"under duress" by any other name...

[From Norman Hovda (2000.04.23.1325 MST)]

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.22.1900)]

Norman Hovda (2000.04.22.1130 MST) -

> "Disturbances" still boil down to *my* perception of them, No?

No. Disturbances are not perceived. Remember, for a simple,
linear system with a single disturbance (d) acting, p = f (o + d).
All we perceive (p) is the combined effect of our own actions
(o) and the disturbance (d) on the controlled variable (qi, which
is equal to o + d). What is uniquely "yours", I suppose, is the
function, f(), that transforms the controlled variable (qi) into
the perceptual variable, p. But it's unlikely that people differ
much from one to another in terms of f() because only certain
f()'s will allow control of any particular qi.

Thansk for the very clear exposition. Hmmmmm... I suppose this is one
of those devil in the details sort of thing, along with my poor ability to
say what I really mean?

I don't think I'm trying to describe or claim that everything related to
perceptual experience is "uniquely" mine, as much as I'm attempting to
get at the totality of my perceptual experience at any point in time, e.g.
as driver of a car, seeking to go from point A to Z, what happens on the
way in between A and Z is taken into account by my _usually_ effective
and self-serving control system; coping with whatever comes my way
that in some manner and degree either facilitates or inhibits my arrival at
Z (including significant setbacks, e.g., accident), and if successful my
_means to an end_ control system, on balance, has served my ends. If
I'm unsuccessful at arriving at Z _then_ my control system has failed to
served me and I must start over and/or change my destination.

> IMO, taking in the big picture on my experience of my life,
> all processing of all my perceptions ultimately serves me,
> regardless of conflict, self-defeat, ineffectiveness.

That's a nice opinion. But in the HPCT model, error (a "non-
serving" perception), if chronic, will eventually kill you due
to chronic intrinsic error. This happens in fact as well as
in the model; a good example is error resulting from eating
conflicts: bulimea kills.

I don't think your comment above has as much to do with "error (a non-
serving perception)" as does your value judgment of what "ultimately
serves" human beings. To the extent that a person's control system is
dysfunctional, caught in a conflicted and self-defeating hierarchy to the
point of death, I think we both prolly agree that the outcome was
perhaps the tragic result of some intrinsic reference level gone wrong
and the control system has not served this bulimic person well. From a
value neutral POV however, the control system (however broken) served
its own end (however maladaptive from my POV). If control system is
controlling for slow death by starvation, then the system is being served
by bulimic perceptions, no?

> I see the compulsory associations of gov as mean, and
> unnecessarily doing more harm than good. Most don't. I see
> voluntary association as certainly not perfect but far superior.

How much more voluntary can an association be than a democracy?

Democracy is two wolves winning the vote on how to cook the sheep -
without the sheep's consent. Oh... "the sheep lost the vote" you say?
So that makes it ok?

People vote on what the rules will be (or, at least, who will
be formulating those rules) and they agree to follow those rules.

But the outcome of a majority vote includes everyone who has not given
consent, or not voted, or "agree[d] to follow those rules" including those
that voted and lost.

Do you have a _more_ voluntary approach?

Explicit voluntary informed consent between adults.

Perhaps you'd be happier
if you got to vote on the rules _and_ to vote on which one's
you, personally, have to follow.

Precisely. I choose the games I play. If I wanna play - I've got to pay,
the costs of play being a function of the risk and reward trade-offs of
voluntarily complying with the rules of a particular game context. If I
perceive the trade-offs involved with a particular set of rules to be
stacked against me, I don't play the game. For example: If I structure
my income as "unearned" I don't pay SS tax. If playing the game means
I have to accept "earned income" I have to pay SS tax.

That seems to be the kind of
voluntary association envisioned by Elian's "Miami relatives";
no thanks.

Let the games begin.

IMO the "Miami relatives" (MR) were acting as a mob and way out of
line just as the bigger and more powerful gov agents were acting as a
mob and way out of line. Gang warfare via CNN. It's easy to cheer the
federales winning over the MR team especially when I _agree with_ the
law, the cause, the feds' purpose to reunite parent and child in this case.

