VS: VS: TCV and Collective Control (was Re: The Concept of Controlled Variable) --

[from Eetu Pikkarainen 2016.10.11]

Thank you Rick! Just that logical problem with the higher control loop / level of the highest control loop / level was in my mind. I got the e-version of Controlling People and will read in the near future. (BTW it was interesting to find that the search
of “controlling people” returned tens of books only in Amazon and even many with exactly same main title and a few with same theme in their cover picture.)

···

Eetu Pikkarainen


Lähettäjä: Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com
Lähetetty: 10. lokakuuta 2016 19:15
Vastaanottaja: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Aihe: Re: VS: TCV and Collective Control (was Re: The Concept of Controlled Variable) –

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.10.0915)]

Rupert Young (2016.10.10 13.00) to Eetu Pikkarainen (2016.10.9)

EP: 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?

RY: The “highest” level goal, of living systems, is to acquire energy such that the system can combat the inevitable decay of entropy long enough to procreate.

RM: Yes, in a sense the whole hierarchy of control exists to allow the organism to do things that allow it to acquire the energy used to control for getting the energy that makes control possible.

RM: But I think there Eetu was asking about what sets the highest level goals in the control hierarchy, which is an interesting question since there are presumably no control systems above the highest level systems that can set their
goals. We Tim Carey and I deal with this question in Chapter 4 of “Controlling People”. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, Eetu, I think that book provides a nice, non-technical introduction to PCT and its practical implications. It’s available at

https://www.amazon.com/Controlling-People-Paradoxical-Nature-Being/dp/1922117641/

Best

Rick


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. Powers

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.11,09.24]

[from Eetu Pikkarainen 2016.10.11]

    Thank you Rick! Just that logical problem with the higher

control loop / level of the highest control loop / level was in
my mind.

There really isn't a logical problem with the highest level. Think

of any control loop.

![ctrl3.logo.png|120x80](upload://h5Z7KeP6q52Q9BTVEikgGQBiL7x.png)

The reference signal "from above" is labelled "R" in the diagram.

Suppose the value of the reference is fixed at, say, zero (but it
could be any value at all). There’s no need for a connection “R” at
all, but the control loop still works the same way, bring the value
of the variable “P” always toward the fixed reference value.

Any control loop could exist without a reference connection, and it

would be its own “top level”. If you think about it this way, the
problem changes to “How does this ‘top level’ control loop
communicate its output to the environment?” The answer is by sending
a varying reference value to some other control loops, which by
definition are at a lower level. To send this varying signal
requires some connection, and that is what is shown by “R” in the
diagram. Control hierarchies can grow from the bottom up, adding new
“higher” levels as the organism matures, provided that reorganizing
to add levels improves the perceptual control that keeps the
intrinsic variables in states that keep it alive and well.

![1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg|789x446](upload://uYNZGMWuOgUXnrdOZPNhNFQEk6C.jpeg)

Likewise, there's no need for the perceptual signal "P" to be

distributed to a higher level. It’s just a controlled value, and if
nobody else uses it, so be it.

I can't find a quote, but Bill pointed this out more than once on

CSGnet, and probably in print.

Martin

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.16 15.00)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.11,09.24]

Your diagram would seem to suggest that for every perception there
is a corresponding CEV in the environment; that would be independent
of the perceiving system. Do you think that that is the case?
Rupert

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

···

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.16 15.00)]

  (Martin Taylor 2016.10.11,09.24]

Your diagram would seem to suggest that for every perception there
is a corresponding CEV in the environment; that would be
independent of the perceiving system. Do you think that that is
the case?
No, it would not be independent of the perceiving system, nor would
the perceiving system be independent of it. Let me try to explain.

The whole control hierarchy exists only because it helps the

organism to survive in the environment in which it lives – and its
ancestors have lived. Perceptual functions are costly. If they were
not, we could have a perceptual function for every conceivable
combination of sensory variables. We don’t, and reorganization to
keep intrinsic variable in states compatible with life modifies the
perceptual side of the hierarchy just as it modifies the output
side, both on an evolutionary time scale and during the life of the
individual organism.

