[Martin Taylor 2016.12.29.13.28]
Warren, you are in the UK, which is, I think five or six hours ahead of North American Eastern Standard Time. I sent the message to which you are replying with a time-stamp of [Martin Taylor 2016.12.29.11.02]. Your reply, presumably not sent before my message, was apparently sent at 12.02 PM, which would be 7.02 am in Toronto. I infer that your time stamp as I received your message is in EST. Yours, when you receive the message to which you are replying, is said to have been sent at a time that I suppose is GMT. I think our faithful Archivist is in a different time zone, but certainly not in yours, and his time stamp will be different from both of ours. Someone who wants to refer back to this message in 2019 will be able to reference it by a unique search string: [Martin Taylor 2016.12.29.13.28]. How will they refer back to yours?
On 2016/12/29 12:02 PM, Warren Mansell wrote:
Thanks Martin, that elaboration does help! I think the time stamp happens automatically when you reply?
On 29 Dec 2016, at 16:52, Martin Taylor <email@example.com> wrote:
[Martin Taylor 2016.12.29.11.02]
Warren, have you given up using a date-time stamp, or did I never notice that you refrained from using one? Neither of your messages today have one, and I have not looked back to check.
On 2016/12/29 5:34 AM, Warren Mansell wrote:
Hi Rick, I think to critique Martin's thought experiment, don't you need to assume from the start that this game is an analogy of a single individual who, we know, will have multiple control systems at lower levels of their hierarchy operating through various physical feedback functions? So we are assuming that a TCV experimenter analysing control without anatomy and physics is like Dee doing the TCV without awareness of the many people doing the control?
I think Martin has demonstrated that when we test for a CV we are still aware that there is a cascade of control systems implementing the perceptual control of a higher level system. I think in tandem it represents that it can look as though there is a higher level system simply because every lower level control unit has the same or a similar reference point. But I think this might be overstepping the analogy. In this game, there IS a master controller - the leader of the game who the players have chosen to follow and take on board his or her reference point. This higher level control system would be needed within each individual in order to have any ability to update the target point to a new value - it would need to be sent down to these lower level control systems.
I guess I should have included a "Phase 2a" in which the players individually choose their reference values for the puck location with no "game manager" to guide them. The diagram would be exactly the same as for Phase 2 as originally described, and so would be the result. The analogy would be to a set of conflicting control units in two dimensions, just like Kent's original one-dimensional conflicted control demonstration -- apart from the stochastic nature of their control in my gedanken experiment.
So my view is that Martin's thought experiment does remind us that a hypothesised CV does not tell us about the full working, hierarchical architecture of how a perceived aspect of the environment is controlled. However, it doesn't to me explain how a virtual higher level controller seems to exist when it doesn't - it seems to me that for the people in this thought experiment to even be willing to take part in it and update their targets, they need a higher level control system in addition to the one that Martin proposed to exist to get the puck on the target.
Why? If they were real people rather than simple pebble-throwing mechanisms with the characteristics I defined (imperfect throwing accuracy, reduced throwing rate as the Puck nears the target), all that would be necessary would be a willingness to sign up for an experiment, for which their instruction would be something like "There's a thick disk on this big table we call the Puck. Please choose a point on the table and slide pebbles from this stockpile one at a time to hit the Puck so that it finally comes to sit on your chosen point."
The Puck would move in exactly the same way after every time Dee put is in a random place on the table as it would if the players inaccurately took their target location from a master game-manager (higher-level setter of reference values).
A rethink here : Maybe it is fairer to say it doesn't rule out the possibility of a higher level controller
Absolutely. The reason for introducing the experiment was to show that you can't tell from one such experiment whether the observations are the result of individual independent controllers or individual controllers that get their reference values from a centralized higher-level controller, whether the individuals are in separate bodies (sociology) or in one body (psychology).
I have a short taxonomy of types of collective control. In the experiment, the CCEV (Collective Complex Environmental Variable) is the Puck's location, which is also the CEV for each individual controller in the first three types:
1. Conflicted Control: The participants have individually derived reference values for perceptions whose CEVs are closely related to the CCEV. The CCEV remains as if it corresponds to a controlled perception, but the outputs of the individual controllers tend to increase as in any conflict. Several people throw at the Puck, all wanting it in a different place
2. Collaborative Control: The participants control a higher level set of perceptions of belonging and being seen to belong to “the group�?, bringing their reference values for their perceptions of the CEVs that combine to form the CCEV toward a common value, eliminating the conflict while maintaining strong control. Several people throw at the Puck trying to move it to a place on which they agree.
3. Coordinated Control: All members controlling for perceiving themselves and being perceived as belonging to the group accept reference values provided by an agreed leader. Several people throw at the Puck trying to get it to a place designated by one of them.
In addition, there are at least three forms of Collective Control in which the participants act on different aspects of the environment in order to achieve a purpose all have in common, rather than all trying to influence the common CCEV in the same way. These are irrelevant to the gedanken experiment, but I include them anyway for later reference if required.
4. Guided Control: A plan, with or without a specific planner, determines who does what ("I’ll hold the pole while you hammer it into the ground", when we both have a controlled perception of the pole, with a reference for it to be fixed vertically).
5. Social Control Unit: Different people or groups of people use protocols in ways that make some play the roles of the different units of a control unit (Sensors, Perceptual Function, Reference � the CEO or thee Commander �, Comparator, Output function, Effectors), so that the whole social structure (organisation, company, military unit ...) acts as a controller (See <http://www.mmtaylor.net/PCT/CSG2005/CSG2005cSocialControl.ppt>)
6. Hierarchy of Social Control Units: Same as 5, with different levels of controller interacting as in the Powers hierarchy for control units within an organism.
- this scenario could work if there was a system operating at a broader timescale that led people in a shared environment to adopt similar reference values (I am not sure whether 'evolution' is in fact a master controller in functional terms though - probably is?) - an intrinsic tendency to prefer familiarity, or an intrinsic, evolved reference value for the target in question (such as a bee's in built preference for petal markings that converge on a point in the centre of a flower - where the nectar is). Group living insects certainly appear to have a master controller, and an experimenter who only had data on the nectar levels in flowers and nectar levels in a hive might think a massive creature was shifting the stuff into the hive.
An evolved version of coordinated control. This is what I imagine to happen in the evolution of protocols, language, and culture generally.
I think this does remind us that we need not to ignore the value we get from the bleeding obvious when doing the TCV if we want a fully working model - the anatomy, physiology, dynamics, etc....
I feel as if I am sitting in between Martin and Rick here, which is probably my preferred reference point anyway and might have been the 'higher level reference point' that led me to the above conclusions!
If that is so, since insofar as I understand your comments above I totally agree with you, therefore Rick agrees with both of us, and a Happy New Year on CSGnet will follow!
Hope everyone had a great Christmas!
I would be interested in Martin and Kent's responses to the above.
I hope you do find mine interesting.