoric work anyway?

Like the curtain line in "No Exit" says, let's get on with it.

  /B

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.13.1040)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01,13,01:00 EUST)--

Rick Marken (2007.01.12.1010)

Actually, I don't have an answer.

I don�t wish to be too opinionated, but I know that you know PCT from A to Z.

What I meant was that you know that living organisms (you) either control perceptions or not. The �incompetents� are a part of your environment. I think we agree that they belong to a unit that affects the Input Quantity. I know you often use the name IV.

Because you know PCT you know that your perception is compared with your reference. If the difference is zero, you don�t control that perception (composite loop).

If the difference is greater than zero you control the perception. Then you often do something. If you analyse these last sentences, you do something dependent on your reference. That was the answer I meant you knew. And saying that you were happy with that knowledge, I meant that you think that the answer is OK.

Ignoring the fact that your description of controlling is not anything like mine (I would never say that you control a perception only when the difference between perception and reference is non-zero) this is not an answer to my problem. Maybe I can make it clearer by putting it this way: how would knowing how a control system works have helped a nice, decent German citizen in 1939 when his neighbors had all elected an an evil, well intentioned lunatic (like Bush) to be their leader?

You are the best to answer that question. My perception is that these Bush years you rise up against the sea. That is OK. Other person ignore or don�t see the troubles. They do something else. That is also OK. People control different perceptions.

Of course, that's what actually happens. The problem is those people who ignore or don't see the troubles. In Germany in 1939 ignoring the troubles resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent civilians; in the US in 2003-7 it has ended up resulting in the deaths (so far) of about 500,000 innocent civilians. Should I not worry about that because it's just my perception?

You don�t control the perception of changing the meaning to other list mates on CSG. You know better than that.

�I don't? I think I control for that like crazy.

I don�t think you are serious here. How do your perceptions change our meaning?

I understood you to be saying that I don't try to change the understandings (what things mean) to other list mates. But I often do (as I am doing right now with you). I try to control my perception of how others understand the meaning of many things.

Yes. I know it's a perception (just like Bush being President is a perception); it's a perception I don't like (because of those damn references of mine) and I would feel much happier perceiving someone else as President, as long as it's not a Republican (also a perception, and a horrible one).

Well you have the possibility to change your references. Some people stop smoking and maybe it is most easy for them who don�t like smoking. The problem is that if you reorganize, it is difficult to plan future references. Maybe you become a Bush fan?

Yes, that would be a solution. But I could only do that by changing some of the system concepts I control and I guess I'm kind of comfortable with the one's I've got. Changing those would require reorganization, which I'm sure Bush would be happy to help me out with by providing me a cell down in Guantanamo.

Your concept of perception is quite different than mine. From my point of view, perception _is_ reality.

Don�t say that. Also from my point of view, perception is reality. It is my representation of what is going on outside and inside me. It is all I have, I think.

Several things you have said give me the impression that you think of perceptions as arbitrary representations of what is really out there. You seem to take the idea of "control of perception" to mean something like "life is just a dream". This is where we differ.

My perceptions may not correspond to your perceptions but they are what I control. I see myself living among people who have elected a sociopath. You may see me as living among people who have elected a great protector of freedom. We are clearly perceiving different aspects of the same reality. I think what we have to do is figure out what we are each perceiving and see how we can come to some consensus about how to achieve mutual control of what we are perceiving. I think that's what political dialog _should_ be about.

It [competence] is an aspect of real reality that only a human brain can experience, because only a human brain can compute that perceptual variable.�So, from my point of view, your statement above makes no sense.

My statement was: �Therefore I know that you know that other people are not incompetent�.

If there is no competence in the real reality, other people can�t be incompetent.

I disagree strongly with this. I know that there is no red or blue in real reality, there is no noise or Mozart's 21st Piano concerto in real reality, there is no heroism or holocaust in real reality, etc. Everything is perception. According to what you say about competence, one would have to say that because there is no red, there is no blue, because there is no noise there is no Mozart, because there is no heroism there is no holocaust.

So I don't know that, because there is no competence other people can't be incompetent. I've met plenty of incompetent people and some very competent ones. I've met some evil people and lots of good ones. Competence, incompetence, good, evil -- all perceptions, all real.

I certainly don't "know" that people are really not incompetent and I don't think that the incompetence I see is _just_ my perception; it's what I perceive.�I know nothing about what is "really" out there; all I know about and deal with are my perceptions.

�I think, I think like you. Rick. But people have different references.

