Self Control -Reply

[Hans Blom, 950927d]

(Martin Taylor 950927 11:30)

when we look through the PCT viewer, the appropriate dichotomy is
not between self-control and non-self control, but of a conscious
perception that self-control is happening, as opposed to it
happening non-consciously.

Hear! Hear!

The question becomes "under what conditions does one observe one's
own control processes AS control."

Two cents, i.e. pure speculation: Some time ago we talked about
learning as the "tuning" of a control system, as orthogonalization,
as eliminating "conflicts". That is what I consider to be the main
function of the associative cortex of the brain. Now, when a lot of
effort goes into this "tuning" at any one time, when many brain cells
participate in this one activity, we might be able to find a macro-
scopic effect, much like an alpha or delta wave is a macroscopic
effect: awareness of this problem-solving activity going on --
thinking. Thinking is a sign that we have a problem that needs to be
solved. Experts don't think, they just do. They already _know_ how to
solve the problem, they don't need this kind of "tuning". Novices
think. They don't know, but are looking for, a solution.

Why should one become conscious of controlling when there is

One _should_ not. One _does_. Lots of people worry and ruminate all
the time. It cannot be switched off, however hard they try. They are
not experts, yet.

So in my opinion, the value that we assign to thinking as the highest
activity that humans are capable of needs to be reconsidered.