Sequence and Program confusion (was Re: Conscious and non-conscious control -- an easy demo)

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.10.14.10]

That may be the reason, but I think the confusion comes from quite a

different source, the inherent difficulty of determining whether a
perceived sequence is a Sequence perception only, or is a fragment
of a Program perception. Programs can be seen as a branching network
in which the links are sequences of states or events, but in the
execution of any one of them, all you ever see is a single sequence.
Let’s consider a hypothetical perceived sequence “red-blue-green”.
should this be described in words as
(a) red, blue, green.
(b) If red then blue; if blue then green; if green then stop [or perhaps “if green than red”]
© If red then blue
else
if blue then green
else
if green then stop [or “if green the red”]
else
report error;
endif;
These possibilities imply different levels of perception. They are
reference values for (a) a sequence level perception, and (b) and
© different complexities of Program level perceptions. If you
perceive red-green-blue or yellow-black-white, there would be an
error in that control loop. But what action might correct the error?
Would it differ depending on whether the controlled perception was a
Sequence or a Program? How would you perform a TCV to determine
which level was the controlled perception?
Surely Sequence and Program are different as reference values. But
how would you distinguish them experimentally? It was this question,
applied to Rick’s demo, that generated the confusion in the first
place, so I think that if there is an experimental way to
distinguish them. something more complex than that demo would be
required.
Maybe what should be distinguished as a level is not Program from
Sequence, but “Choice-point” from control of magnitude. Or maybe
there is a definitive way to distinguish program control from
sequence control.
Martin

···

On 2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin
( via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:

bnhpct@gmail.com

              [Bruce Nevin

20190708.14:25 ET]

              [Resending--I

replied only to Martin and meant the list.]

                Completely

out of awareness is the level from which we control
the level that we are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control at a
Program level, and the distinction between Program
perceptions and Sequence perceptions.

Hi Martin, did Bill ever distinguish between conscious control and automatic control? I am aware of his distinction between the automatic and controlled modes but I don’t think the controlled mode required awareness. Surely even if there is conscious control, it is using the same processes and components as non-conscious control?

···

On 2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin
( via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:

bnhpct@gmail.com

              [Bruce Nevin

20190708.14:25 ET]

              [Resending--I

replied only to Martin and meant the list.]

                Completely

out of awareness is the level from which we control
the level that we are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control at a
Program level, and the distinction between Program
perceptions and Sequence perceptions.

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.11.09.54]

    Hi Martin, did Bill ever distinguish between

conscious control and automatic control? I am aware of his
distinction between the automatic and controlled modes but I
don’t think the controlled mode required awareness. Surely even
if there is conscious control, it is using the same processes
and components as non-conscious control?

Two part question. First, about what I remember Bill as saying about

the nature and function of conscious perception isn’t very much
beyond that he thought that every conscious perception must have
been based on perceptions that had been created by perceptual
functions in the control hierarchy. I don’t remember whether he
linked conscious perceptions with reorganization, but he must have
approved, if he approved of MoL.

···

On 2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin
(
via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:

bnhpct@gmail.com

                    [Bruce Nevin

20190708.14:25 ET]

                    [Resending--I

replied only to Martin and meant the list.]

                      Completely

out of awareness is the level from which we
control the level that we are observing. This
has confused discussions of how to demonstrate
control at a Program level, and the
distinction between Program perceptions and
Sequence perceptions.

[Rick Marken 2019-07-11_11:20:19]

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.10.14.10]

              [Bruce Nevin

20190708.14:25 ET]Â Â

                BN: Completely

out of awareness is the level from which we control
the level that we are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control at a
Program level, and the distinction between Program
perceptions and Sequence perceptions.

MT: That may be the reason, but I think the confusion comes from quite a

different source, the inherent difficulty of determining whether a
perceived sequence is a Sequence perception only, or is a fragment
of a Program perception.

