most difficult obstacle for me with PCT

(Jim Dundon 01.17.08.0937est)

Bill,

You emphasize and present PCT as a move away from being the robotic automaton that you believe is inherent in stimulus response view.

In your model there is no decision making on the part of the human. only submission to upper levels the top level of which has no reference signal. Why??? What is the purpose?

You “always go up” Scientifically speaking, and I really appreciate your commitment to being scientific, something that always goes up but never goes down in a system that has 11 levels means a limit of 10 moves. Scientifically speaking, that is. And I know you’re scientific and never bend the rules.

Over and over you praise PCT as recognizing purposefull behavior, yet your model ultimately leads to submission to a highest level, with you at the top, absent a reference signal.

Rick,

You emphasize over and over that “in PCT we do not control our reference signals we control our perception”.

Nothing could sound more like an invitation to become a robot.

Why do you you embrace, and so love, a man and a theory which takes away eveyrone’s ability, everyone’s right, including yours to establish his goals?

best.

JIm

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.17.0910)]

(Jim Dundon 01.17.08.0937est)

Rick,

You emphasize over and over that "in PCT we do not control our reference
signals we control our perception".

Nothing could sound more like an invitation to become a robot.

Why do you you embrace, and so love, a man and a theory which takes away
eveyrone's ability, everyone's right, including yours to establish his
goals?

I embrace the model because it fits the data so well. I embrace the
man who developed the model because he is so smart and decent.

Contrary to your assertion, I don't think the model "takes away"
abilities or rights to establish goals. I think model explains
everyone's (including my) ability to establish and _achieve_ goals. I
think the "right" to establish goals is just a description of people's
references (goals) for the goals others (as well as oneself) should be
able to set and achieve without resistance. Since goals are set
within the constraints of each person's hierarchy of goals, people
will have different goals regarding what people's rights are for
setting goals. Rights, in other words, are subjective, not objective,
phenomena.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

(Jim Dundon 01/17/08.1247)

Rick ,

You said "in PCT one does not control his reference signal he controls his perception"

How does a theory of behavior in which , according to you, one does not control the reference signal, afford an opportunity for choosing (having control over) a reference signal (goal)?

···

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.17.0910)]

(Jim Dundon 01.17.08.0937est)

Rick,

You emphasize over and over that "in PCT we do not control our reference
signals we control our perception".

Nothing could sound more like an invitation to become a robot.

Why do you you embrace, and so love, a man and a theory which takes away
eveyrone's ability, everyone's right, including yours to establish his
goals?

I embrace the model because it fits the data so well. I embrace the
man who developed the model because he is so smart and decent.

Contrary to your assertion, I don't think the model "takes away"
abilities or rights to establish goals. I think model explains
everyone's (including my) ability to establish and _achieve_ goals. I
think the "right" to establish goals is just a description of people's
references (goals) for the goals others (as well as oneself) should be
able to set and achieve without resistance. Since goals are set
within the constraints of each person's hierarchy of goals, people
will have different goals regarding what people's rights are for
setting goals. Rights, in other words, are subjective, not objective,
phenomena.

Best

Rick
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.17.1025)]

(Jim Dundon 01/17/08.1247)

Rick ,

You said "in PCT one does not control his reference signal he controls his
perception"

How does a theory of behavior in which , according to you, one does not
control the reference signal, afford an opportunity for choosing (having
control over) a reference signal (goal)?

It affords it through the reorganizing system. See the section on
"Awareness, Consciousness and Volition" in the Learning chapter of
"Behavior: The Control of Perception". It starts on p. 199 of the
second edition. I think what you are talking about is volition.

But if you are going to evaluate a theory in terms of whether or not
it supports your preconceptions about how things work, then there's
not much that I can say that would be of interest to you. We just have
very different ideas about what theories are for and how to evaluate
their merits.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Bill Powers (2008.01.17.1036 MST)]

(Jim Dundon
01.17.08.0937est)

Bill,

You emphasize and present PCT as a
move away from being the robotic automaton that you believe is inherent
in stimulus response view.

In your model there is no decision
making on the part of the human. only submission to upper levels the top
level of which has no reference signal. Why??? What is the
purpose?

I thought the hierarchy was a model of “the human.” The
only things left out of it are awareness, aka “the observer,”
and the reorganizing system. In fact, in B:CP I’m pretty sure I said that
the object was to account for as much of human behavior and experience as
possible using a mechanistic model, in order to see what aspects of
experience would then still be unaccounted for.

Decision making is certainly part of the model. I would place it at about
the logic level, the ninth level in the current form of HPCT (which is
and will remain open to modification and improvement). Principles, at the
10th level, probably enter into making decisions, too. In most cases
where a decision is required, reorganization comes into play as well:
most decisions really involve conflicts – you want to experience two
things that are mutually contradictory, so you have to decide which one
to retain and which to abandon, or find some other way to resolve the
conflict. Most ordinary skilled behavior doesn’t involve
decisions.

As to the reference signals at the top level, you can’t say they are
missing; all you can say is that they can’t be traced to a higher level
in the hierarchy. Even a zero reference level has a meaning: it means
that one tries to avoid having any amount of that experience (like
confusion or self-loathing). There are other possible sources of system
concept reference levels, including genetic sources and purely voluntary,
experimental choices under conscious direction. I haven’t tried to make
any firm guesses.

You “always go up”
Scientifically speaking, and I really appreciate your commitment to being
scientific, something that always goes up but never goes down in a system
that has 11 levels means a limit of 10 moves. Scientifically
speaking, that is. And I know you’re scientific and never bend the
rules.

I think one has to be able to shift awareness down levels, too. In the
method of levels, however, the object is to identify and resolve
conflicts, and to do this awareness (and reorganization) have to shift
from the level where the conflict is played out to the higher-order level
where the contradictory reference signals are being generated. That’s why
the emphasis in the method of levels is always to look for the background
thought, the higher-order perceptions behind the foreground objects of
awareness.

Over and over you praise PCT as
recognizing purposefull behavior, yet your model ultimately leads to
submission to a highest level, with you at the top, absent a reference
signal.

See above. Obviously we do have reference conditions at the top level,
and obviously they must come from somewhere. It’s just that in a finite
brain inside a skull, there has to be some level above which there are no
more neurons to serve as sources of reference signals. The “next
level up” is then made of bone.

All of the levels, taken together, are me. There is no question of
“submission,” which implies some sort of coercion as well as
(futile) attempts to resist. A lower system knows only what it wants
right now. It doesn’t know it is being given that want by a higher
system. To it, a certain state of a perception feels right and so doesn’t
call for action to make it any different. If the perception changes from
that no-error state, the lower system in which the perception exists
tries to act to remove the error, make the perception seem right again.
If awareness happens to be identified with that level of organization at
the moment, the reason for the want is unknown, meaning outside
awareness: there are only “right” and “wrong” states
of the perception. Moving awareness to a higher level brings the reasons
for choosing that reference condition into consciousness, and also brings
reorganization to bear at that level if significant intrinsic errors
exist.

A person is made of all the levels from top to bottom, working at the
same time, each level handling one aspect of experience that the other
levels know nothing about. You don’t have a whole human being until you
consider all the levels, and awareness and reorganization in
addition.

.