That's for sure. And some of these words we used to describe perceptions that actually imply a reference. I think, for example, that competence is a perceptual _variable_. but the word "competence" is typically used to refer to a particular state of that variable When we say a person is "competent" I think what we are saying is that their perceived competence matches our reference for competence: the competence variable is at the reference level. A person is called "incompetent" when their perceived level of competence is below the reference for competence.

They control different perceptions and I think it is everybody�s right to control the perceptions they wish without being classified. Special classified in a negative way. I know you try to help them to be better people by referring to them as incompetent. But maybe they don�t understand that (incompetence again).

I agree that what I describe as "incompetent" may be different from what you or others describe as "incompetent". But we can talk and see if we can come to some kind of agreement. As I said, I perceive a large segment of the US population as being "incompetent" because, in the 2004 election, they voted for a person with a dismal record of domestic achievements and a criminal record of international policy "achievements". What would you call that? Or do you think that Bush is actually a wonderful leader and that most Americans were able to see that as well, so they were actually being competent?

how do you deal with living among people who see things so differently -- or have such different references for the kind of person they want as their president.

I am a PCT-er. Therefore I experience that people see things different from me.

And that's the end of it for you? Swedes used to (and many still do) perceive Norwegians as stupid animals who should be ruled by Swedes. If Sweden invaded Norway and started putting you and your family in cages, would that all be fine with you because you know that people see things differently from you?

I think people shall control the perceptions they wish to control. If our being together leads to too many conflicts, I don�t visit them often. If they do something wrong, I think they should be responsible for controlling the perceptions they wish to control.

What if they visit _you_ and put you on a train to a concentration camp?

I am quite sure that I think it is OK if other people have different references for the kind of person they want as their prime minister (we have a king in Norway, just as in fairy tails).

Well, we have a sociopath for a President, just like in nightmares. And when I think about the thousands of people living in Iraq who have lost their lives because this asshole decided to make Iraq the "main front in the war on terror" I think that sometimes it is _not_ OK if other people have different references for the kind of person they want as their president.

Best

Rick

···

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marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.13.1820)]

Bruce Nevin (2007.01.13.1317EST)

Dick Robertson,2007.01.13.0940CDT --

we (our descendants actually) might--if worst comes to worst--leave the morons to the mess they created.

You have a guarantee that the human capacity for idiocy (always easiest
to perceive in the other guy) won't travel with them?

Good point.

Just as the radical impulse was commandeered and exploited in Russia by the Bolsheviks so communism never really got off the ground, the conservative impulse in America got exploited, and a lot of people got neoconned. Might it be useful to find out how that happened?

It looks to me like the conservative "impulse" (which, it seems to be, has always been little more than greed justified by free market economics) was not conned at all. Classical conservatives, like Buckley, who is no dummy (at least he doesn't think so), didn't speak out against Bush's abuses when they could have. As long as conservative got what they wanted -- lower taxes -- then everything was fine. Classical conservatives should have been screaming bloody murder in opposition to the Iraq invasion, but not a peep.

What is interesting is how over 50% of the population was Neoconned. But now that I think about it, the conning was as easy as pie. The Bush Neocon cabal used 9/11 in just the same way as the Nazis used the burning of the Reichstag. Terrorists are to the Neocons what Jews were to Nazis (ironic, since the Neocons are mainly Jews). The Neocons built a narrative of fear based on the threat of international terrorism just as the Nazis built a narrative of fear based on the threat of an international Jewish conspiracy. And like the Nazis, the narrative spun by the Neocons was particularly convincing because they really believed it themselves. Proof that the Nazis really believed it is the holocaust; proof that the Neocons really believed it was the invasion of Iraq (and, soon, possibly, of Iran and Syria).

The Neocons and Nazis were able to control people using one of the oldest (and most effective) techniques in the book: lying. And, as you say, both were lying for highly moral reasons: in order to rid the world of evil people. The only way to protect against this kind of control is to know a lie when you see it. I think too many Germans bought into the Nazi lie because they just were not educated about the history and status of Jews in Europe. Similarly, too many Americans bought into the Neocon lie because they were not educated about the history and status of the relationship between the US and Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular. So it's probably incorrect to refer to those who voted for Bush (in 2004) as incompetent; they were just not educated. And AIPAC will see to it that they remain so, unless very favorite Christian, Jimmy Carter, can get the message out.

Best

Rick

···

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Cell 310 729-1400

> we (our
> descendants actually) might--if worst comes to
> worst--leave the morons to the mess they created.

You have a guarantee that the human capacity for

idiocy (always

easiestto perceive in the other guy) won't travel

with them?

