On Anastasio on PCT

[From Rick Marken (930505.1530)]

Gary Cziko (930505.1925 UTC) --

I don't have much to add to Bill Powers' and Tom Bourbon's
comments on Anastasio's nice post about PCT (except, of course,
that he should buy a copy of "Mind Readings"; I'd like to hear
his comments on that book).

But I particularly liked this comment from Tom Bourbon:

Tom Bourbon (930505.1530)--

But hard data are
there already -- they just aren't interesting to most folks. (The reviewers
say it, over and over, and so do many of our friends.) Why not say it the
other way: "Gosh! Look at these great behavioral data and these spectacular
predictions. You know, if this model works so well at predicting control
behavior, maybe I should rethink my priorities for physiological research.

This is right on!! I don't know how many times we're going to have to
hear stuff like "PCT sounds interesting but people won't take it
seriously until there is some hard data" -- as though there is hard
data supporting some other theory of behavior!?! PCT has got hard data;
lots of it. And it's harder than ... well, never mind. People who say
this about PCT are either unaware of the data we have (much of it
described in LCS I and II, Mind Readings and the ABS Control Theory
issue) or they think a lot more highly of the existing behavioral
science data than seems warrented (in fact, the terrible quality of
most of this data is the reason why PCT modellers don't spent a lot of
time trying to show how PCT accounts for it).

Tom really hits the nail on the head in the quote above; people who see
the PCT data and still want more evidence are just trying to avoid PCT --
evidence or not. People who want PCT to account for the statistical results
of conventional behavioral science will never understand PCT because they
are looking for an explanation of the wrong phenomenon; they want to
explain noisy IV-DV relationships; PCT explains control.

I'm speaking "in general" here -- not of Tom Anastasio in particular.
For all I know, Tom A. will get PCT right off the bat and start doing
some great neurophysiological studies of the behavior of neural
perceptual signals that are in control loops. I sure hope he does.