[to Rick] Why do you you embrace,
and so love, a man and a theory which takes away eveyrone’s ability,
everyone’s right, including yours to establish his
goals?

I guess you’ve decided that PCT isn’t for you. Is that because you WANT
the right to establish my goals? Are you sure you said what you mean? If
you mean everyone’s right to establish goals for himself or herself
(rather than for That Man), then PCT is not what you seem to think it is:
PCT says that nobody else can establish goals for a person, and that
therefore all goals are determined, by one means or another, from within
the person. The whole person, at all the levels.

Best,

Bill P.

(Jim Dundon
01/17/08.1247)

Rick ,

You said “in PCT one does not control his reference signal he
controls his perception”

How does a theory of behavior in which , according to you, one does not
control the reference signal, afford an opportunity for choosing (having
control over) a reference signal (goal)?
[From Bill Powers (2008.01.17.1133 MSTY)]

My answer goes in a slightly different direction from Rick’s.

The word “control” has a specific technical meaning in PCT.
Reference signals are never controlled (except when imagining, and even
then they first become perceptions). They are varied as required to bring
perceptions to specified levels. To control something is to act on it to
maintain it in a predetermined state, first bringing it to that state if
necessary. When a disturbance of a perception occurs, the control system
controlling that perception varies the reference signals it is sending to
lower systems, causing lower-order perceptions to change in such a
direction as to counteract the effect of the disturbance on the
higher-level perception. The amount and direction of the change are
determined by the amount and direction of the disturbance, and are not
predetermined by the control hierarchy. If a crosswind springs up while
you’re driving a car, and you intend for the car to stay on the road, you
have to change the reference conditions for the control systems that turn
the steering wheel. The wind determines how much change and in which
direction. That’s why we say you don’t control the reference signal
governing the steering wheel angle. You do not pick a preferred steering
wheel angle and maintain it constant – not at the level where you use
the steering wheel as a means of keeping the car on the road. You vary
the intended steering wheel angle in order to control the perception of
the car’s relationship to the road.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Kenny Kitzke (2008.01.17)]

<Jim Dundon 01.17.08.0937est>

<Bill,

You emphasize and present PCT as a move away from being the robotic automaton that you believe is inherent in stimulus response view.

In your model there is no decision making on the part of the human. only submission to upper levels the top level of which has no reference signal. Why??? What is the purpose?

You “always go up” Scientifically speaking, and I really appreciate your commitment to being scientific, something that always goes up but never goes down in a system that has 11 levels means a limit of 10 moves. Scientifically speaking, that is. And I know you’re scientific and never bend the rules.

Over and over you praise PCT as recognizing purposefull behavior, yet your model ultimately leads to submission to a highest level, with you at the top, absent a reference signal.>

Jim, you are not the first person to notice this “missing link” in the nature of human beings when trying to understand and predict human behavior using current PCT theory and models. I perceive that this “missing link” concerning human purpose (human will) is the chief reason why so few scientists, or even amateur psychologists, have accepted the theory. And, the answer Rick gave you does not cut the mustard.

I totally agree that in a theory of purposeful behavior, the model should deal specifically with how purposes are established and controlled. The answer that humans have one or more higher control levels than cats is not convincing. Something else is different and unique in humans. To Bill’s credit, he recognizes this gap and fills it with “reorganization” systems and “observers” some of which he is humble enough to admit is not totally understood or captured in the basis model. He knows his wonderful theory of behavior by controlling perceptions needs more study and experimental development. I agree.

I have proffered at the Conferences some possible gap mechanisms including a 12th-Level of Personal Purpose with its references set by something called the “Inner Man” using a mental system to establish personal will or purpose via a spirit nature unique to the human species and each individual. Unfortunately, I am not enough of a theorist or model builder to put some equations or meat into an embellished and demonstrated complete theory of the nature of humans which it seems to me establishes and accomplishes ones “life purpose” as unique and amazing as one’s body and mind.

The theory needs more work and development that will build on Bill’s marvelous foundation so that all reasonable questions and obstacles can be convincingly answered and tested. You are invited to help us.

Rick,

You emphasize over and over that “in PCT we do not control our reference signals we control our perception”.

Nothing could sound more like an invitation to become a robot.

Why do you you embrace, and so love, a man and a theory which takes away eveyrone’s ability, everyone’s right, including yours to establish his goals?

best.

JIm

···

Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

Jim Dundon 01.18.08.0200est

Ken,

You speak below of “predicting human behavior.” What does that mean? Are you saying that you believe that someday we will be able to do it once the theory is perfected. Prediction of who’s behavior by who. Let’s be scientific. Are you suggesting prediction of one persons behavior by another? If so that sounds ridiculus. We may be able to influence but I serious doubt “predict” especially with no interaction. Even Bill uses illustrations of unpredictability of one person by another in support of his theory of control. I am not even sure what predictions Bill is talking about when he praises the predictive accurracy of PCT. How does it translate into something usable outside a lab.

He certainly can’t predict what I am going to have for breakfast.

What behavior do you expect PCT to someday predict?

best

jim

···

[From Kenny Kitzke (2008.01.17)]

<Jim Dundon 01.17.08.0937est>

<Bill,

You emphasize and present PCT as a move away from being the robotic automaton that you believe is inherent in stimulus response view.

In your model there is no decision making on the part of the human. only submission to upper levels the top level of which has no reference signal. Why??? What is the purpose?

You “always go up” Scientifically speaking, and I really appreciate your commitment to being scientific, something that always goes up but never goes down in a system that has 11 levels means a limit of 10 moves. Scientifically speaking, that is. And I know you’re scientific and never bend the rules.

Over and over you praise PCT as recognizing purposefull behavior, yet your model ultimately leads to submission to a highest level, with you at the top, absent a reference signal.>

Jim, you are not the first person to notice this “missing link” in the nature of human beings when trying to understand and predict human behavior using current PCT theory and models. I perceive that this “missing link” concerning human purpose (human will) is the chief reason why so few scientists, or even amateur psychologists, have accepted the theory. And, the answer Rick gave you does not cut the mustard.

I totally agree that in a theory of purposeful behavior, the model should deal specifically with how purposes are established and controlled. The answer that humans have one or more higher control levels than cats is not convincing. Something else is different and unique in humans. To Bill’s credit, he recognizes this gap and fills it with “reorganization” systems and “observers” some of which he is humble enough to admit is not totally understood or captured in the basis model. He knows his wonderful theory of behavior by controlling perceptions needs more study and experimental development. I agree.

I have proffered at the Conferences some possible gap mechanisms including a 12th-Level of Personal Purpose with its references set by something called the “Inner Man” using a mental system to establish personal will or purpose via a spirit nature unique to the human species and each individual. Unfortunately, I am not enough of a theorist or model builder to put some equations or meat into an embellished and demonstrated complete theory of the nature of humans which it seems to me establishes and accomplishes ones “life purpose” as unique and amazing as one’s body and mind.

The theory needs more work and development that will build on Bill’s marvelous foundation so that all reasonable questions and obstacles can be convincingly answered and tested. You are invited to help us.

Rick,

You emphasize over and over that “in PCT we do not control our reference signals we control our perception”.

Nothing could sound more like an invitation to become a robot.

Why do you you embrace, and so love, a man and a theory which takes away eveyrone’s ability, everyone’s right, including yours to establish his goals?

best.