I imagine if you or I were a born and raised among cuban exiles we
would perceive things differently.

> Three cheers for free enterprise! And with coerced cooperation
> we have? The USPS, public schools, social security, drug war,
> etc.

Why do you say this is "forced cooperation". It's _agreed to_
cooperation and it can work great.

I never _agreed to_ any of it. Public school attendance is compulsory
no? Did you ever try to _not_ pay SS tax on "earned income"? Does
the USPS allow competition for first class mail? I never agreed to, nor
do I approve of, the incarceration of non-violent drug users. As a US tax
paying citizen / subject I am compelled to cooperate with all of the
above or this serf goes to jail if I withdraw my financial support.

USPS works fine for me;

Why is gov monopoly w/ predatory pricing OK when a private monopoly
is not? Why was I deprived of a potential alternative 1st class mail
service that may have "work[ed] fine for me"?

public schools will work again once people start paying for
them (and insisting on less pay for administrators and more for
teachers).

You have your dreams and I have mine. I think it's been well
demonstrated that where there is little or no competition there is little, if
any, improvement. Witness 500 year old Thomas Aquinas, assembly
line, mass production - empty vessel fill'r up - only the cream rises to
the top school systems which produces a majority of defective products
programmed to avoid trial and error for fear of being "wrong" (trial and
error being very much in keeping with PCT if I understand PCT at all.)

What's the problem with social security?

So you're happy with 1-2% return on investment. Fine. Why should all
other US subjects, particularly those wage earners least able to afford it
at the lower end of the wage scale, be condemed to 1-2% return on their
own money set aside for retirement?

The drug war
is just a problem of putting way to much money into interdiction
and way too little into rehabilitation.

Stuck with what we have I too would much prefer that available public
resources go to treatment. Unfortunately that will never happen until the
treatment lobby wins - like the Cubs - "next year". Interdiction costs
exceed benefits by any fair-minded analysis IMO, but there's way more
vested interest (jobs) in law enforcement.

> Without competition (see command and control economies) there
> seems to have been few, if any, product or service improvements,
> tremendous shortages, no variety, poor quality and relatively high
> unaffordable prices.

I'm not advocating command and control economies. I agree that
the _regulated_ free market system we have works pretty well.
What TCP shows is that it could work _much better_ if we could
find ways to reduce leakage, which largely means reducing mal-
distribution of wealth. Agreement to a far more progressive
taxation system would be one approach; another would be making
the capital gains tax rate equal to the income tax rate. There
are all kinds of ways we can fix up the economy, many of which
we know work from historical experience (we had 12% growth and
0% unemployment in 1941 and 1942 when the government reduced
leakage to zero by borrowing like crazy; we had high growth
and low unemplowment in the mod 80s, despite the Fed's tight
money policies, when a "balanced-budget" Republican went on
a borrowing spree).

Thanks goodness you're not in charge of the economy <g> as if any
one person is in charge. What is "much better" is truly in the perception
of the control system.

> And what, *prey* tell <g>, is duress? From where I sit, Gov
> is threat of credible force and the application of thereof
> if one fails to "cooperate". Witness federal marshalls retrieving
> Elian today?

Yes. And (as I said) elated when I heard about it.

IMO, any relationship w/ gov agents involves being "under duress"
_unless_ one happens to agree with the thugs and terrocrats.I tend to
agree when I perceive less or no error (advantage) and disagree when I
perceive error (disadvantage.)

How is all this discussion (gov coercion v. voluntary consent) any
different than your arguments some weeks/months ago regarding the
teacher's telling the child "I see you have chosen" for the sham that it is?

If I get your drift, I too am glad Elian is with his father and it's been
unfortunate that the "Miami relatives" chose not to cooperate. In the
same breath I am appalled at the storm-trooper tactics by which the gov
accomplished this reunion. I can't imagine you were "elated" about that?

Once again the innocent child pays dearly.

Is the government the only organization that expects you
to follow the rules?

Of course not. Following the rules depends on the agreement, the
context, the conditions; voluntary consent and compliance.

