Time: Losing and Lagging

[From Bruce Abbott (950111.0835 EST)]

LOSING TIME

Rick Marken (950110.1930) --

Bruce Abbott (950110.1750 EST)

24 hours simply isn't long enough to get everything done I have to
do

Hey, I've got an idea!

Here's a sure fired way to significantly increase the amount of time you
have available to work on PCT. Just tell your sponsoring editor that
the revision of the Research Methods text will only deal with the
appropriate methods for studying living control systems -- methods like
those described by Tom (950110.1043), Bill Powers, Hugh Petrie and
yours truly. The editor will either go with the idea, giving you lots of

Rick, that's a great idea, but if I take your advice a huge error will
appear in my perception of being financially solvent, which I will be unable
to correct.

By the way, if you need a canoe, I've got one.

ON LAGGING BEHIND

Bill Powers (950110.1115 MST)] --

Martin Taylor 950109.1730)

I know you don't mean it, but it SOUNDS as if you mean that "the
perceptual signal at time t" is "a cause of the perceptual signal at
time t", which it isn't. It is part of the cause of the perceptual
signal at time t+tau, where tau is definitively non-zero, and at later
times, possibly extending beyond limit.

For all practical purposes, the perceptual signal at time t can be
treated as if it is a cause of the perceptual signal at time t. In most
behaviors, the "tau" is negligibly small in comparison with the rate at
which the variables in a control loop can change.ime to work on PCT, or,

more likely, not, giving you lots of time to

work on PCT;-)

This discussion triggered a memory of a situation I once found myself in in
which the loop delay was substantial and almost resulted in catastrophy. I
was moving into a new house and needed to move my '57 Corvette to the new
place. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of rebuilding the engine, so the
car had to be towed. My Dad offered to provide towing service, so we
attached a chain to the trailor hitch on his car and tied the other end of
the chain to the frame of the Vette.

I'f you've ever done this sort of thing, you know how important it is that
all braking be done by the car being towed, so as to keep the chain taught.
Everything went fine for about five miles, but then someone pulled out in
front of Dad and he was forced to touch the brakes. By the time I reacted I
was nearly into his bumper, by which time my brakes came on, which of course
almost instantly stretched out the chain to its limit--bang. I saw that I
had over reacted, so by the time the chain became taught I was off the
brakes. This triggered a rebound and once again I was heading for Dad's
bumper. This whole cycle repeated itself several times, getting more severe
with each oscillation, until I was finally able to move the braking effort
to a different phase of the cycle and dampen it out. Fortunately all this
banging around had caused no damage to either car.

This all happened 25 years ago and I wish I still had that Corvette.

Regards,

Bruce

Tom Bourbon [950111.1749]

[From Bruce Abbott (950111.0835 EST)]

LOSING TIME

. . .

Rick Marken (950110.1930) --

Hey, I've got an idea!

Here's a sure fired way to significantly increase the amount of time you
have available to work on PCT. Just tell your sponsoring editor that
the revision of the Research Methods text will only deal with the
appropriate methods for studying living control systems -- methods like
those described by Tom (950110.1043), Bill Powers, Hugh Petrie and
yours truly. The editor will either go with the idea, giving you lots of

Rick, that's a great idea, but if I take your advice a huge error will
appear in my perception of being financially solvent, which I will be unable
to correct.

It's good to see that you have your priorities straight on this
science-writing business, Bruce. Hew close to the familiar, steer as clear
of that controversial PCT stuff as you can, and surely you will live long
and prosper. :wink:

By the way, if you need a canoe, I've got one.

We haven't heard much from Rick since the flooding began. I hope all is
well with his family and him. And with Dag, our other PCTer in LA LA Land.

Later,

Tom