Setting people straight

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

[Rick Marken 2018-06-06_19:40:05]

Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

      [Martin

Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26] ,Since the article never describes
what control is, but deals with the

      effects of people perceiving whatever people perceive as

"being in

      control", I don't see what you have to complain about in that


      direction.  What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do you

perceive

      to be in the article? I don't see any mis- or true

understanding of

      control being expressed at all. All I got from the article is

that for

      some people, if they perceive themselves to be in control of

something

      (we presume a perception, though it may not matter what the

perceivers

      think they are controlling), they act differently than if they

perceive

      themselves not to be in control. That doesn't sound either

unreasonable

      or demonstrable from the data cited.
      I didn't remember this,

and since I don’t see anything in the quote that is easily
construed as "setting me straight), I thought I would check the
archives to see what was being discussed. It turns out that it was
about an article that claimed people were happier if they thought
they were in control than if they thought they were not.

  Here is my question from which Rick selected a sentence.

  Bill's response was not relevant to the question. Instead of

discussing why people might be happier if they thought they were
in control, he argued that people would never perceive themselves
to be in control if they were not. In other words, he denied the
possibility that the observation reported could ever happen. In
retrospect, that was rather strange, coming from one who claimed
that observations were primary. I had thought that the main
criticism would be that the observations were statistically
derived from pooled data across subjects and occasions, not that
what was observed could never happen.

  Somehow Rick translated this into Bill "trying as usual" to

correct my understanding of PCT, and he had to do a deep search
into the archives to find even this example, which he inserted
into a message that was mainly on a different topic. Weird, no?

  Martin
···

… Since (mindbogglingly) many fans
of PCT here on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed to my
claim that PCT is based on the idea that * behavior is
control* and also reject the idea that Bill Powers
would ever say such a thing,

        here's post from Bill (trying, as

usual, to set Martin Taylor straight) where he rather
clearly does say such a thing:

              From Bill Powers

(2009.06.17.1623
MDT)]

              Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26 --

              MT: ...What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do

you perceive to be in the article?

                                BP: From my angle, the

misunderstanding about control would be the idea that
one has only the illusion
of control (Ellen J. Langer’s idea in the cited book),
so to make people happy
it’s necessary only that they think they are in
control. This contradicts the
basic idea of PCT, that ** all behavior is control or
an attempt to control**. (emphasis mine)

[Bruce Nevin 2018-06-09_12:55:09 ET]

Yes, it did seem strange to reach back to that 2009 exchange for an example of Bill saying that behavior is control of perception, when there are other more accessible examples, such as the Preface of B:CP which I quoted. I did consider saying that it seemed rather that Bill was setting Ellen Langer straight, but I stuck with issues that seemed to me substantive.

···

… Since (mindbogglingly) many fans
of PCT here on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed to my
claim that PCT is based on the idea that * behavior is
control* and also reject the idea that Bill Powers
would ever say such a thing,

        here's post from Bill (trying, as

usual, to set Martin Taylor straight) where he rather
clearly does say such a thing:

              From Bill Powers

(2009.06.17.1623
MDT)]

              Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26 --

              MT: ...What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do

you perceive to be in the article?

                                BP: From my angle, the

misunderstanding about control would be the idea that
one has only the illusion
of control (Ellen J. Langer’s idea in the cited book),
so to make people happy
it’s necessary only that they think they are in
control. This contradicts the
basic idea of PCT, that ** all behavior is control or
an attempt to control**. (emphasis mine)

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

RM: ... Since (mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed to my claim that PCT is based on the idea that behavior is control and also reject the idea that Bill Powers would ever say such a thing,

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement)Â is control -- a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control -- or, at least, vehemently opposed to understanding what that means.Â

RM: here's post from Bill (trying, as usual, to set Martin Taylor straight) where he rather clearly does say such a thing:

From Bill Powers (2009.06.17.1623 MDT)]>>>
Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26 --
Â
MT: ...What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do you perceive to be in the article?
Â
BP: From my angle, the misunderstanding about control would be the idea that one has only the illusion of control (Ellen J. Langer's idea in the cited book), so to make people happy it's necessary only that they think they are in control. This contradicts the basic idea of PCT, that all behavior is control or an attempt to control. (emphasis mine)

MT: I didn't remember this, and since I don't see anything in the quote that is easily construed as "setting me straight), I thought I would check the archives to see what was being discussed. It turns out that it was about an article that claimed people were happier if they thought they were in control than if they thought they were not.

