Studying Control (was Re: complex adaptive systems, blah blah)

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.16.2200)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.16.1800 EDT)]

You appear to have a very restricted view of psychological experiments. In
many experiments the subject would seem to be controlling the perception
"following the instructions."

Yes, that's surely one perception that is controlled. Indeed, these
instructions ask the subject to control a particular perception, such
as "press the key when the tone comes on". Since the subject must
translate the words of the instructions into a perception that they
themselves will control --and a reference for that perception-- it is
not always clear what perception the subject actually ends up
controlling. But nothing much would happen in the experiment unless
the subjects does control a perception that is something like the one
he or she is instructed to control.

It is true that most experimenters to do not
attempt to disturb this perception to determine if it is in fact being
controlled.

No, they disturb the perception that the subject is instructed to
control. In the reaction time task, for example, the onset of the tone
disturbs the perception of responding when the tone comes on; the
subject controls this perception (compensates for the tone being on
without the press) by pressing the key after the tone comes on. If
the subject is not controlling for pressing the key when the tone
comes on (and not pressing when the tone is not on) then he subject
will not press the key when the tone comes on. So the existence of a
controlled variable is a sine qua non of behavioral experiments. But,
of course, it is never "the point" of these experiments and, as you
say, there is never any effort made to identify exactly what
perception each subject is actually controlling. Doing that would be
one way that research aimed at understanding control would differ from
conventional research aimed at discovering causal relationships
between variables.

That, however, would not seem to make the data gathered
completely useless. If I administer a Raven's Progressive Matrices test to a
group of subjects, are you saying that the scores tell me nothing if I do
not realize that the subjects are hierarchical control systems? That seems
extreme, to say the very least.

I wouldn't say it tells you nothing. But it doesn't tell you much
about what the subject is controlling for, which might be something
you would want to know if your job was to teach someone how to do this
task. Subjects who get a very high score on the test are probably able
to control for the "progression" that leads to their answers being
counted as correct. But if the subject gets a low score that could be
because they have not yet learned to control the progression or
because they were controlling (successfully) for some other perceptual
aspect of the matrices or because they were not controlling for
anything other than getting the test over with.

Considering behavioral economics, for example, it is difficult for me to
think of a study whose findings are completely worthless simply because the
experimenters did not realize that humans can be treated as hierarchical
control systems.

Perhaps not worthless but certainly misleading. If the experimenter
doesn't know what the subject is actually controlling for in an
experiment the interpretation of what the subject is doing can be
quite far off base. See, for example, consider my demo of the
"Economic Control" at
http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Economics.html. If the
experimenter didn't know that the subject was _controlling_ for
caloric intake _and_ for staying within budget then he/she would
conclude that, in the "Poor Man" situation, increases in the cost of
bread cause an increase in demand for bread.

If the only experiments you are interested in involve tracking, I can see
why you dismiss most behavioral science as uninteresting. Of course, you may
be right. Maybe everything we need to know can be found in tracking
experiments. That certainly makes one's reading list much more manageable.

Tracking tasks are simply a nice way to see all the connections in
closed loop behavior. I see the behavior in all experiments as being
closed loop, the same as that in the tracking task. But unlike in the
tracking task it is harder to see the components of the closed loop in
a conventional experiment, particularly the controlled variable. For
example, I see the classical conditioning experiment as closed loop.
The controlled variable (CV) is the viscosity of the bolus in the
mouth; this variable is equivalent to the cursor in the compensatory
tracking task. The disturbance is the food powder (US) placed in the
mouth; this is equivalent to the computer generated disturbance to the
cursor in the tracking task. The output is salivation (UR) which is
equivalent to mouse movement in the tracking task.

So in both classical conditioning and tracking a CV is kept in a
reference state by appropriate variations in output that compensate
for disturbances to the CV. I think that what we should find (and
there may be data on this) is that, as in the tracking a task, the
magnitude of the output in classical conditioning (UR) will
quantitatively compensate for the magnitude of the disturbance (US) so
that the CV is kept in some reference state (reference amount of
viscosity). So my prediction is that, in classical conditioning, there
will be a positive relationship between the amount of powder placed in
a dog's mouth and the amount of salivation so that the viscosity of
the bolus stays nearly constant.

The conditioning part of classical conditioning is probably a result
of reorganization. I see from the Manchester Conference Program that
Bill Powers is scheduled to give a talk on reorganization and
classical conditioning so maybe he will have a model of the process by
that time. I'm working on such a model myself so it will be
interesting to see what we come up with independently.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[Martin Taylor 2010.03.18.17.21]

For some obscure reason, Rick asked me specifically to comment on...