JIm


Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

[From Kenny Kitzke (2008.01.180]

Jim, if PCT accurately explains and models human behavior as it is observed real time, it should within limits(if conditions don’t change) predict the next increment of behavior. So, scientifically, according to theory and past observations, F = ma, then we can predict what force needs to be applied to a known mass to produce a desired acceleration.

One reason I find PCT so valuable in understanding human behavior is that it is not just a theory of words and concepts. It has equations that can be tested. So, if we believe the relationship that e = r - p is fundamental to understanding behavior, then we can predict there will be behavior to reduce any error.

When driving our car and r = 60 mph and p = 60 mph, there is no error and no “new” behavior. When we enter a school zone with an r = 15 mph, there is an error and new behavior is predictable. Our foot comes off the accelerator and goes on to the brake pedal.

Two other comments must apply. Only an individual establishes and experiences their r’s. We can’t know with certainty what r another person is controlling. And, even if we guess right about another person’s r, the actions another person uses to reduce their error (even if we observe the same p) varies and may not be the actions we would use or predict another would use. Also, the error can be caused because p changes, like you come to a steep hill and the car slows to under 60 mph unless you act by pressing on the accelerator. Because we understand behavior the PCT way, we know that the school zone or the hill do not cause us to slow down or speed up. We can however predict a change in action as the conditions in the future change.

The disturbing hole in PCT theory which you have revealed, is why and how does a person change their references? Don’t people control their references, their purpose. Of course they do! And, PCT has a limited view of how this happens. It suggests there is a “reorganization” system distinct from the hierarchal control system, that by random experimentation finds a new control system configuration to deal with an error, usually construed to be a conflict.

But, this is not modeled or understood well in PCT by Bill Powers or anyone else. I think it is fair to say that people are not looking for a theory of behavior to help explain how to drive a car the way you want to under changing conditions or how to keep a cursor on a line when random disturbances move the line.

I suspect people will only be interested in a new theory of behavior via scientific psychology can help people with the real errors that cause pain, not just physical pain, but emotional pain and dissatisfaction with one’s emotions and purposes in life. As humans we have longings (matters of the heart) that appear to be hard wired into some human system. Do we learn over time that we want to be appreciated, respected or loved? Does it take time to learn by random reorganization that it feels as good to help others in need as it does to be helped?

I think it is part of human nature to create goals and purpose for our lives. It is not a random event. It is an imaginative and deep inner searching activity for purpose and value. It is NOT part of the mental and nerve firing perception control system and therefore needs not to be in the HPCT model. It is a different human system called the Inner Man, the self, the heart the spirit of a human being. But, however it is descrbed, it needs to be in any theory of human nature and human purpose to gain interest in people who are not satisfied with their actions in life. I think when PCT evolves to explain such things, it will rapidly replace all the ineffective theories of human psychology and what it takes to be content with oneself.

So, if the models and theory do not help people achieve value in their lives, or it stays in computer models and equations, I doubt it will catch the attention of people searching for understanding of purpose for their existence. Does any of this rambling help?

In a message dated 1/18/2008 2:09:38 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, jannim@COMCAST.NET writes:

···

Jim Dundon 01.18.08.0200est

Ken,

You speak below of “predicting human behavior.” What does that mean? Are you saying that you believe that someday we will be able to do it once the theory is perfected. Prediction of who’s behavior by who. Let’s be scientific. Are you suggesting prediction of one persons behavior by another? If so that sounds ridiculus. We may be able to influence but I serious doubt “predict” especially with no interaction. Even Bill uses illustrations of unpredictability of one person by another in support of his theory of control. I am not even sure what predictions Bill is talking about when he praises the predictive accurracy of PCT. How does it translate into something usable outside a lab.

He certainly can’t predict what I am going to have for breakfast.

What behavior do you expect PCT to someday predict?

best

jim


Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

[From Richard Kennaway (2008.01.18 17:30 GMT)]

  Jim Dundon 01.18.08.0200est
What behavior do you expect PCT to someday predict?

Try running Bill's demos, in particular the task where the subject uses the cursor to make a line on the screen track a moving target. He fits a control model to the subject's performance, and then, without any further tuning of the parameters of the model, can predict pretty well the subject's subsequent performance on the task. "Pretty well" here means a covariance up in the high 90s, which is way out of the ballpark that psychologists are usually in.

···

--
Richard Kennaway, jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk, http://www.cmp.uea.ac.uk/~jrk/
School of Computing Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K.

(Jim Dundon 01.19.08.1250est)

Richard,

How does your statement below not not translate into "one person can predict anothers behavior"?

How does it not say that PCT is about predicting other peoples behavior (controling other people)

If you are predicting someone elses' performance you are predicting someone elses' behavior.

That is apparently the goal of PCT. I should say indicated and subsequently denied.

Such self deception.

Best

Jim D

···

[From Richard Kennaway (2008.01.18 17:30 GMT)]

  Jim Dundon 01.18.08.0200est
What behavior do you expect PCT to someday predict?

Try running Bill's demos, in particular the task where the subject uses the cursor to make a line on the screen track a moving target. He fits a control model to the subject's performance, and then, without any further tuning of the parameters of the model, can predict pretty well the subject's subsequent performance on the task. "Pretty well" here means a covariance up in the high 90s, which is way out of the ballpark that psychologists are usually in.

--
Richard Kennaway, jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk, http://www.cmp.uea.ac.uk/~jrk/
School of Computing Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K.

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.19.1125)]

(Jim Dundon 01.19.08.1250est)

Richard,

How does your statement below not not translate into "one person can predict
anothers behavior"?

How does it not say that PCT is about predicting other peoples behavior
(controling other people)

I presume the double "not" in your first statement was a mistake. In
fact, Richard's statement does, indeed, translate into "one person
can predict another's behavior". That's exactly what Richard was
saying, and I know he's correct because I do it, with the precision
Richard cites, nearly every day.

And PCT certainly does make it possible to predict other people's
behavior; it can also help people control other people if that's what
people want to do. But PCT also explains why controlling other people
can lead to problems (conflict, specifically). PCT is not really
about controlling other people though; PCT is about controlling,
period. Usually what is controlled are perceptual aspects of the
inanimate world; but people certainly do try to control other people.
PCT explains what's going on in these cases but it certainly doesn't
recommend that people control or not control anything in particular.

Predicting and controlling are not the same thing, by the way. PCT
does make it possible to predict behavior (for example, you can
predict the actions that must mirror disturbances to a controlled
variable once you know what variable a person is controlling). But you
can predict behavior without actively controlling it. In a tracking
tasks, for example, I can predict the actions that a person will make
when controlling the position of the cursor in a tracking task. I can
do this without controlling the person's actions; that is, without
acting to get the person to act in a particular way.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Richard Kennaway (2008.01.18 17:30 GMT)]

  Jim Dundon 01.18.08.0200est
What behavior do you expect PCT to someday predict?

Try running Bill's demos, in particular the task where the subject uses the cursor to make a line on the screen track a moving target. He fits a control model to the subject's performance, and then, without any further tuning of the parameters of the model, can predict pretty well the subject's subsequent performance on the task. "Pretty well" here means a covariance up in the high 90s, which is way out of the ballpark that psychologists are usually in.

Ok so you admit you want to control other peoples behavior just as you say psychologists do.

