[Martin Taylor 2007.04.14.17.48]
Just back from NZ - OZ, and jet laggedly scanning lots of e-mail...but I came across this:
[From Bill Powers (2007.03.24.0500 MDT)]
I was giving a talk on PCT (before it was called that) and a couple of cybernetic feminists objected loudly that control was a male aberration and had nothing to do with cybernetics. The audience did not disagree.
As you may know, I have been talking up PCT within my old lab for several years now. Quite a few "takers", none of whom have joined (or rather have stayed with) CSGnet, but all of whom are male, and have been using PCT in their own work (at least as they understand PCT).
I was discussing PCT over lunch once a few years ago with three female colleagues, none of whom I would consider "feminist", and all of whom are careful researchers. The reaction you mention was exactly theirs: "control" is a male concept, and not applicable to humans in general. They were simply not interested in a theory in which control is a core concept, at any level of explanation I could develop.
Apart from Elizabeth Huang, how many female participants have been on CSGnet in any substantive way (I omit Mary, for obvious reasons)?
Is this gender difference something worth wondering about?