Do you find it equally cloying when
the landlord kicks you out of the apartment you haven't
paid rent on for 3 months?

No, but what's "cloying"??? The dictionary didn't help.

No contract exists between me and the gov; never did, never will. No
expressed agreement on my part. No relationship. Nada. Is it possible
to have a relationship with an abstraction? Not. Show me where and
when I signed - and under what conditions please.

OTOH, apartment rental involves voluntary informed consent regarding a
relationship with a landlord as defined by a contract, (openly and
sometimes before witnesses), which I read and signed. I _agreed to_ its
terms explicitly.

> For you, et. al., gov seems to be perceived as "cooperation"
> where I perceive force or threat of force. Viva le diferance!
> (sic?)

Very.

>Your perception of libertarianism is abolishing cooperation?

No. It seems that libertarians are opposed to the _cooperatively
agreed to_ enforcement of cooperative agreements.

Hmmmm... are you saying libertarians are opposed to cooperation?

Maybe you could explain what you mean by "cooperatively agreed to"?
What am I doing, how am I responsible/accountable, if I am
_cooperatively agreeing to_? With whom, where and when and under
what conditions does this event (if _cooperatively agreeing to_ is an
event) take place in time? I have the feeling you might say I am
cooperating with you while you hold a gun to my head. I would say I am
cooperating only "under duress"; no voluntary compliance.

When you become
a US citizen you agree to follow the laws of the US. The "Miami
relatives" violated those laws (and the laws of common decency,
but we'll let that go). Anti- government types seem to have
gotten upset when those laws were enforced. I'm afraid that
doesn't impress me as a very classy way to protest a law.

Mobs do what they do according to what variable they are collectively
controlling for no? Is your eye on the rubber band? <g>

I think Martin Luther King's approach was far more principled.

Ack... feels like conceptual confusions of morality have entered stage
left. <g> Are your system concepts are more aligned with MLK's
cause? Therefore his means to an end are perceived as "more
principled"? Seems reasonable to assume when one is less aligned
with any particular cause, then the means to an end they practice are
typically perceived as less principled. To each his/her own perceptions.

Whatever became of peer to peer relationships?

> BTW, your "let slip the dogs of all-star wrestling;-)" is
> lost on me.

It was, of course, a reference to the current Gov. of
Minnesota (a libertarian head of state?). As an ex-resident
of that once wonderfully progressive (and, therefore, wonderfully
livable) state all I can say is a hearty "uff da".

LOL... "uff da" indeed. The collective gets what it disserves.

Oh for a world without leaders.

Best,
nth

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.24.1040)]

Norman Hovda (2000.04.23.1325 MST)--

To the extent that a person's control system is dysfunctional,
caught in a conflicted and self-defeating hierarchy to the
point of death, I think we both prolly agree that the outcome was
perhaps the tragic result of some intrinsic reference level gone
wrong and the control system has not served this bulimic person
well.

I think one of us has to learn how conflict works in a control
system; it certainly has nothing to do with intrinsic reference
levels gone wrong.

If control system is controlling for slow death by starvation,
then the system is being served by bulimic perceptions, no?

Yes. But the people I've met who have bulimia (a conflict where
the person both wants and does not want food in the stomach)
were more interested in being thin than dead.

But the outcome of a majority vote includes everyone who has
not given consent, or not voted, or "agree[d] to follow those
rules" including those that voted and lost.

True. But in any cooperative agreement, no matter how it's
implemented, everyone has to get something less than all they
want. Cooperation involves compromise.

Explicit voluntary informed consent between adults.

How is that different from what goes on in a democracy?

IMO the "Miami relatives" (MR) were acting as a mob and way
out of line just as the bigger and more powerful gov agents
were acting as a mob and way out of line.

What would have been your approach to dealing with the MRs?

I imagine if you or I were a born and raised among cuban
exiles we would perceive things differently.

I should hope not. I'm sure Cuban exiles know that kidnapping
is wrong. Unfortunately, many exiles have adopted such a narrow
system concept ("anti-communism") that kidnapping actually becomes
the right thing to do when it's a means of achieving that goal.