So why does bill wonder why people think he wants to control other peoples behavior while he brags about how accurately he can control (predict) it.

OK, Now what? can you extend this to say whether or not a particular person will come to work tomorrow, kill tomorrow, love tomorrow, be tomorrow? What the stock market will do? Which mother in the US will drown her children in the bathtub this decade? Who will win the world series?

It sounds like you are saying if everyone relates in this way with my apparatus we can predict performance. So the prediction depends on everyones cooperation in relating that way. That is a relational frame. That entire frame is a refernce signal Bill has established.

Bill has often ridiculed the use of statistics in quantum theory. he "didn.t like it!" Here he uses statistics to support his theory. On this scale and in this relational frame he can predict. What happens on a bigger scale? He sets the frame then denies relational framing, insisting on the omnipresent nature of PCT

Can he predict that the student will be there tomorrow for another test, that the student What are the probabilities now?

Bill does not even deal with the same kind of predictions that psychologiosts make but he compares them as equals. One of the first things I learned in school was you should not compare apples and oranges. Bill's new math is mindboggling, certainly not befitting a scientist. He wants people to believe that he is comparing on the same scale.

The master frame (reference signal established by Bill who according to my math, has been stuck at the top level after his first ten moves, with no reference signal) here contains two subframes. The master frame says compare SR to PCT. In the SR subframe SR is presented as having the inherent characteristic of zero choice on the part of the actor, a very unproven assumption (and an assumption described by useless words). It is presented as being a less desirable condition that actually exists. This immediately contradicts the notion and premise that PCT is omnitrue. And demonstrates the need for verbal warfare to make it true.

Yes, behavior IS the control of perception, provided you incorporate the theory and do the math prescribed by the words.

Bill denies the value of words in order to obscure the fact that words which describe PCT, actually prescribe the math.

He constantly says his "quantum relationships" are not word based. Nothing can do more to undermine my respect for him as a scientist than that stateement. Langragians are nothing more than mental occupations until one knows the application as described by words. They could never even have existance without the worded experience which makes possible their apprehension and developement

The fact that he uses a string of words to denounce the use of words looks to me as very super-unscientific. What rule

Using words to pronounce words useless is to pronounce that statement as useless. What rule is being used here by the person who insists on obedience? Self destruct at all costs?

It is the old ploy of "polarize, polarize, polarize, with verbal differrentiation, if you want to get to the top.

So we now have a top level entity who has no reference signal of its own which sends reference signals to the lower levels. Tell me, is "send reference signal to lower level" not a reference signal?

best

Jim D

···

--
Richard Kennaway, jrk@cmp.uea.ac.uk, http://www.cmp.uea.ac.uk/~jrk/
School of Computing Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K.

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.21.1230)]

> Richard Kennaway (2008.01.18 17:30 GMT)--
> without any further
> tuning of the parameters of the model, can predict pretty well the
> subject's subsequent performance on the task. "

Ok so you admit you want to control other peoples behavior just as you say
psychologists do.

I don't see anywhere in Richard's post an admission that he wants to
control people. In fact, I'm pretty sure Richard does not want to
control people. He's a libertarian, for chrissakes;-) I, on the other
hand, do want to control people -- I would like, for example, to see
people argue intelligently against PCT -- but I try to rise above this
temptation, knowing that my efforts to control others -- trying to
making their behavior match my reference for the way they should
behave-- will result only in conflict.

So why does bill wonder why people think he wants to control other peoples
behavior while he brags about how accurately he can control (predict) it.

As I said, prediction and control are not the same thing. You would
know this if you had actually bothered to learn perceptual control
theory. The first thing you learn when you study control theory is
what control _is_. Control is acting to bring a perception to a
pre-specified state and to maintain it in that state, protected from
disturbance. Prediction is just describing what will be perceived in
the future; it does not involve making that predicted perception
happen. In science, we predict results but we don't control them.
Controlling the result of a scientific experiment -- making what is
predicted actually happen -- would be an example of scientific fraud.

OK, Now what? can you extend this to say whether or not a particular
person will come to work tomorrow, kill tomorrow, love tomorrow, be
tomorrow?

In practice, no, because, in order to predict control behavior in
natural situations you have to know many things that are themselves
only poorly predictable.

It sounds like you are saying if everyone relates in this way with my
apparatus we can predict performance. So the prediction depends on
everyones cooperation in relating that way. That is a relational frame.
That entire frame is a refernce signal Bill has established.

I don't see what you are trying to say. All scientific prediction
requires that we know the state of many variables that the prediction
model says are involved in the behavior to be predicted. You can
correctly predict the time it will take a ball to roll down a plane
only if you know the state of variables such as the inclination of the
plane, the frictional resistance of the surface of the plane and ball,
weather conditions, etc. If you've ever been in a physics or chemistry
lab you know that you only get the predicted results if all relevant
variables "cooperate" (are carefully contrived) to be in the "right"
states.

Bill has often ridiculed the use of statistics in quantum theory. he "didn.t
like it!" Here he uses statistics to support his theory.

I think this is a non-sequiter. In PCT we question the need for
statistics in psychology because we have found that behavior is a lot
less variable -- and a lot more lawful -- when you look at it from the
proper perspective -- the control theory perspective.

Bill does not even deal with the same kind of predictions that
psychologiosts make but he compares them as equals.

This is not quite true. We know that the predictions made in
conventional psychological research are made without knowledge of the
fact that the researcher is looking at aspects of human control. So we
don't compare the results of our experiments to those obtained by
conventional psychologists, unless it is clear how these results
relate to control, as I have done with conventional data obtained in
studies of catching fly balls.

The master frame (reference signal established by Bill who according to my
math, has been stuck at the top level after his first ten moves, with no
reference signal) here contains two subframes...

I have no idea what you're talking about here. Have you thought about
seeking help. You seem rather upset.

Bill denies the value of words in order to obscure the fact that words which
describe PCT, actually prescribe the math...

I don't think Bill has ever denied the value of words. Actually, Bill
uses words quite skillfully, I think. Words are what we use to try to
communicate ideas. But I think the best way to understand a theory is
to see how the quantitative relationships actually work. I see this
best in computer programs; people who are better at math can see it in
equations. But words will always be necessary to describe what the
programs and/or math show.

Your post makes it clear that you are strongly opposed to PCT. I find
this depressing, not because you seem so opposed to PCT -- I actually
find your overt opposition to PCT refreshing; most of those opposed to
PCT have expressed their opposition by ignoring it; it's nice when
people say what they don't like about PCT -- but because you
opposition is so ill-informed. It would be really nice to have an
opponent of PCT present some data showing that an prediction of PCT is
wrong in some way. But when the arguments against PCT are that it does
make predictions and that, therefore, it says that people should be
controlled, then all we have is contention. What I would like to see
-- and we don't see much of it -- is real, scientific opposition to
PCT. I'd love to have a conventional psychologist set up a study and
show that PCT can't explain data that can be explained by an
information processing model. I'd love to have someone develop a
variation on one of my demos (at www.mindreadings.com) to show that
the causal model that is the basis of all research in psychology is
_not_ rejected by the results of those demos.

So, anyway, I appreciate your opposition to PCT, Jim. But it would be
nice if you can formulate that opposition scientifically, so that it
is a bit more interesting than mere prejudice.