RM: It seems to me that what confused the discussion of “how to demonstrate control at a Program level, and the distinction between Program perceptions and Sequence perceptions” was similar to what confused the results of the Test for the Controlled Variable in Bill’s description of the “coin game” in B:CP (pp. 236-238 in the second edition). As Bill says in that section: “Another educational feature of the game is how it puts verbal analysis aside. I know of no clearer demonstration of the difference between perceiving and talking about perceptions. When E and S compare written definitions at the end of the game, they may often find that they have used quite different language, different verbal analogs of the controlled quantity. S may have been preserving a “zigzag” pattern, and E may conclude it is the letter N or Z. If they are both word-oriented types, E and S may argue about whose definition is the “right” one, forgetting that E has discovered what S was in fact controlling, whatever either of them likes to call it.”

RM: The “confusion” in the Program control discussion seemed to be precisely of this kind; it turned on a difference in the way people like to talk about what was being controlled while ignoring the fact that the program control demo (https://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/ProgramControl.html) reveals what people are actually controlling, regardless of what you want to call it. Bruce likes to call the program that is controlled in that demo a sequence; Martin likes to call the program a “branching network in which the links are sequences of states or events”. The implication is that the the program control demo doesn’t actually demonstrate control of a program perception. But this ignores the fact that the demo shows that what I call a “sequence” perception (small, medium, large) can be controlled at a much faster rate than what I call a “program” perception (if the shape is circle, the next color is blue; else, the next color is red). Â

RM: This finding is consistent with the idea that different types of perceptions are controlled at different levels of the hierarchy, and that perceptions lower in the hierarchy can be controlled at a faster rate than those higher in the hierarchy. And there is quite a bit of evidence that this is the case.  So I take the results of my program control demo as evidence that what I call “sequences”, such as “small, medium, large”,  and “programs”, like “if the shape is circle, the next color is blue”, are two different types of perceptual variable that are controlled at two different levels of the control hierarchy. This conclusion may be wrong, but whether or not it is or not cannot be determined by verbal argument. It has to be tested, using the method used in the program control demo, that method being a version of the test for the controlled variable.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

···
  On 2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin > (bnhpct@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:
Programs can be seen as a branching network

in which the links are sequences of states or events, but in the
execution of any one of them, all you ever see is a single sequence.

Let's consider a hypothetical perceived sequence "red-blue-green".

should this be described in words as

(a) red, blue, green.

(b) If red then blue;

     if blue then green;

     if green then stop [or perhaps "if green than red"]

(c) If red then blue

        else

           if blue then green

           else

              if green then stop [or "if green the red"]

              else

                 report error;

    endif;



These possibilities imply different levels of perception. They are

reference values for (a) a sequence level perception, and (b) and
© different complexities of Program level perceptions. If you
perceive red-green-blue or yellow-black-white, there would be an
error in that control loop. But what action might correct the error?
Would it differ depending on whether the controlled perception was a
Sequence or a Program? How would you perform a TCV to determine
which level was the controlled perception?

Surely Sequence and Program are different as reference values. But

how would you distinguish them experimentally? It was this question,
applied to Rick’s demo, that generated the confusion in the first
place, so I think that if there is an experimental way to
distinguish them. something more complex than that demo would be
required.

Maybe what should be distinguished as a level is not Program from

Sequence, but “Choice-point” from control of magnitude. Or maybe
there is a definitive way to distinguish program control from
sequence control.

Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Bruce Nevin 20190711.15:34 ET]

Rick Marken 2019-07-11_11:20:19Â --Â

I grant that an observer could describe my behavior running your demo either in your terms as a program or in my terms as sequences, just as the coins could be described as forming a Z, an N, a zigzag, etc. I identified the perceptions that I was aware of controlling. You identified the perceptions that you were aware of controlling, and which you wanted me to control.Â

Instead of controlling a Z the person controlled an N (according to Bill’s story). But that did not make them an uncooperative subject. The verbal analogy is irrelevant to a recognition task, and to perform it one doesn’t have to say “Oh, it’s a Z” and get into an argument with the experimenter, just move the coins and reliably get “no error” as the response. That’s how we demonstrate that we’ve identified the CV in the coin game. We can also describe it with verbal analogies to familiar cultural artifacts like letters and design motifs, but we don’t have to.Â

But here, the comparison to the coin game breaks down. In the coin game, the disagreement is about two verbal analogies for a nonverbal perception, a configuration. But with your demo, we’re talking about two different orders or levels of perception.

Unlike the N-seer, I was an uncooperative subject. I tried to follow directions, but I found the if-then contingencies tedious and unnecessary. I analyzed what was going on, did some problem-solving, and found an alternative way to control the output of your program with results that can equally well be described by your directions (if circle then blue, else red). I identified the perceptions that I was controlling, and their reference values. Anyone can look at that description, take it to be an alternative set of instructions, and run your demo successfully controlling sequences. Control the sequence |circle|Red| and concurrently control the sequence |square|Blue|. Whenever either of these sequences occurs, press the spacebar.Â

You could even write a program that way, rather than as an if-then contingency. Then the illusion that there really is a program out there in the environment to be perceived would go away.

When sequences are controlled, the slowed performance has a simple explanation. The delay is due to tracking variables in two sensory modalities in parallel, configuration and color, as opposed to the much simpler task of tracking just one variable, size. A sequence going from a perception in one sensory modality to a perception in another is difficult to distinguish from a simple association of the two perceptions simultaneously. The sequence “circle then red” is easily confounded with the perception of a red circle, and the sequence “square then blue” is easily confounded with the perception of a blue square, neither of which merits a press. Notice that the same considerations apply to the contingency method.

My experience was that controlling sequences was faster than the contingency; I wonder if the errors with your instructions differ from the errors with mine; and I wonder about differences in training time and gaining skill. All of which could be tested.

···

On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 2:25 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-07-11_11:20:19]

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.10.14.10]

  On 2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin > > (bnhpct@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:
              [Bruce Nevin

20190708.14:25 ET]Â Â

                BN: Completely

out of awareness is the level from which we control
the level that we are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control at a
Program level, and the distinction between Program
perceptions and Sequence perceptions.

MT: That may be the reason, but I think the confusion comes from quite a

different source, the inherent difficulty of determining whether a
perceived sequence is a Sequence perception only, or is a fragment
of a Program perception.

RM: It seems to me that what confused the discussion of “how to demonstrate control at a Program level, and the distinction between Program perceptions and Sequence perceptions” was similar to what confused the results of the Test for the Controlled Variable in Bill’s description of the “coin game” in B:CP (pp. 236-238 in the second edition). As Bill says in that section: “Another educational feature of the game is how it puts verbal analysis aside. I know of no clearer demonstration of the difference between perceiving and talking about perceptions. When E and S compare written definitions at the end of the game, they may often find that they have used quite different language, different verbal analogs of the controlled quantity. S may have been preserving a “zigzag” pattern, and E may conclude it is the letter N or Z. If they are both word-oriented types, E and S may argue about whose definition is the “right” one, forgetting that E has discovered what S was in fact controlling, whatever either of them likes to call it.”

RM: The “confusion” in the Program control discussion seemed to be precisely of this kind; it turned on a difference in the way people like to talk about what was being controlled while ignoring the fact that the program control demo (https://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/ProgramControl.html) reveals what people are actually controlling, regardless of what you want to call it. Bruce likes to call the program that is controlled in that demo a sequence; Martin likes to call the program a “branching network in which the links are sequences of states or events”. The implication is that the the program control demo doesn’t actually demonstrate control of a program perception. But this ignores the fact that the demo shows that what I call a “sequence” perception (small, medium, large) can be controlled at a much faster rate than what I call a “program” perception (if the shape is circle, the next color is blue; else, the next color is red). Â

