The switching or the mixing function (memory).

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2006.03.26,13:35 EUST)]

I
am still working with Martin’s World Model. Now I have lent P.E.Wellstead ……:Self.Yuning
Systems.

Today
I ask myself the question why Martin and other needed a World Model. From
Martin’s mails I imagine his answer is something like this: “ We need a model
that predicts an imagined result in such a way that we can perceive it without
any disturbances from the World out there”.

I
will continue with the World Model, but now I will make a step aside.

Basis
for my thoughts.

We use and understand the PCT loop as a reflex loop, as a composite loop
representing many loops and as a human composite loop representing general
human behavior. The loop is a model we use to explain how human control
different variables.

In a human brain there are a lot of loops, thousands and maybe thousands.

I
have asked myself the question: “How is the state of the loops we don’t control?”
And I have got answers like: “They are always functioning”.

Since most of the feedback loops are negative, the normal state, if no
disturbances are affecting, of the loops will have a zero error state.

My
thoughts that I appreciate somebody comment.

The
switches don’t exist as a mixing function. We don’t need a model of a switching
or mixing function. We neither need a World Model. The switches and the mixing functions are our awareness. When
we are aware of perceptions representing disturbances and feedback signals from
the world out there, we are in control mode. When we are aware of perceptions
that are not affected of disturbances, we are in remembering mode.

In
the same way as we are able to control different variables in real time control
we are also able to control different variables in remembering mode. Then we
control our perceptions in the imagination mode.

When
we are conscious but don’t control neither in control mode nor in remembering/imagination
mode we are in passive observation mode.

A
reason why our perceptions in remembering or in imagination mode are more vague
is a result of no effect from disturbances. When disturbances affect our sensory
cells, the perceptual signals are different from the zero error state. And our ability to perceive something is affected
by the degree the perceptions are different from perceptions in zero error
state.

Has
anybody anything to say?

Bjorn

[From Bryan Thalhammer (2006.03.26.0845 CST)]

Hi Bjorn,

I read through this note, but no longer have the previous ones. I noted a couple of things.

"imagined result" and "without any disturbances from the World": Well, I wonder what that result is, a perception of a standard or principle, a perception of an output, or a perception of the current state of disturbances. Not that any of those is correct according to the theory, but that they are possibly misunderstandings by you, by me, or by a non-PCT reader of that paragraph. Looking at this, there seems to be an unintended end-point suggested, that a result is the end of a train of events, rather than the current state of some perception of something. Just a thought here, the language leads us into cause-effect, serialized depictions of the cycle of control. Then the thing about disturbances kinda bothers me. Control of perception puts outputs control behavior into the environment of control systems which turns into energies and patterns that flow into the environment and back at the controller as disturbances. I don't think that there can be a dearth of disturbances if you are alive, if you are controlling perceptions. And it could be that perception is well neigh impossible without disturbances (at least that things change in time), since they may form the basis of the perception of time itself or the motivation to continue to perceive in a Hume-like way, looking for that black swan.

The loop, the reflex loop, etc. You know, just as above there is a reflexive relationship between perception and disturbance, there is a relationship between any control system and its environment. What powers the loop? What drives the reference signal, the perceptual signal? How does the output signal get its uuumph to drive into the environment (including down to other control systems as well as ballistic events)? I think that it is a matter of the living part of the description living control system, where the molecule with a status quo complex (DNA-RNA) uses anything it can to preserve the barrier between replication and the destructive environment. Yes, the model needs to include what gives it the ummph, but I am not sure how.

I like that answer, "they are always working" since it has to be that way, if we can remember (as in the movie Tin Drum) all the way back to before being born. Neuron-based perceptual control suggests that once formed, memories (or in our explanation) control systems, never go away unless destroyed. What is their state? There, but not outputting much on their own, being only conduits for waves of reference settings, other outputs, and reference signals. Let there be a disturbance within the perceptual signal that differs from the reference setting from above, and they send output signals.

I believe that all control systems are negative feedback loops, but positive feedback is an artifact of competing control systems within living control systems and within competing living control systems. Positive feedback is not what control systems want, since the result of positive feedback is either the sequestration or destruction of a control system that "loses" in competition. So positive feedback is part of reorganization?