Best

Rick

···

On Jan 20, 2008 12:17 PM, jim dundon <jannim@comcast.net> wrote:
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

The disturbing hole in PCT
theory which you have revealed, is why and how does a person change their
references? Don’t people control their references, their
purpose. Of course they do! And, PCT has a limited view of
how this happens. It suggests there is a “reorganization”
system distinct from the hierarchal control system, that by random
experimentation finds a new control system configuration to deal with an
error, usually construed to be a conflict.

But, this is not modeled or understood well in PCT by Bill Powers or
anyone else. I think it is fair to say that people are not looking
for a theory of behavior to help explain how to drive a car the way you
want to under changing conditions or how to keep a cursor on a line when
random disturbances move the line.
[From Bill Powers (2008.01.22.0958 EST)]

Kenny Kitzke (2008.01.180}

···

Kenny, this comment puzzles me because HPCT definitely accounts for
setting and changing reference conditions at all levels except the top
one, system concepts in my way of accounting. And those reference
conditions can change, if only slowly, through reorganization (and
perhaps volitionally in an experimental way). So what you say in the
above two paragraphs doesn’t seem to be true for most of the
hierarchy.

I suspect people will only be
interested in a new theory of behavior via scientific psychology can help
people with the real errors that cause pain, not just physical pain, but
emotional pain and dissatisfaction with one’s emotions and purposes in
life. As humans we have longings (matters of the heart) that appear
to be hard wired into some human system. Do we learn over time that
we want to be appreciated, respected or loved? Does it take time to
learn by random reorganization that it feels as good to help others in
need as it does to be helped?
I think it is part of human
nature to create goals and purpose for our lives. It is not a
random event. It is an imaginative and deep inner searching
activity for purpose and value.

I also don’t understand this comment. In my theory, emotion (such as
psychological pain and other discomforts) arises as a consequence of
large and persistent error signals in the hierarchy, so any time there is
a significant difference between perception and reference, an emotion
will appear (probably a negative emotion). It’s a perfectly
“real” emotion relating to pain or dissatisfaction. Why do you
think it’s not?

I don’t think you can claim to know what “matters of the heart”
are wired in, and I’m sure you don’t believe they literally originate in
the heart muscles. Learning to find satisfaction in giving as well as
receiving is not automatic and universal, but has to come out of
experience, so yes, random reorganization is quite likely to result in
that sort of thing if it appears in a given individual (it certainly
doesn’t show up in every individual, and anyway it is not ALWAYS more
blessed to give than receive --ask a conservative Christian what he
thinks about giving welfare aid to the poor). I do think we, or some of
us, do learn that we want to be appreciated, respected, and loved, as
long as the respect, appreciation, and love are real and appropriate in
our eyes. But do any two people agree on exactly what those words mean? I
think you’re taking it for granted that just because you value certain
experiences, they are the same experiences everyone else values, and that
you didn’t learn the need for them but were born that way. I dont’ see
any reason to assume that.

The question here is just how much organization we are born with and how
much we acquire through interacting with others and the physical world in
one lifetime. I don’t make any assumptions about that – that’s the sort
of thing we will find out as we study more about human beings. I don’t
think that you or anyone else knows the answers to that question.

Certainly in HPCT the higher levels create goals and purposes for
lower-level systems. The conscious search for purpose and value is one
level of that process. But this search has to begin as a trial-and-error
process because at first we have no idea what actions will result
in a sense of purpose or value (whatever perceptions an individual means
by those words). We simply have to try changing something, and if that
makes things worse, change again. We retain the organization that makes
our errors smaller, which is how we impose order on the results of these
random changes.

It is NOT part of the mental
and nerve firing perception control system and therefore needs not to be
in the HPCT model.

I’ll just say flatly that you don’t know that. How could you possibly
know what aspects of experience are or are not part of brain
operations?

It is a different human
system called the Inner Man, the self, the heart the spirit of a human
being.

So you say, but I don’t think you can defend that statement. It’s just
something you believe, not a conclusion that observations and reason have
forced you to accept. You seem to think this is a desirable conclusion
that doesn’t need justification, but it does.

But, however it is descrbed, it
needs to be in any theory of human nature and human purpose to gain
interest in people who are not satisfied with their actions in
life. I think when PCT evolves to explain such things, it will
rapidly replace all the ineffective theories of human psychology and what
it takes to be content with oneself.
So, if the models and theory do
not help people achieve value in their lives, or it stays in computer
models and equations, I doubt it will catch the attention of people
searching for understanding of purpose for their existence.

If you are dissatisfied or discontented with something, that is an error
signal in a control system and it’s happening in a brain. I really don’t
see how you can say these things are not included in PCT – to me, they
are obviously already part of PCT and fit perfectly into the structure.
Why do you think otherwise? Are you just automatically assuming that
certain parts of experience are not brain phenomenon, embodied as neural
signals? If so, what parts, and why? It seems to me almost as if
you’re arbitrarily excluding some parts of human behavior and experience
from being explained by PCT, so you don’t even try to find a PCT
explanation for them – you just say there isn’t one, as if there
couldn’t possibly be one. I guess that’s really what I don’t understand
about your position. When you say people aren’t satisfied, why don’t you
immediately translate that into an error signal resulting from a mismatch
between a perception and a reference signal? That’s what I would do, and
what I think most PCTers would do. What keeps you from applying PCT to
that obvious case of control?

Only if they start out by assuming that a computer model and equations
can’t possibly have anything to do with achieving “value” and
purpose in their lives. If you start with that assumption, that’s where
you’ll end up. There’s nothing I can do when people decide in advance
what they will accept as truth. They are impervious to demonstration,
reason, proof or anything else that might alter what they believe. They
already know what the truth is. It’s futile to try to persuade them,
because they have already decided not to be persuaded.

I don’t really think you’re that way, but I do think you’re being a bit
intellectually lazy, proposing facts just because they fit your
preferences and not because you have any real reason to believe them. I
would agree that there are some aspects of experience that PCT can’t
handle – yet – but they are not the aspects you’re talking about. It
just seems to me that there are areas in which you don’t even try to
apply PCT. Why not?

Best,

Bill P.

(Jim Dundon 01.22.08.1314est)

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.21.1230)]

> Richard Kennaway (2008.01.18 17:30 GMT)--
> without any further
> tuning of the parameters of the model, can predict pretty well the
> subject's subsequent performance on the task. "

Ok so you admit you want to control other peoples behavior just as you say
psychologists do.

I don't see anywhere in Richard's post an admission that he wants to
control people. In fact, I'm pretty sure Richard does not want to
control people. He's a libertarian, for chrissakes;-) I, on the other
hand, do want to control people -- I would like, for example, to see
people argue intelligently against PCT -- but I try to rise above this
temptation, knowing that my efforts to control others -- trying to
making their behavior match my reference for the way they should
behave-- will result only in conflict.

So why does bill wonder why people think he wants to control other peoples
behavior while he brags about how accurately he can control (predict) it.

As I said, prediction and control are not the same thing.

They are inextriably bound. We control parameters in order to ultimately perceive a prediction.

You would
know this if you had actually bothered to learn perceptual control
theory. The first thing you learn when you study control theory is
what control _is_. Control is acting to bring a perception to a
pre-specified state and to maintain it in that state, protected from
disturbance. Prediction is just describing what will be perceived in
the future; it does not involve making that predicted perception
happen.

