SIX TOPICS - RKC

INTEGRATED, BEAVERS, TOO SLOW, TRILLS, RUBBER, WRITING

Bill, glad to send you a reprint of "Integrated Data ... Systems ... "
It's on the way.

In the post where I referred to that paper I was mainly concerned with
clarifying my views of higher level perceptual variables through asking,
in the "sympathy" matter, about positive feedback. Hopefully, this can
lead to examining some unfamiliar parts of one's supply of recordings
(memories).

Your reprint request led to an interesting result. For years I have
remembered this paper as not done very well. But your request resulted
in my re-reading it for the first time in nearly 30 years! It's not
such a bad paper after all, and seems particularly relevant from the
standpoint of comparing theories of behavior. Experimenters must begin
with some kind of theory as a guide to experimental design in any field.
He has several alternatives: try to validate some theory (not
necessarily his own), try to invalidate some theory (likewise), try to
determine interesting parameters (perhaps a recipe for a candy -- or at
Mosler, a recipe for an attack resistant material), or just do something
for "the heck of it!" Have I missed any possibility?

Why are experimental studies undertaken? Perhaps a student needs a
thesis topic. It will be subject to assorted approvals. To maximize
probability of approval, it should fall within the range of currently
acceptable ideas in that area. (I've recently had some "differences of
opinion" with a recognized authority in aerodynamics because I used an
unusual analysis.) The student's advisor guides the selection of topic
and supervises the experimental design, etc.

PC Theory is in competition with various other Theories -- some of which
(economics? sociology?) are rudimentary indeed. But those Theorists
tend to be interested in finding ways to support and defend their ideas.
PCT people show the same behavior. What is needed is to change from
"conflict" to "cooperation," or at least neutrality. (There are several
ways to resolve a conflict.) Some attention could be directed toward
strategies of interaction, using communication skills to "make friends
and influence people" (Dale Carnegie, of course). Theories, ideas, gain
acceptance by being useful -- not by winning arguments. Regarding PCT
vs Others, PCT can describe and analyze the behavior of their opponents,
while the Others can only describe PCT behavior by misunderstanding,
overlooking, discarding, etc various common observations. Bill has
listed some of them. These remarks are very condensed, but I think my
viewpoint is clear -- at least to PCTers.

Beavers. Greg, I seem to recall that all rodents have a problem: their
incisors continue to grow throughout life (from my 1949 Britannica). If
not worn down, they become too large to use! It seems unlikely to me that
they are born knowing which trees to gnaw -- some are needed for food, some
for dams, some for their lodges. And some to wear down their teeth! (Cats
also sharpen their claws.) At least they soon find out how and when to take
care of them.

"Feedback Too Slow" discussions bring up Muhammad Ali and his left jab.
The fact that his movement is in the midst of a complex interaction seems
to be ignored. It is also the result of extensive training over many
years. Thus this complex movement, involving most of his body, is recorded
in many variations and thus can be adapted ("selected)" to suit the
situation. It is, perhaps, a portion of a strategy designed to put his
opponent in a vulnerable position. My point is that he decides when to put
that particular action into effect, including the time-sequence needed to
obtain the desired impact. As Powers points out, in a somewhat different
context, a sudden change in the reference signal produces a very rapid
response in the output system, in this case probably limited by the
mechanical properties of the skeleto-muscular system, as Powers notes, and
much faster than the changes can be followed by the feedback function.

The "trill" again. The individual finger movement need not wait, one for
the other, the remembered procedure can call for over-lapping finger
movements. Easily managed through remembered actions. With a 4/4 tempo of
4 beats per second, a 64th note would be about 4 milliseconds. Pretty fast
for detailed control!

In addition, the trill can be observed as a unit, and its performance can
be evaluated afterward by reviewing the recording (memory). The review
could be immediate, or at a later time. This is, in some sense, "delayed
feedback," but such a review of performance usually includes additional
variables such as loudness, emphasis, relation to other portions of the
musical selection etc.

The various Rubber Band Demo's are fabulous! I particularly like the
recent one, taking one band in each hand. Especially the reaction to
"help." This is not only a good demo of the reaction to a disturbance of
the skill systems (Fifth Order), but also illustrates something of the
personality of the individual "helped." I am leaning toward designating
Seventh Order as the Order including perceivable variables off Personality.
This would imply considering Eighth Order as pertaining to Character.
Correspondingly, we would have Seventh and Eighth Modes of Sixth Order to
include the verbal concepts used to talk about such matters.

I am reminded of the "Leader-Follower" demo with the Portable Demonstrator.
Do you remember this, Bill? It requires two subjects who first work with
ordinary finger tracking separately with the experimenter. Then one
subject, Joe, is asked to lead the tracking and Pete is asked to follow.
Then, after they settle down, the experimenter calls: "Pete," who is now to
be the Leader with Joe the follower. Again, after settling down, call
"Joe" and they change roles. Make the changes rather slowly at first, so
that it becomes easy -- then gradually increase the pace.

Nevin's suggestion about hand-writing at a 45 degree angle is very
pertinent. It isn't easy to adjust a remembered skill to an unfamiliar
situation. I am reminded of the time it occurred to me to carefully apply
my ball-throwing sequence, right-handed, to my left hand-arm. I thought I
might be able to do this, since I am generally rather ambidextrous. It
took careful and detailed re-working of the remembered movements to apply
them to the other side. It worked much better than I expected! But I
found that I had to have NO witnesses (distractions? violations of my
self-image?), and it felt so strange that I never tried it again! But
there are many such reworkings possible. In school we played with "talking
backward." I have found since that this is not uncommon, but we did not
reverse the spelling -- we reversed the sequence of phonemes! "Nack ooyah
cawt zdrawacab?" Not easy! With experimenting to acquire a stock of
remembered performances, "Ti zih tahn draha!"

Regards,
Bob Clark