Seeing similarity (was Re: Latash, 2010: "Motor Control Theories and Their Applications")

[From Fred Nickols (2014.01.01.0950 EST)]

First off, Happy New Year to all.

Second, regarding Rick’s question pertaining to the value in seeing similarities between PCT/nonPCT research/theory…

I’m probably out of my depth here but I can see lots of areas of potential value.

First, seeing those similarities affords us a basis for connecting with others and opening discussions related to PCT.

Second, not everything we spot might be in conflict; just using different words so we also have the opportunity to build some bridges and links, providing a broader basis for PCT.

Third, exploring those similarities might enlighten us in some way; perhaps to enrich our own understanding of PCT and/or the weaknesses/faults of those other points of view (i.e., we might find a petard on which we can hoist them).

Fourth, it keeps us from being abysmally and embarrassingly ignorant as to what else in a related vein is “out there”; it is good to know the enemy (or at least the opposing points of view). Hmm. Come to think of it this is an important point because if we can explain how “their” stuff doesn’t fit the bill and they can’t explain away “our” stuff then we have an edge.

There is a handful for starters…

Fred Nickols

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 1:10 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Seeing similarity (was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their Applications”)

[From Rick Marken (2013.12.31.2210)]

Last post of 2013!

Martin Taylor (2013.12.31.12.40)_-

RM:…If there is no written copy of Bill’s explanation of the similarities between the Latash, Feldman theory and PCT maybe you could just summarize them yourself. Or maybe Bruce could. Or Martin. You guys are obviously much better at seeing these similarities than I am.

MT: I think you are right that you don’t see similarities very well, and often correctly note that study “X” is not exactly PCT according to the Bible…whereas perhaps I don’t see dissimilarities very well, and accept as adequately PCT studies that I might better reject…This difference in perceptual balance is something that PCT ought to take into account when developing the theory beyond what is in B:CP and LCSIII

RM: I completely agree. This is a very important topic and worth discussing. I think your subject line is a good description of the topic: Seeing similarity. I propose that the question we address should be something like this:

What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT research and/or theory to PCT research and/or theory?

I’ll give you my answer next year. But I would like to hear how others would answer this as well. It might be a good prelude to the LCS III course coming soon to a discussion group near you.

Happy New Year

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
– Bertrand Russell

Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
– Bertrand Russell

[Martin Taylor 2014.12.01.10.00]

Happy New Year. First post of 2014 continues our 20-year record of

disagreement.
I think the question is about the development of PCT, not about the
value of other research.
Martin

···

[From Rick Marken (2013.12.31.2210)]

Last post of 2013!

              Martin Taylor

(2013.12.31.12.40)_-

                RM:...If there is no written

copy of Bill’s explanation of the
similarities between the Latash, Feldman theory and
PCT maybe you
could just summarize them yourself. Or maybe Bruce
could. Or Martin.
You guys are obviously much better at seeing these
similarities than I
am.
MT: I think you are right that you don’t see
similarities very well, and often correctly note that
study “X” is not exactly PCT according to the
Bible…whereas perhaps I don’t see dissimilarities
very well, and accept as adequately PCT studies that I
might better reject…** This difference in perceptual
balance is something that PCT ought to take into
account when developing the theory beyond what is in
B:CP and LCSIII**…

            RM:  I completely agree. This is a very important

topic and worth discussing. I think your subject line is
a good description of the topic: Seeing similarity. I
propose that the question we address should be something
like this:

            What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT

research and/or theory to PCT research and/or theory?

[From Bruce Abbott (2014.01.01.1115 EST)]

Fred Nickols (2014.01.01.0950 EST)

FN: First off, Happy New Year to all.

FN: Second, regarding Rick’s question pertaining to the value in seeing similarities between PCT/nonPCT research/theory…

FN: I’m probably out of my depth here but I can see lots of areas of potential value.

FN: First, seeing those similarities affords us a basis for connecting with others and opening discussions related to PCT.

FN: Second, not everything we spot might be in conflict; just using different words so we also have the opportunity to build some bridges and links, providing a broader basis for PCT.

FN: Third, exploring those similarities might enlighten us in some way; perhaps to enrich our own understanding of PCT and/or the weaknesses/faults of those other points of view (i.e., we might find a petard on which we can hoist them).

FN:Fourth, it keeps us from being abysmally and embarrassingly ignorant as to what else in a related vein is “out there”; it is good to know the enemy (or at least the opposing points of view). Hmm. Come to think of it this is an important point because if we can explain how “their” stuff doesn’t fit the bill and they can’t explain away “our” stuff then we have an edge.

FN: There is a handful for starters…

BA: Well said; I couldn’t agree more, on all points.

Bruce

[Martin Taylor 2014.01.10.48]

A clarification, following Fred's comment What is the value of

seeing similarity of non-PCT research and/or theory to PCT research
and/or theory?" unless we treat PCT as a private game instead of as
Science.
Martin

···

[Martin Taylor 2014.12.01.10.00]

  Happy New Year. First post of 2014 continues our 20-year record of

disagreement.
I think the question is about the development of PCT, not about
the value of other research.
[From
Fred Nickols (2014.01.01.0950 EST)] "
it is good to know the enemy (or at least the opposing points of
view)".

  I consider PCT to be a part of "Normal Science". In contrast, Rick

seems to want PCT to be a game with its own rules, and to exclude
all those who don’t play by the rules as set down in the writings
of Bill Powers. I don’t think Bill ever thought that way. Normal
Science includes lots of different tests of Nature, probing it in
different ways to see how the various interactions can best be
described. Normal Science deals with a huge range of phenomena.
PCT deals with the phenomena of life (or in Rick’s view, only with
the “search for the controlled variable”). Life is a niche, albeit
a big one, within Normal Science.