MT: Here is my question from which Rick selected a sentence.

[Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26] ,Since the article never describes what control is, but deals with the
effects of people perceiving whatever people perceive as "being in
control", I don't see what you have to complain about in that
direction. What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do you perceive
to be in the article? I don't see any mis- or true understanding of
control being expressed at all. All I got from the article is that for
some people, if they perceive themselves to be in control of something
(we presume a perception, though it may not matter what the perceivers
think they are controlling), they act differently than if they perceive
themselves not to be in control. That doesn't sound either unreasonable
or demonstrable from the data cited.

MT: Bill's response was not relevant to the question.

RM: It's seems pretty relevant to me. Bill had apparently expressed some complaint about Langer's understanding of what control is in an article that you had brought up in an earlier post. You apparently didn't think Bill should be criticizing the paper on that basis "since the article never describes what control is". And then you ask "What misunderstanding of what control _is_ do you perceive?" and Bill answers your question. I agree that this is not best described as Bill trying to "set you straight". I think Bill was just trying to use your question to educate you in particular (and people on CSGNet in general) about something fundamental about PCT which he knew, from your years of arguing with him on CSGNet, that you didn't really understand: that the basic idea of PCT is that all behavior is control or an attempt to control.Â
Best
Rick

Â

···

Instead of discussing why people might be happier if they thought they were in control, he argued that people would never perceive themselves to be in control if they were not. In other words, he denied the possibility that the observation reported could ever happen. In retrospect, that was rather strange, coming from one who claimed that observations were primary. I had thought that the main criticism would be that the observations were statistically derived from pooled data across subjects and occasions, not that what was observed could never happen.

Somehow Rick translated this into Bill "trying as usual" to correct my understanding of PCT, and he had to do a deep search into the archives to find even this example, which he inserted into a message that was mainly on a different topic. Weird, no?

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 2018.06.10.01.45]

Does ANYBODY who read the year-long attempt to demonstrate to Rick

what was wrong with his analysis believe that the various arguments
against it had anything at all to do with what Rick claims here? In
case anyone does, I refer them to the published refutations, which
were not addressed in any way by Rick’s published rebuttal.

Let's just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new

claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying
that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local
speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the
trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for
the power that they want to achieve. Well, maybe they can and do,
but I seriously doubt it, and nothing in Rick’s published or
unpublished comments known to me suggests that he has done a Test
for the Controlled Variable to see (a) that people can perceive the
power-law inherent in their movements, (b) can act in real time to
influence that power law, and (c) have a reference for the power in
the power law to have a specific magnitude, and that the power is
the actual controlled variable, rather some other that he would have
compared it with in performing that TCV.

Disbelieving this untested, and on the face of it ridiculous, claim

is now given as evidence of a vehement opposition to understanding
what is meant by saying behaviour is control. As Alice said:
“Curioser and curioser.”

I can't believe that even Rick thinks what he wrote above. If he

does I think he ought to read Don Quixote a little more carefully.

And however all that may be, I'm still wondering what relevance it

had to the topic of the message in which he inserted a gratuitous
reference to a long-ago interchange between Bill and me on something
entirely different.

Martin
···

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

          RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based

on the observation that a particular example of behavior ( curved
movement ) is control – a consistent result
produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a
number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently
scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the
people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that
behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently opposed to
understanding what that means.

                    RM: ... Since

(mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet
have been vehemently opposed to my claim that
PCT is based on the idea that * behavior is
control* and also reject the idea that Bill
Powers would ever say such a thing,

[Bruce Nevin 2018-06-10_07:54:04 ET]

Let’s just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for the power that they want to achieve.