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.16.2200)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.16.1800 EDT)]
     
You appear to have a very restricted view of psychological experiments. In
many experiments the subject would seem to be controlling the perception
"following the instructions."
     

Yes, that's surely one perception that is controlled. Indeed, these
instructions ask the subject to control a particular perception, such
as "press the key when the tone comes on". Since the subject must
translate the words of the instructions into a perception that they
themselves will control --and a reference for that perception-- it is
not always clear what perception the subject actually ends up
controlling. But nothing much would happen in the experiment unless
the subjects does control a perception that is something like the one
he or she is instructed to control.
   
I suspect there would be little disagreement with this among readers of CSGnet. But Rick's request for me to comment was in the context of demonstrating to the wider world that tracking studies are a good model of all behaviour, including behaviour in standard psychological experiments, so I'm taking a Devil's Advocate position in what follows.

------------Devil's Advocacy starts here--------------

If one starts by asserting that the subjects in the experiment are controlling a perception such as that they are following the experimenter's instructions, one has missed a few steps. But since this paragraph was actually a response within a CSGnet discussion, it's not the same as an exposition to the unwashed.

   

It is true that most experimenters to do not
attempt to disturb this perception to determine if it is in fact being
controlled.
     

No, they disturb the perception that the subject is instructed to
control.

The "stimulus" in a "stimulus-response" experiment always influences a potentially large number of perceptions, some of which may be being controlled by the subject. One of the aspects of a "clean" experiment is that the experimenter tries to set it up so that only one controlled perception is disturbed by the stimulus. (Parenthetically, I think this is why so few lab studies provide results that can be generalized to the real world).

Usually, the experiment itself provides "The Test" for the controlled variable, because if the subject's output did not correlate with the disturbance supplied by the experimenter, the experimenter would probably conclude either that the subject did not perceive the stimulus or that the subject was not following instructions. If the subject's output correlates well with the stimulus, then at least the experimenter has reason to believe the subject was following instructions. If the subject's output correlates only moderately with the stimulus, the experimenter might conclude that the subject was erratically following instructions or, more probably, that the subject found the stimulus hard to perceive reliably (which would be the actual reason for doing the experiment if it were a psychophysical study).

But again, it's hard to see how this kind of analysis would lead a classical psychologist or anyone else to see that a simple tracking study provides a model for all behaviour, or for the behaviour within the experiment.

In the reaction time task, for example, the onset of the tone
disturbs the perception of responding when the tone comes on; the
subject controls this perception (compensates for the tone being on
without the press) by pressing the key after the tone comes on. If
the subject is not controlling for pressing the key when the tone
comes on (and not pressing when the tone is not on) then he subject
will not press the key when the tone comes on.

I don't think a S-R psychologist would disagree with this. Such a psychologist might use different language, for example "In a reaction time study, the subject knows that the button shouldn't be pushed until the tone comes on, so he primes the response to occur only after the stimulus, and as soon after as possible." The problem is to change the the mindset that leads to the language, but changing the mindset isn't done by changing the language.

So the existence of a
controlled variable is a sine qua non of behavioral experiments.

But an S-R psychologist might not follow the logic to get to this claim, even if she might accept the control language in the quoted paragraph. I suspect that the most probable response to this claim would be along the lines of "You have said that you can describe what happens in this experiment in terms of controlled perceptions, and I agree that you can. But there's an awfully long step between showing that you can do so in this case and showing that you can't analyze even this case without analyzing the controlled perceptions, let alone showing that you can't analyze any behavioural experiment without dealing with controlled variables".

Again, I come back to the context of your request for me to comment on your message, that it is part of how you would get the wider world to see tracking experiments as a paradigm for all experiments, and for all behaviour.

But,
of course, it is never "the point" of these experiments and, as you
say, there is never any effort made to identify exactly what
perception each subject is actually controlling. Doing that would be
one way that research aimed at understanding control would differ from
conventional research aimed at discovering causal relationships
between variables.
   
I think you make a false dichotomy. Even within a complete PCT framework, not all research is aimed at understanding control, or even at determining what variables are being controlled at any one moment (despite that you have often claimed the contrary). Within a completely S-R framework, not all research is aimed at discovering causal relationships. Within either framework, the structure is often assumed, and the research is aimed at elucidating the properties of structural elements. That's why we map models of control units onto the results of human tracking. The model's structure is assumed, and the parameters altered to optimize the fit to what the human does. Research "aimed at understanding control" can go hand in hand with research "aimed at understanding the components of particular control systems".