  Fred calls those with different ways of describing the phenomena

of life “enemies”. I don’t. I think of them as people who, like
us, seek an effective way of describing the world, and who have a
whole lot of interlocking pieces that look like a complicated
jigsaw puzzle. Their pieces fit together to describe circumscribed
chunks of the world of life – patterns that recur (more or less)
under laboratory conditions, statistical anomalies that can be
discovered by looking at lots of examples, and so forth. But they
don’t have a consistent substructure, skeleton, foundation – call
it what you will. All their jigsaw chunks are disconnected or
connected only tenuously, but they hold together very well as
chunks. PCT provides a wide-ranging foundation for looking at life
phenomena, but only very occasionally addresses directly the
questions asked by the jigsaw fitters. Some of their well-built
chunks might need to be dismantled in order to use the new
skeleton, and that’s hard for anyone to do. It’s major
reorganization of their perceptual systems. They aren’t enemies,
and it isn’t true that all their jigsaw pieces have to be
discarded in order to guide the fleshing out of the PCT skeleton.

  Some scientists do Science well. Some don't. That's true whether

they understand PCT or not, and whether their descriptive ideas
(theoretical explanations) seem to be approaching PCT or not.
Whether some particular publication is useful to Science (not
“useful to PCT”) depends on whether it is well done and whether
the observations (perceptions) are of a kind that proves useful in
understanding areas of Science beyond what is in the publication.
I think most researchers would agree with this, but they would
look at tracking studies and say “How does this relate to what
interests me?”. Wearing PCT spectacles, it’s usually easy to see
the answer, but it’s hard to get people to buy those spectacles
because they are expensive in time and effort getting them to fit,
and getting used to the different shape of the larger world you
can see through them.

  No real scientist is an enemy. The only enemies in Science are

those who actively try to provide false observations. Those who
espouse different theories may be wrong or they may be right, but
they aren’t enemies.

  So I see no real question in Rick's: "

[From Rick Marken (2013.12.31.2210)]

Last post of 2013!

                Martin Taylor

(2013.12.31.12.40)_-

                  RM:...If there is no written

copy of Bill’s explanation of the similarities
between the Latash, Feldman theory and PCT maybe
you could just summarize them yourself. Or maybe
Bruce could. Or Martin. You guys are obviously
much better at seeing these similarities than I
am.
MT: I think you are right that you don’t see
similarities very well, and often correctly note
that study “X” is not exactly PCT according to the
Bible…whereas perhaps I don’t see dissimilarities
very well, and accept as adequately PCT studies that
I might better reject…** This difference in
perceptual balance is something that PCT ought to
take into account when developing the theory
beyond what is in B:CP and LCSIII**…

              RM:  I completely agree. This is a very important

topic and worth discussing. I think your subject line
is a good description of the topic: Seeing similarity.
I propose that the question we address should be
something like this:

              What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT

research and/or theory to PCT research and/or theory?

[From Ted Cloak (2014.01.01.0930 MST)]

First off, Happy New Year to all CSG members!

When I next upgrade my PCT-based website article, “A Neurological Model of the Meme and of Meme Replication”, on www.tedcloak.com, I would like to add to Section 1, Footnote 1, a reference to this entire discussion of Latash et al.

  1. Would this be okay?

  2. If so, what would be the best way to do it?

TIA

Ted

[From Bruce Abbott (2014.01.01.1115 EST)]

Fred Nickols (2014.01.01.0950 EST)

FN: First off, Happy New Year to all.

FN: Second, regarding Rick’s question pertaining to the value in seeing similarities between PCT/nonPCT research/theory…

FN: I’m probably out of my depth here but I can see lots of areas of potential value.

FN: First, seeing those similarities affords us a basis for connecting with others and opening discussions related to PCT.

FN: Second, not everything we spot might be in conflict; just using different words so we also have the opportunity to build some bridges and links, providing a broader basis for PCT.

FN: Third, exploring those similarities might enlighten us in some way; perhaps to enrich our own understanding of PCT and/or the weaknesses/faults of those other points of view (i.e., we might find a petard on which we can hoist them).

FN:Fourth, it keeps us from being abysmally and embarrassingly ignorant as to what else in a related vein is “out there”; it is good to know the enemy (or at least the opposing points of view). Hmm. Come to think of it this is an important point because if we can explain how “their” stuff doesn’t fit the bill and they can’t explain away “our” stuff then we have an edge.

FN: There is a handful for starters…

BA: Well said; I couldn’t agree more, on all points.

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.1200)]

Lots of interesting posts on this topic already. I agree with most of
what's been said so I'll just give my own answer to the question:

RM: What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT research and/or theory to PCT research and/or theory?

RM: I would say that there is usually more cost that benefit (value)
to this. But let's start with the benefit. I have benefited from
seeing similarity of non-PCT research and theory to PCT research and
theory. In particular, the research on object interception was similar
to PCT research inasmuch as it involved monitoring the state of a
potentially controlled variable under disturbance. And the theories
used to account for these data were PCT-like inasmuch as they posited
what amounted to controlled perceptual variables as the basis of
behavior.

So I was able to "blend" both the research and theory into PCT and
eventually managed to get PCT (though not by that name) entered into
the research program on object interception (see
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/Chasin'Choppers.pdf).
I've also developed models of bimanual control
(Bimanual Coordination) based on non-PCT
research that lent itself well to demonstrating the power of PCT.

I would also put my little paper on "The Blind Men and the Elephant"
(p. 23 of my book "More Mind Readings") into the category of
demonstrating the value of seeing similarity between PCT and non-PCT
theories. In that paper I show how PCT explains why psychologists
would have developed S-R, cognitive and reinforcement theories of
behavior; it's because, like the elephant in the fable, control can
look like S-R, cognitive and reinforcement if you don't see the whole
elephant (control).

So, yes, there can be value in seeing the similarity of non-PCT
research and/or theory to PCT research and/or theory. But there are
also costs, which I know from my own experience as well as from
observing others. When I was first learning PCT I spent a lot of time
trying to find ways to fit it into conventional psychological
thinking. This meant trying to find similar theories in the
conventional "cognitive psychology" literature. So for quite a while I
was seeing PCT as similar to JJ Gibson's theory of perception and U.
Neisser's "circular cognition" model that he described in a book
called "Cognition and reality". The cost of doing this was in time
that I could have spent learning PCT.

