[From Rick Marken (980809.2050)]
Bruce Gregory (980809.2100 EDT) --
Thanks. You will not be happy to learn that I see your response
as supporting my comment that what Bill doesn't like is society.
In your example, society is the coercive system that allows the
teacher to be a virtual coercer.
Yes, in this case it is a member of society (the soldier) who
turns a person into a virtual coercer. But I think it's
kind of silly to say that your glib "society" makes any sense
as a name for the behavior Bill Powers (980809.1303MD) described:
Just for the record, I do object to placing people in a position
where they are arbitrarily limited to only a few choices of
actions (picked by someone else), forced (physically, if
necessary) to select one of them (chosen by someone else),
and are then told that the choice was made by their own free
will. I don't know what your word for that is, but whatever it
is, I don't like it.
Calling this "society" is like calling electrolysis "chemistry".
Bill was describing something a person (a member of some society)
can do. Most people would call what this person is doing "coercion"
and/or "lying". Certainly, some members of society do this; but
people in a society do a lot of other things, too.
...when I say "Go jump in a lake" you
can turn those words into a reference for a perception and
control for that perception, if you want; if it's as hot out
there as it is here you might want to adopt that reference.
Marc Abrams (980809.1720) --
I am confused. ( not unusual ) How do you "turn" those
words into a reference _without_ reorganizing?
I don't think reorganization is involved when you, say, follow
the instructions for building a model airplane, something I
became relatively skilled at as a child. Turning words into
references is a control skill in itself; you have to learn
how to change the words and pictures into references for
perceptions you want to have. For example, the instructions
say "insert tab A into slot B". In order to follow these
instructions you have to 1) _want_ to follow them (that's
the highest order goal) 2) determine what the desired perceptual
result of following these instructions is (producing a particular
state of a relationship (into) between configurations (tab A,
slot B)) and 3) turn these instruction words into a hierarchy of
perceptual references (for perceptual variables that you can
already perceive) that will achieve the desired perceptual
result in 2).
In practice, I've found that following instructions is not a
smooth process and there was quite a bit of reorganizing going
on when I was building model planes ("oh, they mean _that thing_
by 'tab'"). But the basic phenomenon of turning words into
references for control processes is really easy to demonstrate;
if I say the words "put your open hand about 5 inches in front
of your face" I bet you do it. You have controlled the perception
of your hand, bringing it to the reference I specified. I bet
you enev did it with the palm toward your face, though that was
not specified in the instructions. Someone else might have put
the hand up with the back toward the face. Words can't tell you
"exactly" what another person wants you to control; but they are
pretty darn good for giving instructions with. And when crucial
things are left out of instructions (like "punch the slot open
before trying to insert the tab") things can get rough (and require
considerable reorganization -- which can include throwing the
model into the wall -- something I did a few times in my life;-))
Does this help? I think this is a potentially great area for
research, now that I think of it. Maybe I'll work on something
related to "following instructions".
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: email@example.com