I think you are projecting meanings beyond what Rick said. His words:

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement) is control – a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance.

If the output varies in a control loop, it is either because the reference varies (your assumption) or because the disturbance varies, or possibly a combination of the two. Rick very clearly called for experimental research to determine which and how.

However, Rick further said:

Here, I think Rick is projecting meanings beyond what you and others said. The scoffing, at least as I understood it, was at what was regarded as a mathematical gaffe which boiled down to deriving a variable V from itself.

···

​RM> ​

Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

          RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based

on the observation that a particular example of behavior ( curved
movement ) is control – a consistent result
produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a
number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently
scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the
people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that
behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently opposed to
understanding what that means.

                    RM: ... Since

(mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet
have been vehemently opposed to my claim that
PCT is based on the idea that * behavior is
control* and also reject the idea that Bill
Powers would ever say such a thing,

[Rick Marken 2018-06-10_12:40:24]

···

[Bruce Nevin 2018-06-10_07:54:04 ET]

MMT>Â Let’s just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for the power that they want to achieve.Â

BN: I think you are projecting meanings beyond what Rick said. His words:

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement)Â is control – a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance.Â

BN: If the output varies in a control loop, it is either because the reference varies (your assumption) or because the disturbance varies, or possibly a combination of the two. Rick very clearly called for experimental research to determine which and how.

RM: Yes, Martin certainly projected some meaning onto what I said, a meaning other than the one I intended. But I don’t agree with your interpretation of what I said either. In both cases, the problem seems to be difficulty looking at controlling without the overlay of theory. When you talk about the possibility of output varying because the reference varies or the disturbance varies or both you are talking theory.Â

RM: I was describing an observable fact: that curved movement is an example of control, which can be seen in the fact that it is a consistent result (an elliptical movement trajectory, for example) produced in the face of disturbances (variations in the effects of gravity of limb being moved) that should prevent such consistency, but don’t. Once you can see curved movement as a controlled variable then it’s immediately clear that any observed relationship between parameters of that movement – such as instantaneous velocity and curvature – tells you nothing about how that movement was produced. It’s in that sense that the observed power law relationship between movement velocity and curvature is a behavioral illusion. We made this point (somewhat coyly) in the beginning of our original paper in terms of correlation and causality. We made it explicitly in our “reappraisal of the reappraisals” with demonstrations and data.

Â

BN: However, Rick further said:

BN: Here, I think Rick is projecting meanings beyond what you and others said. The scoffing, at least as I understood it, was at what was regarded as a mathematical gaffe which boiled down to deriving a variable V from itself.

RM: Though most of the scoffing was about our non-existent mathematical gaffe, some of the most intense scoffing was about the simple two-dimensional control model I presented early in the CSGNet discussion of the power law to illustrate my concept of curved movement as a controlled variable. The main complaint was that the model was tautological, which was fair since the model produced the observed movement trajectories, such as ellipses, by varying the position references appropriately. It looked like the answer to the question of why there is a power law relationship between instantaneous velocity and curvature in curved movement had been put into the model (in the form of the variations in references) rather than “falling out” of the model acting on the basis of its own properties. So the model we used in our original paper generated the trajectories on the basis of their own properties; the trajectories were just those that got the model to the place where the object could be intercepted. So the observed power relationship between instantaneous velocity and curvature that was observed for these trajectories clearly had nothing to do with how these trajectories were generated; and the mathematical/statistical analysis showed that the observed power law relationship between velocity and curvature that is found for these trajectories is a mathematical consequence of the way these variables are measured.Â

RM: But no mathematics are needed to see that the power law is a behavioral illusion once you can see that curved- movement behavior is control. The mathematics just shows why it is consistently found that there is a power law relationship between the instantaneous velocity and curvature of these curved movements. So I stick with my conclusion that the objections I got from Martin and others to my observation that the power law is an example of a behavioral illusion resulted (and continues to result) from their inability (or unwillingness) to look at behavior through control theory glasses and see that behavior is control. That is, it results from the inability to get what Powers called “the basic idea of PCT”. Not getting that basic idea is certainly understandable in people (like Alex) who are new to PCT but I’d say it’s kind of inexcusable in people (like Martin) who have been on CSGNet (with Bill present) for well over 5 years.