But, frankly, the cost to me of these attempts at seeing PCT as
similar to non-PCT theories was rather low. The cost to others was (in
my opinion) much greater. I saw many people who came to PCT because
they saw it as "similar to" what was already their favorite theory; or
they saw PCT as a theory that could benefit from their favorite
theory; or they thought their favorite theory could benefit from PCT.
There were two results of this "similarity seeking"; either the people
left PCT in disgust or anger because it turned out that PCT was
fundamentally _not_ similar to their favorite theory or they stayed
with PCT (at least what they thought of as PCT) but since they were
really controlling for the correctness of their own favorite theory,
they never did anything to advance the science of PCT. So I see the
desire to see similarity between one's own favorite theory and PCT as
costing PCT the good research and modeling that is needed to advance
it as a science.

So how do we know which similarities are beneficial and which are
costly? Looking back at my own experience I would say that the
similarities that are beneficial are the one's where the non-PCT
research and/or theories are clearly about _control_. The difference
between PCT and all other theories of behavior is that PCT is
explicitly based on a recognition of the _fact_ that the behavior of
living systems _is_ control. This is why Bill's final book, LCS III,
is subtitled "the fact of control". Thanks to David Goldstein
(2013.12.31.14:05) we see that Bill made this point (rather too
subtly) in the Foreward and first chapter of the book. On page xi of
the Foreward Bill says of living systems: ��They control". This is a
stement of fact, not theory. And on page 1 Bill defines what control
is: �To control something is to act to bring it to a specified
condition, and then maintain it close to the that condition even if
unpredictable external forces and changes in environmental properties
tend to alter it.� Again, this is a statement of fact; it's a
description of something we can see happening, not an explanation of
how it happens.

So this means that the most useful similarities to PCT, in terms of
research or theory, will be those that either explicitly recognize
that control is going on or where the aspects of control, as mentioned
in the definition about, can be readily identified. The research on
object interception and bi-manual control that I mentioned above as
well as some research on operant conditioning that Bill described in
B:CP meet this criterion. In all cases there was a measure of what was
likely to be the controlled variable as well as measurable
disturbances, or changes in environmental properties,that could be
offset by measurable actions of the organism. So research where the
components of control are measured (or measurable) is "similar" to PCT
research and probably amenable to explanation in terms of PCT models
(as was the case in object interception, bimanual control and operant
"shock avoidance").

But seeing similarity of theories to PCT is much more problematic. And
that's because there is no non-PCT theory I know of that recognizes
that the phenomenon to be explained in behavioral research is
_control_. So none of these theories, even control theories (see
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc) is
trying to explain what PCT is trying to explain: control. So I would
say it's _always_ a a good idea to be _very_ cautious about seeing
similarities between existing theories and PCT; things can easily
become confusing and contentious (as happened in the case of Latash et
al).

Ultimately, I think the first step in promulgating PCT has to be about
helping behavioral scientists understand that behavior _is_ control.
Behavior is not a response to stimulation, a planned or computed
output, or an emitted output strengthened or weakened by consequences.
It's control.

So rather than looking for theoretical similarities to PCT, let's make
a New Year's resolution to explain that PCT is not similar to _any_
theory in the behavioral sciences because it is a theory that explains
a phenomenon that is not even recognized by any other theory in the
behavioral sciences: the phenomenon of control!

Happy New Year

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
                                                   -- Bertrand Russell

[Martin Taylor 2014.01.01.15.41]

We are continuing on course...

I think you have it precisely backwards. There is no one phenomenon
to be explained in behavioural research, and if there were, it would
not be control. Control doesn’t need explaining, though the
behaviour of control systems may need to be taught. PCT doesn’t
explain control. It uses control to explain other things.
The phenomena to be explained in behavioural research are many,
varied, and richly complex. The explanation of these phenomena is
usually control, which itself can be manifest in many ways, of which
the pure HPCT hierarchy is one possibility. Control needs to be
explained only to those whose technical background is inadequate. It
is not a phenomenon to be explained by behavioural research. What
needs to be explained is the way control participates in a
phenomenon that interests a life scientist (who might be a
psychologist), in the way that Mackay (1955 – referenced in [Martin
Taylor 2013.12.29.23.12]) used control to suggest why the perception
that one has free will is rational despite the physical mind being
deterministic.
[Aside: FYI, here’s one of Mackay’s diagrams, which you might use to
see whether you think he was talkig about hierarchic perceptual
control despite using the words “control of action”:
The S->E connection is a link within the car, setting the
road-wheel angle relative to the car frame.]
Martin

Mackay.CtrlHierarchy.jpeg

···

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.1200)]
But seeing similarity of theories to PCT is much more problematic. And
that's because there is no non-PCT theory I know of that recognizes
that the phenomenon to be explained in behavioral research is
_control_.
So none of these theories, even control theories (see
) is
trying to explain what PCT is trying to explain: control.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc

[From Erling Jorgensen (2014.01.01 1510 EST)]

Rick Marken (2013.12.31.2210)

I propose that the question we address should be something like this:

What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT research and/or theory to
PCT research and/or theory?

I'll give you my answer next year. But I would like to hear how others
would answer this as well. It might be a good prelude to the LCS III course
coming soon to a discussion group near you.

EJ: My initial take on this question is the same as what Warren Mansell
just posted, on Wed, 1 Jan 2014 10:56:05 +0000, under Re: Latash,
2010: "Motor Control Theories and Their Applications" --

WM: Given that PCT is such a broad theory I think we need domain-specific
information to build the models.

EJ: Perceptual Control Theory provides a rigorous predictive map of what
functions would be expected, and how they would have to be organized, for
any instantiation of negative feedback control. But its mapping is at a
very broad level of generality.

EJ: In that sense, PCT serves as a "toy model" of a wide variety of
phenomena involved with living systems. The term is not disparaging. Keep
in mind that much of physics is built upon the simplified renderings of toy
models.

EJ: An actual working model of a given phenomenon requires specification
of the perceptual variables being controlled, values for the parameters
involved in any given simulation, and any hierarchic relationships among
the proposed control loops. Even that will be a radical simplification of
the actual mechanisms within a living control system, since obviously we do
not simulate every operative control system at every level of scale.