Nope, I don't have such a guarantee. In fact it
might be almost inevitable that many of the
conditions we have here now could resurrect in any
new colony. But the more colonies the better chance
that some will fare better than others, just as --if
you go along with Diamond's _Collapse_ some
societies on earth prospered more than others, their
particular perception of reality being one of the
important factors. I believe any colony that carries
along with it the idea that behavior is the control
of perception would have distinct advantages over
those that don't--including the one now dominant on
earth.

If you were on the evaluation committee of

intergalactic society,

wouldyou invite us out to join? Or if only some of

us, how would you

discriminate? Or would you wait until we grew up a

bit more?

See above.

Just as the radical impulse was commandeered and

exploited in

Russia by the Bolsheviks so communism never really

got off the ground, the

conservative impulse in America got exploited, and

a lot of people got

neoconned. Might it be useful to find out how that

happened? All those

people who elected Bush once and cheered his

judicial appointment the

second time, what were they controlling, how were

their CVs

Definitely valuable. But that is a different project
than the one I was suggesting. Probably equally
valuable and a lot more doable right now.

>

Best,

Dick R

···

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Nevin (bnevin)" <bnevin@CISCO.COM>
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2007 12:31 pm
Subject: Re: Living among the incompetent

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01.14,12:20 EUST)]

From Rick Marken (2007.01.13.1040)

(I would never say that you control a perception
only when

the difference between perception and reference is
non-zero)

I can imagine a positive perceptual signal and a reference
value less the perceptual signal, then the error becomes zero, but can you tell
me an example where we control a perception that we intend to be zero?

how would knowing how a control system works have
helped a

nice, decent German citizen in 1939 when his neighbours
had all elected

an evil, well intentioned lunatic (like Bush) to
be their leader?

They who know how a control system works would say
that people can’t plan the actions needed for control beforehand. They would
say that the neighbours didn’t elect their leader to get a lot European people
killed. Your sentence calls for a more extensive comment. I will do that in particular
mail.

In Germany
in 1939 ignoring the

troubles resulted in the deaths of millions of
innocent civilians; in

the US in 2003-7 it has ended up resulting in the
deaths (so far) of

about 500,000 innocent civilians. Should I not worry about that

because it’s just my perception?

Of course you could worry about that. Today it is OK for
me that people do what they do if they are responsible for their not planned
actions and their effects. But I think I have an integrated knowledge that
other people don’t intend to perceive themselves as incompetent.

Of course they can be incompetent in your perception,
but I think you (almost) always are wrong if you think they wish to perceive
themselves as incompetent.

But I often do

(as I am doing right now with you). I try to control my perception of

how others understand the meaning of many things.

That is OK, then you ask what people wish to perceive.
But is it correct to ask “what to do”? (what do you do when you are living
among incompetents who want one of their own as the manager?)

Several things you have said give me the
impression that you think of

perceptions as arbitrary representations of what
is really out there.

Pardon me for expressing myself so indistinct. I thought my witticism when I said I was
uncertain if you and other people exist should explain that my perceptions are
behind my sensing cells. A know that there is something out there, but I really
try to remember that the world out there may be very different from my
perceptions. In daily life I often point at a car and ask the one next to me to
be careful. It also happens when I get time for myself that I wonder if two
people perceive congruent objects.

You seem to take the idea of “control of
perception” to mean something

like “life is just a dream”. This is where we differ.

OK. May I ask you to explain what life is and why it
is not just a dream?

My perceptions may not correspond to your
perceptions but they are what

I control. I see myself living among people who
have elected a

sociopath. You may see me as living among people
who have elected a

great protector of freedom.

I didn’t know he was diagnosed.

Let me tell in the same breathing that I see the US
people living among people who voted as they did for many, very many different
reasons. The result was an administration and a president who wished to control
his assortment of perceptions. What else can he do? Controlling his perception
he lives in an environment where different Input variables take place. These
input variables are a sample of variables existing in the world out there. One
of the variables out there, which is not among the input variables, is your description
of him as a sociopath.

We are clearly perceiving different aspects

of the same reality.

Most people are, I think.

I think what we have to do is figure out what we

are each perceiving and see how we can come to
some consensus about how

to achieve mutual control of what we are
perceiving. I think that’s

what political dialog should be about

In this example I wish to perceive why you say that other
people, who don’t wish to perceive themselves as incompetent, are incompetent.

I disagree strongly with this. I know that there is no red or blue in

real reality, there is no noise or Mozart’s 21st
Piano concerto in real

reality, there is no heroism or holocaust in real
reality, etc.

Everything is perception. According to what you say
about competence,

one would have to say that because there is no
red, there is no blue,

because there is no noise there is no Mozart,
because there is no

heroism there is no holocaust.