Referring back to what I said earlier, if the subject's output correlates poorly with the disturbance, and the experimenter has every reason to believe that the subject is attempting to follow instructions, then the experimenter has good grounds to argue that the subject has difficulty perceiving the "stimulus|disturbance", whether the experimenter is a thoroughgoing PCT researcher or a thoroughgoing S-R psychologist. The analysis of how well the subject perceives the stimulus is the same in either case. The PCT researcher isn't trying to understand control better, and the S-R researcher isn't trying to discover a causal relationship. Both are trying to discover the properties of a signal path -- in the one case it's a component path in a control loop, in the other a component path in a one-way signal flow.

It's not clear to me how this addresses the public relations question of showing how tracking studies offer a model for understanding all experiments.

   

That, however, would not seem to make the data gathered
completely useless. If I administer a Raven's Progressive Matrices test to a
group of subjects, are you saying that the scores tell me nothing if I do
not realize that the subjects are hierarchical control systems? That seems
extreme, to say the very least.
     

I wouldn't say it tells you nothing. But it doesn't tell you much
about what the subject is controlling for, which might be something
you would want to know if your job was to teach someone how to do this
task.

Yes, if you are convinced of the PCT framwork, that's a question you might ask. How would you convince someone who had heard of PCT but was a bit sceptical about its value outside the tracking world that they ought to want to know what the subject was controlling for? Why would they need to know anything more than "the subject is trying to do what is asked"? Yes, we might see that statement as synonymous with "the subject is controlling for a perception that the experimenter perceives that I am following instructions", but how do you persuade someone that some such circumlocution is preferable to "trying to do what I asked him to do"?

Also, I come again to the proposition that in most experiments, the experiment is set up to perform "The Test" for the controlled variable whether the experimenter realizes it or not, in that the experimental presentation offers a disturbance to the presumed controlled variable, and the experimenter sets it up so that the subject can perceive that variable (unless the experiment is to determine how well the subject can perceive it), and determines the degree to which the subject controls for maintaining that variable near its reference level in the presence of disturbances. The experimenter may not know that "The Test" exists, but in most cases it's pretty clear that if The Test would fail, the experimenter wouldn't be very happy with the experimental results.

Again, it's not clear how this helps to persuade anyone of the analogy value of tracking studies.

Perhaps not worthless but certainly misleading. If the experimenter
doesn't know what the subject is actually controlling for in an
experiment the interpretation of what the subject is doing can be
quite far off base. See, for example, consider my demo of the
"Economic Control" at
http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Economics.html. If the
experimenter didn't know that the subject was _controlling_ for
caloric intake _and_ for staying within budget then he/she would
conclude that, in the "Poor Man" situation, increases in the cost of
bread cause an increase in demand for bread.

Let's consider what a non-control (or at least a not overtly control) analysis might say (remember, I'm trying to be a Devil's Advocate). If you have a limited budget, and you must eat, you will eat as much of what you prefer as you can afford (unless its unhealthy to eat so much "meat" and you don't want to get sick), and fill up on the less preferred food. If your less preferred food gets more expensive, you won't be able to afford as much of it, so you have to buy more of the other if you are to stave off starvation.

I recognize that if you already think in terms of controlled variables, it's the same analysis, but it doesn't sound as though it is. It sounds like a classical linear programming optimization problem, and the point of the demo is to show that you must use a control analysis to account for the effect. (Incidentally the demo on your web site really does make it look like a linear programming problem -- at least it does to me).

If the only experiments you are interested in involve tracking, I can see
why you dismiss most behavioral science as uninteresting. Of course, you may
be right. Maybe everything we need to know can be found in tracking
experiments. That certainly makes one's reading list much more manageable.
     

Tracking tasks are simply a nice way to see all the connections in
closed loop behavior.

Yes, they are.

  I see the behavior in all experiments as being
closed loop, the same as that in the tracking task.

Yes, you have PCT thoroughly embedded in your thinking, and you do see that. In fact, understanding PCT, you see all behaviour, not just behaviour in experiments, as being closed loop, whether the behaving organism is a human or a bacterium. But the people you are trying to convince don't think that way, so they don't (yet) "see the behavior in all experiments as being closed loop, the same as that in the tracking task." The problem at hand is how you get them to see it that way.