EJ: So then, PCT is a rigorously-defined macro theory, applicable at many
levels of scale. But to turn the modular functions of PCT into a domain-
specific model requires domain-specific estimates of the enacting
mechanisms, along with any relevant parameters to use in the equations.
This latter purpose, I believe, is what many non-PCT research studies might
provide.

EJ: The cross-communication is difficult, however, as many of you have
noticed or experienced. For one thing, each sub-specialty seems to have
its own domain of discourse, which can make translation from one area to
another problematic. And there is a heavy learning-curve investment to
attempt that translation, in either direction. Moreover, there are the
political factors, whether they are power-related or ego-related, which
make it hard for either side to acknowledge its own limitations.

EJ: The second key contribution that I believe non-PCT based research
might make to our own expansion of PCT is in the specification of
perceptual input functions. We have approximations of many things that
could be controlled variables. But study of the details of how such things
actually get enacted within living tissue is still in its infancy.

EJ: To give a quick example... We can certainly use trigonometric
functions to approximate a perception of joint angles and how they could be
controlled. But it is a separate question whether a nervous system does it
the same way. This is what interests me in some of the neurophysiological
research, whether it be the equilibrium point folks with their hypothesis
about motor control, or Hawkins' group studying how the cerebral cortex
builds sequences and classifies patterns.

EJ: The difficulty with surveying non-PCT research for how perceptions
might actually be constructed is that the complexity rapidly becomes
overwhelming. Neural phenomena themselves start out being incredibly
complex. Add to that the subtleties of measurement, and the technical
vocabulary, and the abstractions of math. Then wade through the compressed
language of research publications, with their economies of space. All of
that leads to each domain staying somewhat insular and unaware of
complementary approaches where there might be fruitful collaboration.

EJ: So it is not an easy process, to tap into what non-PCT research might
have to offer. Like Rick, I too delight in the astounding clarity of the
PCT model and of Bill Powers' writings! But I think we will need some of
that physiological complexity, to demonstrate the full power of what PCT
has to offer.

All the best,
Erling

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.2030)]

···

Martin Taylor (2014.01.01.15.41)–

RM: But seeing similarity of theories to PCT is much more problematic. And
that’s because there is no non-PCT theory I know of that recognizes
that the phenomenon to be explained in behavioral research is
control.
So none of these theories, even control theories (see

[https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc](https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc)) is
trying to explain what PCT is trying to explain: control.
MT: I think you have it precisely backwards... PCT doesn't

explain control. It uses control to explain other things.

RM: What other things?

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
– Bertrand Russell

[Martin Taylor 2014.01.01.23.48]

Life, generally. For a few specific examples: why we eat, how we

talk, how we walk, how trees deal with parasites or lost branches,
what we choose to study, how we treat other people, why dogs live
with humans and wolves don’t, how communities evolve, why we accept
orders from some people and not others, … I think it would need
the Library of Congress to complete the listing, and then there
would probably be ten times as many omissions as examples.
Martin

···

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.2030)]

            Martin Taylor

(2014.01.01.15.41)–

              RM: But seeing similarity of theories to PCT is much

more problematic. And
that’s because there is no non-PCT theory I know of
that recognizes
that the phenomenon to be explained in behavioral
research is
control.
So none of these theories, even control theories (see

[https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc](https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc)) is
trying to explain what PCT is trying to explain: control.
            MT: I think you have it precisely backwards... PCT

doesn’t explain control. It uses control to explain
other things.

RM: What other things?

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.2145)]

···

Martin Taylor (2014.01.01.23.48)–

MT: Life, generally. For a few specific examples: why we eat, how we

talk, how we walk, how trees deal with parasites or lost branches,
what we choose to study, how we treat other people, why dogs live
with humans and wolves don’t, how communities evolve, why we accept
orders from some people and not others

RM: I think all of these "things" can be shown to be examples of control, per the definition of control on p. 1 in LCS III: Acting to bring something to a specified condition, and then maintaining it close to that condition even if unpredictable external forces and changes in environmental properties tend to alter it.  But then you don't seem to think control is a fact (phenomenon).  So according to you this definition of "control" is the description of a process that explains the "things" you mention above ( why we eat, how we

talk, etc). So what are these “things” that are explained by control? What, for example, is talking? Is it just a behavior that is emitted like light from a light bulb?

            MT: I think you have it precisely backwards... PCT

doesn’t explain control. It uses control to explain
other things.

RM: What other things

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

                                               -- Bertrand Russell

[Martin Taylor 2014.01.02.01.02]

Exactly my point.

I suggest you have a sleep and when you mind is fresh, reconsider
what you wrote.
Martin

···

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.2145)]

              Martin Taylor

(2014.01.01.23.48)–

                            MT: I think you have it precisely

backwards… PCT doesn’t explain
control. It uses control to explain
other things.

RM: What other things

              MT: Life, generally. For a few specific examples: why

we eat, how we talk, how we walk, how trees deal with
parasites or lost branches, what we choose to study,
how we treat other people, why dogs live with humans
and wolves don’t, how communities evolve, why we
accept orders from some people and not others

        RM: I think all of these "things" can be shown to be

examples of control, per the definition of control on p. 1
in LCS III: Acting to bring something to a specified
condition, and then maintaining it close to that condition
even if unpredictable external forces and changes in
environmental properties tend to alter it.

        But then you don't seem to think

control is a fact (phenomenon). So according to you this
definition of “control” is the description of a process that
explains the “things” you mention above ( why we eat, how we
talk, etc). So what are these “things” that are explained by
control? What, for example, is talking? Is it just a
behavior that is emitted like light from a light bulb?

[From Bruce Abbott (2014.01.02.0810 EST)]

Ted Cloak (2014.01.01.0930 MST) –

TC: First off, Happy New Year to all CSG members!

TC: When I next upgrade my PCT-based website article, “A Neurological Model of the Meme and of Meme Replication”, on www.tedcloak.com, I would like to add to Section 1, Footnote 1, a reference to this entire discussion of Latash et al.

TC: 1. Would this be okay?

TC: 2. If so, what would be the best way to do it?

BA: Hi Ted; good to hear from you.

BA: 1. I can’t speak for others, but it’s OK with me.

BA: 2. Hmmm. Good question. As PCT archivist, perhaps Dag Forssell has an answer to that.