Best

Rick

Â

On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 2:23 AM Martin Taylor csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.10.01.45]

Does ANYBODY who read the year-long attempt to demonstrate to Rick

what was wrong with his analysis believe that the various arguments
against it had anything at all to do with what Rick claims here? In
case anyone does, I refer them to the published refutations, which
were not addressed in any way by Rick’s published rebuttal.

Let's just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new

claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying
that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local
speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the
trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for
the power that they want to achieve. Well, maybe they can and do,
but I seriously doubt it, and nothing in Rick’s published or
unpublished comments known to me suggests that he has done a Test
for the Controlled Variable to see (a) that people can perceive the
power-law inherent in their movements, (b) can act in real time to
influence that power law, and (c) have a reference for the power in
the power law to have a specific magnitude, and that the power is
the actual controlled variable, rather some other that he would have
compared it with in performing that TCV.

Disbelieving this untested, and on the face of it ridiculous, claim

is now given as evidence of a vehement opposition to understanding
what is meant by saying behaviour is control. As Alice said:
“Curioser and curioser.”

I can't believe that even Rick thinks what he wrote above. If he

does I think he ought to read Don Quixote a little more carefully.

And however all that may be, I'm still wondering what relevance it

had to the topic of the message in which he inserted a gratuitous
reference to a long-ago interchange between Bill and me on something
entirely different.

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

​RM> ​

Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

          RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based

on the observation that a particular example of behavior ( curved
movement )Â is control – a consistent result
produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a
number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently
scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the
people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that
behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently opposed to
understanding what that means.

                    RM: ... Since

(mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet
have been vehemently opposed to my claim that
PCT is based on the idea that * behavior is
control* and also reject the idea that Bill
Powers would ever say such a thing,

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.10.15.40]

[Bruce Nevin 2018-06-10_07:54:04 ET]

            Let's just look at what

Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new claim he
has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now
saying that people perceive a power-law relationship
between the local speed of the movements they make and
the local curvature of the trace of those movements, and
that they have a reference value for the power that they
want to achieve.

      I think you are projecting meanings beyond

what Rick said. His words:

          RM:

My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the
observation that a particular example of behavior ( curved
movement ) is
control – a consistent result produced in the face of
variable disturbance.

The words Rick wrote are one thing. The meaning he intended others

to derive from them is another, and the meanings various readers
derive from them are many others. I don’t know what Rick actually
intended, but since the only stable variable that was at issue was
the exponent of the power law, the meaning I extracted was that he
was asserting that people controlled for their preferred value of
that exponent. You extracted a different meaning: that he was
thinking of some other controlled variable, of which there are many
possibilities, none of which he has yet suggested (other than the
standard ones that apply to all muscular output), and none of which
have been an issue for those who demonstrated the fallacies of his
logic and analysis.

      If the output varies in a control loop, it

is either because the reference varies (your assumption) or
because the disturbance varies, or possibly a combination of
the two. Rick very clearly called for experimental research to
determine which and how.

However, Rick further said:

      Here, I think Rick is projecting meanings

beyond what you and others said. The scoffing, at least as I
understood it, was at what was regarded as a mathematical
gaffe which boiled down to deriving a variable V from itself.

I don't think he is projecting meanings, so much as controlling some

totally imaginary perception that has and had no relationship at all
to anything in his analysis toward which comments were directed.

