Steven Pinker and "Controlling People"

[From Rick Marken (2016.06.28.1200)]

RM: I’m sending this to both CSGNet and MOL-list because it may be of interest to people on both lists.Â

RM: I came across this interesting passage in “The Sense of Style”, a wonderful book on writing by Steven Pinker:Â

Human behavior in general is understandable only once you know the actor’s goals. When you see someone waving her arms, the first thing you want to know is whether she is trying to attract attention, shoo away flies or exercise her deltoids. Â (Pinker, p. 149.)

RM: Pinker is a cognitive scientist and linguist who is also an exceptionally good writer with several New York Times best sellers to his credit. So I was rather thrilled to see this little passage because it not only reflects an understanding of a fundamental tenet of PCT (we would say behavior is understandable only once you know the actor’s controlled variables, but “goals” is close enough) but it also suggests that Pinker may have read “Controlling People”. We use almost exactly the same example the section entitled "What Are You Doing?:

You
may have experienced this phenomenon yourself if you have ever seen someone
doing something and asked yourself “what are they doingâ€?? Since you can clearly
see the person’s behavior (their actions), what you must be asking yourself
about is the purpose of that those actions. Why, for example, is the person
gesticulating like that? Are they speaking to someone in sign language, hailing
a cab, waving to a friend? What is the person’s purpose? (Marken & Carey, p. 33)

RM: Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But I would be thrilled if Pinker actually read our book. He is a very smart guy. And actually, his book “The Sense of Style”, can be seen to have a lot of great suggestions regarding the kind of perceptions readers control for as well as examples (in the form of well and poorly formed sentences and paragraphs) of how to test for control of these high level linguistic controlled perceptions.Â

BestÂ

Rick

···

Richard S. MarkenÂ

Author, with Timothy A. Carey, of  Controlling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human

thanks, Rick! I'm going to get both books. Your's first!

love,
Alice

···

[From Rick Marken (2016.06.28.1200)]

RM: I'm sending this to both CSGNet and MOL-list because it may be of
interest to people on both lists.

RM: I came across this interesting passage in "The Sense of Style", a
wonderful book on writing by Steven Pinker:

Human behavior in general is understandable only once you know the actor's

goals. When you see someone waving her arms, the first thing you want to
know is whether she is trying to attract attention, shoo away flies or
exercise her deltoids. (Pinker, p. 149.)

RM: Pinker is a cognitive scientist and linguist who is also an
exceptionally good writer with several New York Times best sellers to his
credit. So I was rather thrilled to see this little passage because it not
only reflects an understanding of a fundamental tenet of PCT (we would say
behavior is understandable only once you know the actor's controlled
variables, but "goals" is close enough) but it also suggests that Pinker
may have read "Controlling People". We use almost exactly the same example
the section entitled "What Are You Doing?:

You may have experienced this phenomenon yourself if you have ever seen

someone doing something and asked yourself “what are they doing�??
Since you
can clearly see the person’s behavior (their actions), what you must
be
asking yourself about is the purpose of that those actions. Why, for
example, is the person gesticulating like that? Are they speaking to
someone in sign language, hailing a cab, waving to a friend? What is the
person’s purpose? (Marken & Carey, p. 33)

RM: Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But I would be thrilled if Pinker
actually read our book. He is a very smart guy. And actually, his book
"The
Sense of Style", can be seen to have a lot of great suggestions regarding
the kind of perceptions readers control for as well as examples (in the
form of well and poorly formed sentences and paragraphs) of how to test
for
control of these high level linguistic controlled perceptions.

Best

Rick
--
Richard S. Marken
Author, with Timothy A. Carey, of Controlling People: The Paradoxical
Nature of Being Human
<http://www.amazon.com/Controlling-People-Paradoxical-Nature-Being/dp/1922117641/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449541975&sr=1-1&gt;
*.*

Rick, Pinker’s book was published in 2014, before yours. I can’t stand what he represents regarding the complacency of the status quo of ‘cognitive science’!

Warren

···

Richard S. Marken

Author, with Timothy A. Carey, of Controlling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human.

[From Rick Marken (2016.06.28.1500)]

···

On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

WM: Rick, Pinker’s book was published in 2014, before yours.

RM: Oh my. Then it might seem like we copied him;-) But I wrote that little passage and I just got his book two months ago at a book fair. Ah well, I better note at my “Controlling People” Facebook site that he couldn’t have copied from us.Â

Â

WM: I can’t stand what he represents regarding the complacency of the status quo of ‘cognitive science’!

RM: I think I mentioned that I used a quote of his from “How the Mind Works” in my “Revolution” paper (reprinted in DRoP) as a good description of the causal view of behavior in cognitive psychology. So, yes, he is a complacent cognitive psychologist. But he writes so well that I forgive him his complacency. And “The Sense of Style” book really is a great starting point for research on language from a PCT perspective!

BestÂ

Rick

Â

On 28 Jun 2016, at 19:58, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2016.06.28.1200)]

RM: I’m sending this to both CSGNet and MOL-list because it may be of interest to people on both lists.Â

RM: I came across this interesting passage in “The Sense of Style”, a wonderful book on writing by Steven Pinker:Â

Human behavior in general is understandable only once you know the actor’s goals. When you see someone waving her arms, the first thing you want to know is whether she is trying to attract attention, shoo away flies or exercise her deltoids. Â (Pinker, p. 149.)

RM: Pinker is a cognitive scientist and linguist who is also an exceptionally good writer with several New York Times best sellers to his credit. So I was rather thrilled to see this little passage because it not only reflects an understanding of a fundamental tenet of PCT (we would say behavior is understandable only once you know the actor’s controlled variables, but “goals” is close enough) but it also suggests that Pinker may have read “Controlling People”. We use almost exactly the same example the section entitled "What Are You Doing?:

You
may have experienced this phenomenon yourself if you have ever seen someone
doing something and asked yourself “what are they doing�? Since you can clearly
see the person’s behavior (their actions), what you must be asking yourself
about is the purpose of that those actions. Why, for example, is the person
gesticulating like that? Are they speaking to someone in sign language, hailing
a cab, waving to a friend? What is the person’s purpose? (Marken & Carey, p. 33)

RM: Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But I would be thrilled if Pinker actually read our book. He is a very smart guy. And actually, his book “The Sense of Style”, can be seen to have a lot of great suggestions regarding the kind of perceptions readers control for as well as examples (in the form of well and poorly formed sentences and paragraphs) of how to test for control of these high level linguistic controlled perceptions.Â

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

Author, with Timothy A. Carey, of  Controlling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human

Richard S. MarkenÂ

Author, with Timothy A. Carey, of  Controlling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human