I’m curious as to your purpose in citing this exchange.

Bruce

[From Bruce Abbott (2014.01.02.0825 EST)]

BA: Excellent post, Erling. Nice work!

Bruce

···

---------------------------------------------------------------
Erling Jorgensen (2014.01.01 1510 EST) --

Rick Marken (2013.12.31.2210)

I propose that the question we address should be something like this:

What is the value of seeing similarity of non-PCT research and/or
theory to PCT research and/or theory?

I'll give you my answer next year. But I would like to hear how others
would answer this as well. It might be a good prelude to the LCS III
course coming soon to a discussion group near you.

EJ: My initial take on this question is the same as what Warren Mansell
just posted, on Wed, 1 Jan 2014 10:56:05 +0000, under Re: Latash,
2010: "Motor Control Theories and Their Applications" --

WM: Given that PCT is such a broad theory I think we need domain-specific
information to build the models.

EJ: Perceptual Control Theory provides a rigorous predictive map of what
functions would be expected, and how they would have to be organized, for
any instantiation of negative feedback control. But its mapping is at a
very broad level of generality.

EJ: In that sense, PCT serves as a "toy model" of a wide variety of
phenomena involved with living systems. The term is not disparaging. Keep
in mind that much of physics is built upon the simplified renderings of toy
models.

EJ: An actual working model of a given phenomenon requires specification of
the perceptual variables being controlled, values for the parameters
involved in any given simulation, and any hierarchic relationships among the
proposed control loops. Even that will be a radical simplification of the
actual mechanisms within a living control system, since obviously we do not
simulate every operative control system at every level of scale.

EJ: So then, PCT is a rigorously-defined macro theory, applicable at many
levels of scale. But to turn the modular functions of PCT into a domain-
specific model requires domain-specific estimates of the enacting
mechanisms, along with any relevant parameters to use in the equations.
This latter purpose, I believe, is what many non-PCT research studies might
provide.

EJ: The cross-communication is difficult, however, as many of you have
noticed or experienced. For one thing, each sub-specialty seems to have its
own domain of discourse, which can make translation from one area to another
problematic. And there is a heavy learning-curve investment to attempt that
translation, in either direction. Moreover, there are the political
factors, whether they are power-related or ego-related, which make it hard
for either side to acknowledge its own limitations.

EJ: The second key contribution that I believe non-PCT based research might
make to our own expansion of PCT is in the specification of perceptual input
functions. We have approximations of many things that could be controlled
variables. But study of the details of how such things actually get enacted
within living tissue is still in its infancy.

EJ: To give a quick example... We can certainly use trigonometric
functions to approximate a perception of joint angles and how they could be
controlled. But it is a separate question whether a nervous system does it
the same way. This is what interests me in some of the neurophysiological
research, whether it be the equilibrium point folks with their hypothesis
about motor control, or Hawkins' group studying how the cerebral cortex
builds sequences and classifies patterns.

EJ: The difficulty with surveying non-PCT research for how perceptions
might actually be constructed is that the complexity rapidly becomes
overwhelming. Neural phenomena themselves start out being incredibly
complex. Add to that the subtleties of measurement, and the technical
vocabulary, and the abstractions of math. Then wade through the compressed
language of research publications, with their economies of space. All of
that leads to each domain staying somewhat insular and unaware of
complementary approaches where there might be fruitful collaboration.

EJ: So it is not an easy process, to tap into what non-PCT research might
have to offer. Like Rick, I too delight in the astounding clarity of the
PCT model and of Bill Powers' writings! But I think we will need some of
that physiological complexity, to demonstrate the full power of what PCT has
to offer.

All the best,
Erling
-----
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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3658/6967 - Release Date: 01/01/14

[From Fred Nickols (2014.01.02.0903 EST)]

I’m with Martin on this one. “Control” (in general) may well be a “phenomenon” and one that is observable in many different specific instances but PCT is a theory and as such it is used to explain observable phenomena; namely, behavior.

Fred Nickols

···

From: Martin Taylor [mailto:mmt-csg@MMTAYLOR.NET]
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 11:55 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity (was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their Applications”)

[Martin Taylor 2014.01.01.23.48]

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.01.2030)]

Martin Taylor (2014.01.01.15.41)–

RM: But seeing similarity of theories to PCT is much more problematic. And that’s because there is no non-PCT theory I know of that recognizes that the phenomenon to be explained in behavioral research is control. So none of these theories, even control theories (see

[https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc](https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31298693/ThermoPeople.doc)) is
trying to explain what PCT is trying to explain: control.

MT: I think you have it precisely backwards… PCT doesn’t explain control. It uses control to explain other things.

RM: What other things?

Life, generally. For a few specific examples: why we eat, how we talk, how we walk, how trees deal with parasites or lost branches, what we choose to study, how we treat other people, why dogs live with humans and wolves don’t, how communities evolve, why we accept orders from some people and not others, … I think it would need the Library of Congress to complete the listing, and then there would probably be ten times as many omissions as examples.

Martin

[From Ted Cloak (2014.01.02.11:21 MST)]

[From Bruce Abbott (2014.01.02.0810 EST)]

Ted Cloak (2014.01.01.0930 MST) –

TC: First off, Happy New Year to all CSG members!

TC: When I next upgrade my PCT-based website article, “A Neurological Model of the Meme and of Meme Replication”, on www.tedcloak.com, I would like to add to Section 1, Footnote 1, a reference to this entire discussion of Latash et al.

TC: 1. Would this be okay?

TC: 2. If so, what would be the best way to do it?

BA: Hi Ted; good to hear from you.

BA: 1. I can’t speak for others, but it’s OK with me.

BA: 2. Hmmm. Good question. As PCT archivist, perhaps Dag Forssell has an answer to that.

I’m curious as to your purpose in citing this exchange.

Bruce

TC: Two purposes:

  1. Further support for the footnoted assertion.

  2. Show my readers that PCT is a vital subject for ongoing research and debate.

HTH

Ted

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.02.1100)]

···

Fred Nickols (2014.01.02.0903 EST)–

FN: I’m with Martin on this one. “Control” (in general) may well be a “phenomenon” and one that is observable in many different specific instances but PCT is a theory and as such it is used to explain observable phenomena; namely, behavior.

