<Bob Clark (940423.1352 EDT)>

Martin Taylor (940413.16:00) Subject: Re: MORE TEMPORAL VBLS-RKC

Bob, I agree with you that time can be a controllable perception in
a variety of ways.

Thanks for letting me know that you agree.

There are lots of free-running or externally synchronized
oscillators on all sorts of time-scales in the body, which could
generate the sensory signals into Perceptual Input Functions whose
output signals we interpret as "time." If such things exist, then
"time" can be a label for a range of different perceptual signals,
such as you mentioned, without our being able to sense "physical"
time. And, as you propose, those "time" perceptual signals could
very well be sensory inputs to the Perceptual Input Function of
other ECSs.

Does this fit with the way you are thinking?

Yes, very much so.

Wouldn't temporal variables naturally fit in all of the non-static

Again, yes. Of course.

However, combining temporal variables with other variables tends to
modify old categories and create new ones.

What characteristic kinds of perception would be controlled in a
"mechanical skills" level?

The "perceptions" would consist of perceptions of non-living
materials, their combinations and their actions. Such perceptions
would include material objects, structures of objects, relationships
among objects. The Mechanical Skills level would include perceptions
of procedures and their use in assembling mechanical structures.

Also, I wish you would expand a little on the idea that there are
different "levels" for dealing with inanimate objects and for
dealing with human beings.

My suggestion was:

Such a level would fit nicely between the levels dealing
exclusively with inanimate objects and those suitable for
interactions among living beings.

Living beings are separate, independent hierarchies of control
systems. They are identified by the variability of their activities.

Inanimate objects and structures are identified by the
reproducibility of their activities. When their structures are
unchanging, their surroundings determine their performance.

PCT is primarily concerned with the properties of living beings.
Their variability and their independence from their surroundings is

PCT emphasizes the hierarchical organization of living systems, but
recognizes that non-living systems can be arranged in a hierarchical
form. A hierarchical organization is an important, but not a
distinguishing aspect of living systems.

The Orders of the hierarchy (B:CP p 286) begin with those needed for
control of perceptions of intensities. The Orders continue with
sensations. Next are combinations perceived as objects, patterns,
etc. None of these definitions of the Orders distinguishes between
living and non-living beings. Each of the Orders can be applied
equally well to non-living beings and to the mechanical aspects of
living beings.

If these Orders are arbitrarily restricted to inanimate, purely
mechanical aspects of activities, they might be labelled "Mechanical

Additional Orders unique to living beings would then be needed.
These Orders would be defined as required by their variability and

These "People Orders" would relate to the individual's recognition
that other living beings exist. The mechanical methods used to
control non-living beings are inadequate for control of living beings.


Social Customs. This might be the lowest of the "People Orders."
Perceptual variables of this Order would include matters of common
courtesy, used to avoid accidental conflict in ordinary situations.

People Skills. These would be used to influence the behavior of
other individuals. Perceptual variables would include methods of
persuasion, threats, promises, and the like.

Personality. People Skills are used to affect the way individuals
"feel" about each other. These actions demonstrate "Personality."
Several perceptions related to Personality come to mind: friendly,
aggressive, careless, cooperative, dominant, etc.

"Character." This is demonstrated by a variety of interactions
covering a significant period of time. Personality and People Skills
combine with other behavior to form the dimensions of "Character."
Some perceptions of this Order would include: loyal, responsible,
industrious, honest, reliable, etc.

"Self Image." This is the combination of all the skills, mechanical,
people and otherwise perceived by the individual in himself.
This is the individual's perception of his own qualities. It
includes all his People Skills, Mechanical Skills, and other


These suggestions need to be considered carefully, revised and

There are also additional areas that should be related to these
concepts. Several have been considered in B:CP and other places.



Martin, I hope this is not "over-kill" on your request that I "expand
a little on the idea that there are different "levels" for dealing
with inanimate objects and for dealing with human beings."

Regards, Bob Clark