Uncontrolled perceptions

What do you think? Am I far away
from PCT?
[From Bill Powers (2004.08.04.0724 MDT)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2004.0X.XX.XXXX EuST)]

I think you are very close to PCT.

Concerning perceptions that are not controlled:

Look at the back of your hand. Do you see any blood vessels beneath the
skin? Any little hairs? Any wrinkles or bumps? Then ask yourself,
“How do I want those blood vessels, hairs, and bumps to look? Do I
even have any goals for how they should look?” My answer to such
questions is that I have no preferences for those perceptions. They are
just there. It’s easy to find perceptions that we do care about and do
control, but think about the world between those perceptions, that blade
of grass, the wake from the motorboat, the tree on the hilltop, the leaf
(or the needle) on the tree. Are we controlling those perceptions, or
just noticing that they are there? I think that there are far more
uncontrolled perceptions than controlled ones. We pick out important
perceptions to control, and the rest just go along with the action, the
way the skin on the back of your finger goes along when you reach to pick
something up. In the room where you are, you can identify millions of
perceptions if you take long enough. Do you have a way of affecting every
one of them? Do you have a preference for how each one of them should be?
We can easily identify many perceptions that we do care about and
control. But there are countless others.

I would like to be looking out your window at that fjord. It sounds like
a nice place to live.

Best,

Bill.

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05.13:35 EuST)]

[From Bill Powers (2004.08.04.0724 MDT)]

Concerning perceptions that are not controlled:

Look at the back of your hand. Do you see any blood vessels beneath the
skin?

Any little hairs? Any wrinkles or bumps? Then ask yourself, "How do I
want

those blood vessels, hairs, and bumps to look? Do I even have any goals for

how they should look?" My answer to such questions is that I have no

preferences for those perceptions. They are just there. It’s easy to find

perceptions that we do care about and do control, but think about the world

between those perceptions, that blade of grass, the wake from the
motorboat,

the tree on the hilltop, the leaf (or the needle) on the tree. Are we
controlling

those perceptions, or just noticing that they are there? I think that there
are

far more uncontrolled perceptions than controlled ones. We pick out
important

perceptions to control, and the rest just go along with the action, the way
the

skin on the back of your finger goes along when you reach to pick something
up.

In the room where you are, you can identify millions of perceptions if you take

long enough. Do you have a way of affecting every one of them? Do you have

a preference for how each one of them should be? We can easily identify
many

perceptions that we do care about and control. But there are countless
others.

You ask the question “Are we
controlling those perceptions, or just noticing that they are there?” That is
still the big question for me. You present some perceptions. Characteristic for
many of these perceptions are that they are not changing. Let me present your
definition of control from your Demo 1: A is said to
control B for every disturbing influence acting on B, A generates an action
that tends strongly to counteract the effect of the disturbing influence on B.

If I
control my perception of little hairs on the back of my hand, I perceive the
same “picture” day after day. The disturbance influencing on B is zero. There
is no action needed to counter affect the disturbing influence on B. An
observer would say I am just noticing that they are there. I can say that myself.

If my
wife controlled her perception of little hair on her back of her hand an
observer would see some actions counteracting the existence of the little
hairs.

Why do I
not control the perception she controls?

Yesterday
I perceived a blade of grass (among other in my garden) and an observer would
have said I just noticed it. He didn’t observe me thinking: “Tomorrow I wish to
mow the lawn”. When I perceive a blade of grass (among other in my garden) in
an hour, the observer will se some actions counteracting the existence of the
blade of grass.

Why do I
control a blade of grass today and just noticed yesterday.

It is
problematic for me to understand how physical impulses on my rods and cones in
the retina one day is transformed to a
perception I just notice and the next day a perception I control.