Thanks goodness you're not in charge of the economy <g> as
if any one person is in charge. What is "much better" is truly
in the perception of the control system.

What is "much better" is defined by the references of each
control system. I want to see (have a reference for) an economy
where there is no poverty; you want to see an economy where
people can get arbitrarily rich. So the same economic perception
(such as our perception of the US economy) will have quite a
different value (goodness level) for each of us.

How is all this discussion (gov coercion v. voluntary consent) any
different than your arguments some weeks/months ago regarding the
teacher's telling the child "I see you have chosen" for the sham that
it is?

As Mary Powers (2000.04.24) just noted "the point of the coercion
argument was not that there shouldn't be any, but that it should be
acknowledged that there always is some". I have nothing against
removing (coercing) disruptive kids from class; I do object to
efforts to make people believe that this is not coercion. I also
object to verbally shifting responsibility for coercion onto the
coercee, as a teacher does when she says "I see you have chosen
to go to the RTC". I would have objected if the government SWAT
team had entered the home of Elian's captor's and said "I see
you have chosen to be raided". Of course, the captors didn't
choose to get raided; the government chose to do the raiding
(thank god); the relatives just chose to be criminals.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Norman Hovda (2000.04.24.1240 MST)]

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.24.1040)]

Norman Hovda (2000.04.23.1325 MST)--

[snip common ground]

> Explicit voluntary informed consent between adults.

How is that different from what goes on in a democracy?

The sheep gets to say NO, and the wolves have to find another way to
survive.

> IMO the "Miami relatives" (MR) were acting as a mob and way
> out of line just as the bigger and more powerful gov agents
> were acting as a mob and way out of line.

What would have been your approach to dealing with the MRs?

More negotiation, then more negotiation, and then still more negotiation.

> I imagine if you or I were a born and raised among cuban
> exiles we would perceive things differently.

I should hope not. I'm sure Cuban exiles know that kidnapping
is wrong. Unfortunately, many exiles have adopted such a narrow
system concept ("anti-communism") that kidnapping actually becomes
the right thing to do when it's a means of achieving that goal.

True, from what I've heard, the MR have been given a hard time by the
latino press. You've said it far better than I... in good PCT speak too.
<g>.

> Thanks goodness you're not in charge of the economy <g> as
> if any one person is in charge. What is "much better" is truly
> in the perception of the control system.

What is "much better" is defined by the references of each
control system. I want to see (have a reference for) an economy
where there is no poverty; you want to see an economy where
people can get arbitrarily rich. So the same economic perception
(such as our perception of the US economy) will have quite a
different value (goodness level) for each of us.

Well... I would phrase it more along the lines of "where people can earn
and own w/o it being confiscated" and absolutely not "get *arbitrarily*
rich". That smacks to me of the current mixed mercantilist economy we
have now that often *grants* riches because of privilege and not merit.

on what I want involves bringing something into existence rather than
making something go away. FWIW <g>

> How is all this discussion (gov coercion v. voluntary consent) any
> different than your arguments some weeks/months ago regarding the
> teacher's telling the child "I see you have chosen" for the sham that it
> is?

As Mary Powers (2000.04.24) just noted "the point of the coercion
argument was not that there shouldn't be any, but that it should be
acknowledged that there always is some".

And if I had my druthers it would be abolished... dream, dream , dream,
but making things go away is VERY difficult so I don't spend any time
on it. <g>

I have nothing against
removing (coercing) disruptive kids from class; I do object to
efforts to make people believe that this is not coercion. I also
object to verbally shifting responsibility for coercion onto the
coercee, as a teacher does when she says "I see you have chosen
to go to the RTC". I would have objected if the government SWAT
team had entered the home of Elian's captor's and said "I see
you have chosen to be raided". Of course, the captors didn't
choose to get raided; the government chose to do the raiding
(thank god); the relatives just chose to be criminals.

Best

Rick

Hmmmm... seems to me the gov and its supporters do just that... try to
"make people believe" that paying taxes is an act of _voluntary
cooperation_ and not blackmail.

Best,
nth

···

from my experience, the creative process works better when focusing

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.24.1450 PDT)]

Me:

What would have been your approach to dealing with the MRs?