Martin
···

​RM> ​

              Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you,

vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that
those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the
idea that behavior is control

                [Rick Marken

2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

                  RM: My analysis of the power law of movement

was based on the observation that a particular
example of behavior ( curved
movement ) is control – a consistent
result produced in the face of variable
disturbance. Since a number of people on CSGNet,
including you, vehemently scoffed at this
analysis, I would say that those are the people
who are vehemently opposed to the idea that
behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently
opposed to understanding what that means.

                            RM: ... Since

(mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here
on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed
to my claim that PCT is based on the
idea that behavior is control
and also reject the idea that Bill
Powers would ever say such a thing,

Down…

···

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:40 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Setting people straight

[Rick Marken 2018-06-10_12:40:24]

[Bruce Nevin 2018-06-10_07:54:04 ET]

Let’s just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for the power that they want to achieve.

BN: I think you are projecting meanings beyond what Rick said. His words:

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement) is control – a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance.

HB : Sorry Rick to say but “particular example of behavior (curved movement)” is not control. Ups sorry you made an observation. Than I have to appologize to you because it’s well known that what you perceive (observe) is real “reality” and of course only your observations on the whole World are right observations. So if your analysis was based on your observation it has to be right…

<

BN: If the output varies in a control loop, it is either because the reference varies (your assumption)

HB : It’s not just Matins’ assumption that “reference varies” it’s also mine and most important also Bills’

Bill P (LCS III) :

Therefore changing the reference signal (with active cooperation from the components in the control loop) very reliably changes the magnitude or state of the input quantity, also called the controlled variable….

BN : …or because the disturbance varies or possibly a ccombination of the two. Rick very clearly called for experimental research to determine which and how.

HB : How was that clear ? That Rick claimed that “Behavior is control” ? Rick is making incredible confussion and damage to Bill. And sorry to say it you are helping him Bruce.

HB : Bill Leach where are you ?

RM: Yes, Martin certainly projected some meaning onto what I said, a meaning other than the one I intended. But I don’t agree with your interpretation of what I said either. In both cases, the problem seems to be difficulty looking at controlling without the overlay of theory. When you talk about the possibility of output varying because the reference varies or the disturbance varies or both you are talking theory.

HB : Really ? You can experience control loop if you want. It’s not just theoretical it can be of practical use. Just look arround and you’ll see that something is causing “error” , it’s not everything in accordance how you wished to be. PCT “Control loop” is not just theory, it “simulates” or explain how organisms really function and it uses many “real” evidences about human functioning. It’s quite real if you understand it.

RM: I was describing an observable fact: that curved movement is an example of control,

HB : Or you could observe any other behavior which is “observable fact”. Why should be just your observations “observable fact” and others theory ???

You have to decide, whether your observable fact : that curved movement is an example of control as theory or it is observable fact on which you want to apply theory. As I see it the problem is that you try to apply your theroy RCT.

You have to analyse any behavior the same. It can be that what Bruce and Martin are talking about is theory and what you observe is a fact… Whether is every observation of behavior theory or osbervable fact. In both cases the main point is to understand how organisms function and behave.

RM : …which can be seen in the fact that it is a consistent result (an elliptical movement trajectory, for example)

HB : Eliptical movement trajectory is theory or observable fact ?

RM : …produced in the face of disturbances (variations in the efffects of gravity of limb being moved) that should prevent such consistency, but don’t. Once you can see curved movement as a controlled variable…

HB : Curved movement is a controlled variabel of which process ??? How ? So you think that references and perceptual signal cause “error” signal and “error” signal controls “controlled variable” - behavior which is “curved movement” ??? Or what ? What exacrly is having “curved movement” for controlled variable ??? Organisms control inside not outsdie. “Controlled variables” are inside.

Bill P :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

RM: … then it’s immediately clear that any observed relationship between parameters of that movement – such as instantaneous velocity and curvature – tells you nothing about how that movement was produced.

HB : Well I remember that I warned all of you that such an analyssis does not tell anything about how organisms function.

RM : It’s in that sense that the observed power law relationship between movement velocity and curvature is a behavioral illusion.