RM: This finding is consistent with the idea that different types of perceptions are controlled at different levels of the hierarchy, and that perceptions lower in the hierarchy can be controlled at a faster rate than those higher in the hierarchy. And there is quite a bit of evidence that this is the case.  So I take the results of my program control demo as evidence that what I call “sequences”, such as “small, medium, large”,  and “programs”, like “if the shape is circle, the next color is blue”, are two different types of perceptual variable that are controlled at two different levels of the control hierarchy. This conclusion may be wrong, but whether or not it is or not cannot be determined by verbal argument. It has to be tested, using the method used in the program control demo, that method being a version of the test for the controlled variable.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

Programs can be seen as a branching network

in which the links are sequences of states or events, but in the
execution of any one of them, all you ever see is a single sequence.

Let's consider a hypothetical perceived sequence "red-blue-green".

should this be described in words as

(a) red, blue, green.

(b) If red then blue;

     if blue then green;

     if green then stop [or perhaps "if green than red"]

(c) If red then blue

        else

           if blue then green

           else

              if green then stop [or "if green the red"]

              else

                 report error;

    endif;



These possibilities imply different levels of perception. They are

reference values for (a) a sequence level perception, and (b) and
© different complexities of Program level perceptions. If you
perceive red-green-blue or yellow-black-white, there would be an
error in that control loop. But what action might correct the error?
Would it differ depending on whether the controlled perception was a
Sequence or a Program? How would you perform a TCV to determine
which level was the controlled perception?

Surely Sequence and Program are different as reference values. But

how would you distinguish them experimentally? It was this question,
applied to Rick’s demo, that generated the confusion in the first
place, so I think that if there is an experimental way to
distinguish them. something more complex than that demo would be
required.

Maybe what should be distinguished as a level is not Program from

Sequence, but “Choice-point” from control of magnitude. Or maybe
there is a definitive way to distinguish program control from
sequence control.

Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.11.17.00]

···

I don’t think there’s much advantage
either to the protagonists or the onlookers to rerunning the
argument to which Bruce referred, which was generated by your
Sequence-Program demo. We may have differing reasons why your demo
generated a fairly long confusion, but I don’t think there’s any
difference of opinion about the fact that it did.

  So I intend to bring up a point that I don't think was mentioned

earlier – that the subject in the demo did not have time to build
into the hierarchy the perceptions and actions in the demo for the
“Program” perception. Maybe they did for the Sequence component of
the demo, but it is clear that the Program level control was done
consciously. Conscious control is much slower than control of the
same perception when it has become built into the hierarchy, as
many examples make clear.

  Yes, it is necessarily correct that control of a higher-level

perception is slower than control of a contributing lower-level
perception. You don’t need experiments to demonstrate that fact.
If a perception at level N is an input to a perceptual function at
level N+1, the level N+1 perception can’t be well controlled while
the level N perception is still finding its reference value.

  As a separate point, the multiplex perceptions and the actions

required in the demo are sufficiently similar to those of a Stroop
Test to make me wonder whether some of the same slowing effects
might be operative in both tasks.

  Bruce has pointed out that your "*            if the shape is circle, the next color is

blue; else, the next color is red* " can be
represented as a set of overlapping two-element sequences.
Those conflicting overlaps have much in common with a Stroop
test.

      You are right about the imprecision of language to describe

what is going on, but that doesn’t affect the fact that there
are different possibilities about what is
actually going on, just as in the coin game the similarity of
forms represented by “Z”, “N”, and “Zig-Zag” allows different
descriptions of the same thing on which subject and
experimenter agree, nevertheless they may differ perceptually
to the subject in such a way that one more replacement of a
coin would lead to the subject saying “No” for N and “Yes” for
Z. The verbal agreement would become a verbal disagreement,
because the subject was not controlling what the experimenter
had thought.