Yes I expressed myself very indistinct. (>If there
is no competence in the real reality, other people can’t be incompetent.)

I agree with “Everything is perception”. But can’t we
say that it is a perception of something. Can’t we say that our perception is
an inner representation of the extern world?

Then the extern world exists. And if it exists it may
have some properties. Some of those properties we perceive (gravity).

People belong to the extern world. They have also
properties.

Be observant now Rick.

I perceive other people. I think they are more or less
like me (with different references). I don’t wish to perceive myself as
incompetent when I elect a political party. I know some people say they are
incompetent electing a political party. Many of them do not elect. I think if
we ask the people who elect if they wish to be incompetent, most of them will
answer “no”. Then nobody should describe them as incompetent (or sociopath if
we don’t know the diagnosis).

Swedes used to (and many still do)

perceive Norwegians as stupid animals who should
be ruled by Swedes.

A Swede asked another Swede how he could get a
Norwegian to laugh New Years Eve. The other Swede was insecure and the first
Swede told him: Tell the Norwegian a joke Christmas Eve.

Yes Swedes perceive Norwegians in a certain way. I don’t
know how Swedes perceive, but I can imagine that different Swedes, as
individuals, wish to perceive different perceptions.

If Sweden invaded Norway and started putting you
and your family in cages, >would that all be fine with you because you know
that people see things >differently from you?

I don’t know if I shall answer. You could ask better
than this. I think you think upon Guantanamo. And I have sympathy for the prisoners,
almost all prisoners. I vacillate and I am not ready to say anything about the
way people are punished. But I put a question mark by punishing people for
their actions and for the effect of their actions.

bjorn

I can imagine a positive
perceptual signal and a reference value less the perceptual signal, then
the error becomes zero, but can you tell me an example where we control a
perception that we intend to be zero?
[From Bill Powers (2007.01.14.0435 MST)]

Bjorn Simonsen
(2007.01.14,12:20 EUST) –

Of course. Pain. The taste of excrement. A suffering child. Rejection by
a lover.

I think you’re forgetting that a comparator can work the other way, too:
the reference signal can be inhibitory and the perceptual signal can be
excitatory, so when the perceptual signal is greater than the reference
signal, an error signal appears. If the reference signal is zero, then
any amount of perceptual signal entering that kind of comparator produces
an error signal.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Rick Marken (2007.01.14.1130)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2007.01.14,12:20 EUST)--

Rick Marken (2007.01.13.1040)

You seem to take the idea of "control of perception" to mean something like "life is just a dream".�This is where we differ.

OK. May I ask you to explain what life is and why it is not just a dream?

What I meant is that what we deal with are our perceptions. The relation of those perceptions to real reality is a matter of imagination. So when you talk about perception being an arbitrary (or veridical or whatever) representation of real reality you are talking about what you imagine to be the case -- a dream. I think this results in a point of view regarding control that might be stated something like this: since all perception is an arbitrary representation of real reality then everybody is right about what they perceive and we shouldn't fight about it; you perceive tomayto, I perceive tomaato, so let's not call the whole thing off because we're both right.; I see Bush as a callow monster, you see him as a guy who's trying to fight for liberty. So let's not fight; we're both right.

This is the point of view that I describe as "life is just a dream". I think most people are able to perceive the world in terms of the same perceptual variables (once they figure out which variables they are talking about); they just have different references for these variables, which is what leads to conflict. What PCT does is help us deal with the inevitable conflicts about the states of these perceptual variables by 1) recognizing when we are in conflict 2) developing the ability to reduce the gain when the see we are in a conflict and 3) moving the discussion of the conflict to a higher level, so that the source of the conflict producing goals can be dealt with.

In this example I wish to perceive why you say that other people, who don�t wish to perceive themselves as incompetent, are incompetent.

Because they voted for Bush. Of course, they don't want to think of themselves as being incompetent for having done this, that's just my perception.

I agree with �Everything is perception�. But can�t we say that it is a perception of something. Can�t we say that our perception is an inner representation of the extern world?

Of course.

I perceive other people. I think they are more or less like me (with different references). I don�t wish to perceive myself as incompetent when I elect a political party. I know some people say they are incompetent electing a political party.

And you certainly don't have to. But if you vote for a right winger you will be seen as such by me. So if you want to control how _I_ perceive you, you'll vote for a liberal progressive.

Many of them do not elect. I think if we ask the people who elect if they wish to be incompetent, most of them will answer �no�. Then nobody should describe them as incompetent (or sociopath if we don�t know the diagnosis).

I'm sure Hitler would object to being called a monster but I'm afraid that's what I would call him.

Best

Rick

···

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