[From Rick Marken (991228.0800)]
With this level 2 reference fixed, the spreadsheet was unable
to bring the level 3 perceptions into a match with 4 of the 64
possible combinations of level 3 references.
Bill Powers (991228.0726 MDT)
Excellent. However, let's give credit where it's due. It seems
to me that Martin predicted that with a single fixed second-
level reference signal, the third-level systems would be able
to continue controlling in 15/16 of the cases, or in other words
all but 4 of 64.
Yes. Nice going Martin!
So with respect to the issue we have been debating, which, as
you say [Bill Powers (991225.0221 MDT)], is "whether requiring
(or forbidding) a specific set of overt actions from a child is
likely to create internal conflict in the child, and therefore
likely to result in some form of resistance" the answer from the
hierarchcal spreadsheet model is (as I sai when this discussion began)
No, it is "no" if you mean by the word "likely" what other people
mean. Chances are 15 out of 16 that no internal conflict would be
created, which makes _that_ the most "likely" case.
Yes. Good point. I agree.
I think we all agree that the spreadsheet program is only a first
approximation to the real case. However, support for it will quite
likely increase now that it has proven someone _else_ right.
Yes. Excellent point!
Martin conjectured that the more systems that are involved at a given
level, the more robust the hierarchy will be against loss of a single
intermediate-level control system. I think your test vindicates his claim.
Try it with 12 systems at each level and see what happens!
Of course! Will do ASAP! Maybe there's a paper on the robustness of
hierarchical control lurking in this debate.
I would not yet conclude from these simulation-experiments that
causing children to adopt arbitrary reference levels (assuming that
is possible) would be harmless to the child. But we have to conclude
that in the spreadsheet world, it is not expecially harmful unless
the minority of cases in which a problem does occur are important
to the child.
Yes. But it should also be noted that the spreadsheet simulation
provides no evidence that causing children to adopt arbitrary
reference levels (assuming that is possible) would be _good for
the child_. I think some people were arguing that forcing kids to
adopt particular references was good for the kid (it made them
"responsible"). I think the spreadsheet simulation suggests that
this conceit (that one can improve kids by forcing them to adopt
particular goals) may, indeed, result in less harm to a kid (assuming
that a kid is a hierarchy of many control systems) than I had thought.