      Martin

[Rick Marken 2019-07-11_11:20:19]

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.10.14.10]

            On

2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin (bnhpct@gmail.com via csgnet
Mailing List) wrote:

                        [Bruce

Nevin 20190708.14:25 ET]Â Â

                          BN:

Completely out of awareness is the level
from which we control the level that we
are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control
at a Program level, and the distinction
between Program perceptions and Sequence
perceptions.

          MT: That may be the reason, but I think the confusion

comes from quite a different source, the inherent
difficulty of determining whether a perceived sequence is
a Sequence perception only, or is a fragment of a Program
perception.

        RM:Â  It seems to me that what confused the discussion of

“how to demonstrate control at a Program level, and the
distinction between Program perceptions and Sequence
perceptions” was similar to what confused the results of the
Test for the Controlled Variable in Bill’s description of
the “coin game” in B:CP (pp. 236-238 in the second edition).
As Bill says in that section: “Another educational feature
of the game is how it puts verbal analysis aside. I
know of no clearer demonstration of the difference between
perceiving and talking about perceptions. When E and S
compare written definitions at the end of the game, they may
often find that they have used quite different language,
different verbal analogs of the controlled quantity. S may
have been preserving a “zigzag” pattern, and E may conclude
it is the letter N or Z. If they are both word-oriented
types, E and S may argue about whose definition is the
“right” one, forgetting that E has discovered what S was in
fact controlling, whatever either of them likes to call it.”

        RM: The "confusion" in the  Program control discussion

seemed to be precisely of this kind; it turned on a
difference in the way people like to talk about what was
being controlled while ignoring the fact that the program
control demo (https://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/ProgramControl.html )
reveals what people are actually controlling, regardless of
what you want to call it. Bruce likes to call the program
that is controlled in that demo a sequence; Martin likes to
call the program a “branching network in which the links
are sequences of states or
events”. The implication is that the the program control
demo doesn’t actually demonstrate control of a program
perception. But this ignores the fact that the demo shows
that what I call a “sequence” perception (small, medium,
large) can be controlled at a much faster rate than what I
call a “program” perception ( if the
shape is circle, the next color is blue; else, the next
color is red). Â

            RM:

This finding is consistent with the idea that different types
of perceptions are controlled at different levels of the
hierarchy, and that perceptions lower in the hierarchy
can be controlled at a faster rate than those higher in
the hierarchy. And there is quite a bit of evidence that
this is the case.  So I take the results of my
program control demo as evidence that what I call
“sequences”, such as " small, medium,
large",  and
“programs”, like " if
the shape is circle, the next color is blue", are
two different types of perceptual variable that
are controlled at two different levels of the control
hierarchy. This conclusion may be wrong, but whether or
not it is or not cannot be determined by verbal argument.
It has to be tested, using the method used in the program
control demo, that method being a version of the test for
the controlled variable.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

          Programs can be seen as a branching

network in which the links are sequences of states or
events, but in the execution of any one of them, all you
ever see is a single sequence.

          Let's consider a hypothetical perceived sequence

“red-blue-green”. should this be described in words as

          (a) red, blue, green.

          (b) If red then blue;

          Â Â Â Â  if blue then green;

          Â Â Â Â  if green then stop [or perhaps "if green than red"]

          (c) If red then blue

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  if blue then green

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  if green then stop [or "if green the red"]

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  report error;

          Â Â Â  endif;



          These possibilities imply different levels of perception.

They are reference values for (a) a sequence level
perception, and (b) and © different complexities of
Program level perceptions. If you perceive red-green-blue
or yellow-black-white, there would be an error in that
control loop. But what action might correct the error?
Would it differ depending on whether the controlled
perception was a Sequence or a Program? How would you
perform a TCV to determine which level was the controlled
perception?

