[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|.Â 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 > > (email@example.com via csgnet Mailing List) wrote:
20190708.14:25 ET]Â Â
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 differentÂ 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 theÂ 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 programÂ 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 Â
RM: This finding is consistent withÂ 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.Â Â So I take the results of my program control demo as evidence that what I call “sequences”, such as “small, medium, large”,Â Â and “programs”, like “if the shape is circle, the next color is blue”,Â are two different types of perceptual variable that are controlled at two different levels of the control hierarchy.Â 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
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
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
Richard S. MarkenÂ
"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.â€?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â --Antoine de Saint-Exupery