I am not sure about switches or the mixing function, not sure where that comes from, so I need better definitions by the source of those ideas, or I need to let that go. However, the notion of a need for a world model? I think that the statement "always there, always working" is a good starting point. I am not so sure that we can say "when we are aware" since that means being turned on or off like a self-deterministic machine like Mr. Data of Trek, or HAL of 2001 Space Odyssey. Once controlling, always controlling, until an untimely accident (we almost always think that is untimely). As well, the world model should include the notion that control, I mean the real notion of control, never comes into being--it only dies. A parent cell passes its control directly to its daughter cells during mitosis, and even in sexual reproduction, the new individual's control never really "starts," it is only passed on in a little gift box of haploid molecules during meiosis. I am not sure that gametes can control, but they seem to, based on the tough cell wall of the egg and the outputs of the sperm during approach to and burrowing into the egg. But for sure, perceptual control in living control systems never "starts" only keeps going on until an accident occurs.

I would argue about being in "modes." Either you control or you are dead. That goes for control systems as well as living control systems. Speaking about modes violates the parsimonious explanation of PCT. If the perceptual signal and reference signal are consonant, well, the output to that control system's environment of other control systems and ballistic events is not going to be significant.

Action vs. imagination. I don't see those as two different modes. As I understand it, higher level output signals drill down to the environment through other control systems until energies are put forth into the physical (ballistic) environment, right? So, as I wrote above, if a reference signal from above is not significant, the wave peeters out, and a good idea remains just that, an idea that can be manipulated, but never results in a hand gesture, action or physical effect. I think that we experience that every day. A TV program is boring or annoying, but we just don't press the clicker. An approaching person almost grazes a cup of tea on our table in a caf�, but doesn't, and we are milliseconds close to protecting the cup, but we stop. An annoying email arrives and we almost click the reply button, but don't. We remember a piece of music, even track it for a few bars in memory, but we don't break out in song... All of that stuff.

Imagination or thinking is not a result of there being more or fewer disturbances, I think. It is a matter of there being not enough error (???) between reference and perception signals to have a strong enough output to set different reference levels of lower level control systems.

"the degree the perceptions are different from perceptions in zero error state" I don't think that perceptual signals are any different because they differ from the reference signals compared with them. The ERROR signal is greatly different when a perceptual signal is not consonant with its matching reference.

So, after all that palaver, for which I beg patience, I think that the issue is that we are still subjectively describing disturbances.

Disturbance happens all the time. It is only a matter of interest (if one can say that) to the control system when the perceptual signal is not consonant with the reference. But remember, control systems do not sense or control disturbances. All they do is compare two signals and output an error signal to their respective environments. Disturbances affect perceptual signals, not sensory cells unless the disturbance is so great that it destroys the sensory cells, as in an explosion or large foot coming down from the sky.

Bjorn, again, I am just reacting, and I may not be right, but perhaps this is some help to you.

Cheers,

--Bryan

Bj�rn Simonsen wrote:

···

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2006.03.26,13:35 EUST)]

I am still working with Martin�s World Model. Now I have lent P.E.Wellstead ��:Self.Yuning Systems.

Today I ask myself the question why Martin and other needed a World Model. From Martin�s mails I imagine his answer is something like this: � We need a model that predicts an imagined result in such a way that we can perceive it without any disturbances from the World out there�.

I will continue with the World Model, but now I will make a step aside.

Basis for my thoughts.

1. We use and understand the PCT loop as a reflex loop, as a composite loop representing many loops and as a human composite loop representing general human behavior. The loop is a model we use to explain how human control different variables.

2. In a human brain there are a lot of loops, thousands and maybe thousands.

I have asked myself the question: �How is the state of the loops we don�t control?� And I have got answers like: �They are always functioning�.

3. Since most of the feedback loops are negative, the normal state, if no disturbances are affecting, of the loops will have a zero error state.

My thoughts that I appreciate somebody comment.

