Osmo stable again

From Osmo Eerola [931230 08.20 GMT] to Rick Marken (931229.1130)]

Gee, Osmo. For a fella who knows all about how to apply CT to behavior
you sure say some peculiar things. What you are saying here is
eauivalent to saying that a sudden blast of heat from a torch near the
sensor of the thermostat is what causes the heater to be turned off
shortly thereafter (assuming the heater is on at the time). In other
words, you are saying that the "step response" of the heater is caused by
the "step disturbance" (torch) to the controlled variable (sensed
temperature). Do you know why this is not the case?

The dog stimulus (perception) in MY EXAMPLE MUST exists before anything
else will happen. Okay?
That perception (or a futher manipulated function of it) forms a new
reference value for another (lower level) control loop of my actions
(part of my holistic survival control system) causing a kind of step
response. This response will happen as a result of seeing the dog! Okay?
At first there was the dog then my action. This is the time sequency.
You cannot deny that. It is a kind of S-R!!!!! I am not saying it is
a pure reflex - i.e. from seeing a dog there is direct neural hard wired
path from retina (or visual cortex) to my motor neurons.

>If so, what caused my reaction?

The sudden deviation of the controlled variable from it's reference level.

Okay, but...
What did cause the sudden deviation from the reference value?
My answer is: the perception of the dog.
What did cause the perception of the dog?
My answer is: a living thing (what we call a dog) encountering you.
What was the reason (stimulus)?
My answer is: the dog.
What was the consequency (response)?
My answer is: my reaction to it.
Totally and utterly wrong???

>But, I dont think PCTers deny causality!

Indeed, we don't. We just know what causes what. Now it's your turn to
figure out what causes what in a control loop -- which should be easy
since you understand CT so well.

Please, see above.

>Do you mean B. Weiner or maybe N.Wiener?

I meant N. Weiner. By B. Weiner do you mean Bernard Weiner? If so,
then you know a LOT more about conventional psychology then you
let on. B. Weiner was actually a professor of mine (LONG AGO) at
UCLA. He studies motivation. A nice guy but, unfortunately, clueless
about human motivation.

I do not know N. Weiner. Do you mean Norbert WIENER (1894-1964)?
Yes I meant Bernard. What a small world? I neither know him
personally. Just seen some references to his works
(Cognitive views of human motivation, 1974).

Osmo Eerola [931228 08.45 GMT] to Martin Taylor (931221 13:50)

> Take a nice seat (your favourite chair), relax, close your eyes and
>go back to the first childhood Christmas you remember. Stay there for a while.
>How does PCT apply to your memories?

They are controlled imaginations (played back references for perceptions).
Try reading the memory chapter in BCP. This is really becoming tiresome.

Sorry for boring you. Have to get the book and read it. You really seem
to have PCT answers to almost any mental phenomena. Must check them.

The incorrect application of
CT to behavior has made it nearly impossible for PCT people to
get the attention of the behavioral science community -- which
assumes that the application of CT to behavior has already been
done and found wanting in some way.

Sorry for you PCTers. Pioneers' role is always hard.
So nice little theory and only some odds take is seriously.
Keep trying! It's worth of it! I maybe will join you!

I have not spent my time in the net for teasing you but trying
to learn your thinking. Your approach makes sense to old dirty
life scientist/biomedical control engineer with some spare
time interest in (vanishing) psychology.

I have used my arsenal in arguing (still not admitting I have been
totally and utterly wrong). Now I really have to read the book
(get it somehow at first). Then I can start to use
your points against local behaviorists and old hat control engineers.

If CT has already been applied correctly to living systems then
it should be easy for you to answer a few basic questions about
the application of CT to behavior:

I do not think I have said that it has been CORRECTLY applied.
Correctness seems to depend on who is applying. I only know it
has been tried to apply and I was taught that CT can be applied.

1. What is behavior?

In my own (bio)physical terms as I see it:
behaviour is muscle work (W=Fs), excluding in most cases at least
the unvoluntarily controlled muscles (e.g. heart).
Any higher level description of behaviour can be reduced
back to muscle work.

2. What is control?

Again, as I see it:
Getting the desired function (muscle work) to be done in a proper
(intended) way by comparing the measured output
(or its representation) to the reference.

3. How does one determine what a living system is doing
at any particular time (ie. how does one determine it's

(I suppose you mean by 'determine' deciding not defining)
In wide sense adapting to its environment in an optimal way
by functioning in the intended way.
(If you ment defining):
I do not believe any known living system can entirely
define (simulate) its functions/behaviour. Human being can to
some extent as a subject describe/define his own functions, but
he probably cannot break into the loop describing the loop.

4. Is there a difference between intentional and accidental
behavior?If so, what is the difference (in CT terms)? How
does one distinguish between intentional and accidental
behavior (if there is a difference)?

As I defined behaviour above: there is no elementary difference
between intentional and accidental behaviour from
the point of view of an external observer, provided that he/she is
not aware whether a new reference value or e.g. some disturbance
caused the observed behaviour.
If he is not ware of that but he (external observer) knows
the control system subject to observations, he can use
his past experience in evaluating whether the observed
behaviour was intentional or not (but cannot be sure of it).

When one observes his own behaviour (this is now really a
layman's opinion):
Intentionality means that
you have to be aware of the reference value - then you
in a way are an (pseudo) external observer as reagrds
the control loop for which the reference was given.
You can also be aware that you just gave an erroneous
reference, but too late - erroneous
(accidental) action was initiated.

Thus intentional behaviour in CT terms (in a simple control
system) is setting a new reference value.
Accidental behaviour apparently is caused by
a) a disturbance in the control block
b) a disturbance in the comparator
c) setting an erroneous reference value
e) a disturbance in the feedback block
d) a disturbance in the sensor
The control loop under consideration can in optimal case
correct the other disturbances except the erroneous reference value.

Got a good humor for a happy new year?