One Layperson's Response to "PCT and Culture" PowerPoint

This from my daughter Connie. Montana is her border collie.
(I've explained to her how you can navigate the show from the show -- just
right-click and pick from the little menu that comes up.)



Perceptual Control Theory absolutely jives with my understanding of the way
the mind works, and makes sense where behaviorism of course never has. It
allows for almost infinite complexity and gives a mechanism for behavior
that doesn't have a disconnect between simple response to stimuli and
complex reasoning. I like the wry little parenthetical "or so we suppose."
A neat link between empiricism and existentialism!

In the early sections I kept relating the ideas to my observations of the
mind of the border collie (or I should say THE border collie). So needless
to say I was delighted when a real border collie turned up in the slides!
Anyway, I am constantly struck by the way Montana seems to work from a set
of patterns. As she gets older the patterns get more sophisticated and her
behavior is more 'appropriate.' As a puppy she constructed patterns that
involved the way people moved, the shape of their heads (eg hatless and
without big hair) etc and objected violently when someone didn't conform.
It seems to me that a key mechanism for the artificial selection of the
border collie mentality must have to do with the level 7 (Categories) being
somehow accentuated so that fairly complicated constructs get 'fixed' as
perceptions from only a few repetitions, and then take a lot of new
information to alter. In other words, it's a sort of dysfunction or
aberration in the normal process which has been artificially selected
because it is useful in a sheep herder.

I want to watch it a couple more times- the PP medium is wonderful for
conveying this kind of medium except that it is hard to stop and re-read. I
didn't do that at all the first time through but I will in another viewing
(having figured out fairly recently how to start in the middle of a
powerpoint instead of having to start over at the beginning- a good trick to
explain to someone who is watching this (go in through 'custom animation').

The only thing that I totally didn't get the first time through was a couple
of references to Google. I think it'll make sense when I think about it
more but it threw me as it passed by the first time- again, in a printed
version one could stop and think about it which doesn't work at viewing

Have you seen the article on 'mirror neurons' in the latest Natural History?
I'd never heard of them before. Apparently they have actually been
physically identified in various brains. Meta-level mechanism?

Needless to say I am thrilled with the power point itself, very cool


-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Cloak []
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 8:14 PM
To: 'Connie Cloak'; 'Dan Cloak'
Subject: My Big Project has been "released" - check out Release 1.0 Beta

To download the .zip file, go to Your user name is
ftcloak and password is replicator. Click on my name, and right-click on* Save it to a convenient place on your PC, unzip the file
and double-click on play.bat.

It runs about 50 mins. I eagerly await your oohs and aahs, but also hope
for some constructive comments, especially about technical glitches and
areas that were hard to follow. I'd like to get it out of Beta in time to
start widespread distribution well before we leave for Europe in just two


*If that doesn't work, try the "To view this FTP site in Windows Explorer,
click Page, and then click Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer" ploy. It will
ask for your user name and password there (see above).