Meeting reminder; Lord and Locke

[from Mary Powers 960626]

This is the last reminder that registration and payment for the
1996 CSG conference, to be held in Flagstaff AZ from July 17-21,
are due July 5 - a week from Friday.

If you need a new registration form, or never saw the ones on the
net, contact me at

Mary P.

Jeffrey Vancouver:

A couple of times lately you've brought my name up in (I think)
the expectation that I'd have a word or two to say about Lord,
Locke, or whoever.

Here it is.

I wrote to Lord maybe 8 or 10 years ago on the distinction
between a functional block diagram, such as Bill's, and a flow
chart, as he seemed to think it was. He was making free with
extra arrows and boxes to get his pet, a "decision-making
mechanism" into the diagram of a control system. The control
sytem could be built by wiring up perfectly feasible hardware in
the arrangement described. The decision-making mechanism was,
and still is, just some words - whatever it takes to make a

I never heard from him. A couple of years later, he called Bill
about something, and I asked Bill to ask him why he never
answered my letter. He said "I didn't know what to say".

I wrote Locke about the Emperor Is Naked article, and got a
letter back. I wrote another letter, and got back a curt note to
the effect that he didn't care to continue the discussion.

So much for the spirit of scientific inquiry.

Mary P.

[from Jeff Vancouver 960627.11:30 EST]

[from Mary Powers 960626]

A couple of times lately you've brought my name up in (I think)
the expectation that I'd have a word or two to say about Lord,
Locke, or whoever.

Not really, although I do enjoy hearing from you. The words you gave you
had said to me before. Nonetheless, they are quite remarkable. I fact
the Lord exchange inspired the paragraph in the Barriers... paper about
misunderstanding the nature of these drawings. Next time I see Bob (Lord)
I am going to have to ask him about this. He is a very smart guy. If I
learn where the miscommunication is going on, I think that would help
others, if not him or me.

In terms of Locke. I find him a curiousity as well. He seems to reject
PCT because it _is_ a theory. Theories lead to deductive reasoning and,
in his world view, deductive reasoning is a mistake. This is a completely
untenable position. What is amazing though, is that he likes action
theory. Action theory is the German's (mostly) attempt at a grand theory
of psychology. It is full of deductively inspired experimental research.
Go figure.

Anyway, I will probably talk with Ed (Locke) as well. But I have much
less confidence that it is miscommunication. Not that Ed is not smart,
but his world view is much further from PCT than Bob's.

Ahh, scientific inquiry is always an ideal that interacts with the nature
of parties involved (and structural arrangements, as P. Burke nicely
shows). I feel like Clinton. I see the common ground among the
parties, but it is very difficult to turn that into agreements. Someday, I
want to model the process using PCT.