RM: Control is an observable phenomenon: A fact. Control theory is an explanation of that phenomenon: a theory. The fact of control is observed when you see a system “acting to bring something to a specified condition, and then maintaining
it close to that condition even if unpredictable external forces and changes in environmental properties tend to alter it”. In order to see whether or not control is happening you have to apply disturbances (external forces or changes in environmental properties) to the “something” that seems to be under control; if control is happening then that “something” will be maintained in a specified condition by the actions of the system; that “something” can be considered a controlled variable.

PCT is based on the observation that the “things” we call “behavior” – things like walking, talking and playing chess – are examples of the phenomenon of control. Behavior IS control. The phenomenon of control is what is commonly referred to as “purposeful behavior”. So purposeful behavior – the behavior of living organisms – is an example of the phenomenon of control. Control theory is an explanation of how control works; therefore control theory is an explanation of purposeful (or intentional) behavior.

Not all the things we call “behavior” are examples of control. That is, not all the things we call behavior are done “on purpose”. Knocking over a glass of water could be done on purpose (an example of control) or accidentally (an example of lineal cause-effect). Exactly the same event could be an example of control or lineal cause-effect behavior. PCT shows how to tell the difference between these two phenomena using some version of the test for the controlled variable. Clearly, it is important to know whether a behavior such as knocking over a glass of water is, in fact, an example of control or not before using control theory to explain it. If the knocking over is accidental (not, in fact, control) then the behavior can be explained by Newton’s lineal causal laws;if it is done on purpose (it is, in fact, control) then you need control theory (the laws of circular causation) to explain it.

So the term “control” refers to both a fact (acting to maintain “something” in a pre-selected state, protected from the effects of disturbance) and a theory (a closed negative feedback loop). The situation (as I said in my “Control as fact and theory” paper – the first paper reprinted in “Mind Readings”) is similar to that of “evolution” which refers to both a set of facts (fossil record, homologous structures, etc) and a theory (variation and selective retention). Just as the theory of evolution is an attempt to explain the fact of evolution, control theory (in the form of PCT) is an attempt to explain the fact of control (as it is exhibited in the behavior of living organisms).

Most of the existing research in psychology makes no distinction between behavior that is purposeful (control) and behavior that is not. Indeed, virtually all of this research treats all behavior as though it did not involve control. Conventional research assumes that all behavior is a lineal causal phenomenon. This is why the lineal causal model is the basis of research in conventional psychology. Therefore, it is difficult to know how such research could be of much use to students of PCT, who presumably are interested in understanding purposeful behavior (control).

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

                                               -- Bertrand Russell

Sorry Fred to “jump in”…J

···

From: Control Systems Group
Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014
7:58 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity
(was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their
Applications”)

[From Rick Marken
(2014.01.02.1100)]

Fred Nickols (2014.01.02.0903 EST)–

FN: I’m with Martin on this one.
“Control” (in general) may well be a “phenomenon” and
one that is observable in many different specific instances but PCT is a theory
and as such it is used to explain observable phenomena; namely, behavior.

RM: Control is an
observable phenomenon: A fact. Control theory is an explanation of that
phenomenon: a theory. The fact of control is observed when you see a system
“acting to bring something to a specified condition, and then maintaining
it close to that condition even if unpredictable external forces and changes in
environmental properties tend to alter it”. In order to see whether or not
control is happening you have to apply disturbances (external forces or changes
in environmental properties) to the “something” that seems to be
under control; if control is happening then that “something” will be
maintained in a specified condition by the actions of the system; that
“something” can be considered a controlled variable.

PCT is based on the
observation that the “things” we call “behavior” – things
like walking, talking and playing chess – are examples of the phenomenon of
control. Behavior IS control. The phenomenon of control is what is commonly
referred to as “purposeful behavior”. So purposeful behavior – the
behavior of living organisms – is an example of the phenomenon of control.
Control theory is an explanation of how control works; therefore control theory
is an explanation of purposeful (or intentional) behavior.

Not all the things we
call “behavior” are examples of control. That is, not all the things
we call behavior are done “on purpose”. Knocking over a glass of
water could be done on purpose (an example of control) or accidentally (an
example of lineal cause-effect). Exactly the same event could be an example of
control or lineal cause-effect behavior. PCT shows how to tell the difference
between these two phenomena using some version of the test for the controlled
variable. Clearly, it is important to know whether a behavior such as knocking
over a glass of water is, in fact, an example of control or not before using
control theory to explain it. If the knocking over is accidental (not, in fact,
control) then the behavior can be explained by Newton’s lineal causal laws;if
it is done on purpose (it is, in fact, control) then you need control theory
(the laws of circular causation) to explain it.

RM :

So the term
“control” refers to both a fact (acting to maintain “something”
in a pre-selected state, protected from the effects of disturbance) and a
theory (a closed negative feedback loop).

HB :

So you
are again generalizing the term “protecting” to all control processes
and you wrote that you’ll use it just in some cases. If you are “acting to maintain “something” in a
pre-selected state” , then it’s
obvious to me, that you should be COUNTER-ACTING to maintain “controlled
variable” in preselected state. If I understood Bill right
“control” is happening in real time. Are you again
“protecting” the “controlled” variable from being disturbed,
so to remain in the same state ?

And I still
don’t understand what you meant with “fact”. If you meant something
that is “really” happening in nature (outside world) then I think
niether “counteraction” nor “protection” nor
“control” are not “facts”. They are just perceptions. They
are just “facts” in human minds.

But maybe one
thousand years in future, people will think about our thinking about our “facts”
as naive, because their perceptions will be different. We don’t know how they
will call “perceptions” from outside world and how they will call “control”,
but I suppose they will “control” outer environment much better then
we do. Many people don’t beleive that “control” is a
“fact”. Some call it with other terms and meanings. “Control”
is just one term that is representing perceptions in some people. I still don’t
understand your “interpretation” of PCT. And Martin once pointed out
that “interpretations” are also perceptions. I quite agreed with him.

One or some thousands
years ago “god” was probably considered to be a “fact”.
Is it “fact” today ? It probably depends how many people beleive it
to be a “fact”.