But unlike in the
tracking task it is harder to see the components of the closed loop in
a conventional experiment, particularly the controlled variable.

And sometimes the problem shows its other face, where "it is harder to see the components of the closed loop in [any] experiment, [because of concentrating only on] the controlled variable." That's a problem that may bedevil someone who sees the controlled variable as the blindingly important component of the control loop, hiding all the other components in the glare of its importance.

  For
example, I see the classical conditioning experiment as closed loop.
The controlled variable (CV) is the viscosity of the bolus in the
mouth; this variable is equivalent to the cursor in the compensatory
tracking task. The disturbance is the food powder (US) placed in the
mouth; this is equivalent to the computer generated disturbance to the
cursor in the tracking task. The output is salivation (UR) which is
equivalent to mouse movement in the tracking task.
   
I guess you could test this hypothesis by disturbing the viscosity of the bolus in some way unrelated to the US. If all you want to do in an experiment is to discover the controlled variable, you would have to do that. But it's not usually what interests someone in a conditioning experiment. They might, perhaps, be interested in how variations in the timing relations between the US and the CS affect the salivation when the CS is later presented alone. Whether the controlled variable is viscosity of the bolus would not be of any interest, whether the experiment was conducted within a PCT or an S-R framework. In the PCT framework, it would suffice to say that the controlled variable is something disturbed by the US. Later, when looking for a physiological mechanism for the conditioning effect, it might become important to identify some controlled variable that is disturbed by both the US and the CS, since if the CS actually disturbed the primary variable disturbed by the US (call it "viscosity of the bolus"), the CS would itself be a US, invalidating the conditioning study no matter what paradigm it was run under.

The conditioning part of classical conditioning is probably a result
of reorganization. I see from the Manchester Conference Program that
Bill Powers is scheduled to give a talk on reorganization and
classical conditioning so maybe he will have a model of the process by
that time. I'm working on such a model myself so it will be
interesting to see what we come up with independently.

All of what you say makes sense within the PCT world. None of it, to my mind, comes anywhere near close to suggesting why a person unfamiliar with PCT should be expected to see a tracking study as an analogue of going to vote for a particular candidate or of any classical psychological experiment such as the Milgram study in which people were induced to torture strangers (or at least to think that's what they were doing). And that's the problem at issue that you asked me to address in this response. There has to be some kind of smooth progression of examples that starts with straightforward pursuit tracking and winds up with, say, casting a vote at an election.

Don't ask me how that progression should go, but I think somehow in a series of examples the controlled variable has to shift from the very concrete pursuit tracking of the location of a target matched by the location of a cursor, through compensatory tracking, and then to less concrete targets with less obvious environmental feedback paths. Somewhere along the line, the rubber band, and Bill P's "square circle" demos probably get into the act, but really I have no clue as to how to make the analogy clear to anyone who hasn't been exposed previously to PCT.

Sorry if this sounds negative, but you did ask me to comment in the context of how to get across the correspondence between tracking studies and everyday behaviour or behaviour in "classical" psychological experiments.

Martin

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.0737 EDT)]

[Martin Taylor 2010.03.18.17.21] to RM

All of what you say makes sense within the PCT world. None of it, to my mind, comes anywhere near close to suggesting why a person unfamiliar with PCT should be expected to see a tracking study as an analogue of going to vote for a particular candidate or of any classical psychological experiment such as the Milgram study in which people were induced to torture strangers (or at least to think that’s what they were doing).

BG: That is the point I was trying to make much less clearly. You can see any experiment as a control experiment, but that does not mean that the rest of the world will be impressed enough to adopt a control-centered perspective. Such a shift would more likely be the result of a demonstration that the PCT model leads to unexpected results. For example, suppose the rate if learning of paired-associates was treated as a measure of the rate of intrinsic reorganization. If tracking behavior by the same subject was fit by a model with the same reorganization rate, that would be, I should think, a pretty impressive demonstration. (Unfortunately the rates of learning of paired associates depends on things such as the similarity and familiarity of the components of the pair, so the match might prove illusive.)

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (2010.03.19.0853 MDT]

Martin Taylor 2010.03.18.17.21 –

[From Rick Marken
(2010.03.16.2200)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.16.1800
EDT)]

BG: You appear to have a very
restricted view of psychological experiments. In

many experiments the subject would seem to be controlling the
perception

“following the instructions.”
RM: Yes, that’s surely one
perception that is controlled. Indeed, these

instructions ask the subject to control a particular perception,
such

as “press the key when the tone comes
on”.