I don’t
think the answer is in the environment, I think it is in the brain. And I think
there are references for most of “the million perceptions I can identify in my
room”. Not one or more references for every blade of grass I have experienced,
but I think I have a principle regarding blades of grass (mow the lawn when the
blades of grass are to high) .If the blade of grass has not changed much
relative to a reference you can say that I am just noticing the blade of grass.
I would have preferred to say that I controlled the perception where the
disturbances were zero. Therefore zero action. Zero is also a number.

This is boiled down to two different
modes to express control of perceptions. I prefer to control all perceptions
and not have a long discussion if I am just noticing a perception or if I am
controlling it.

You must not misunderstand my comments.
I know you have thought these thoughts many times and I know you control this
disturbance “using” a more comprehensive control system than I. I must possibly reorganize my System Concept
of PCT, and that takes time. The gain is high but the slowing factor is the
same.

bjorn

[From Bruce Gregory (2004.0805.0953)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05.13:35 EuST)

I don’t think the answer is in the environment, I think it is in the brain. And I think there are references for most of “the million perceptions I can identify in my room”. Not one or more references for every blade of grass I have experienced, but I think I have a principle regarding blades of grass (mow the lawn when the blades of grass are to high) .If the blade of grass has not changed much relative to a reference you can say that I am just noticing the blade of grass. I would have preferred to say that I controlled the perception where the disturbances were zero. Therefore zero action. Zero is also a number.

Clearly we have expectations about many things we perceive in our environment. But to treat these expectations as reference levels in control loops is problematic. Say I look up and see the moon colored bright green. This is a disturbance to my expectation. Is the color of the moon a controlled perception? Perform the Test. Do I resist this disturbance? How? How successful is this effort at controlling the perception?

Bruce Gregory

"Great Doubt: great awakening. Little Doubt: little awakening. No Doubt: no awakening."

[From Bill Powers (2004.08.05.1123 MDT)]
Bjorn Simonsen
(2004.08.05.13:35 EuST)–
Let me present your definition of control from your Demo 1:
*A is said to control B for every disturbing influence
acting on B, A generates an action that tends strongly to counteract the
effect of the disturbing influence on B.*You left out a crucial word. "A is said to control B IF for
every disturbing influence acting on B … " etc. The IF said that if
A is NOT producing actions protecting B against disturbances, then A is
NOT controlling B.

If
I control my perception of little hairs on the back of my hand, I
perceive the same “picture” day after day.

But not from one second to the next. If you were controlling the position
of a hair on your arm, you’d have to be constantly moving your arm to
counteract the effects of moving air. Controlling perceptions does not
mean creating perceptions; it means acting to bring the state of an
existing perception to a selected reference state, and maintaining it in
that state against disturbances. It sounds to me as if you’re
understanding control of perception to mean making a perception exist
where it didn’t exist before.

Controlling perceptions doesn’t mean making them exist when they didn’t
exist before. It means bringing the states of existing perceptions to
particular levels and acting to keep them at those levels.

I’m having a bit of trouble seeing exactly what the problem is here.
You’re saying things about control of perception that makes me wonder if
we’re talking about the same subject. I think it’s going to take a while
to lay out exactly where the difference is. Interesting. Did anything I
said above surprise you?

Best,

Bill P.

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05,20:27 EuST)]

[From
Bill Powers (2004.08.05.1123 MDT)]

Did
anything I said above surprise you?

Yes. "A is said to control B IF for every disturbing influence
acting on B … "

And

“(Controlling)
…………………. It means bringing the states
of existing perceptions to particular levels and acting to keep them at those
levels.”

This
is well known, but reading that sentence, I thought: If I shall control a
perception, there must be a reference. If there is a reference I must have
controlled that perception earlier. There are many perceptions I never have
controlled before. Then there is no reference for them. Those perception I can’t
control. …… (Reorganization)

May I
ask for a comment?

bjorn

Re: Uncontrolled perceptions
[Martin Taylor 2004.09.05.1443]

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05,20:27
EuST)]
[From Bill Powers (2004.08.05.1123
MDT)]

Did anything I said above surprise
you?
Yes. "A is said to
control B IF for every disturbing influence acting on B …
"
And
“(Controlling) ŠŠŠŠŠŠŠ. It means
bringing the states of existing perceptions to particular levels and
acting to keep them at those levels.”
This is well known, but reading that sentence, I
thought: If I shall control a perception, there must be a
reference

Yes.