Best,

Boris

RM :

The situation (as I said
in my “Control as fact and theory” paper – the first paper reprinted
in “Mind Readings”) is similar to that of “evolution” which
refers to both a set of facts (fossil record, homologous structures, etc) and a
theory (variation and selective retention). Just as the theory of
evolution is an attempt to explain the fact of evolution, control theory (in
the form of PCT) is an attempt to explain the fact of control (as it is
exhibited in the behavior of living organisms).

Most of the existing
research in psychology makes no distinction between behavior that is purposeful
(control) and behavior that is not. Indeed, virtually all of this research
treats all behavior as though it did not involve control. Conventional research
assumes that all behavior is a lineal causal phenomenon. This is why the lineal
causal model is the basis of research in conventional psychology. Therefore, it
is difficult to know how such research could be of much use to students of PCT,
who presumably are interested in understanding purposeful behavior
(control).

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken
PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

    -- Bertrand Russell

No virus found in this message.

Checked by AVG - www.avg.com

Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3658/6970 - Release Date: 01/02/14

[From Fred Nickols (2014.01.05.0835 EST)]

No need to apologize for jumping in, Boris.

As it happens, I also think we need to be careful in our use of words. I can envision some situations in which we would indeed wish to “protect” a controlled variable (CV) from the effects of disturbances (in which case they would be attempted or potential disturbances because we would otherwise have to counter or offset or negate their effects). It seems to me that a disturbance has to have some effect or it’s not a disturbance. And, having an effect, it introduces an error, not matter how small or fleeting. Consider the classic case of the wind blowing sideways against the car. The wind is the disturbance. Its effect is to move the car sideways. We don’t “protect” the car from the effects of the wind; we counter or offset those effects. That said, the car is still moved by the wind, even if only by a small amount and for only a moment.

So, I, too, have questions about the use of “protecting.”

Fred Nickols

···

From: Boris Hartman [mailto:boris.hartman@MASICOM.NET]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 7:54 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity (was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their Applications”)

Sorry Fred to “jump in”…J


From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 7:58 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity (was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their Applications”)

[From Rick Marken (2014.01.02.1100)]

Fred Nickols (2014.01.02.0903 EST)–

FN: I’m with Martin on this one. “Control” (in general) may well be a “phenomenon” and one that is observable in many different specific instances but PCT is a theory and as such it is used to explain observable phenomena; namely, behavior.

RM: Control is an observable phenomenon: A fact. Control theory is an explanation of that phenomenon: a theory. The fact of control is observed when you see a system “acting to bring something to a specified condition, and then maintaining it close to that condition even if unpredictable external forces and changes in environmental properties tend to alter it”. In order to see whether or not control is happening you have to apply disturbances (external forces or changes in environmental properties) to the “something” that seems to be under control; if control is happening then that “something” will be maintained in a specified condition by the actions of the system; that “something” can be considered a controlled variable.

PCT is based on the observation that the “things” we call “behavior” – things like walking, talking and playing chess – are examples of the phenomenon of control. Behavior IS control. The phenomenon of control is what is commonly referred to as “purposeful behavior”. So purposeful behavior – the behavior of living organisms – is an example of the phenomenon of control. Control theory is an explanation of how control works; therefore control theory is an explanation of purposeful (or intentional) behavior.

Not all the things we call “behavior” are examples of control. That is, not all the things we call behavior are done “on purpose”. Knocking over a glass of water could be done on purpose (an example of control) or accidentally (an example of lineal cause-effect). Exactly the same event could be an example of control or lineal cause-effect behavior. PCT shows how to tell the difference between these two phenomena using some version of the test for the controlled variable. Clearly, it is important to know whether a behavior such as knocking over a glass of water is, in fact, an example of control or not before using control theory to explain it. If the knocking over is accidental (not, in fact, control) then the behavior can be explained by Newton’s lineal causal laws;if it is done on purpose (it is, in fact, control) then you need control theory (the laws of circular causation) to explain it.

RM :

So the term “control” refers to both a fact (acting to maintain “something” in a pre-selected state, protected from the effects of disturbance) and a theory (a closed negative feedback loop).

HB :

So you are again generalizing the term “protecting” to all control processes and you wrote that you’ll use it just in some cases. If you are “acting to maintain “something” in a pre-selected state” , then it’s obvious to me, that you should be COUNTER-ACTING to maintain “controlled variable” in preselected state. If I understood Bill right “control” is happening in real time. Are you again “protecting” the “controlled” variable from being disturbed, so to remain in the same state ?

And I still don’t understand what you meant with “fact”. If you meant something that is “really” happening in nature (outside world) then I think niether “counteraction” nor “protection” nor “control” are not “facts”. They are just perceptions. They are just “facts” in human minds.

But maybe one thousand years in future, people will think about our thinking about our “facts” as naive, because their perceptions will be different. We don’t know how they will call “perceptions” from outside world and how they will call “control”, but I suppose they will “control” outer environment much better then we do. Many people don’t beleive that “control” is a “fact”. Some call it with other terms and meanings. “Control” is just one term that is representing perceptions in some people. I still don’t understand your “interpretation” of PCT. And Martin once pointed out that “interpretations” are also perceptions. I quite agreed with him.

One or some thousands years ago “god” was probably considered to be a “fact”. Is it “fact” today ? It probably depends how many people beleive it to be a “fact”.

Best,

Boris

RM :

The situation (as I said in my “Control as fact and theory” paper – the first paper reprinted in “Mind Readings”) is similar to that of “evolution” which refers to both a set of facts (fossil record, homologous structures, etc) and a theory (variation and selective retention). Just as the theory of evolution is an attempt to explain the fact of evolution, control theory (in the form of PCT) is an attempt to explain the fact of control (as it is exhibited in the behavior of living organisms).

Most of the existing research in psychology makes no distinction between behavior that is purposeful (control) and behavior that is not. Indeed, virtually all of this research treats all behavior as though it did not involve control. Conventional research assumes that all behavior is a lineal causal phenomenon. This is why the lineal causal model is the basis of research in conventional psychology. Therefore, it is difficult to know how such research could be of much use to students of PCT, who presumably are interested in understanding purposeful behavior (control).