MT: Usually, the experiment
itself provides “The Test” for the controlled variable, because
if the subject’s output did not correlate with the disturbance supplied
by the experimenter, the experimenter would probably conclude either that
the subject did not perceive the stimulus or that the subject was not
following instructions.

BP: I think Rick’s response to Bruce’s question went off in a somewhat
irrelevant direction, which led to oversimplifications like Bruce’s.
Martin’s comment inspired the following:
Bruce said that in many experiments, the subject could be seen as
controlling the perception “follow the instructions.” I think
we can stipulate that this controlled variable has to be there, or the
experiment would never take place. As Rick said, nothing would happen.
But that’s not the main thing that needs examination. What we need to
examine is the nature of the task the subject is being asked to carry
out, as the subject perceives it. This is the part suggested by Martin,
in saying that simply doing the experiment amounts to a test for the
controlled variable.
Rick suggested the instruction “Press the key when the tone comes
on.” At one level the question is why the subject even tried to do
that. Rick’s answer assumes that the subject decides to follow the
instructions, so then the question becomes, “HOW does the subject do
that?” In other words, when the person tries to comply, what
is the subject controlling?
The tradition answer is that the subject isn’t controlling anything, but
merely responding to a stimulus. OK, let’s say that that is what the
subject is doing. The task, as initially stated, is taken to mean
“Respond by pressing the key whenever the light stimulus
appears.” If the subject is very good at following instructions
exactly, we will observe that when the light comes on, the subject
presses the key. The onset of the light stimulus is followed by a hand
motion in the downward direct that makes the key go down. However, the
experimenter notices that after the first onset of light and the ensuing
motion of the key downward, the apparatus doesn’t register the key press.
He stops the experiment to figure out what’s wrong. After a while he
realizes that the subject isn’t press the key enough: it went down
only half a millimeter, not enough to close the contact. So the
instructions are changed: “When the light goes on, make the key move
downward until you feel it stop moving.”
Now a requirement for a control system has been added to the
task.
Restarting the experiment, the experimenter sees that now when the light
comes on the first time, the subject moves the key downward enough to
close the contacts, and the apparatus records the time of the response as
it should. However, the second time the light comes on, the apparatus
once again fails to record a press. What now?
The answer is immediately clear: the subject’s finger is still on the
key, holding it down and keeping the contact closed. “Well,”
the subject says when the experimenter protests, " you didn’t say I
should stop responding when the light goes off."
The experimenter, rather than simply looking for a better subject who
doesn’t need every last detail explained, sighs and changes the
instructions again. “WHEN THE LIGHT COMES ON – excuse me, when the
light comes on, press the key all the way down until it stops, and
then let the key come back up again.”

Now we have a sequence of different reference states for the same
controlled variable, the position of the key.

The experimenter restarts the experiment. The light comes on. The subject
responds by pressing the key and releasing it. The light is still on, so
the subject presses the key and releases it. The light is still on, so

Returning to the room after regaining his composure, the experimenter
carefully reads the new instructions to the subject, and allows the
subject to read them, too. “When the light is off, do not press the
key down. When the light goes from off to on, press the key down until it
stops and then release the key. Wait for the light to turn off, then wait
for it to turn on again before you respond again.”

Now we see that a program of logical conditions has been specified by the
instructions, and two levels of control: the program level, and the
relationship level.

When you simulate experiments, you find that you have to give the program
instructions in exactly this detailed a way. You can’t assume that
computers have any common sense or that they will interpret the
instructions the same way you do as you’re writing them. If you forget to
specify a logical condition, the simulation will do something unexpected,
or won’t run at all.

When the instructions are laid out completely, we now know exactly what
the task is that the subject is being requested to carry out.

1: light —>

{

 while key not stopped increase pressure on

key

 while key not all the way up, reduce pressure on

key

}

2: while light do nothing

3: go to 1.

If a subject is doing the task correctly, that is the program you will
observe being carried out.

Now what does the subject’s brain have to do to carry out this program?
It has to perceive both the state of the light and the state of the key.
It has to compare some logical function of these states with a reference
state, then compare a second logical function with another reference
state. Its behavior has to be the correct function of the difference
between actual and reference states. It has to do nothing until the state
of the light becomes “off,” after which it has to repeat the
program. We could add an outer program loop which say to keep repeating
these steps until something indicates that the experimental run is
finished.

To make the key go down until it stops, and to let it come up until it
stops again, are clearly lower-level control processes.