Perceptual functions such as "the temperature in this room times the

blueness of the sky plus the distance to Bangalore" are unlikely to
be useful, though if such a perceptual function did exist (a dot
above the line), it would correspond to a function of environmental
variables (a dot below the line). If it existed during the course of
random reorganization, it would probably be reorganized out of
existence fairly quickly, because either it would be uncontrollable
or controlling it would not have an influence on the intrinsic
variable states that drive the reorganizing system. We wind up
preferentially controlling mainly perceptions built by functions
that have kept us alive when their perceptions are controlled well.

We have no knowledge of what exists in the environment other than

what we produce in our perceptual functions. If we can act on the
environment in a way that allows us to control a perception that is
produced by a perceptual function, that perception must correspond
to something in the environment, and if our control is good,we are
likely to say that there is a corresponding “thing” out there. But
we don’t know it. All we know is that when we act as though that
“thing” exists, control works.

The upshot of all this is that neither the dots above the line nor

the dots below the line have an independent existence. Each is there
because having the other allows for control that keeps us and has
kept our ancestors alive. Perceptions persist (not exist) because
they are useful in the world that exists, and the world we perceive
depends on what perceptual functions we have. For us, the dots below
the line is the entirety of our personal Universe. The rest of
whatever is in the real Universe may kill us one second from now,
but it hasn’t yet.

Martin

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

···

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.16 21.20)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

    Your diagram would seem to suggest that for every perception

there is a corresponding CEV in the environment; that would be
independent of the perceiving system. Do you think that that is
the case?

  No, it would not be independent of the perceiving system, nor

would the perceiving system be independent of it. Let me try to
explain.

  The whole control hierarchy exists only because it helps the

organism to survive in the environment in which it lives – and
its ancestors have lived. Perceptual functions are costly. If they
were not, we could have a perceptual function for every
conceivable combination of sensory variables. We don’t, and
reorganization to keep intrinsic variable in states compatible
with life modifies the perceptual side of the hierarchy just as it
modifies the output side, both on an evolutionary time scale and
during the life of the individual organism.

Sure.
  Perceptual functions such as "the temperature in this

room times the blueness of the sky plus the distance to Bangalore"
are unlikely to be useful, though if such a perceptual function
did exist (a dot above the line), it would correspond to a
function of environmental variables (a dot below the line).

I don't see that the latter is necessary, as a perceptual function

is a function of environmental variables (or at least a function
of the environmental variables acting on the sensory system). So, in
your example there are three environmental variable, x, y and z.
These are independent of the perceiving system, and each other.
There will be a perceptual function, f(x,y,z). Why any need for what
you are calling a CEV?

Calling it an "environmental" variable, and showing dots below the

line, i.e. out in the environment would suggest they are properties
of the environment, and independent. It would seem to me to be more
valid to have just independent arrows below the line representing
the raw environmental variables rather than a hierarchy. And it is
above the line where those variables coalesce to form complex
functions; the perceptual functions.

  We have no knowledge of what exists in the

environment other than what we produce in our perceptual
functions. If we can act on the environment in a way that allows
us to control a perception that is produced by a perceptual
function, that perception must correspond to something in the
environment,

Although the raw elements that make up the perceptual function may

correspond to somethings in the environment, I don’t see that it is
necessary that the perception itself must have such correspondence.

And how can something be in the environment but also not independent

of the perceiving system?

  and if our control is good,we are likely to say that

there is a corresponding “thing” out there.

I'd say for most perceptions there is no "thing" out there. Hunger,

for example, is a perceptual feeling that we control, but there is
nothing called hunger out there.

  The upshot of all this is that neither the dots above

the line nor the dots below the line have an independent
existence. Each is there because having the other allows for
control that keeps us and has kept our ancestors alive.

I'd agree, but only for the dots above the line. Perhaps you could

give some examples of what the dots below the line would be and why
they are necessary for control.

  For us, the dots below the line is the entirety of our

personal Universe.

Do you mean above the line?

Rupert

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.17.31]

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.16 21.20)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

      Your diagram would seem to suggest that for every perception

there is a corresponding CEV in the environment; that would be
independent of the perceiving system. Do you think that that
is the case?

    No, it would not be independent of the perceiving system, nor

would the perceiving system be independent of it. Let me try to
explain.

    The whole control hierarchy exists only because it helps the

organism to survive in the environment in which it lives – and
its ancestors have lived. Perceptual functions are costly. If
they were not, we could have a perceptual function for every
conceivable combination of sensory variables. We don’t, and
reorganization to keep intrinsic variable in states compatible
with life modifies the perceptual side of the hierarchy just as
it modifies the output side, both on an evolutionary time scale
and during the life of the individual organism.

  Sure.
    Perceptual functions such as "the temperature in

this room times the blueness of the sky plus the distance to
Bangalore" are unlikely to be useful, though if such a
perceptual function did exist (a dot above the line), it would
correspond to a function of environmental variables (a dot below
the line).

  I don't see that the latter is necessary, as a perceptual function

is a function of environmental variables (or at least a function
of the environmental variables acting on the sensory system).

Or so you presume, since you have no independent evidence that there

are things in the environment that correspond to what the senses
report. Once you accept that there are, the rest of the argument
follows. The senses perform functions on whatever physico-chemical
effects impinge on them. Higher perceptual systems perform functions
on those.

I think you have to be consistent. Once you accept that the input

from the senses corresponds to some interaction event with the
environment, you have to accept that the results of the other
functions do, too. The result of applying one such function in the
environment is the dot below the line. It’s shaded in the figure
because it is selected by the perceptual function in the brain
rather than being an intrinsic structure in the Universe (are there
such things? How could we ever know?). The dot above the line is a
pattern of nerve firings, or in Powers’s simplification, a “neural
current”, the result of the perceptual function made of neural
network operations in the brain. The dot below the line is a pattern
of what we perceive to be in the environment.

  So, in your example there are three environmental

variable, x, y and z. These are independent of the perceiving
system, and each other. There will be a perceptual function,
f(x,y,z). Why any need for what you are calling a CEV?

When you act, you can't act on the nerves to make them fire the way

you want. You have to act on x, y z in the environment, but to
influence the perception created by f( ), you have to influence not
independently x, y. and/or z, but that particular function of those
three variables. Any other effects produced by acting on x, y, and z
are what we call “side-effects” in PCT.

  Calling it an "environmental" variable, and showing

dots below the line, i.e. out in the environment would suggest
they are properties of the environment, and independent.

Propertied of the environment, yes. Independent, no. If

“independent” is an impression you get from the figure, my attempt
to suggest a mirror image of the internal control hierarchy has been
rather unsuccessful. They are properties of the environment, if by
altering the value of that function you can alter the value of the
corresponding perceptual signal. If you can’t (as would be the case
for a mirage if you tried to drink from the “water”), the function
isn’t actually a property of the environment, though its arguments
may be.

  It would seem to me to be more valid to have just

independent arrows below the line representing the raw
environmental variables rather than a hierarchy. And it is above
the line where those variables coalesce to form complex functions;
the perceptual functions.

Sometimes such a diagram might be useful, sometimes the other. No

diagram is the thing itself; as Korzybski said “The map is not the
territory”, and any territory can be mapped in a wide variety of
ways.

    We have no knowledge of what exists in the

environment other than what we produce in our perceptual
functions. If we can act on the environment in a way that allows
us to control a perception that is produced by a perceptual
function, that perception must correspond to something in the
environment,

  Although the raw elements that make up the perceptual function may

correspond to somethings in the environment, I don’t see that it
is necessary that the perception itself must have such
correspondence.

No. As I said, the correspondence applies only for perceptual

functions that persist. The process of reorganization produces all
sorts of results before finding ways to control perceptions well
that help keep the intrinsic variables in good condition. There are
lots of perceptions that don’t have that correspondence, but they
are unlikely to last very long if they are, to use the term, “a
waste of space” or worse, an active detriment to control that does
help with the intrinsic variables.

  And how can something be in the environment but also not

independent of the perceiving system?

There is an infinite number of possible functions of N variables

possible functions, even if N is s finite as the number of sensory
cells in the organism. Until a finite number of them are selected
out by the creation of perceptual function processors, they are all
independent of the perceiving system. What is NOT independent of the
perceiving system is the selection of the ones that correspond to
things we perceive. That selection depends on the finite number of
perceptual functions created by evolution and reorganization in any
finite organism. It is not independent of the perceiving system,
because it is created by the perceiving system.

    and if our control is good,we are likely to say that

there is a corresponding “thing” out there.

  I'd say for most perceptions there is no "thing" out there.

Hunger, for example, is a perceptual feeling that we control, but
there is nothing called hunger out there.

"Hunger" is indeed a perception, but it does not depend on input

from sensors that only sense influences coming from outside the skin
of the organism. If you add internal sensors, then what influences
them comes from a different “out there” that includes some of the
interior of the “skin bag” of the organism, and that is defined by
the sensors themselves. Whatever physical and chemical influences
affect them comes from “out there”. The same applies to the sensors
of muscle tension and joint angle that produce the perceptions that
must be controlled when we muscularly manipulate things in the world
outside the “skin bag”.

    The upshot of all this is that neither the dots

above the line nor the dots below the line have an independent
existence. Each is there because having the other allows for
control that keeps us and has kept our ancestors alive.

  I'd agree, but only for the dots above the line. Perhaps you could

give some examples of what the dots below the line would be and
why they are necessary for control.

Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a mouse to cause a

cursor on screen to follow the left-right motions of a target. One
dot above the line would represent a perception of the x difference
between cursor and target. The dot below the line would be the
actual distance between the luminous spots representing cursor and
target.

    For us, the dots below the line is the entirety of

our personal Universe.

  Do you mean above the line?
No. Dots "above the line" are our perceptions of the tiny bit of the

entire Universe that we do perceive (neural events and states). Dots
below the line represent the restricted portion of the Universe that
affects what we perceive by way of our sensory system (effectively,
the line).

I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to say is real and what

is not. If you accept that the senses report some transform, some
function, of physical or chemical influences from a real outer
world, you have no justification for saying other functions (which
ones) of those “reports” do not exist in that same real world.
Controlling the perceptual consequences of these layers of functions
requires you to influence those functions preferentially to other
functions of the same variables. If you can, then the function
results you can control have as much reality as do the events that
cause the millions of individual sensors to report what they do. We
can’t control those millions of inputs, anyway. We can only control
and perceive functions of them.

Martin

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.19 21.30)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.17.31]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

    I don't see that the latter is necessary, as a perceptual

function is a function of environmental variables (or at least
a function of the environmental variables acting on the sensory
system).

  Or so you presume, since you have no independent evidence that

there are things in the environment that correspond to what the
senses report. Once you accept that there are, the rest of the
argument follows. The senses perform functions on whatever
physico-chemical effects impinge on them. Higher perceptual
systems perform functions on those.

We agree so far.
  I think you have to be consistent. Once you accept

that the input from the senses corresponds to some interaction
event with the environment, you have to accept that the results of
the other functions do, too.

I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are stimulated these

correspond to direct interaction with the environment, due to the
presence of light of specific wavelengths. If there is a next level
perception combining both it perceives purple. But here is nothing
in the environment which is purple, i.e. no wavelength of light
corresponding to purple.

  The result of applying one such function in the

environment is the dot below the line.

Where is this function? How can it have representation if there is

no infrastructure (neural)?

  It's shaded in the figure because it is selected by

the perceptual function in the brain rather than being an
intrinsic structure in the Universe (are there such things? How
could we ever know?). The dot above the line is a pattern of nerve
firings, or in Powers’s simplification, a “neural current”, the
result of the perceptual function made of neural network
operations in the brain.

Yep.
  The dot below the line is a pattern of what we

perceive to be in the environment.

Not sure what you mean here, this sounds like the definition of a

perception, i.e. above the line.

    So, in your example there are three environmental

variable, x, y and z. These are independent of the perceiving
system, and each other. There will be a perceptual function,
f(x,y,z). Why any need for what you are calling a CEV?

  When you act, you can't act on the nerves to make them fire the

way you want. You have to act on x, y z in the environment, but to
influence the perception created by f( ), you have to influence
not independently x, y. and/or z, but that particular function of
those three variables. Any other effects produced by acting on x,
y, and z are what we call “side-effects” in PCT.

By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I still don't see that

there is such a thing. It is the perceptual function that we
influence, by way of the constituent environmental elements. For
example, in my recent paper my robot had a perceptual function that
comprised a smoothed sum of the changes in a number of sensor
values. It could control this by reversing the motors. The idea was
to keep the value higher than (almost) zero, as it would go to zero
when the robot was stuck. There was only the perceptual function (a
dot above the line), no function in the environment (no dot below
the line). On the environment side of the agent/environment boundary
there was only the elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

      We have no knowledge of what exists in the

environment other than what we produce in our perceptual
functions. If we can act on the environment in a way that
allows us to control a perception that is produced by a
perceptual function, that perception must correspond to
something in the environment,

    Although the raw elements that make up the perceptual function

may correspond to somethings in the environment, I don’t see
that it is necessary that the perception itself must have such
correspondence.

  No. As I said, the correspondence applies only for perceptual

functions that persist. The process of reorganization produces all
sorts of results before finding ways to control perceptions well
that help keep the intrinsic variables in good condition. There
are lots of perceptions that don’t have that correspondence, but
they are unlikely to last very long if they are, to use the term,
“a waste of space” or worse, an active detriment to control that
does help with the intrinsic variables.

Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see reorganization as

relevant here as I am talking about perceptual functions that
persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you can control a
perceptual function of purple by influencing the input elements to
it without there being such a thing as purple in the environment.

    And how can something be in the environment but

also not independent of the perceiving system?

  There is an infinite number of possible functions of N variables

possible functions, even if N is s finite as the number of sensory
cells in the organism. Until a finite number of them are selected
out by the creation of perceptual function processors, they are
all independent of the perceiving system. What is NOT independent
of the perceiving system is the selection of the ones that
correspond to things we perceive. That selection depends on the
finite number of perceptual functions created by evolution and
reorganization in any finite organism. It is not independent of
the perceiving system, because it is created by the perceiving
system.

What is created by the perceiving system? Environment functions?
      and if our control is good,we are likely to say

that there is a corresponding “thing” out there.

    I'd say for most perceptions there is no "thing" out there.

Hunger, for example, is a perceptual feeling that we control,
but there is nothing called hunger out there.

  "Hunger" is indeed a perception, but it does not depend on input

from sensors that only sense influences coming from outside the
skin of the organism. If you add internal sensors, then what
influences them comes from a different “out there” that includes
some of the interior of the “skin bag” of the organism, and that
is defined by the sensors themselves. Whatever physical and
chemical influences affect them comes from “out there”.

Yes, they influence (contribute to) the perceptual function (of

hunger) but there is no “function” external to the sensory boundary.

    I'd agree, but only for the dots above the line.

Perhaps you could give some examples of what the dots below the
line would be and why they are necessary for control.

  Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a mouse to cause a

cursor on screen to follow the left-right motions of a target. One
dot above the line would represent a perception of the x
difference between cursor and target. The dot below the line would
be the actual distance between the luminous spots representing
cursor and target.

But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system. That is,

it could be measured objectively if the perceiving system
disappeared.

      For us, the dots below the line is the entirety of

our personal Universe.

    Do you mean above the line?
  No. Dots "above the line" are our perceptions of the tiny bit of

the entire Universe that we do perceive (neural events and
states). Dots below the line represent the restricted portion of
the Universe that affects what we perceive by way of our sensory
system (effectively, the line).

Yes, elements below the line but not functions.
  I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to say is

real and what is not.

I'm not.
  If you accept that the senses report some transform,

some function, of physical or chemical influences from a real
outer world, you have no justification for saying other functions
(which ones) of those “reports” do not exist in that same real
world.

Yes, perceptions are _functions_ of influences, that is new

(constructed by the neural architecture) variables. And those
variables only exist (above the line) as a result of that neural
architecture (even though those “influences” may be real). As with
purple, or fear, honesty, love, socialism etc

  Controlling the perceptual consequences of these

layers of functions requires you to influence those functions
preferentially to other functions of the same variables. If you
can, then the function results you can control have as much
reality as do the events that cause the millions of individual
sensors to report what they do. We can’t control those millions of
inputs, anyway. We can only control and perceive functions of
them.