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
– Bertrand Russell

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3658/6970 - Release Date: 01/02/14

Thank you Fred for your kind invitation. I
must say it’s nice post. I agree with what you wrote.

Best,

Boris

···

From: Control Systems Group
Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Fred Nickols
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014
2:43 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity
(was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their
Applications”)

[From Fred Nickols
(2014.01.05.0835 EST)]

No need to apologize
for jumping in, Boris.

As it happens, I
also think we need to be careful in our use of words. I can envision some
situations in which we would indeed wish to “protect” a controlled
variable (CV) from the effects of disturbances (in which case they would be
attempted or potential disturbances because we would otherwise have to counter
or offset or negate their effects). It seems to me that a disturbance has
to have some effect or it’s not a disturbance. And, having an
effect, it introduces an error, not matter how small or fleeting.
Consider the classic case of the wind blowing sideways against the car.
The wind is the disturbance. Its effect is to move the car sideways.
We don’t “protect” the car from the effects of the wind; we
counter or offset those effects. That said, the car is still moved by the
wind, even if only by a small amount and for only a moment.

So, I, too, have
questions about the use of “protecting.”

Fred Nickols

From:
Boris
Hartman [mailto:boris.hartman@MASICOM.NET]
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014
7:54 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity
(was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their
Applications”)

Sorry Fred to “jump in”…J


From: Control Systems Group
Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU]
On Behalf Of Richard Marken
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014
7:58 PM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Re: Seeing similarity
(was Re: Latash, 2010: “Motor Control Theories and Their
Applications”)

[From Rick Marken
(2014.01.02.1100)]

Fred Nickols (2014.01.02.0903 EST)–

FN: I’m with Martin on this one.
“Control” (in general) may well be a “phenomenon” and
one that is observable in many different specific instances but PCT is a theory
and as such it is used to explain observable phenomena; namely, behavior.

RM: Control is an
observable phenomenon: A fact. Control theory is an explanation of that
phenomenon: a theory. The fact of control is observed when you see a system
“acting to bring something to a specified condition, and then maintaining
it close to that condition even if unpredictable external forces and changes in
environmental properties tend to alter it”. In order to see whether or not
control is happening you have to apply disturbances (external forces or changes
in environmental properties) to the “something” that seems to be
under control; if control is happening then that “something” will be
maintained in a specified condition by the actions of the system; that
“something” can be considered a controlled variable.

PCT is based on the
observation that the “things” we call “behavior” – things
like walking, talking and playing chess – are examples of the phenomenon of
control. Behavior IS control. The phenomenon of control is what is commonly
referred to as “purposeful behavior”. So purposeful behavior – the behavior
of living organisms – is an example of the phenomenon of control. Control
theory is an explanation of how control works; therefore control theory is an
explanation of purposeful (or intentional) behavior.

Not all the things we
call “behavior” are examples of control. That is, not all the things
we call behavior are done “on purpose”. Knocking over a glass of
water could be done on purpose (an example of control) or accidentally (an
example of lineal cause-effect). Exactly the same event could be an example of
control or lineal cause-effect behavior. PCT shows how to tell the difference
between these two phenomena using some version of the test for the controlled
variable. Clearly, it is important to know whether a behavior such as knocking
over a glass of water is, in fact, an example of control or not before using
control theory to explain it. If the knocking over is accidental (not, in fact,
control) then the behavior can be explained by Newton’s lineal causal laws;if
it is done on purpose (it is, in fact, control) then you need control theory
(the laws of circular causation) to explain it.

RM :

So the term
“control” refers to both a fact (acting to maintain
“something” in a pre-selected state, protected from the effects of
disturbance) and a theory (a closed negative feedback loop).

HB :

So you
are again generalizing the term “protecting” to all control processes
and you wrote that you’ll use it just in some cases. If you are “acting to maintain “something” in a
pre-selected state” , then it’s
obvious to me, that you should be COUNTER-ACTING to maintain “controlled
variable” in preselected state. If I understood Bill right
“control” is happening in real time. Are you again
“protecting” the “controlled” variable from being
disturbed, so to remain in the same state ?

And I still
don’t understand what you meant with “fact”. If you meant something
that is “really” happening in nature (outside world) then I think
niether “counteraction” nor “protection” nor
“control” are not “facts”. They are just perceptions. They
are just “facts” in human minds.

But maybe one
thousand years in future, people will think about our thinking about our
“facts” as naive, because their perceptions will be different. We
don’t know how they will call “perceptions” from outside world and
how they will call “control”, but I suppose they will
“control” outer environment much better then we do. Many people don’t
beleive that “control” is a “fact”. Some call it with other
terms and meanings. “Control” is just one term that is representing
perceptions in some people. I still don’t understand your
“interpretation” of PCT. And Martin once pointed out that
“interpretations” are also perceptions. I quite agreed with him.

One or some
thousands years ago “god” was probably considered to be a
“fact”. Is it “fact” today ? It probably depends how many
people beleive it to be a “fact”.

Best,

Boris

RM :

The situation (as I said
in my “Control as fact and theory” paper – the first paper reprinted
in “Mind Readings”) is similar to that of “evolution” which
refers to both a set of facts (fossil record, homologous structures, etc) and a
theory (variation and selective retention). Just as the theory of
evolution is an attempt to explain the fact of evolution, control theory (in
the form of PCT) is an attempt to explain the fact of control (as it is
exhibited in the behavior of living organisms).

Most of the existing
research in psychology makes no distinction between behavior that is purposeful
(control) and behavior that is not. Indeed, virtually all of this research
treats all behavior as though it did not involve control. Conventional research
assumes that all behavior is a lineal causal phenomenon. This is why the lineal
causal model is the basis of research in conventional psychology. Therefore, it
is difficult to know how such research could be of much use to students of PCT,
who presumably are interested in understanding purposeful behavior
(control).

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken
PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

    -- Bertrand Russell

No virus found in
this message.

Checked by AVG - www.avg.com

Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3658/6970 - Release Date: 01/02/14


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Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3658/6976 - Release Date: 01/04/14

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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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