The switches don�t exist as a mixing function. We don�t need a model of a switching or mixing function. We neither need a World Model. _/The switches and the mixing functions are our awareness/_. When we are aware of perceptions representing disturbances and feedback signals from the world out there, we are in control mode. When we are aware of perceptions that are not affected of disturbances, we are in remembering mode.

In the same way as we are able to control different variables in real time control we are also able to control different variables in remembering mode. Then we control our perceptions in the imagination mode.

When we are conscious but don�t control neither in control mode nor in remembering/imagination mode we are in passive observation mode.

A reason why our perceptions in remembering or in imagination mode are more vague is a result of no effect from disturbances. When disturbances affect our sensory cells, the perceptual signals are different from the zero error state. And our ability to perceive something is affected by the degree the perceptions are different from perceptions in zero error state.

Has anybody anything to say?

Bjorn

Re: The switching or the mixing function
(memory).
[Martin Taylor 2006.03.26.10.56]

[From Bjorn
Simonsen (2006.03.26,13:35 EUST)]

I am still working
with Martin’s World Model. Now I have lent P.E.Wellstead
ŠŠ:Self.Yuning Systems.

Today I ask myself
the question why Martin and other needed a World Model. From
Martin’s mails I imagine his answer is something like this: " We
need a model that predicts an imagined result in such a way that we
can perceive it without any disturbances from the World out
there".

Not at all. It has nothing to do with disturbances. It has to do
with the likely effects of choosing different courses of action. Do I
take the bike or the car? My World model tells me that if I take the
bike I must start earlier or I’ll be late, that if I take the car I
won’t get the benefit of exercise or fresh air or the feel of the
scenery, that if I take the bike I can go along the path along the
river and enjoy the quiet whereas if I take the car I’ll be stuck in
smelly traffic on the highway, etc. etc.

The probable perceived consequences (perceptions resulting from
actions) don’t have much to do with disturbances, because the World
Model at any one level has been “self-tuned” by situations
in which control at the lower levels is pretty effective. Of course,
when a behavious is executed in the real world (one actually has taken
the bike or the car), the resulting perceptions are subject to
disturbances which may be outside the range of control. Imagination
doesn’t always correspond to reality!

Basis for my
thoughts.

  1. We use and
    understand the PCT loop as a reflex loop, as a composite loop
    representing many loops and as a human composite loop representing
    general human behavior. The loop is a model we use to explain how
    human control different variables.

OK.

  1. In a human brain
    there are a lot of loops, thousands and maybe
    thousands.
    I have asked myself
    the question: “How is the state of the loops we don’t control?”
    And I have got answers like: “They are always
    functioning”.

Thogh most of them are broken, in the sense that they don’t
generate action in the real world, and so are not, at that moment,
functioning as loops. So far as we know, though, there are no such
limitations on the number of loops acting only through imagination.
Nor, put more broadly, is there any known limitation on the number of
loops that exist only within the brain, not using the peripheral
nervous system or the musculature.

The words “loops we don’t control” are puzzling. In
what sense do we ever “control” a loop? Do you mean that we
are changing its parameters or its structure in order to make it more
efficient (i.e. that we are reorganizing in a way that concerns this
particular loop)? I haven’t seen reorganization characterized in this
way, though it’s certainly a feasible proposition. How do you see it
operating – specifically, what property of the loop would the system
that controls it be able to perceive in order to control the
loop?

  1. Since most of
    the feedback loops are negative, the normal state, if no disturbances
    are affecting, of the loops will have a zero error
    state.

In PCT, a control loop never has zero error in the presence of
disturbance, even when a single elementary control system (ECS) is
considered by itself.

If there is more than one ECS in the complex system, the
possibility of conflict exists. Conflict means it is not possible that
all the ECSs have zero error. If there are more active ECSs than
degrees of freedom at the bottleneck in the common pathways (in
zoological systems including humans, that’s at the muscular output),
then conflict is certain to exist and zero error is impossible to
achieve, even in the absence of disturbance.

The switches
don’t exist as a mixing function. We don’t need a model of a
switching or mixing function. We neither need a World Model. The
switches and the mixing functions are our
awareness
.