HB : You mean “stimulus - respons” ??? Â

RM : We made this point (somewhat coyly) in the beginning of our original paper in terms of correlation and causality. We made it explicitly in our “reappraisal of the reappraisals” with demonstrations and data.

BN: However, Rick further said:

​RM> ​

Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control

HB : And it’s right that they oppose, because it’s wrong idea… Behavior is not controlled, perception is.

BN: Here, I think Rick is projecting meanings beyond what you and others said. The scoffing, at least as I understood it, was at what was regarded as a mathematical gaffe which boiled down to deriving a variable V from itself.

RM: Though most of the scoffing was about our non-existent mathematical gaffe, some of the most intense scoffing was about the simple two-dimensional control model I presented early in the CSGNet discussion of the power law to illustrate my concept of curved movement as a controlled variable.

HB : Well I warned you couple times that it’s wrong ? You demolished “nervous system” with presenting “two-dimensional” control model. It’s simply wrong.

RM : The main complaint was that the model was tautological, which was fair since the model produced the observed movement trajectories, such as ellipses, by varying the position references appropriately. It looked like the answer to the question of why there is a power law relationship between instantaneous velocity and curvature in curved movement had been put into the model (in the form of the variations in references) rather than “falling out” of the model acting on the basis of its own properties. So the model we used in our original paper generated the trajectories on the basis of their own properties; the trajectories were just those that got the model to the place where the object could be intercepted. So the observed power relationship between instantaneous velocity and curvature that was observed for these trajectories clearly had nothing to do with how these trajectories were generated; and the mathematical/statistical analysis showed that the observed power law relationship between velocity and curvature that is found for these trajectories is a mathematical consequence of the way these variables are measured.

RM: But no mathematics are needed to see that the power law is a behavioral illusion once you can see that curved- movement behavior is control.

HB : I thought we make a deal. No confussions anymore on CSGnet about that – behavior is control unless you prove that behavior can be conttrolled. Prove it.

When I was answering Bruce A. interpretation of some statements in Preface to B:CP, I looked a few lines above and I found these statements (again) :

Bill P. (B:CP) :

Rather, the central problem has been to find out a plausible model which can behave at all…. For example it will be shown later thatt the brain does not command the muscles to act. That concept implies properties that the neuromuscular system simply does not have… There is jjust no way the brain can select a muscle tension that will produce one and only one behavioral effect, even if that tension is accurately produced. The result of this approcah is a model nearly devoid of specific behavioral content.Â

HB : So how is it possible that Rick is trying to present theory which has just opposite characteristics. Rick is in fact affirming that brain can control muscle tension with accurately producing one and only behavioral effect and the problem is that he can’t prove that. Â He is all the time affirming that the exact neural inpulse effect from the brain to muscles cause exact “behavioral act” that will do exactly what brain wants muscle to do. So it seems that this was the central problem that Bill devoted his whole work through centuries and proved that “we can’t control muscle tension”.

And Rick solved this “central problem” in one second. He is simply affirming that “Behavior is control” so that brain can choose arbitrarily every tension of muscles it wants although Bill is saying that this is impossible. Why don’t you go Rick and open your forum for "RCT and behaviorism, which will be your “control” theory. I really don’t understand what your support for RCT (Ricks’ Control Theory) is ?

RM : The mathematics just shows why it is consistently found that there is a power law relationship between the instantaneous velocity and curvature of these curved movements. So I stick with my conclusion that the objections I got from Martin and othersto my observation that the power law is an example of a behavioral illusion resulted (and continues to result) from their inability (or unwillingness) to look at behavior through control theory glasses and see that behavior is control.

HB : If you look from control theory glasses like Carver and others and of course yourself who are all educated psychologists then there is no wonder that you all beleive that “behavior is control”. Why would anybody be unable or unwilling to understand somethng what you can’t prove and it is obviously wrong.

Bill P :

CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.

Bill P (B:CP):

OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system

Bill P (LCS III):…the output function showwn in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment

HB : How behavior can be control. Show as your definition of feedback that will show how “Behavor is controlled”. Show us your theory of “controlled behavior”. How you control your muscle tension ? Bill affirmed that it’s impossible to control muscle tension and he proved it through hs work.