All of your computer simulations are involved in making your predictions happen.

In science, we predict results but we don't control them.
Controlling the result of a scientific experiment -- making what is
predicted actually happen -- would be an example of scientific fraud.

You can't be serious!

I know its just poor english not poor thinking, but "making what is predicted actually happen"
would be a success. Lying about what happened would be fraudulant.

OK, Now what? can you extend this to say whether or not a particular
person will come to work tomorrow, kill tomorrow, love tomorrow, be
tomorrow?

In practice, no, because, in order to predict control behavior in
natural situations you have to know many things that are themselves
only poorly predictable.

It sounds like you are saying if everyone relates in this way with my
apparatus we can predict performance. So the prediction depends on
everyones cooperation in relating that way. That is a relational frame.
That entire frame is a refernce signal Bill has established.

I don't see what you are trying to say.

But you do. Your following statement describes the relational frame

All scientific prediction
requires that we know the state of many variables that the prediction
model says are involved in the behavior to be predicted. You can
correctly predict the time it will take a ball to roll down a plane
only if you know the state of variables such as the inclination of the
plane, the frictional resistance of the surface of the plane and ball,
weather conditions, etc. If you've ever been in a physics or chemistry
lab you know that you only get the predicted results if all relevant
variables "cooperate" (are carefully contrived) to be in the "right"
states.

How did they get that way?

Bill has often ridiculed the use of statistics in quantum theory. he "didn.t
like it!" Here he uses statistics to support his theory.

I think this is a non-sequiter. In PCT we question the need for
statistics in psychology because we have found that behavior is a lot
less variable -- and a lot more lawful --

What laws are you talking about?
If this is true, then you are admitting to the model influencing the behavior and that would belie what Bill has required of his theory. Namely that it be true at all times and in all places. That would include times and places where control theory is not known, and be independant of the level of lawfulness.

That would also be scientifically stated.

PCT conversations always seem to be contradictory in this way. I am still waiting to hear whether PCT is about all behavior as some of you say some of the time or all behavior as some of you say some of the time.. All behavior would include insanity, murder, infanticide, genocide, suicide, shizophrenia, catatonic schiziphrenia.

In my relatively uneducated opinion, It is not very scientific after decades of dialogue to be unsure and unclear about what you mean .

Spit it out. "All" behavior or behavior "modified by incorporation of PCT."?

Make up your minds whether you want to sell as one or the other or both!! And be consistant

I think what you want is for PCT to be omnipresent.

when you look at it from the
proper perspective -- the control theory perspective.

Bill does not even deal with the same kind of predictions that
psychologiosts make but he compares them as equals.

This is not quite true. We know that the predictions made in
conventional psychological research are made without knowledge of the
fact that the researcher is looking at aspects of human control. So we
don't compare the results of our experiments to those obtained by
conventional psychologists, unless it is clear how these results
relate to control, as I have done with conventional data obtained in
studies of catching fly balls.

You just said that conventional don't

The master frame (reference signal established by Bill who according to my
math, has been stuck at the top level after his first ten moves, with no
reference signal) here contains two subframes...

I have no idea what you're talking about here. Have you thought about
seeking help. You seem rather upset.

Bill denies the value of words in order to obscure the fact that words which
describe PCT, actually prescribe the math...

I don't think Bill has ever denied the value of words. Actually, Bill
uses words quite skillfully,

When Bill says something to prove the weakness of words by asking what the statement "the shooting of

I think. Words are what we use to try to
communicate ideas. But I think the best way to understand a theory is
to see how the quantitative relationships actually work. I see this
best in computer programs; people who are better at math can see it in
equations. But words will always be necessary to describe what the
programs and/or math show.

I would suggest that the math is prescribed by the theory and will limit, bind, within the frame of the terminology and methods, the results. In this case PCT. I see it as a creation/discovery maintained by your commitment to your creation.

Your post makes it clear that you are strongly opposed to PCT.

You are mistaken.

I am opposed to your assumption that it is the only reality. I have failed to do that with my methods so far.

I believe PCT is your only reality. I believe it is true for you because you make it true by living in its terminology and methods. I believe some of the statements made over time are very contradictory as I have tried to show. I will continue to attempt to make myself clear by being more direct.

I have attempted to point out weaknesses in PCT in order to show you that it is you who give it life by ignoring other realties, and living only within its framework, the PCT box., A framework you continuously discover. rediscover and refine.

I find
this depressing, not because you seem so opposed to PCT -- I actually
find your overt opposition to PCT refreshing; most of those opposed to
PCT have expressed their opposition by ignoring it; it's nice when
people say what they don't like about PCT -- but because you
opposition is so ill-informed. It would be really nice to have an
opponent of PCT present some data showing that an prediction of PCT is
wrong in some way. But when the arguments against PCT are that it does
make predictions and that, therefore, it says that people should be
controlled, then all we have is contention.

What I would like to see
-- and we don't see much of it -- is real, scientific opposition to
PCT. I'd love to have a conventional psychologist set up a study and
show that PCT can't explain data that can be explained by an
information processing model. I'd love to have someone develop a
variation on one of my demos (at www.mindreadings.com) to show that
the causal model that is the basis of all research in psychology is
_not_ rejected by the results of those demos.

So, anyway, I appreciate your opposition to PCT, Jim. But it would be
nice if you can formulate that opposition scientifically, so that it
is a bit more interesting than mere prejudice.

Best

Rick
--

NOT my best but I must leave for work. I hope we can continue this discourse.

I am not opposed to PCT . I am not even opposed to your presenting it as a behavior modifier. I AM opposed to your denying that you are presenting a behavior modifier and saying that it is pure science when in fact it is an exhortation to responsible behavior, something done by many others not in the guise of science.

···

On Jan 20, 2008 12:17 PM, jim dundon <jannim@comcast.net> wrote:

Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[Martin Taylor 2008.01.22.14.52]

(Jim Dundon 01.22.08.1314est)

Jim, with the best will in the world, sometimes I can make neither head nor tail of what you write. This message of yours contains a host of examples.

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.21.1230)]

As I said, prediction and control are not the same thing.

They are inextriably bound. We control parameters in order to ultimately perceive a prediction.

If a weather forecaster says "Tomorrow will be sunny", how is that controlling the weather?

If I control my perception of my posture with a reference value of standing straight, what prediction am I making?

... The first thing you learn when you study control theory is
what control _is_. Control is acting to bring a perception to a
pre-specified state and to maintain it in that state, protected from
disturbance. Prediction is just describing what will be perceived in
the future; it does not involve making that predicted perception
happen.

All of your computer simulations are involved in making your predictions happen.

Huh??? Say what???

Computer simulations show the consequences of making certain assumptions and setting certain parameters. What predictions is the modeller "making happen"? If a simulation model with certain assumptions and parameter values happens to produce patterns very like what happens when you ask a subject in an experiment to do something, how does the model make the subject do it?

Your comment sounds very parallel to a hypothetical comment that would say a mathematician solving an equation is "making the result happen". There is a sense in which it would be true, but it's not a sense most people would associate with "making happen." The equations imply the solution, just as the model structure and parameters inply the behaviour of the model. If you are able to predict how the simulation will behave because you can solve its equations, good on you, but just how is that "making your predictions happen?" If the model behaves very much as a subject later behaves, what is making what happen?