Norman Hovda (2000.04.24.1240 MST) --

More negotiation, then more negotiation, and then still more
negotiation.

And the negotiations could go on forever (they had already gone
on for 5 months!). In the meantime my son is being kept from me;
my family life is being ruined as you continue to negotiate with
a bunch of criminals who clearly have no intention of giving me
custody of my child. Sorry, I think the government did exactly
the right thing.

What the government did to the disruptive MRs is exactly what
the RTP teacher is asked to do with disruptive students.
One of the nice things about RTP is that the teacher is
specifically told _not_ to negotiate with disruptive kids;
kids who disrupt twice are simply removed from class (just
as the MRs were removed as custodians). This aspect of RTP is
nice because it let's the other kids in class spend their
time learning to read, write and do arithmetic instead of
forcing them to spend their time watching the teacher
continuously "negotiate" with disruptive kids -- just as now
I can spend time being with my son instead of waiting and
waiting for his return.

Anyway, I think it's just your anti-government ideology that
makes you suggest negotiation in this situation. If a bunch
of bandits had kidnapped your child and you were unable to
overpower the bandits on your own, I bet you would welcome
the intervention of a group of people who could overpower
the bandits and get your kid back. And I'm quite sure you
wouldn't tell the group to go in there and negotiate until
the kid is returned, even if the group called itself "the
government". I'm sure you would be most happy if the group
snatched the kid from the bandits and brought him right
back to you, safe and sound.

Well... I would phrase it more along the lines of "where
people can earn and own w/o it being confiscated"

"Confiscated"? I suggest that you take a drive around the
USA on the most tangible benefit of our confiscated (tax) money :
the highway system. Then cruise on down to Mexico and look at
what low taxes (non confiscation) gets you.

Hmmmm... seems to me the gov and its supporters do just
that... try to "make people believe" that paying taxes is
an act of _voluntary cooperation_ and not blackmail.

Blackmail? You'll have to explain that one.

Anyway, you are apparently happy with your anti government
reference signals, so enjoy.

This discussion started long ago with economic data and
working models to explain it. I'd like to return to the
data and models ASAP.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[Form Norman Hovda (2000.04.24.1540 MST)]

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.24.1450 PDT)]

Anyway, you are apparently happy with your anti government
reference signals, so enjoy.

This discussion started long ago with economic data and
working models to explain it. I'd like to return to the
data and models ASAP.

Likewise.

nth

[Martin Taylor (2000.05.28)
Still catching up....

[From Rick Marken (2000.04.24.1450 PDT)]

To

Norman Hovda (2000.04.24.1240 MST) --

> Well... I would phrase it more along the lines of "where
> people can earn and own w/o it being confiscated"

"Confiscated"? I suggest that you take a drive around the
USA on the most tangible benefit of our confiscated (tax) money :
the highway system. Then cruise on down to Mexico and look at
what low taxes (non confiscation) gets you.

I find it very odd that so many people believe that the money they
acquire from hard work could have equally well have been acquired if
_other people_ had paid no taxes. All your work is done in a social
context, and the infrastructure built from taxes is a large part of
what enables you to do your work and receive the monetary benefits.
What part of those benefits is specifically due to your personal
efforts? To answer that would need a lot of analysis, but it's hard
to imagine that your personal contribution is as much as half. If
that's true, then not to pay as much as half in taxes is actually
theft on your part--theft from all those people whose work enables
you to do your own work.

If you could put the effort into contracting individually with all
those people whose effort contributes to your success--millions of
them--then there would be no need for taxes. But would someone in
India be willing to put the effort in to contract for you to pay them
one cent over a lifetime? Would you be willing to put in the effort
to find that person, and to draw up that contract?

It's the distributive nature of the mutual benefits that makes taxes
so much more efficient than myriads of individual contracts for
pennies. And the middle-class person who objects to paying 50% of
their income in taxes is a real freeloader and thief (as is the rich
one who objects to paying 90%). (The specific numbers are, of course,
subject to revision, but I think the order of magnitude won't be far
off).

Martin