          Surely Sequence and Program are different as reference

values. But how would you distinguish them experimentally?
It was this question, applied to Rick’s demo, that
generated the confusion in the first place, so I think
that if there is an experimental way to distinguish them.
something more complex than that demo would be required.

          Maybe what should be distinguished as a level is not

Program from Sequence, but “Choice-point” from control of
magnitude. Or maybe there is a definitive way to
distinguish program control from sequence control.

          Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
   Â
            --Antoine de
Saint-Exupery

[Bruce Nevin 20190712.12:05 ET]

Martin Taylor 2019.07.11.17.00Â --Â

the Program level control was done consciously. Conscious control is much slower than control of the same perception when it has become built into the hierarchy Â

This is what I meant by training and skill.

This is an important aspect of learning: what is it that happens while control of a perception becomes ‘built into the hierarchy’? Previously, attention was required in order to control that perception; subsequently, attention is available for other purposes, perhaps not limited to the purposes for which that perception is being controlled?

Whatever ‘attention’ is, it is (always?) circumscribed by limits on means of perception and means of effecting control. Eyes directed over there cannot be simultaneously directed over here, similarly for orientation of torso and limbs, orientation of head/ears for hearing and (I think poorly understood) control processes for attending to some sounds and ignoring others, etc. Whatever attention is --perhaps it is a function of problem-solving systems; if so those systems are constrained by such limitations on their means of perceiving and of effecting control, whence limitations on the field of attention.Â

···

/Bruce

On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 5:24 PM Martin Taylor csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.11.17.00]

  I don't think there's much advantage

either to the protagonists or the onlookers to rerunning the
argument to which Bruce referred, which was generated by your
Sequence-Program demo. We may have differing reasons why your demo
generated a fairly long confusion, but I don’t think there’s any
difference of opinion about the fact that it did.

  So I intend to bring up a point that I don't think was mentioned

earlier – that the subject in the demo did not have time to build
into the hierarchy the perceptions and actions in the demo for the
“Program” perception. Maybe they did for the Sequence component of
the demo, but it is clear that the Program level control was done
consciously. Conscious control is much slower than control of the
same perception when it has become built into the hierarchy, as
many examples make clear.

  Yes, it is necessarily correct that control of a higher-level

perception is slower than control of a contributing lower-level
perception. You don’t need experiments to demonstrate that fact.
If a perception at level N is an input to a perceptual function at
level N+1, the level N+1 perception can’t be well controlled while
the level N perception is still finding its reference value.

  As a separate point, the multiplex perceptions and the actions

required in the demo are sufficiently similar to those of a Stroop
Test to make me wonder whether some of the same slowing effects
might be operative in both tasks.

  Bruce has pointed out that your "*            if the shape is circle, the next color is

blue; else, the next color is red* " can be
represented as a set of overlapping two-element sequences.
Those conflicting overlaps have much in common with a Stroop
test.

      You are right about the imprecision of language to describe

what is going on, but that doesn’t affect the fact that there
are different possibilities about what is
actually going on, just as in the coin game the similarity of
forms represented by “Z”, “N”, and “Zig-Zag” allows different
descriptions of the same thing on which subject and
experimenter agree, nevertheless they may differ perceptually
to the subject in such a way that one more replacement of a
coin would lead to the subject saying “No” for N and “Yes” for
Z. The verbal agreement would become a verbal disagreement,
because the subject was not controlling what the experimenter
had thought.

      Martin

[Rick Marken 2019-07-11_11:20:19]

[Martin Taylor 2019.07.10.14.10]

            On

2019/07/8 2:27 PM, Bruce Nevin (bnhpct@gmail.com via csgnet
Mailing List) wrote:

                        [Bruce

Nevin 20190708.14:25 ET]Â Â

                          BN:

Completely out of awareness is the level
from which we control the level that we
are observing. This has confused
discussions of how to demonstrate control
at a Program level, and the distinction
between Program perceptions and Sequence
perceptions.