RM : That is, it results from the inability to get what Powers called “the basic idea of PCT”.

HB : The basic idea of PCT is that “Perception is controlled”. Bill dedicated his work to prove that brain can’t " can select a muscle tension that will produce one and only one behavioral effect".

RM : Not getting that basic idea is certainly understandable in people (like Alex)

HB : Well I think that Alex understand more of PCT than you do, although he doesn’t like it.

RM : …who are new to PCT

<

HB : It doesn’t matter if you are old or new to PCT, but whether you understand PCT or not.

RM : …but I’d say it’s kind of inexcusable in people (like Martin) whho have been on CSGNet (with Bill present) for well over 5 years.

HB : Martin and I were surely present on CSGnet for at least 6 years (with Bill present). I’m on CSGnet from 2007 and Martin was already there.

If I include my personal talkings to Bill that number is much higher as I first contacted him in 1999. What exactly you wanted to say ?

Boris

Best

Rick

On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 2:23 AM Martin Taylor csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.10.01.45]

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

RM: … Since (mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed to my claim that PCT is based on the idea that behavior is control and also reject the idea that Bill Powers would ever say such a thing,

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement) is control – a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently opposed to understanding what that means.

Does ANYBODY who read the year-long attempt to demonstrate to Rick what was wrong with his analysis believe that the various arguments against it had anything at all to do with what Rick claims here? In case anyone does, I refer them to the published refutations, which were not addressed in any way by Rick’s published rebuttal.

Let’s just look at what Rick is now claiming here, since it is a new claim he has not made before, so far as I remember. He is now saying that people perceive a power-law relationship between the local speed of the movements they make and the local curvature of the trace of those movements, and that they have a reference value for the power that they want to achieve. Well, maybe they can and do, but I seriously doubt it, and nothing in Rick’s published or unpublished comments known to me suggests that he has done a Test for the Controlled Variable to see (a) that people can perceive the power-law inherent in their movements, (b) can act in real time to influence that power law, and (c) have a reference for the power in the power law to have a specific magnitude, and that the power is the actual controlled variable, rather some other that he would have compared it with in performing that TCV.

Disbelieving this untested, and on the face of it ridiculous, claim is now given as evidence of a vehement opposition to understanding what is meant by saying behaviour is control. As Alice said: “Curioser and curioser.”

I can’t believe that even Rick thinks what he wrote above. If he does I think he ought to read Don Quixote a little more carefully.

And however all that may be, I’m still wondering what relevance it had to the topic of the message in which he inserted a gratuitous reference to a long-ago interchange between Bill and me on something entirely different.

Martin

Richard S. Marken

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

Rick,

RM: It’s seems pretty relevant to me. Bill had apparently expressed some complaint about Langer’s understanding of what control is in an article that you had brought up in an earlier post. You apparently didn’t think Bill should be criticizing the paper on that basis “since the article never describes what control is”. And then you ask “What misunderstanding of what control is do you perceive?” and Bill answers your question. I agree that this is not best described as Bill trying to “set you straight”. I think Bill was just trying to use your question to educate you in particular (and people on CSGNet in general) about something fundamental about PCT which he knew, from your years of arguing with him on CSGNet, that you didn’t really understand: that the basic idea of PCT is that all behavior is control or an attempt to control

HB : I already answered you to your insinuations. Central problem of PCT and Bills work was how organisms function. It’s quite complicated abd I understand you have problems understanding both : PCT and how organisms function. Bill was not exploring and seeking answers to how all behaviors are control but just opposite. He was searching for answers how organisms can behave rather “accurately” with brain mechanism which can’t control muscle tension (behavior). It’s the whole art how nature found the way to stabilize environment in wanted way with not controlling mechanism. Or in your words we could say that it’s incredible how nature found the way to “control” on the basis of uncontrolled mechanism. How “uncontrolled mechanism” can work to make some “consistent” result ? That’s pobably what was Bills’ central research problem.

