Simple Marken

[From Rick Marken (950103.0930)]

Bill Powerws (950102.1215 MST) --

Some people can grasp the ideas of PCT and set them up as a separate systems
concept that is kept apart from the older ideas they already believe.

Looks like your compartments leaked.

I think it was less a leakage problem (once I understood PCT I no longer
believed in the older ideas; when I wrote my textbook I was no longer a
believer) than a mental capacity problem. I'm just a simple-minded guy.
Your simple tracking tasks demonstrating characteristics of control were easy
for me to grasp; I had no trouble seeing that your demonstration, for
example, of a .99 correlation between invisible disturbance and output and a
.1 correlation between visible controlled variable and output meant big
problems for the input-output model in psychology.

My simple mind had no difficulty seeing the implications of the results of
these simple tracking tasks; to me, the principles illustrated by a simple
tracking task are as deep (to my simple mind) as those illustrated by a
simple ball rolling down inclined planes task. Psychologists whose minds
are much more complex than mine (nearly all of them) seem to find the simple
tracking tasks too simple and see no important principles in this simplicity;
their complex minds seek complex solutions -- sometimes literally, as in
"complexity theory".

So I think that, ultimately, it was my own simple mindedness that made it
possible for me to get me into PCT. If I had been smart enough to understand
complex research and theories I might have never gotten PCT. Perhaps this is
the reason why so few conventional psychologists get into PCT -- they are
just too smart.