Understand me, don't love me;-)

[From Rick Marken (961016.1330)]

Bruce Gregory (961016.1145 EDT) --

"It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery
of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Beautiful!! Wilde seems to have been a world class PCTer. And look what
happened to _him_. Yikes!

Bill Benzon (961016) --

HPCT seems to have as its central problem, that of visually guided

No. HPCT has as its central problem the explanation of purposeful behavior.
Purposeful movement is one kind of purposeful behavior. One thing PCT does
show is that purposeful movement is not "visually guided"; if anything,
purposeful movement guides controlled visual variables.

I want a model where the inputs and outputs are sensory.

I think that would be at the next theory store on your left: the one selling
"perceptual output theory":wink:

Bill Benzon (961016b) --

I adopted PCT around 20 years ago for certain limited purposes

I know that you have adopted PCT for "certain limited purposes". I just
wonder whether you _understand_ what you have adopted.

I don't need to be convinced that the hierarchy is a real good
thing and so is reorganization;

That's up to you. But I prefer to subject my beliefs to continuous scrutiny.
I am continuously convincing myself that HPCT is "a real good thing" by
testing the HPCT model against evidence (data).

how do you choose among models? Of course, we know the best answer to that
question: get empirical evidence. But that is easier said than done.

But it can be done. I've been doing it for quite some time. So has Bill
Powers and Tom Bourbon. It would be nice to have a few more doing it too.

Verbal reformulations and 3-level demos aren't going to convince me that
Hays and I have gathered a lot of unnecessary intellectual machinery.

Knowing that should save you quite a bit of time.

So, for better or worse, what you're telling me just doesn't sound

I know. That's why I suggested the demos;-)

Now, if you can produce a great deal of hard empirical evidence, then you
can get my attention.

But the hard empirical evidence consists mainly of "demos" that show how the
PCT model fits empirical data; and you just said that demos won't change your
mind. Nevertheless, if you are willing to look at some "hard evidence", a lot
of what there is of it is collected together in my "Mind Readings" book.
Information about the book (including where to get it) is available on the
Web at:


But pleas to give HPCT a chance won't cut it. I've been there, done that.

I'm not asking you to give HPCT "a chance". I'm suggesting ways to sharpen
your understanding of the HPCT model.

And you really think that you don't need some explicit mechanism to direct
motoric action in service of one or three of some 10s or perhaps 100s of
these variables? You think that these variables will automatically conjure
up a reference level at, say, the program level, and the dog will happily
trot off in pursuit of a bone or a fire hydrant or a male or female dog or
a warm cozy doghouse?

There _might_, indeed, be some mechanism that directs reorganizaton to a
control system (not motoric action) that has the most influence on a
particular intrinsic variable. But I know of no data that suggests such
direction. Indeed, much of the data on reorganization -- to the extent
that it is useful -- suggests there is no direction to reorganization. A
food deprived animal, for example, will develop all kinds of control systems
(for things like walking in figure eight patterns, scrathing itself in
particular ways, etc -- some having an influence on the intrinsic variable
and others having none) if one or another of those systems results in
something (like food) that reduces the intrinsic error. Several of us have
built models of reorganization that show that random changes in multiple
control systems can efficiently bring a large number of intrinsic variables
under control. In theory, reorganization works _without_ direction. Now the
question is whether it works that way in fact.

So, yes, at the moment I think what you think I think;-)