Like Bjorn Simonsen, my attempts to incorporate PCT into my thinking
create many reorganizations in the way I consciously perceive the
As I am presently seeing it, we each have a personal perception of
the world and our actions are based upon this perception (by
perception I'm meaning an internal model that is coded into the
neural network within our brains).
Difficulties arise because the world we are perceiving is subject to
continuous change, and to keep up with these changes we should be
continuously updating our internal model. This we cannot do very
accurately because some of the changes we are not aware of, or, we
are perceiving them incorrectly.
Differences become apparent to us when be carry out an action based
upon our perceived world (as it is represent by our internal model)
and the results are not those we are expecting.
To my mind, PCT is lacking here because it doesn't include the
concept of emotions. A mismatch (or a match) between expectations and
results are signalled to our consciousness through emotions. These
provide the prompts for us to update our internal model either by
obtaining more information or by reorganization of this internal
model - or - make attempts to change elements of the external world.
It is my contention that we actively pursue a strategy of updating or
reorganizing our internal model or changing elements in the external
world because emotions are prompting us to do so. This will continue
until these emotions tell us we can stop.
Another problem I have with PCT is in the way PCT visualizes how the
brain works. It seems to assume that it operates in much the same way
as control systems in system theory. This is with bundles of neurons
acting as functions, which pass messages to each other and regulation
is arranged through suitable feedback loops.
Work in neurology over the past decade has shown this not to be the
case. The brain functions in a far more efficient way, where the
bundles of neurons act like dynamic complex systems, each of which
can be triggered to go into different steady states.
This can be visualized by regarding bundles of neurons in the brain
as functions that provides many simultaneous results. Altering the
state of any of these bundles of neurons can change some of all of a
function's results (each result will be feeding into other
functions). Such changes can be brought about by external inputs.
Knowing the details of how neurons interact with each other, or about
the message paths around networks of neurons provides no way to
understand how they work because the changes of state (bifurcations)
are non linear.
As a non linearities cannot be dealt with logically (through a
control system within the brain), a signal has to be given - an
emotion - telling the conscious part of the brain that interaction
with the external environment is required.
If you are used to thinking of the brain and the central nervous
system in terms of control theory, this view of the way the brain
works will call for a massive reorganization of thinking at the
highest levels of organization. Most people will resist such a major
Author of: Lingo Sorcery, Magical A-Life Avatars, The Entrepreneurial
Web, The Ultimate Game of Strategy and Web Presence