Some gasoline to calm the fire

[From Oded Maler (950828)]

Some comments on the application discussion. I think Rick's "cruel"
behavior is really because some of his top-level perceptions are

The first one is, in fact, related to Ethics. Do you really think that
to teach people just to be a good controllers of their perceptual goal
is a basis for society? Suppose somehow my reorganization created a
perceptual goal of, say, torturing and raping minority whales (fill in
your favorite defnitely-immoral act). If you adopt your own point of
view, then "everything goes", it's a perception, there is no good or
bad. This is not what how you go about your daily life I believe - you
seem to try to "correct" other people's pereceptual goals. Of course
all of us make the error of trying to change others (especially our
kids) by giving verbal instruction (rules) instead of trying to
penetrate deeper into their perceptions, but this is what
culture-language-society is all about.

Secondly, this brings us back to the arguments about the link between
PCT knowledge and "better" world, and between toy and real problems. I
make my living on solving toy problems. I can prove very nice
theorems about certain simplified mathematical models. In order to
apply it to real problems, many engineers might need to work, most of
the time on unimportant "details" that are not essential to the
model. And this is in the realm of the sciences of the artificial
(computers). No matter how nice and even "true" your models of control
systems with 10 variables and 3 levels might be, any practical work
with "real" people will be as "dirty" as unscientific (this is not a
prejorative) as the work described by Ed. Knowing the basic ideas of
PCT might help the therapist, give him intuition (as Dennis' very very
nice post described) but it will never be at the scientific level of
"the Teset" or other ideals which are applicable to toy problems.
Put in other words, you don't fry an egg based on deep knowledge
of thermodynamics.




Oded Maler, VERIMAG, Miniparc ZIRST, 38330 Montbonnot, France
Phone: 76909635 Fax: 76413620 e-mail: