[From Eetu Pikkarainen 2016.10.9]
Dear Fred and all other csgnet people
I’m new in this list, so perhaps I should introduce myself shortly. I am a university lecturer in education in University of Oulu in Finland and specialized in philosophy and semiotics of education. Especially I have tried to develop which I call action
theoretical semiotics. Recently I happened to find a reference to Powers B:CP and then managed to find a book in a university library in southern Finland – yes only one volume in whole country! After reading that I was very impressed (as you understand) and
then gravitated to this list and have now read some more articles and books which are available via internet. (BTW sorry for my clumsy English.)
And now to the point. Fred, I liked your blog draft very much! It was nice and interesting but I got trouble with the diagram. This is not a critique to you but rather a more general problem probably just in my understanding. I have understood that central
to PCT is that the special feature of living beings in that they set (or have?) their own goals. As control systems they differ from thermostat which receives its goal from the user of that thermostat. Still in the PCT diagrams about human hierarchical control
system every control loop receives its reference from up above. This causes for me a question: from where receives the hierarchically highest loop its reference? If we think that human as a living being can set or sets her own goals, then this highest reference
should be created inside the human being, shouldn’t it?
The diagram in your blog seems to me very similar to my old action theoretical semiotic model of action as two way interaction between subject and environment where perception gives feedback about subjects doing. (Now I’m trying to convert that model in
my mind to the thought that doings give feedback about perceptions…) Except in your model the goals seem to be imposed for a person from up above. For me this brings to my mind a model of traditional top-down management??? I would at the moment like to draw
it so that there were nothing above the person and below her there would be a writing: “Person with Goals”. But probably this change would bring new and worse problems, I am afraid?
(Probably I will in future ask more these dummy questions.)
Lähettäjä: Fred Nickols firstname.lastname@example.org
Lähetetty: 6. lokakuuta 2016 23:46
Aihe: RE: TCV and Collective Control (was Re: The Concept of Controlled Variable) –
[From Fred Nickols (2016.10.06.1635 ET)]
I don’t want to get caught up in any kind of ego-based conflict so let me try to make clear my aims at the outset.
First, I view PCT as having two primary foci or application points. One is to the observable behavior of people, with a focus on the direct, observable, immediate effects
of their behavior. The second is to the behavior of people in the workplace, where they are in pursuit of results or effects that are often far removed in space and time from their direct, immediate behavior. In this latter application point, results are
often realized (or not) as a consequence of cooperative, coordinated and collaborative endeavor. People work together to realize some common goal or objective. In these kinds of situations, we must be concerned with three kinds of controlled variables: (1)
proximate variables (those a person directly affects), (2) ultimate variables (those that no single person can affect or control and (3) intermediate variables (those variables that connect proximate and ultimate variables).
Second, I have recently expressed an interest in “collective control” and I am currently exploring the work and writings of Kent McClelland, Martin Taylor and that rascal
known to us all as Rick Marken.
Third, in the meantime, I have decided to broach the issue of “collective control” in the monthly column I write for PerformanceXpress, a monthly publication of the International
Society for Performance and Instruction (ISPI). A draft of the column I have in mind is attached.
I am interested in constructive comments and useful suggestions regarding the attachment. Do I have it all wrong? Am I missing something critical?
Fred Nickols, Knowledge Worker
My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours
“Assistance at a Distance”SM
From: McClelland, Kent [mailto:MCCLEL@Grinnell.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2016 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: TCV and Collective Control (was Re: The Concept of Controlled Variable) –
Oops, I apologize. I sent you more than just one paper. My bad. (Though I don’t see why you shouldn’t go ahead and read all the available literature on the topic, if you’re interested in collective control and want to discuss it on CSGnet.)
On Oct 6, 2016, at 3:15 PM, Richard Marken email@example.com wrote:
[From Rick Marken (2016.10.06.1315)]
Kent McClelland (2016.10.06.1440
RM: I just can’t think of any. Could you give me a couple of examples.
KM: Rick, “I just can’t think of any” sounds more like a comment about the limits of your own imagination than an argument meant to be persuasive to other people.
RM: Perhaps. I just meant that I couldn’t think of any everyday examples of social stability resulting from conflict.
KM: As Warren noted, I’ve published several substantial papers on collective control, and they contain numerous examples of what I’m talking about,
RM: Great. Yes, maybe if you could send me just one that has some nice concrete examples, that would be great.
KM: … My experience has been that CSGnet discussions with you usually generate more heat than light.
RM: Perhaps. But they do always generate light for me. I find that it generally takes some heat to generate light.
Richard S. Marken
“The childhood of the human race is far from over. We have a long way to go before most people will understand that what they do for others is just as important to their well-being as what they do for themselves.” – William T.