In science, we predict results but we don't control them.
Controlling the result of a scientific experiment -- making what is
predicted actually happen -- would be an example of scientific fraud.

You can't be serious!

Why not. He is absolutely right. It would be fraud if it were done consciously.

Especially in psychology, there's a problem called "the experimenter effect" that's been known for a long time, and against which effective experimental design is required: that the experimenter has a prediction of how it will turn out (or worse, a desire to see it turn out a particular way), and unconsciously (not deliberately) does things that make it turn out that way. It's why we have "double-blind" studies. Failing to ensure that the experimenter cannot control the result is a sign of a failed experiment -- one in which nothing is learned, because for all you know, the result might have been the experimenter's doing.

I know its just poor english not poor thinking, but "making what is predicted actually happen"
would be a success. Lying about what happened would be fraudulant.

Oh, I am so glad you aren't a scientist. You would be working for a big drug company and making a lot of money telling Congress and your advertising department how wonderfully your drug performed in the experiments that you controlled so as to give the result your bosses wanted, rather than ones that tried to find out how well the drug works in practice.

OK, Now what? can you extend this to say whether or not a particular
person will come to work tomorrow, kill tomorrow, love tomorrow, be
tomorrow?

In practice, no, because, in order to predict control behavior in
natural situations you have to know many things that are themselves
only poorly predictable.

More to the point, PCT tells you only that if you know some perception a person is controlling, as well as the reference value for that perception, and the gain and time-course of the feedback loop, then by disturbing the controlled perception you can induce ("predict" if you do it as a thought experiment beforehand) certain actions.

I can control a friend in the room with me, under some circumstances. For example, if I am sitting down and they are near the window, I can say "Would you mind opening the window" and more often than not they will do it. I can predict this will happen, and I can control my perception of their action, though not always successfully.

Why is this, according to PCT? I assume that the friend is controlling a perception that I am comfortable, and I assume that they are not controlling a perception that requires the window to be closed (because that would induce a conflict in my friend). I act (speak) so that they perceive me to be uncomfortable in a certain way, causing their controlled perception of me being comfortable to deviate from its reference value. They bring their perception of my comfort level back to its reference by opening the window. If my assumptions are correct, so will be my prediction that they will open the window. And I will have controlled my perception of my friend's actions.

There will be occasions, though, when my friend will not open the window. One of the conditions under which PCT suggests this will happen is if the friend perceives that the perception I am controlling is not to perceive the window to be open, but rather to perceive that I can control my friend. Many people have reference values to perceive themselves as acting under their own "free will". If they perceive themselves to be being controlled by others, this causes an error, and they will be likely to act otherwise than what they perceive the controller to want. So, maybe my friend will not open the window if my request is perceived as being due not to a wish to have the window open, but to a wish to control my friend's actions.

PCT says you can only predict someone's actions if you know all the parameters and all of the controlled perceptions, as well as all the relevant disturbances and fluctuations in the feedback path such as something getting stuck -- which includes whether a person's attention might be distracted at a given moment. PCT says that most social interaction does consist of controlling other people's actions (I'll get disagreement on this claim, I suspect, but it's true in the sense that getting my friend to open the window is controlling her actions).

When you are working for someone, or submit to military discipline, then you are likely to have a reference to allow yourself to have your actions controlled by certain other people, but this isn't the usual case. As I said above, most people like to perceive themselves as acting of their own volition. The friend who opens the window does so of her own volition because she wants to perceive me to be pleased. That in no way changes the fact that I control her actions in opening the window -- it is what enables me to exert that control.

It sounds like you are saying if everyone relates in this way with my
apparatus we can predict performance. So the prediction depends on
everyones cooperation in relating that way.

What it says is that we assume that when someone agrees to act in the experiment, they also set reference values for various controlled perceptions involved with doing what they are asked to do. That's what is meant by "cooperation" in PCT.

  That is a relational frame.

This needs explanation. It might make sense.

That entire frame is a refernce signal Bill has established.

Huh??? This makes no sense. I think you are using words from PCT in a way unrelated to their meanings in PCT. But I don't know, since I can't interpret it in context of anything else in this thread.

I don't see what you are trying to say.

But you do. Your following statement describes the relational frame

All scientific prediction
requires that we know the state of many variables that the prediction
model says are involved in the behavior to be predicted. You can
correctly predict the time it will take a ball to roll down a plane
only if you know the state of variables such as the inclination of the
plane, the frictional resistance of the surface of the plane and ball,
weather conditions, etc. If you've ever been in a physics or chemistry
lab you know that you only get the predicted results if all relevant
variables "cooperate" (are carefully contrived) to be in the "right"
states.

How did they get that way?

The experimenter set them up, or else measured them. I don't see what Rick's statemen has to do with anything I would associate with a "relational frame". Clearly, if the inclined plane is at a very shallow angle, the ball will roll down it more slowly than if it is almost vertical. If in a chemistry experiment you add ammonia instead of hydrochloric acid, you won't get the predicted results. All Rick is saying is that you have to know that kind of thing before you can predict how fast the ball will roll, or what will happen in the chemistry experiment.

Likewise in PCT prediction, if you don't have a pretty good guess as to what the subject might be controlling, you won't predict very well how events may disturb his controlled perceptions, and still less will you be able to predict the person's action to correct errors in the controlled perceptions. Because a person agreed to be in the experiment, the experimenter assumes a lot about what perceptions the subject is controlling, and therefore can make quite a few predictions about the effects of disturbances the experimenter will deliberately introduce to perceptions assumed to be controlled.

Bill has often ridiculed the use of statistics in quantum theory. he "didn.t
like it!" Here he uses statistics to support his theory.

I think this is a non-sequiter. In PCT we question the need for
statistics in psychology because we have found that behavior is a lot
less variable -- and a lot more lawful --

What laws are you talking about?

Laws of Nature. Consistency.

If this is true, then you are admitting to the model influencing the behavior and that would belie what Bill has required of his theory.

Nonsense. At least, it's nonsense if what you mean is what the plain English of this seems to mean.

Namely that it be true at all times and in all places. That would include times and places where control theory is not known,

Yep. And it includes life forms incapable of "knowing" anything about PCT, such as flowers, insects, and bacteria.

and be independant of the level of lawfulness.

What on earth does this mean?

That would also be scientifically stated.

What would?

PCT conversations always seem to be contradictory in this way. I am still waiting to hear whether PCT is about all behavior as some of you say some of the time or all behavior as some of you say some of the time..

Is it about X or X?

My answer is that it is about all behaviour of all living things, all the time. Is that what you meant to ask? That is actually its domain of reference.

All behavior would include insanity, murder, infanticide, genocide, suicide, shizophrenia, catatonic schiziphrenia.

Yep. Also tree growth, rutting behaviour of male moose, bacterial movement, ant suicides in protecting the nest ...

In my relatively uneducated opinion, It is not very scientific after decades of dialogue to be unsure and unclear about what you mean .

So what DO you mean? I know language can never make it precise, but your language seems singularly impenetrable. It may be sure, but it's definitely not clear.

Spit it out. "All" behavior or behavior "modified by incorporation of PCT."?

What does "incorporation of PCT" mean? And how would it "modify" behaviour?