Strange. If I understand you correctly, you say we don’t need
these things (presumably you mean as theoretical constructs; whether
we need them in reality is something we can’t know – yet). Then you
go on to say that althoguh we don’t need them, we have them, and
define where we have them. You aren’t actually contradicting yourself,
but you are saying we use stuff we don’t need. It may be so, but it’s
not the Accam’s razor solution. If we don’t need them, we don’t need
them, period. And if we don’t need them, why should we then have
them?

When we are
aware of perceptions representing disturbances and feedback signals
from the world out there, we are in control mode.

??

Surely we are in control mode when our actions are countering the
perceptual effects of external disturbances. What does this have to do
with being aware of the controlled perceptions? Typically, it’s the
perceptions that we are least aware of that are under the best
control, no?

When we are
aware of perceptions that are not affected of disturbances, we are in
remembering mode.

?? I don’t really understand what you mean here. I can certainly
remember lots of things, and those memories may not be affected by
current disturbances. But there are other perceptions not affected by
current disturbances. They may be composed of remembered elements but
are not themselves memories. If you are capable of mental imagery (not
everyone is), I bet you can imagine a green elephant with star-shaped
purple patches walking in your hometown main street. And I’ll bet you
never saw such a thing in real life. And I’ll further suggest that
this perception is not a memory, nor is it affected by current
disturbances.

In the same way as
we are able to control different variables in real time control we are
also able to control different variables in remembering mode. Then we
control our perceptions in the imagination mode.

Yes. That’s where the World model comes in, to allow that to
happen. I just don’t follow your use of the word “Then”. I
think imagination uses memory, but is more than memory.

When we are
conscious but don’t control neither in control mode nor in
remembering/imagination mode we are in passive observation
mode.

Yes, but it doesn’t need to have anything to do with being
conscious. The same thing presumably happens with perceptions of which
we are not conscious. That’s harder to prove directly, since changes
in uncontrolled perceptions don’t evoke externally detectable actions,
but it would be required in most versions of PCT, including the
classic hierarchy.

Subjectively, you can observe it. I’m sure you have been in a
room and have heard a fan or some other noise switch off, even though
you had not been consciously hearing it when it was steady.
Retrospectively, you heard the last few seconds before the switch-off.
Surely that was a sound you were passively, but not consciously,
observing all along. It’s most unlikely that your passive observation
started three seconds before the fan switched off. Hard to prove
experimentally, though.

A reason why our
perceptions in remembering or in imagination mode are more vague is a
result of no effect from disturbances.

Why?

When
disturbances affect our sensory cells, the perceptual signals are
different from the zero error state. And our ability to perceive
something is affected by the degree the perceptions are different from
perceptions in zero error state.

Why?

Both these assertions are simply that – assertions. Why would
anyone expect that our ability to perceive something is affected by
the level of error? That assertion is certainly in direct
contradiction to the normal assumptions of PCT. I thnk such an
assertion needs some kind of evidence or demonstration of theoretical
superiority (by that, I mean that it has to be shown to predict data
better than normal PCT does).

Subjectively, it is true that those things of which we tend to be
conscious are those that we have difficulty controlling, together with
those from which or to which we may be soon switching control when we
are time-multiplexing. But that’s just the conscious representation.
What this suggests to me is that consciousness is related to the
switching function. That’s not the same as your thesis that there is
no switching function, its place being taken by consciouslness.

Has anybody
anything to say?

No :slight_smile:

Martin

[From Bjorn
Simonsen (2006.03.27,22:45 EUST)]

[Martin Taylor
2006.03.26.10.56]

Today
I ask myself the question why Martin and

other needed a World Model. From Martin’s mails

I imagine his answer is something like this: " We

need a model that predicts an imagined result in

such a way that we can perceive it without any

disturbances from the World out there".

Not at
all. It has nothing to do with disturbances.

Therefore I
wrote “…without any disturbances from the World out there.”

It has to
do with the likely effects of choosing different

courses of action. Do I take the bike or the car?

My World model tells me that if I take the bike I must

start earlier or I’ll be late, that if I take the car I won’t get

the benefit of exercise or fresh air or the feel of the

scenery, that if I take the bike I can go along the path

along the river and enjoy the quiet whereas if I take the

car I’ll be stuck in smelly traffic on the highway, etc. etc.

