[From Rick Marken (2004.07.02.1010)]

Bruce Gregory (2004.0702.1130) --

Bill Powers (2004.07.02.0849 MDT)

There are very fews things that exist only in the "yes" and "no"

states, with nothing between and no alternative forms of either.

While i certainly agree with what you say, I interpret it somewhat

differently. No matter what state a program is in, from just beginning,

to abandoned, to almost finished, to be being debugged, it seems to me

that it is always a program (or not).

That's true of all different classes of perception, not just programs. For

example, no matter what state a color is in, it is always a color (or not,

as when it changes to a grayscale value). But in the program control task I

have developed, it's not enough to know that there is or is not a program

occurring. That is because there is always a program occurring. In order to

control for a particular program perception you have to perceive _which_

program is occurring.

Here is the way the program control demo currently works:

A sequence of numbers, such as 8 3 4 10, is presented slowly, one after the

other, to the subject. The sequence is determined by the following program:

If n>5 then np1 is odd else np1 is even

That is, if the current number (n) is >5 then the next number (np1) will be

odd, otherwise it will be even. The numbers are randomly selected integers

in the range from 1 to 10. So if the current number (n) is 8, the next

number (np1) is any odd integer in the range 1 to 10. Let's say np1 is 3.

Then when np1 is shown, it is now number n and the next number is selected

according to the program rule. So now np1 will be an even number between 1

and 10 because the current n, 3, is not >5. The following sequence of

numbers:

8 3 4 10 7 9 1 6 ...

is generated by the program that implements this rule:

n = int(rnd(3)*9)+1

While (true)

Print n

wait (1000)

np1 = int(rnd(3)*9)+1

Print n

If n>5 then

if np1 mod 2 = 0 then np1=np1-1

Else

if n mod 2 <> then np1 = np1+1

End if

n = np1

wend

A some point this program changes to one that is slightly different, but

still a program. The basic contingency in the new program is:

If n>5 then np1 is even else np1 is odd

So the sequence of numbers is still being generated by a program but now by

a program with a different contingency test. But the switch is not from

program to no program. It's from one kind of program to another.

I had this demo set up (this was done some time ago so I don't have the

program on hand but I can easily rewrite it in java) so that a push of the

mouse button toggles the number generation program from one program (the one

where np1 is odd if n>5) to another (the one where np1 is even if n>5) and

vice versa. An independent disturbance also toggled between the programs at

random times. So by pressing the mouse button, one could toggle back to the

desired (reference) program after a disturbance. Assuming the reference

program id the one where np1 is odd if n>5, then, in order to keep this

program occurring one had to be able to perceive when it is occurring and

when another program (the one where np1 is even if n>5) was occurring.

I wasn't thrilled with this demo as it sat because I'm not sure that one

actually had to perceive the program in order to control it. One does have

to be able to perceive a logical relationship between the number on trial n

and the number on trial n+1. But I'm not sure this is really the perception

of a program. I want to design a version of this demo where the perception

of the program requires seeing more than the relationship between two steps

in the program. For example, there are several different programs

(algorithms) that sort a list of numbers by size. There's the Bubble sort,

Shell sort, Heap sort, etc. I would like to write a demo that switches

between two of these sort algorithms in a way that requires that the subject

perceive more than just one or two steps in the program to know which

algorithm is currently occurring. Of course, such a demo would only work

with people who _can_ perceive these algorithms. I'll have to see if there

is a way to design the demo so that it's possible to control a program even

if you're not a computer science PhD.

Regards

Rick

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Richard S. Marken

MindReadings.com

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