I do find that my understanding of the quirks of other people's behaviour (and my own) seems to be clearer from having some understanding of PCT, and perhaps I treat people more tolerantly for that reason. But somehow I don't think this is the kind of "modification" you mean.

Make up your minds whether you want to sell as one or the other or both!!

One or other WHAT???

And be consistant

I think what you want is for PCT to be omnipresent.

Oh, it is, it is! That's unavoidable. But only in living things. Luckily.

I think. Words are what we use to try to
communicate ideas. But I think the best way to understand a theory is
to see how the quantitative relationships actually work. I see this
best in computer programs; people who are better at math can see it in
equations. But words will always be necessary to describe what the
programs and/or math show.

I would suggest that the math is prescribed by the theory and will limit, bind, within the frame of the terminology and methods, the results. In this case PCT. I see it as a creation/discovery maintained by your commitment to your creation.

Finally we come to a paragraph that I think I understand. It's a much argued point in philosophy, with which I happen to agree. It really is a weak version of the Whorfian hypothesis. The strong version is unsustainable, but the weak version may well be true -- what we perceive is much influenced by how we talk about it (maths is talk), as well as vice-versa.

Your post makes it clear that you are strongly opposed to PCT.

You are mistaken.

I am opposed to your assumption that it is the only reality.

Has anyone suggested PCT is the "only reality"? I don't think anyone has suggested that PCT could have predicted the surplus neutrinos that were observed over a particular few seconds in 1987 because of the decay of nickel(?) created in the supernova explosion. They were a reality, too, and their timing proved that if neutrinos had any mass, it is incredibly small (of course, now we understand that neutrinos do have mass, and that mass is incredibly small).

I will continue to attempt to make myself clear by being more direct.

That would be most welcome.

I have attempted to point out weaknesses in PCT

Again, that would be most welcome, but it MUST be based on a deep understanding of the hierarchy of PCT flavours, from basic PCT to generally accepted PCT, to speculative PCT. If you can find weakness in basic PCT, you will have done a service to all of the physical sciences. If you find a weakness in speculative PCT, you may help to strengthen it. So please, please, do analyze and point out weaknesses in all flavours of PCT. In doing so, though, it would be nice if you referred to a version of PCT that its practitioners would recognize.

Please do it right. There's nothing a science needs more than cogent criticism.

I am not opposed to PCT . I am not even opposed to your presenting it as a behavior modifier.

Who has ever done that? And if someone did, why should it matter? Psychiatrists have long looked for effective behaviour modifiers. I'm not sure whether MOL counts as a behaviour modifier, but it does represent PCT in a psychiatric environment, and if it works to make people feel better and to interact better with the world, surely that's a good thing, isn't it?

  I AM opposed to your denying that you are presenting a behavior modifier and saying that it is pure science when in fact it is an exhortation to responsible behavior, something done by many others not in the guise of science.

As I mentioned above in connection with myself, it is indeed possible that an understanding of the science of PCT may induce someone to act more responsibly than they otherwise would. But that's not a problem, any more than it is a problem that a knowledge of thermodynamics helps engineers build more efficient engines than they otherwise might. It doesn't make thermodynamics or PCT any the less pure science.

What is your issue, here? Is part of your definition of science that it should not apply in the everyday world?

Martin

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.22.1800)]

Martin Taylor (2008.01.22.14.52) to Jim Dundon (01.22.08.1314est)

Very nice reply to Jim, Martin. Saves me a lot of time.

By the way, for those who are interested, I am making little
improvements in my online Java demos. The main one's that have been
improved are "The Nature of Control", "S-R versus Control" and
"Detection of Purpose". The "S-R versus Control" demo no uses narrow
band noise rather than a sine wave as the repeated disturbance. There
is also a beep inserted at the point where the disturbances repeat.
These changes were made in response to critics who have said that the
results occur because the subject is just repeating movements made in
the first half from memory. The "Detection of Purpose" demo is changed
by having the three agents move in different patterns: circle, square
and triangle. The task is then to see which agent is purposefully
making the pattern (versus the others which are making the pattern as
a caused output. But if you go there and try them out now you might
improve my google ranking, which is what life is about for me these
days;-)

I am continuing work on upgrading these demos (with the help of a
computer science student) so hopefully they will soon have nicer
interfaces and cooler graphics.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Dick Robertson, 2008.01.23.1011CST]

···

From: Martin Taylor mmt-csg@MMTAYLOR.NET
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 4:46 pm
Subject: Re: most difficult obstacle for me with PCT

Martin,

What an elegant post. I predict it won’t do any good, however.

Best,

Dick R.

[From Rick Marken (2008.01.23.0930)]

Bill Powers (2008.01.22.0958 EST)

Kenny Kitzke (2008.01.180} --

But, however it is descrbed, it needs to be in any theory of human nature
and human purpose to gain interest in people who are not satisfied with
their actions in life. I think when PCT evolves to explain such things, it
will rapidly replace all the ineffective theories of human psychology and
what it takes to be content with oneself.

If you are dissatisfied or discontented with something, that is an error
signal in a control system and it's happening in a brain. I really don't see
how you can say these things are not included in PCT -- to me, they are
obviously already part of PCT and fit perfectly into the structure. Why do
you think otherwise? Are you just automatically assuming that certain parts
of experience are not brain phenomenon, embodied as neural signals? If so,
what parts, and why? It seems to me almost as if you're arbitrarily
excluding some parts of human behavior and experience from being explained
by PCT, so you don't even try to find a PCT explanation for them -- you just
say there isn't one, as if there couldn't possibly be one. I guess that's
really what I don't understand about your position. When you say people
aren't satisfied, why don't you immediately translate that into an error
signal resulting from a mismatch between a perception and a reference
signal? That's what I would do, and what I think most PCTers would do. What
keeps you from applying PCT to that obvious case of control?

What, indeed, Kenny? Could it be that your religious preferences are
keeping you from applying PCT in the most obvious way? Could it be
that people who come to PCT prepared to defend their religious,
economic or political preconceptions will be unable to apply PCT to
the most obvious situations when that application conflicts with those
preconceptions?

So, if the models and theory do not help people achieve value in their
lives, or it stays in computer models and equations, I doubt it will catch
the attention of people searching for understanding of purpose for their
existence.

Only if they start out by assuming that a computer model and equations
can't possibly have anything to do with achieving "value" and purpose in
their lives.

Is Bill right, here, Kenny? Is this one of your preconceptions -- that
a computer model and equations can't possibly have anything to do with
achieving "value" and purpose life? If it is, it could prove a real
handicap in terms of understanding PCT and how to apply it.

If you start with that assumption, that's where you'll end up.
There's nothing I can do when people decide in advance what they will accept
as truth. They are impervious to demonstration, reason, proof or anything
else that might alter what they believe. They already know what the truth
is. It's futile to try to persuade them, because they have already decided
not to be persuaded.

Ain't that the truth. A truth that is, incidentally, explained by PCT:
it's people controlling for their assumptions being true.

I would agree that
there are some aspects of experience that PCT can't handle -- yet -- but
they are not the aspects you're talking about. It just seems to me that
there are areas in which you don't even try to apply PCT. Why not?

I'd like to know what you think about this, too, Kenny? Why are there
are areas in which you don't even try to apply PCT?

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com