I think the only way you could have gotten from Bill’s “I am not sure how to deal with perceptions at this level” to the conclusion that Bill was saying " A perception of a program is not what is controlled" is if you were controlling for arriving at that conclusion. But the fact is that Bill wasn’t saying " A perception of a program is not what is controlled". He was saying that he didn’t know how to implement a control system that controls a program perception.
But we don’t have to do Talmudic analysis of Bill’s words to know that a perception of a program can be controlled. That fact is demonstrated by my program control demo. The demo confirms Bill’s hypothesis that programs are one type of perceptual variable that people can control. I think it also suggests that the program level of control is above the sequence level of control.
Perceiving the structure of a ‘network of contingencies’ from the outside and comparing it to a reference value for such (a structure? structures?) does not account for “the way programs work”.
The phrase “the way programs work” is ambiguous. I think you and Bill are using it differently. Bill was talking about the workings of the observed program, such as the contingent display of red or blue circles or squares in my demo; you seem to be talking about the mechanism that generated the program; in my demo that would be the computer program that produces the contingent display of red or blue circles or squares. Given Bill’s meaning of “the way programs work”, what you say above makes no sense; there is no need to account for how" a program is generated in order to control the observed program. Given your meaning of “the way programs work” what you say is certainly true but irrelevant.
This is consistent with Bill’s model as long as it’s clear that “the output of a program” is what Bill (and I) mean by a “program perception”; it’s a perception of a network of contingencies between perceptions (colors and shapes in the demo). When Bill said:
But that doesn’t seem properly to fit the way programs work: they involve perceptions, but the perceptions are part of the if-then tests that create the network of contingencies which is the heart of the program. Perhaps a level is missing here.
I’m pretty sure what he meant is that the “if-then tests” are themselves perceptions from which the network of contingencies – the program perception – is created (constructed). If - then tests can be implemented as logical perceptions – such as (previous=circle) AND (current = blue) = True – and I’m pretty sure the “missing level” to which Bill was alluding is a possible level of control systems that control logical perceptions at a lower level than those that control program perceptions. Such logical operators could be the building blocks for a perceptual function that produces a signal indicating whether or not a particular program is running.
Programs and sequences in Powers’ model of behavior are the “final” CVs.
I think a better real world example is correcting yourself when you find yourself controlling for the driving program that you use to get to, say, work, when you should be controlling for the driving program that will get you to the beach.
What I would like to see is a control model that can do what a participant can do in my program control demo. Once we have that then I think we can start discussing program control in a way that even I can understand;-)