Let me start
with your passage above.

If you sit
home and wish to take the bike to your office, you control your perceptions.
You are able to do that because you know the way to office and you know how to
handle a bike. You arrived the office because you had a reference representing
your wish to take the bike to office.

The next day
you sit home and wish to take the car to your office, you control your
perceptions. You are able to do that because you know the way to office and you
know how to drive a car. You arrived the office because you had a reference
representing your wish to take the car to office.

You have a lot
of references.

The third day
sit home and think if you are going to use the bike or the car. Instead of
controlling your perceptions you imagine an predict what to do. Now you
perceive the state of the same loops (nearly the same) you perceived the two
days before. You don’t feel the fresh air and you don’t hear the clarinet
concerto as you felt on your bike and listened to in your car, but you perceive
it.

Why do you
need a World Model?

I have
asked myself the question: "How is the state of the

loops we don’t control?" And I have got answers like:

“They are always functioning”.

Thogh most
of them are broken, in the sense that they

don’t generate action in the real world, and so are not,

at that moment, functioning as loops.

Last time the
loops were affected by disturbances, the negative feedback formed the
perceptual signal like the reference signal (no conflict). This is the zero
error state of most of the loops in the brain. When you in imagination mode “visit” some of these loops, you perceive
the controlled variables valued like the reference. Isn’t this possible?

The words
“loops we don’t control” are puzzling. In what

sense do we ever “control” a loop?

Of course we
don’t control a loop. It was a short cut. We control perceptions either formed
because we wish to perceive something, or because disturbances in the
environment formed a perception different from the actual reference value.

Do you
mean that we are changing its parameters or its

structure in order to make it more efficient (i.e. that we

are reorganizing in a way that concerns this particular loop)?

I haven’t seen reorganization characterized in this way,

though it’s certainly a feasible proposition. How do you

see it operating – specifically, what property of the loop

would the system that controls it be able to perceive in

order to control the loop?

It operates
just as it operates when you control your perceptions. The only difference is
that there are no disturbances. Without disturbances you are imagining.

Since
most of the feedback loops are negative, the

normal state, if no disturbances are affecting, of the

loops will have a zero error state.

In PCT, a
control loop never has zero error in the

presence of disturbance, even when a single elementary

control system (ECS) is considered by itself.

Yes, I know. It was a shortcut from me again.
I meant that the error is so small that no muscles contract and no glands secrete.
No actions.

The
switches don’t exist as a mixing function. We

don’t need a model of a switching or mixing function.
We neither need a World Model. _*The
switches and

the mixing functions are our awareness*_.

Strange.
If I understand you correctly, you say we don’t
need these things (presumably you mean as theoretical
constructs; whether we need them in reality is something
we can’t know – yet). Then you go on to say that althoguh
we don’t need them, we have them, and define where we
have them. You aren’t actually contradicting yourself, but
you are saying we use stuff we don’t need. It may be so,
but it’s not the Accam’s razor solution. If we don’t need
them, we don’t need them, period. And if we don’t need
them, why should we then have them?

Yes, I think
upon the switches as theoretical constructs. I have tried to understand how a
loop could be cut from lower levels in imagination mode.

I think our awareness
is a Accam’s razor solution.

Let me repeat.
We perceive our controlled variables always in the same way.

When we are aware
of perceptions affected by disturbances, we control our perceptions.

When we are
aware of perceptions not affected by disturbances we remember or imagine
something.

All
perceptions we are not aware of are in zero error state and we call it passive
observation mode.

Please let me come back to the rest of your
mail later. Thank you for your comments.

Bjorn

Re: The switching or the mixing function
(memory).
[Martin Taylor 2006.03.27.17.56]

(Somehow this got lost in the stack of e-mails I have been
answering – among other things, but I think it may be still relevant.
Sorry).

[From Bjorn
Simonsen (2006.03.27,22:45 EUST)]
[Martin Taylor
2006.03.26.10.56]

Today I ask
myself the question why Martin and

other needed a World Model. From Martin’s mails

I imagine his answer is something like this: " We

need a model that predicts an imagined result in

such a way that we can perceive it without any

disturbances from the World out
there".