          MT: That may be the reason, but I think the confusion

comes from quite a different source, the inherent
difficulty of determining whether a perceived sequence is
a Sequence perception only, or is a fragment of a Program
perception.

        RM:Â  It seems to me that what confused the discussion of

“how to demonstrate control at a Program level, and the
distinction between Program perceptions and Sequence
perceptions” was similar to what confused the results of the
Test for the Controlled Variable in Bill’s description of
the “coin game” in B:CP (pp. 236-238 in the second edition).
As Bill says in that section: “Another educational feature
of the game is how it puts verbal analysis aside. I
know of no clearer demonstration of the difference between
perceiving and talking about perceptions. When E and S
compare written definitions at the end of the game, they may
often find that they have used quite different language,
different verbal analogs of the controlled quantity. S may
have been preserving a “zigzag” pattern, and E may conclude
it is the letter N or Z. If they are both word-oriented
types, E and S may argue about whose definition is the
“right” one, forgetting that E has discovered what S was in
fact controlling, whatever either of them likes to call it.”

        RM: The "confusion" in the  Program control discussion

seemed to be precisely of this kind; it turned on a
difference in the way people like to talk about what was
being controlled while ignoring the fact that the program
control demo (https://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/ProgramControl.html )
reveals what people are actually controlling, regardless of
what you want to call it. Bruce likes to call the program
that is controlled in that demo a sequence; Martin likes to
call the program a “branching network in which the links
are sequences of states or
events”. The implication is that the the program control
demo doesn’t actually demonstrate control of a program
perception. But this ignores the fact that the demo shows
that what I call a “sequence” perception (small, medium,
large) can be controlled at a much faster rate than what I
call a “program” perception ( if the
shape is circle, the next color is blue; else, the next
color is red). Â

            RM:

This finding is consistent with the idea that different types
of perceptions are controlled at different levels of the
hierarchy, and that perceptions lower in the hierarchy
can be controlled at a faster rate than those higher in
the hierarchy. And there is quite a bit of evidence that
this is the case.  So I take the results of my
program control demo as evidence that what I call
“sequences”, such as " small, medium,
large",  and
“programs”, like " if
the shape is circle, the next color is blue", are
two different types of perceptual variable that
are controlled at two different levels of the control
hierarchy. This conclusion may be wrong, but whether or
not it is or not cannot be determined by verbal argument.
It has to be tested, using the method used in the program
control demo, that method being a version of the test for
the controlled variable.Â

BestÂ

Rick

Â

          Programs can be seen as a branching

network in which the links are sequences of states or
events, but in the execution of any one of them, all you
ever see is a single sequence.

          Let's consider a hypothetical perceived sequence

“red-blue-green”. should this be described in words as

          (a) red, blue, green.

          (b) If red then blue;

          Â Â Â Â  if blue then green;

          Â Â Â Â  if green then stop [or perhaps "if green than red"]

          (c) If red then blue

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  if blue then green

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  if green then stop [or "if green the red"]

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  else

          Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â  report error;

          Â Â Â  endif;



          These possibilities imply different levels of perception.

They are reference values for (a) a sequence level
perception, and (b) and © different complexities of
Program level perceptions. If you perceive red-green-blue
or yellow-black-white, there would be an error in that
control loop. But what action might correct the error?
Would it differ depending on whether the controlled
perception was a Sequence or a Program? How would you
perform a TCV to determine which level was the controlled
perception?

          Surely Sequence and Program are different as reference

values. But how would you distinguish them experimentally?
It was this question, applied to Rick’s demo, that
generated the confusion in the first place, so I think
that if there is an experimental way to distinguish them.
something more complex than that demo would be required.

          Maybe what should be distinguished as a level is not

Program from Sequence, but “Choice-point” from control of
magnitude. Or maybe there is a definitive way to
distinguish program control from sequence control.

          Martin


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
   Â
            --Antoine de
Saint-Exupery