Turning people on to PCT

[From Rick Marken (960913.1450)]

David Wolsk (960912 at 1620 PST) --

My thought: it would perhaps be valuable to turn him [Sacks] onto PCT. I
have a feeling he needs it and may be looking for it and PCT would benefit
from his becoming an active disciple..

I think this is a wonderful idea. I have read a number of Sacks' essays. I
think he is an excellent observer and writer. It would be great if he could
be turned on to PCT. Maybe someone could write to him about it; I am relucant
to do it for several reasons.

First, I don't like it when I get unsolicited suggestions about "great new
theories" from people I don't know (this has happened several times, coming
from well-intentioned people who read something I wrote and thought that it
was really a lot like their favorite theory) so I imagine others might feel
the same way.

Second, believe it or not, I don't feel comfortable trying to sell PCT to
anyone; I get pretty animated in CSGNet discussions with people who come to
PCT voluntarily, presumably to learn it; but I don't like to proselytize --
probably one of good things, besides love of learning, that I got from my
Jewish background (proselytizing is just conflict production, anyway).

Third, I hate to be disappointed, especially by people I admire. I know
that Mary Powers once wrote to one of my heros, S. J. Gould, about PCT. I
think Gould is one of the premier natural science writers of our century; he
also shares a perspective on life that is refreshingly compatible with my
own. I don't think he replied to Mary; or, if he did, he probably said what I
would have said -- "thanks for the tip; I'll look into it". It would be
incredible if Gould got turned onto the PCT implications for behavior and
evolution; I think Bill Powers has outlined a PCT model of evolution that
could nicely explain what I believe are the real "punctuated equilibria" in
the fossil record. But I doubt that Gould will do this. If he did take a
supreficial look at PCT and rejected it, it would break my heart (though I'd
still eagerly buy his books and read his essays; I just love his erudite
prose -- and great stories).

I don't know what it is about people (myself included) that makes them open
to learning PCT; willing to see PCT as a completely new apporach to behavior
rather than as a justification for (or threat to) what they currently believe
about behavior. But whatever it is, very few people have it, and I think we
are no more likely to find it in a population of "great scientists" than in a
population of ordinary cyber freaks.