Standards of conduct on the discourse forum

Dear members of this forum,

At our IAPCT board meeting, we discussed a few recent conversations on the discourse forum and decided that it would be good to post a few guidelines here that we can refer to in case of problems. Discussions and additions are welcome.

We can draw here upon the discussion that took place last year:

What is the system concept of a good scientific forum for PCT?

We would like this forum to be a place where we can discuss the science and application of Perceptual Control Theory. Discussion serves to generate ideas, make connections between people and exchange ideas. We can share and ask for advice, inspire and learn from each other.

In order to serve this purpose, we need to control for quite some principles.

Safety and respect
We want this forum to be a place where all members can safely express their thoughts. From Method of Levels conversations we learn that reorganization works best when all involved perceptions are noted and voiced. A safe and non-judgemental environment provides that space.
Threats to (psychological) safety would be ad-hominems, threats, judging, attacking, blaming, shaming, etc. We want to have constructive communication, serving the above stated purpose.

Resolution of conflicts
When we find we disagree, we can use this conflict to explore our differences and reach for higher goals and find common interests. We can support each other in this process by being kind, agreeable and tolerant to each other’s ideas. One may disagree, without being disagreeable. We should be self-aware in the sense that we know that we control our own perceptions in our own particular way, and thus should tolerate that we understand the world (and PCT) differently. We come from different backgrounds and arrive at this forum at different levels of learning. Understanding and respecting that perspective will help create a safe place here for all to participate and learn.

In controlling these principles of proper discourse, we may stumble upon conflicts with other principles we hold. For example, our views of what PCT is, or isn’t. We have seen over the history of CSGnet and on this forum, that the debate can turn bad quite quickly. We all do agree that we need to point out mistaken views of the fundamentals of PCT. In a respectful manner. The purpose of this post here is to explicitly state that in these discussions, however much we disagree, we should also control for keeping the discourse safe and respectful.

We as users of the forum control for these principles collectively. If you don’t feel comfortable with a reply on your post or someone else’s post, you can flag the post (in the three dots menu below each post) to ask for the attention of an administrator. We as the board of the iapct will then take care to carefully consider what’s going on and try to steer the process in a more constructive direction.

If we must do so, we can also act more forcefully by removing posts or silencing users. This is not a task we carry out lightly, and we will carefully discuss these steps with anyone involved.



On a specific matter of discourse courtesy, it is often the case that contributors refer to books, and require others following the thread of a discussion to refer to the relevant part of a book without providing a link to it. If the book is available only at a cost, and especially if some of the purchase price accrues to the discussant, should not the relevant point referenced the book be explicitly made by the discussant, so that the discussion can be usefully continued without having to buy the book?

Especially as a help to students at least the immediate context of the quoted or referenced material can be posted under ‘fair use’ guidelines.

Further, it would be most helpful to have entire works available, and for these links to target stable locations rather than on an individual’s personal dropbox account or website. Dag has a great deal of literature on the pctresources site. Seems to me that IAPCT should invite expansions to this online library and house it at

I don’t see a lot of personal conflict for the author. In my experience, academic books rarely bring significant income to their authors (with famous exceptions, cf. the Matthew Effect). There might be bragging rights re numbers sold. But I could very well be missing something important to some authors.

Publishers take issue. We can always refer to Z-library has been shut down, except on the Tor and I2P browser networks.