. If there is a reference I must have controlled that
perception earlier.

No.

There are many perceptions I never have controlled
before.

True.

Then there is no reference for
them.

Why not? I may well have watched the grass grow, but never cared
how long it was, meaning I had no reference value for it. Now my
parents are coming to visit, so I care how long the grass is, and
begin to control for the perception of the length of the grass at some
reference value I decide on from my knowledge of my parents. I mow the
grass and look to see if it now matches my reference value. Maybe I
mow some more, with a lower setting…

Those perception I can’t control. Š…
(Reorganization)

“Don’t” control is more appropriate than
“can’t”. “Can’t” applies to perceptions that I
have no means of influencing.

May I ask for a comment?

Done.

ctrl5.logo.gif

···

=================================================

[From Bjorn Simonsen
(2004.08.05,12:18 EuST)]

[Martin Taylor
2004.08.04.10.13]

What
exactly do you mean by “the feedback
signal”?
Maybe I should have said “the feedback variable”
since it is an impulse in the environment.

We really are talking a different language, and I don’t mean English
vs. Swedish.

Language difficulties:

(1) feedback to me inplies returning to the source.

(2) “Variable” to me is something that can be
represented by “x”, whereas “signal” is x(t).
Neither is ordinarily an impulse (an event that occurs at a singular
moment in time).

(3) “In” the environment should read
“through”, since it refers only to the effect of the output
on the input. “In” implies that the feedback signal might
have its source elsewhere than the output signal of the control
system.

I mean the impulse that goes to the first level
input function telling the muscles and glands performance relative to
the error.

How does the input “impulse” go to the muscles and
glands? In most versions of simple control systems, the input goes to
some transformation that produces a perceptual signal.

What do you mean by “the disturbance ‘knot on
the dot’”?
I
mean the physical quantities reaching my rods and cones at the retina
telling me “knot on the dot”.

That’s a very different meaning of “disturbance” from
the one usually used around here!

Ordinarily “disturbance” means the totality of
influences on the input that are occasioned by processes independent
of the control system itself. Like the reference signal, the
disturbance signal come from outside. Disturbances come in on the line
labelled “D” in the figure. (S is the senory signal that
might in some cases correspond to "the physical quantities reaching my rods and cones at
the retina ", P is the perceptual signal, R the reference
signal, E the error signal, and O the output signal, all of which have
values that are functions of time

I’ll try again. If I got the impulse " I want to
see the tide at its highest" (remember the moon is in its first
quarter). I also have a reference resulted from my knowledge that the
tide at its highest is just possible when the moon is new or full. Now
I have two “opposite” references and the perceptual signal “from
the moon in its first quarter”. I guess this is a
conflict.

I’ll have to say “Huh!” again. I simply have no idea
how to translate this into the usual language of PCT. I’ll try, and
then restate the situation as I see it.

Paraphrase follows: “If I have a reference value for seeing
tide as “highest” (remember the moon is in its first
quarter), I have a perception resulting from my knowledge that the
tide at its highest is just possible when the moon is new or full. Now
my perception “the moon is in its first quarter” differs
from its reference value “moon must be full or new.” I guess
this error leads to some output.”

Restatement follows: I have the reference value of “highest”
for my perception of tide value. This entails (assuming I have the
requisite knowledge) that I have a reference value of “TRUE”
for my perception of the phase of the moon: “phase of the moon is
[full OR new]” (a logical value that is “TRUE” or
“FALSE”). I perceive the moon to be at first quarter, giving
a value of “FALSE” to the perception “phase of the moon
is [full OR new]”. There is error in my comparator for the phase
of the moon.