Not at all. It
has nothing to do with disturbances.

Therefore I wrote
“Šwithout any disturbances from the World out
there.”

And I meant that whether there are disturbances from the outer
world or not is irrelevant. Whether they are there or not has
absolutley nothing to do with the World Model.

It has to do
with the likely effects of choosing different

courses of action. Do I take the bike or the car?

My World model tells me that if I take the bike I must

start earlier or I’ll be late, that if I take the car I won’t
get

the benefit of exercise or fresh air or the feel of the

scenery, that if I take the bike I can go along the path

along the river and enjoy the quiet whereas if I take the

car I’ll be stuck in smelly traffic on the highway, etc.
etc.

Let me start with
your passage above.

The third day sit
home and think if you are going to use the bike or the car. Instead of
controlling your perceptions you imagine an predict what to do. Now
you perceive the state of the same loops (nearly the same) you
perceived the two days before. You don’t feel the fresh air and you
don’t hear the clarinet concerto as you felt on your bike and
listened to in your car, but you perceive it.
Why do you need a
World Model?

You’ve just described quite nicely its operation! If you didn’t
have a World model, all you would be able to do would be to remember
what happened. You wouldn’t be able to imagine yourself being there
and (in the car) hearinga piano concerto instead of a clarinet
concerto, or reacting to being cut off, which didn’t happen yesterday
… or, on the bike, what you would do if the previous night’s storm
had toppled a tree across the path. Controlling in imagination through
the World Model lets you do all of that.

I have
asked myself the question: "How is the state of the

loops we don’t control?" And I have got answers like:

“They are always functioning”.
Thogh most of
them are broken, in the sense that they

don’t generate action in the real world, and so are not,

at that moment, functioning as loops.
Last time the loops
were affected by disturbances, the negative feedback formed the
perceptual signal like the reference signal (no conflict). This is the
zero error state of most of the loops in the brain. When you in
imagination mode “visit” some of these loops, you perceive the
controlled variables valued like the reference. Isn’t this
possible?

You can, but you aren’t then controlling, are you? You are just
imagining a state.

The words
“loops we don’t control” are puzzling. In what

sense do we ever “control” a loop?
Of course we
don’t control a loop. It was a short cut. We control perceptions
either formed because we wish to perceive something, or because
disturbances in the environment formed a perception different from the
actual reference value.

OK, I understand the short cut. But if we are controlling, it
doesn’t matter at all whether the “disturbances in the environment formed a perception
different from the actual reference value”. Control
doesn’t stop just because the disturbance value is momentarily
zero.

In PCT, a
control loop never has zero error in the

presence of disturbance, even when a single elementary

control system (ECS) is considered by itself.

Yes, I know. It was
a shortcut from me again. I meant that the error is so small that no
muscles contract and no glands secrete. No
actions.

That’s not right. What you ought to mean is that the current action
doesn’t need to be changed. But since we are dealing with a
multi-level dynamic system, “no-change” at one level almost
always means continuous change at another.

The
switches don’t exist as a mixing function. We

don’t need a model of a switching or mixing function.
We neither need a World Model. The switches and
the mixing functions are our
awareness
.
Strange.
If I understand you correctly, you say we don’t

need these things (presumably you mean as theoretical

constructs; whether we need them in reality is something

we can’t know – yet). Then you go on to say that althoguh

we don’t need them, we have them, and define where we

have them. You aren’t actually contradicting yourself, but

you are saying we use stuff we don’t need. It may be so,

but it’s not the Accam’s razor solution. If we don’t need

them, we don’t need them, period. And if we don’t need

them, why should we then have them?

Yes, I think upon
the switches as theoretical constructs. I have tried to understand how
a loop could be cut from lower levels in imagination
mode.
I think our
awareness is a Accam’s razor solution.

I think it’s a “dormitive principle” in the theory.
Yes, we have conscious awareness of a small proportion of the
perceptions we control at any moment. And we can be conscious of
imagined perceptions, too.

