[From Rick Marken (01.01.01.1515)]
The notion that I am assuming I know what goes on in RTP schools
with no evidence is a slogan invented by Tom Bourbon and now used
by the defenders of RTP (now including Bill Powers) to denegrate
whatever I say that is relevant to RTP.
Bruce Nevin (2000.12.31 15:50 EST)--
So far as I know, denigration is not the aim.
Not the _only_ aim, perhaps. I forgot to mention that silencing me
on the topic of RTP is probably the main aim.
The aim as I have understood it has been to show that your
assertions are not relevant to RTP because they have no empirical
That is simply not the case, Bruce. I have never made assertions
about RTP that have no empirical basis. You (and Tom and now Bill
P. and just about everyone else) keep saying I do. But I don't
believe I ever have. I have never, for example, said that RTP
teachers say "I see you have chosen..". I have no idea what RTP
teachers do. All I know is what I am told. And I don't like some
of what I am told.
You here acknowledge as much.
Yes. As I just did again. I acknowledge that I have never been
to an RTP school and that, therefore, I don't know what goes on
in an RTP school. But I have never "asserted" anything about what
goes on in RTP schools. What I have "asserted" (and will continue
to assert) is that 1) telling childen that they have chosen to
do X when you have no evidence that they want to do X and when X
is precisely what you want (and are willing to compel) them to
do is disrespectful to children and 2) the RTP literature says that
teachers are supposed to (and do) tell students, calmly and politely,
"I see you have chosen to go to the RTC" if they have disrupted
twice in a row. I have an empirical basis for making both of those
The significance, morality, respectfulness, or any other
attribute of the phrase "I see you have chosen" has no relevance
to anything discussed on CSG-net other than RTP. To claim now
that you were not talking about RTP is disingenuous at best.
I was talking hypothetcally about teachers in general. Of course,
what I said is relevant to RTP. But I was carefully avoiding any
claim that RTP teachers do this. I don't know whether they do this
or not. I believe Tim Carey who (via Bill Powers) says that they
do not, at least in Australia. That's fine. But then why tell
the teachers to do this in the RTP literature? Why say it's what
the teachers actually do (as in MSOB, p. 155)?
In the previous post you called me a liar
I did not. I said "I think you're lying to us...
Do you really think that that is an important distinction? Would
it be OK with you if I said "I think you're acting like an asshole,
Bruce" instead of "You're an asshole, Bruce"? If so, it certainly
opens up whole new horizons for me on the net;-)
Instead of rationalizing your disrespectful behavior, Bruce, I
think it would have been a lot nicer if you had just apologized to
me. In fact, I think all of you who have been carrying on against
me with respect to RTP would feel a lot better in this beautiful
and hopeful New Year if you would just think about what you are
doing. Once you get up a level and see that we are all doing the
same thing (PCT), I'm sure an apology will come very easily.
What was the stylistic flaw in what I said, Bruce? Or was it a
substantive flaw, perhaps? In either case, what was wrong with
what I said above?
Sorry. I just cannot see that as a smooth move initiating a
productive discussion of PCT and its applications.
I find it amazing that you find something "unsmooth" or "un-
productive" about my questions above. They look like (and were)
perfectly straight forward questions. I also find it a tad
disconcerting to be getting lessons on how to have productive
discussions about PCT from someone who has not always been a model
of productive discussion himself. For example, in reply to my claim
that there is plenty of evidence that teachers control for classroom
order you [Bruce Nevin (2000.12.18.1829 EST)] replied with this
And all this time I thought that the process of identifying
controlled variables was so much more demanding
Is this your idea of how to carry on a productive discussion?
I can't believe it is.
I also find it rather curious that you pick out my perfectly
straight forward, serious questions to Bruce Gregory as examples
of unproductive interactions but say nothing at all about comments
like this from Bruce Gregory (2000.1218.1956) himself:
Stick to politics Marken, you're not cut out for this PCT stuff.
Sounds pretty unproductive to me.
The only possible reason for bringing up "I see you have chosen"
etc. is to continue a quarrel. In the absence of empirical data
there is no possible way to resolve any issue associated with
this by methods of science.
Without empirical evidence there is no way to know whether the
RTP teachers use this tactic. But there is plenty of empirical
evidence that this tactic is used in schools and in homes and
that it is used in a way that I would call disrespectful.
If you and the others who are protective of RTP want me to
stop saying anything on CSGNet that could be construed as an
"attack" on RTP then, I'm afraid, you are going to be as
frustrated in 2001 as you were in 2000, 1999 and 1998. I enjoy
discussing PCT on CSGNet. Many of the things that are said about
RTP on CSGNet (like many of the things that are said about reinforcement
theory, S-R theory, cognitive theopry, open-loop
control, information theory, etc etc) are a disturbance to my
perception of how organisms work, ie. a disturbance to my per-
ception of PCT. CSGNet is for discussion of PCT and if some of the
things I say on CSGNet are simply intolerable, insuperable
disturbances to something you want to believe, then one solution
(and I say this out of honest concern for your fellings,
not out of any dislike) is to follow the lead of some of the
action theorists, postmodernists, modern control theorists,
cognitivist scientists, etc. who have simply left CSGNet because
they preferred hearing agreement instead of constant dissent.
and a very Happy New Year to ALL
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org