Where’s the conflict?

I’m sure I’m misunderstanding you somehow, but the above is the
only way I can see the situation in ordinary PCT terms.

When
one’s actions don’t affect one’s perception, the feedback
variable is zero. This feedback variable tells the input function how
the muscles and glands performance relative to the
error.

I don’t understand this, either, and I’m not going to dare trying
a paraphrase or a restatement in “ordinary PCT”.

I thought I understood the concepts conflict and gain
(see above), but as I said, now I feel uncertain.

I think the Gain tells us about the sensitivity to
error. The higher gain, the greater the output per unit error. If this
is reasonable I think a qo with high gain will influence the common
variable more than a qo with lower gain.

This is true, provided one is talking about a single system with
an unchanging relation of output to influence on the environment
(e.g. muscle strength – stronger muscles can have a larger influence
at a given gain).

Now I move into hair-splitting. Is it correct to say
that the gain corrects an error? I read “everyday
language”, but Š
.
In your last sentence you transfer to external
conflicts. That is OK. Here you emphasize stronger muscles and not
gain. In contrast I believe the parent has a qo influenced by a
greater gain than the child (a more extensive control
system).

How do you know? The parent is going to win whoever has the
greater gain, unless the parent hardly cares at all whether the child
goes into the road and the child is screaming to be allowed to
go.

I choose to
understand “not to push back” as to continue controlling that
particular perception.

Read this as “…not to continue…” and you have it
right.

I know there is a way to handle conflicts and that is
not “stop controlling that particular
perception”, but to use MOL.

And just what do you think “using MOL” implies?

What it means is that you “go up a level” to see what
perception you are controlling for that leads you to control a
perception that is in conflict. By doing that, you may be able to find
another way to control the higher-level perception while relinquishing
control of the lower. In other words, you learn to “stop
controlling that particular perception” without in any way
reducing your control of the higher-level perception that it is
supporting.

I don’t think The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve
Bank may have the interest rate as a controlled perception, I think he
may have of stable prices,
full employment and, more generally, a stable financial environment
for the economy as a controlled
perception. The interest rate exists in the environment. His actions
change the interest rate. (This is hair-splitting and I know you think
as I?)

I imagine all the above are perceptions Allan Greenspan has. But
we know for sure that he has controls his perception of the interest
rate, because he dictates what it is. He says 2 3/4% and the interest
rate thereby becomes 2.75%. He has a reference value for his
perception of it to be that, and acts to make it so. That, for sure,
is a controlled perception.

Where can I read about “the hundred or so
perceptions of the same level at any instant”?

You don’t have to read about it. You can count the joints of your
body and the directions they can move independently. Just count
fingers (1 df for each of the two joints nearer the finger-tip and two
for the knuckle, making 20 for each hand), toes, elbows (1 rotation
and 1 angle), wrists, and so forth. And if you like, you can add all
the different muscles of your face that don’t actually move joints,
but can be used to signal things to other people. You still won’t get
much above 100, and if you treat “independently” in a
reasonable way, your number will be rather lower.

===============================================

[From Bjorn Simonsen
(2004.08.05.13:35 EuST)] To

[From Bill Powers
(2004.08.04.0724 MDT)]

I know you control this disturbance “using”
a more comprehensive control system than I.

Nobody controls disturbances. That’s impossible IN
PRINCIPLE.

Martin

Yes.
[From Bill Powers (2004.08.05.2008 MDT)]

Bjorn Simonsen
(2004.08.05,20:27 EuST) –

Did anything I said above surprise you?
"A is said to
control B IF for every disturbing influence acting on B … "

And

“(Controlling) …………………. It means bringing the states of existing
perceptions to particular levels and acting to keep them at those
levels.”

This is well known, but reading that sentence, I thought: If I shall
control a perception, there must be a reference. If there is a reference
I must have controlled that perception earlier.

That does not follow. You must have experienced the perception earlier
and selected some state of it that you wish to reproduce, but it is not
necessary to know how to control it at first. You can learn that through
trial and error, otherwise known as reorganization. You may have tasted
some new flavor of ice cream that someone gave you, and decide that you
want to experience it again. Having tasted it once, you can remember how
it tasted, and use that memory for a reference signal (see the discussion
in B:CP). Then you can learn what you have to do to bring that taste into
perception again. If fghe ice cream you obtain is not quite the way you
remember it, you can perhaps learn what to do to correct the taste – add
some chocolate sauce, or other ingredients that adjust the taste to be
more like the taste you remember and prefer. Or more simply, you learn
where to buy it so you can provide it for yourself when you want
some.

There
are many perceptions I never have controlled before. Then there is no
reference for them. Those perception I can’t control. ……
(Reorganization)

Not at first, but you can learn to control them. When you experience
uncontrolled perceptions, most of them have no special significance to
you and you let them come and go without making any effort to change
them. But when one comes along that seems to affect you positively or
negatively, you decide then whether to set a high reference level for it,
and seek it again, or a low reference level, and try to keep it from
occurring again. At that point you have some reason to learn how to
control it, which means learning what actions you can produce that will
increase or decrease the amount of that perception. That is part of the
process by which you acquire a new control system.

First you experience the perception.

Second you decide (for any reason) that you want to experience it again,
or avoid it, and remember the state of the perception.

Third, you use the memory of the perception as a reference signal and
compare actual perceptions with it, to generate an error
signal.

Fourth, you learn what actions to perform that will make the error
smaller and keep it smaller; learning that will eventually provide a
reliable way to control that perception…

Best,

Bill P.

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.06,09:40 EuST)]

[From Bruce Gregory (2004.0805.0953)]

Clearly
we have expectations about many things we perceive in our environment.

But to treat these expectations as reference levels in control loops is
problematic.

Say I look up and see the moon colored bright green. This is a disturbance
to my

expectation. Is the color of the moon a controlled perception? Perform the
Test.

Do I resist this disturbance? How? How successful is this effort at
controlling the

perception?

Is it
OK if I read your concept “expectations” as purposes?

Now I
have the understanding of controlled perceptions that my actions will bring the
state of the percepted moon to my selected reference, a yellow moon, and
maintain the yellow state against disturbances. I think I knew that earlier,
but I couldn’t say it so clear. I love the experience to word statements I
earlier just understood.

I
feel uncertain when you ask me to perform the Test. Let me say some words about
the Test.

The goal of Testing is to determine
what perception you want
(“has in mind”). In other words, the goal is to determine the
perceptual variable
you are controlling.

Now I
guess the moon is away and I am here and you are there. So let me work hypothetical. The Test is an iterative process, but I
could have started and asked you to look at the moon through a red glass
(subtractive colorant mixture).

You must
tell me what you see before I can answer if you resisted the disturbance and.

PS. I accept/understand that we don’t control all
perceptions.

bjorn

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.06,11:30 EuST)]

[Martin
Taylor 2004.09.05.1443]

If there is a reference I must have controlled that
perception earlier.

No.

After
thinking it through, OK

Those perception I can’t control. Š…
(Reorganization)

“Don’t” control is more appropriate than
“can’t”. “Can’t” applies to

perceptions that I have no means of influencing.

Now.
Of course.

May I ask for a comment?

Done.

Thank
you.

···

=================================================

[From
Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05,12:18 EuST)]

[Martin Taylor 2004.08.04.10.13]

What exactly do you mean by “the feedback
signal”?

Maybe I should have said “the feedback
variable” since it is an impulse in the environment.

We really are talking a different language, and I don’t mean English vs.
Swedish.

Language difficulties:

(1) feedback to me inplies returning to the source.

(2) “Variable” to me is something that can be
represented by “x”, whereas “signal” is x(t).