And of course the brain has to be capable of executing a program like
this at the higher level.

Control systems at the logic level are required. Of course one could
imagine a system without feedback loops that would depend on all these
states being correctly registered and all the actions being adjusted so
they achieve the required results every time, but if there were any
disturbances – a shift in position of the body, a change in spring
strength under the key, a dimming of the light bulb – the behavior would
change. The control system would be much more reliable. In fact, control
systems are required to carry out the two parts of the instructions in
which a variable has to match a reference state clearly specified in the
instructions.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.1000)]

Bill Powers (2010.03.19.0853 MDT)--

BP: I think Rick's response to Bruce's question went off in a somewhat
irrelevant direction, which led to oversimplifications like Bruce's.

Interesting. So it was my "irrelevant" direction that caused Bruce's
"oversimplifications". I see it a little differently. I think Bruce
is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is dreck that he will
mock in any way he can -- but oversimplification seems to work for him
-- anything I say about it.

Control systems at the logic level are required. Of course one could imagine
a system without feedback loops that would depend on all these states being
correctly registered and all the actions being adjusted so they achieve the
required results every time, but if there were any disturbances -- a shift
in position of the body, a change in spring strength under the key, a
dimming of the light bulb -- the behavior would change.

Yes, the reaction time task you describe could be carried out by an
open-loop system, as per the assumptions of conventional psychology.
But, as you say, it seems more likely that it is being carried out by
a closed-loop system for the reasons you describe, notably the
existence of disturbances, like shifts in body position, that would
require changes in action to keep the same behavior -- key press to
light and not otherwise -- happening. That's been my point: The
behavior in experiments could be open loop, as is assumed by
conventional input-output models (like the General Linear Model), but
it could be closed loop (as in your description of the reaction time
experiment). The appropriate way to decide which model is correct is
to do "the test for the controlled variable" on every conventional
experiment ever done or compare open- and closed-loop models of all
these experiments to see which does better. This seems rather
impractical so what I propose is to 1) to look for evidence, such as
the disturbances that surely exist in all experiments, such as changes
in body position, that the behavior is closed loop and/or 2) compare
an open and closed loop model of one conventional experiment and see
which does better. I plan to do both.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1417 EDT)]

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.1000)]

Bill Powers (2010.03.19.0853 MDT)–

BP: I think Rick’s response to Bruce’s question went off in a somewhat
irrelevant direction, which led to oversimplifications like Bruce’s.

Interesting. So it was my “irrelevant” direction that caused Bruce’s
“oversimplifications”. I see it a little differently. I think Bruce
is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is dreck that he will
mock in any way he can – but oversimplification seems to work for him
– anything I say about it.

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, to think it possible that you might be mistaken.

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1220)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1417 EDT)--

Rick Marken (2010.03.1000)--

I think Bruce
is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is dreck that he will
mock in any way he can -- but oversimplification seems to work for him
-- anything I say about it.

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, to think it possible that you might
be mistaken.

Of course I know I might be mistaken. But there are so many things
about which I might be mistaken here that it's not clear what you are
beseeching me about.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1530 EDT)]

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1220)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1417 EDT)–

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, to think it possible that you might
be mistaken.

Of course I know I might be mistaken. But there are so many things
about which I might be mistaken here that it’s not clear what you are
beseeching me about.

RM: I think Bruce
is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is dreck that he will
mock in any way he can.

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1320)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1530 EDT)--

Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1220)]

Of course I know I might be mistaken. But there are so many things
about which I might be mistaken here that it's not clear what you are
beseeching me about.

RM: I think Bruce is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is
dreck that he will mock in any way he can.

I still don't know what you say I might be mistaken about. Am I
mistaken about my guess that you are controlling? Controlling for
showing PCT as dreck? The spelling of dreck? What?

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com
www.mindreadings.com

[From Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1657 EDT)]

[From Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1320)]

Bruce Gregory (2010.03.19.1530 EDT)–

Rick Marken (2010.03.19.1220)]

Of course I know I might be mistaken. But there are so many things
about which I might be mistaken here that it’s not clear what you are
beseeching me about.

RM: I think Bruce is controlling so strongly for showing the PCT is
dreck that he will mock in any way he can.

I still don’t know what you say I might be mistaken about. Am I
mistaken about my guess that you are controlling? Controlling for
showing PCT as dreck? The spelling of dreck? What?

You really are clueless, aren’t you? No wonder debating with you is like arguing with a dining room table. Maybe Bill can explain it to you. You always listen to him.

Bruce