Let me repeat. We
perceive our controlled variables always in the same
way.
When we are aware
of perceptions affected by disturbances, we control our
perceptions.

As we do when we are not aware of the perceptions we control that
are also affected by disturbances.

When we are aware
of perceptions not affected by disturbances we remember or imagine
something.
All perceptions we
are not aware of are in zero error state and we call it passive
observation mode.

No! No! No!

When you are standing or walking, are you aware of the
perceptions of every muscle tension? You are aware of only a tiny
proportion of the perceptions you are controlling

Please let me come
back to the rest of your mail later. Thank you for your
comments.

Martin

[From Bryan Thalhammer (2006.03.30.0810 CST)]

[Bjorn Simonsen (2006.03.27,12:40 EUST)]

Bjorn, sorry not to write back so soon. I am up to my ears...

However, I want to comment on the disturbance thing and on the power thing.

Disturbance. I don't think that we can conceive of imagination or action unless the disturbance comes into them. Of course in action, simplifying the cycle of control, yes, it goes out into the environment, and back in as perceptual signals, part of which are disturbances, or the signals have been shaped somehow by disturbances. However, of any higher level control system, its environment includes lower level control systems that allow imagination to depict (?) secuence, configuration, intensities, etc. without ever mucking around outside of the living control system. Or... perhaps not. I am extremely envious of those who can concentrate (buddhists, for example) their focus. Mozart was able to imagine or organize a piece of music and then write it down from memory. Yikes, that is imagination. Yet, a disturbance can interfere with the imagination, and thereby end it, pause it, permit a change in direction, or obliterate it. So imagination keeps disturbances at bay, for the goal of a person's imagination to be reached. What is that? Well, nothing more than what we do every day via actions. So I think that the disturbance thing may not be so.

Power thing. I asked, what powers the thing. I appreciate your restatement of the previous post, where, yes, error reduction is the driver. Also "This neural current passes a first level loop. The axon has many branches and some branches lead the neural current to higher levels (copies). The perceptual signal is led to comparators and errors are formed. The output signal is a part of reference signals at lower levels. I think the energy in the input quantity at the lowest level is one part that drives the perceptual signals and reference signals."

However, I think that survival is the thing that powers control. From unicellular organisms to social creatures, the need to survive (withstand disturbances perhaps) includes all the above.

I recall Bill or Gary saying that the analysis of control is asking questions. For questions of why, you look above to higher levels, and for questions of how, you look below to lower levels. If indeed there is a strictly hierarchical organization, which I tend to doubt. The biochemical level (energies, metabolism, hormones, etc.) is part of the living control system just as the higher level control system is. I don't want to get into a 12th level debate, or an infinite regress to some primal cause, but the question I was asking was about was not especially the biochemical part, but the carrot on the stick part, or the thing that makes an organism keep trying. Look for the ultimate why leads to survival, which in social creatures includes the three top levels described in HPCT, system image, principles and programs--and probably the whole hierarchy, too.

So you say, reference settings, error, and perhaps disturbances drive a control system. "As soon as a new disturbance is sensed by your sensory cells, energy from the environment is reversed to a neural current defined as the number of impulses pushing through a cross section of all parallel redundant fibres in a given bundle per unit of time. This represents energy you don�t find in the loops when they have a zero error state."

We don't sense disturbances, that is clear, but we do control for perceptions so they are in line with the reference settings we maintain. But the notions of competing control systems here (glass of water vs. steering wheel, accelerator and brakes) and what error we can tolerate. I have once thought of having a Royal Crown Cola while driving, but since I didn't have one there and probably would not be able to find that brand except in a retro food store, I banished the thought and resumed controlling for maintaining proper lane position, speed and distance from other cars. I reset the reference setting in the old RC Cola control system, not that there was any error there.

But in my momentary survival (maintaining a barrier between me and other, more destructive things) there are higher level systems like system image, principles, programs, and some others that deal with proximity. One of those that could figure into survival might have been RC Cola, but that was discredited, and other things like maintaining proper distance from other cars has been supported through constant usage.

So I think that the thing that powers control loops is the need for survival, that has been elaborated along personal, social and the interplay between those two.

Thanks!

--Bryan

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