Neither is ordinarily an impulse (an event that occurs at a singular moment
in time).

(3) “In” the environment should read
“through”, since it refers only to the effect of the

output on the input. “In” implies that the feedback signal might
have its source elsewhere

than the output signal of the control system.

Maybe
we talk different language, but I understand very well what you say despite you
asked what I mean by “the feedback signal” and commented what “feedback”
implies.

When
you in (2) say that neither is an impulse I become uncertain. I think an
electronic impulse is a sharp transient wave in the normal electrical state, or
series of such transients.

It is
OK for me to write “through”. Maybe I am influenced of Bill P’s figure in B:CP ,
fig. 7.1 where I read/understand that the feedback signal is the signal from
the Golgi Tendon Receptor clustered on and near the Tendon (Environment). I
will comment this statement in a later thread.

I mean the impulse that goes to the first level
input function telling the muscles

and glands performance relative to the error.

How does the input “impulse” go to the
muscles and glands? In most versions

of simple control systems, the input goes to some transformation that
produces

a perceptual signal.

I
deplore my vagueness. I don’t think that the input “impulse” goes to the muscles.
What I wished to say was that the feedback signal goes to the input function
(look in a later thread). Here it is transformed to (telling about the performance
in muscles and glands) perceptual signal according to p = qi = (qo + d). Here qo
is the feedback signal

What do you mean by “the disturbance ‘knot
on the dot’”?

I mean the physical quantities reaching my rods and
cones at the retina telling me “knot on the dot”.

That’s a very different meaning of
“disturbance” from the one usually used around here!

Ordinarily “disturbance” means the totality
of influences on the input that are

occasioned by processes independent of the control system itself. Like the

reference signal, the disturbance signal come from outside. Disturbances
come

In on the line labelled “D” in the figure. (S is the senory
signal that might in

some cases correspond to "the physical quantities reaching my rods and

cones at the retina ", P is the perceptual signal, R the reference
signal, E the

error signal, and O the output signal, all of which have values that are functions
of time

Again,
this is how I think, I agree.

Thank you for translating my vague (and (now also for me) wrong idea to your
language. (TRUE/FALSE). Reading this I made a large step to accept that not all
perceptions are controlled.

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.05.13:35 EuST)] To

[From
Bill Powers (2004.08.04.0724 MDT)]

I know you control this disturbance
“using” a more comprehensive control system than I.

Nobody controls disturbances. That’s impossible IN
PRINCIPLE.

Of course.

Maybe I express myself too
metaphorical. I meant to say that my comments about “only controlled
perceptions” were a disturbance when Bill read it on the screen. These
disturbances were then transformed to a perceptual signal different from his
reference (we don’t control all perceptions). The error that was put forward caused
in a mail to CSG (me).

Now accept/understand that we don’t
control all perceptions. Thank you to both you and Bill P for spending your time
on me.

bjorn

[From Bruce Gregory (2004.0806.0659)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2004.08.06,09:40 EuST)

Is it OK if I read your concept “expectations” as purposes?

No. I may expect it to rain, but that is not a purpose. I do not intend to make it rain if it otherwise fails to rain.

I feel uncertain when you ask me to perform the Test. Let me say some words about the Test.

The goal of Testing is to determine what _perception_ you want
("has in mind"). In other words, the goal is to determine the perceptual variable
you are controlling.

Now I guess the moon is away and I am here and you are there. So let me work hypothetical. The Test is an iterative process, but I could have started and asked you to look at the moon through a red glass (subtractive colorant mixture).

If you do that, the Test would show that you are controlling your perception of the color of the moon. If I remove the filter and you replace it, you are resisting the disturbance I introduced.

PS. I accept/understand that we don’t control all perceptions.

Good. We simply lack the ability to successfully control most of our perceptions.

Bruce Gregory

"Great Doubt: great awakening. Little Doubt: little awakening. No Doubt: no awakening."