Tetradedonic reorganization; Not to despir

[From Bill Powers (931025.0900 MDT)]

Hal Pepinski (931025.0730) --

No reorganization is not simply random. Yes it is within your
model, but in another realm of definition of control, it takes

Reorganization itself -- that is, the creative experimental act
of change -- is random, in that it is not guided by any preset
algorithm or principle and is not predictable. If it weren't
random, it couldn't produce anything new. By itself it does not
constitute control, but only change. The other aspect of
reorganization, however, the part that turns it into a control
process, is a selection process which determines what becomes of
the new randomly-altered or created organization.

The criteria of selection are built into the human organism. We
experience them as the inexplicable values that we put on certain
basic perceptions: the badness of pain-signals, the goodness of
pleasure-signals, the deepest satisfactions of art, music, love,
and understanding, and the simplest satisfactions of food,
warmth, sex, and wellness. These fundamental built-in (the
religious would say God-given) criteria are the measures against
which we automatically judge the consequences of any
reorganization. If the outcome of reorganization violates these
basic criteria, we reorganize again, immediately or sooner than
otherwise. We do not stop reorganizing until the new way of being
and acting takes on a form that satisfies the basic criteria.
Other than having to meet that basic requirement, the process of
reorganization is free to produce any new organization at all.

For convenience we treat this whole process as the action of a
"meta-control system." The output of the control system is random
change applied to the learned systems. The perceptual inputs are
"sensors" that detect the states of critical "intrinsic
variables". The built-in criteria are reference signals defining
what states of those variables amount to zero intrinsic error.
And intrinsic error drives the process of random change. This is
the logic of reorganization that makes it something more than
simply random mutation, that brings order out of the randomness.

As it turns out, this process is easy to model in simple
circumstances. Get Gary Cziko to show you the "E. coli"
interactive demonstration. It seems impossible at first that
control can be attained when the output is a purely random
process. When you participate in making such a model operate,
however, the phenomenon turns out to be simple and obvious.

And systematically, people can orient themselves to attain
reorganization which crystallizes across system levels,
fractally, as my theory proposes.

Tsk, tsk, such language. Almost as bad as PCT. Metaphorically,
reorganization does produce a sort of crystallization, a
gathering of random consequences into orderliness, and I suppose
you could use the "fractal" image to refer to the fact that
reorganization takes place in a similar way on many scales from
the global to the detailed, at levels of organization from the
highest to the lowest (even to the molecular level, if you think
about the immune system or the capacity of DNA to mutate).

Sounds like we're still talking about the same things.


Rick Marken (931024.2200) --

It's just that, other than my wife, kids, members of CSG and
Bill Clinton I don't see much reason for optimism about
this species.

Well, let's see: how many people do you actually know very well,
well enough to know for certain how they would react to PCT-like
concepts? That is the universe to which you should compare the
number of people in your family etc. The CSG has 60 members, of
whom you know possibly 40 very well. CSGnet has about 130, of
which you know some smaller number. Suppose the total number of
people you accept into this circle is 100. And to be generous,
suppose that the number of people whose thought-processes you
have explored in any detail is 1000. This means that 10 percent
of the part of the human race of which you know anything worth
mentioning is amenable to clear thinking and able to accept new
ideas. Extrapolating mercilessly, this means that roughly 500
million people are capable of rational and honest thought.

All you have to do is search them out. Ten percent of the human
race is more than enough to save it.

Bill P.