Bill P. (B:CP) :

Rather, the central problem has been to find out a plausible model which can behave at all…. For example it will be shown later that the brain does not commaand the muscles to act. That concept implies properties that the neuromuscular system simply does not have… There is just no way the brain can select a muscle tension that will produce one and only one behavioral effect, even if that tension is accurately produced. The result of this approcah is a model nearly devoid of specific behavioral content.

Boris

···

From: Richard Marken (rsmarken@gmail.com via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2018 2:42 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Setting people straight

[Rick Marken 2018-06-09_17:42:08]

[Martin Taylor 2018.06.09.12.27]

RM: … Since (mindbogglingly) many fans of PCT here on CSGNet have been vehemently opposed to my claim that PCT is based on the idea that behavior is control and also reject the idea that Bill Powers would ever say such a thing,

MT: Name two (I can think of one, but only one).

RM: My analysis of the power law of movement was based on the observation that a particular example of behavior (curved movement) is control – a consistent result produced in the face of variable disturbance. Since a number of people on CSGNet, including you, vehemently scoffed at this analysis, I would say that those are the people who are vehemently opposed to the idea that behavior is control – or, at least, vehemently opposed to understanding what that means.

RM: here’s post from Bill (trying, as usual, to set Martin Taylor straight) where he rather clearly does say such a thing:

From Bill Powers (2009.06.17.1623 MDT)]

Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26 –

MT: …What misunderstanding of what control is do you perceive to be in the article?

BP: from my angle, the misunderstanding about control would be the idea that one has only the illusion of control (Ellen J. Langer’s idea in the cited book), so to make people happy it’s necessary only that they think they are in control. This contradicts the basic idea of PCT, that all behavior is control or an attempt to control. (emphasis mine)

MT: I didn’t remember this, and since I don’t see anything in the quote that is easily construed as "setting me straight), I thought I would check the archives to see what was being discussed. It turns out that it was about an article that claimed people were happier if they thought they were in control than if they thought they were not.

MT: Here is my question from which Rick selected a sentence.

[Martin Taylor 2009.06.17.17.26] ,Since the article never describes what control is, but deals with the
effects of people perceiving whatever people perceive as “being in
control”, I don’t see what you have to complain about in that
direction. What misunderstanding of what control is do you perceive
to be in the article? I don’t see any mis- or true understanding of
control being expressed at all. All I got from the article is that for
some people, if they perceive themselves to be in control of something
(we presume a perception, though it may not matter what the perceivers
think they are controlling), they act differently than if they perceive
themselves not to be in control. That doesn’t sound either unreasonable
or demonstrable from the data cited.

MT: Bill’s response was not relevant to the question.

RM: It’s seems pretty relevant to me. Bill had apparently expressed some complaint about Langer’s understanding of what control is in an article that you had brought up in an earlier post. You apparently didn’t think Bill should be criticizing the paper on that basis “since the article never describes what control is”. And then you ask “What misunderstanding of what control is do you perceive?” and Bill answers your question. I agree that this is not best described as Bill trying to “set you straight”. I think Bill was just trying to use your question to educate you in particular (and people on CSGNet in general) about something fundamental about PCT which he knew, from your years of arguing with him on CSGNet, that you didn’t really understand: that the basic idea of PCT is that all behavior is control or an attempt to control.

Best

Rick

Instead of discussing why people might be happier if they thought they were in control, he argued that people would never perceive themselves to be in control if they were not. In other words, he denied the possibility that the observation reported could ever happen. In retrospect, that was rather strange, coming from one who claimed that observations were primary. I had thought that the main criticism would be that the observations were statistically derived from pooled data across subjects and occasions, not that what was observed could never happen.

Somehow Rick translated this into Bill “trying as usual” to correct my understanding of PCT, and he had to do a deep search into the archives to find even this example, which he inserted into a message that was mainly on a different topic. Weird, no?

Martin

Richard S. Marken

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