Exactly! But that's all above the line.

Rupert

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

  I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few

questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing on
the rest.

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.19 21.30)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.17.31]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

      I don't see that the latter is necessary, as a perceptual

function is a function of environmental variables (or at
least a function of the environmental variables acting on the
sensory system).

    Or so you presume, since you have no independent evidence that

there are things in the environment that correspond to what the
senses report. Once you accept that there are, the rest of the
argument follows. The senses perform functions on whatever
physico-chemical effects impinge on them. Higher perceptual
systems perform functions on those.

  We agree so far.
    I think you have to be consistent. Once you accept

that the input from the senses corresponds to some interaction
event with the environment, you have to accept that the results
of the other functions do, too.

  I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are stimulated

these correspond to direct interaction with the environment, due
to the presence of light of specific wavelengths. If there is a
next level perception combining both it perceives purple. But here
is nothing in the environment which is purple, i.e. no wavelength
of light corresponding to purple.

Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember that

you can’t get a perception of red by simulating a red cone, because
a red cone responds to all visible wavelength. It will give the same
response for a bright blue-green wavelength and a moderately bright
orange wavelength. You can get a perception of “red” only by
comparing the outputs of neighbouring red and green cones – a
perceptual function.

      So, in your example there are three environmental

variable, x, y and z. These are independent of the perceiving
system, and each other. There will be a perceptual function,
f(x,y,z). Why any need for what you are calling a CEV?

    When you act, you can't act on the nerves to make them fire the

way you want. You have to act on x, y z in the environment, but
to influence the perception created by f( ), you have to
influence not independently x, y. and/or z, but that particular
function of those three variables. Any other effects produced by
acting on x, y, and z are what we call “side-effects” in PCT.

  By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I still don't see that

there is such a thing. It is the perceptual function that we
influence, by way of the constituent environmental elements. For
example, in my recent paper my robot had a perceptual function
that comprised a smoothed sum of the changes in a number of sensor
values. It could control this by reversing the motors. The idea
was to keep the value higher than (almost) zero, as it would go to
zero when the robot was stuck. There was only the perceptual
function (a dot above the line), no function in the environment
(no dot below the line). On the environment side of the
agent/environment boundary there was only the elementary, and
independent, variables that impinged on the sensory systems.

When your robot acted on those variables without altering the value

of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually do?

When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables

without altering the value of the perceptual function, what did the
robot do?

If your robot had had several orthogonal perceptual functions of

those same variables and controlled all of them (as the Little Man
or Arm2 demos do), and you randomly disturbed those variables in the
environment, what would the robot do?

        We have no knowledge of what exists in the

environment other than what we produce in our perceptual
functions. If we can act on the environment in a way that
allows us to control a perception that is produced by a
perceptual function, that perception must correspond to
something in the environment,

      Although the raw elements that make up the perceptual function

may correspond to somethings in the environment, I don’t see
that it is necessary that the perception itself must have such
correspondence.

    No. As I said, the correspondence applies only for perceptual

functions that persist. The process of reorganization produces
all sorts of results before finding ways to control perceptions
well that help keep the intrinsic variables in good condition.
There are lots of perceptions that don’t have that
correspondence, but they are unlikely to last very long if they
are, to use the term, “a waste of space” or worse, an active
detriment to control that does help with the intrinsic
variables.

  Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see reorganization as

relevant here as I am talking about perceptual functions that
persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you can control a
perceptual function of purple by influencing the input elements to
it without there being such a thing as purple in the environment.

On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no such

thing as purple in the environment?

    Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a

mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the left-right
motions of a target. One dot above the line would represent a
perception of the x difference between cursor and target. The
dot below the line would be the actual distance between the
luminous spots representing cursor and target.

  But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system. That is,

it could be measured objectively if the perceiving system
disappeared.

So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with scale

markings, exists objectively and really in the environment, as do
the relationship between the target and one scale marker, the
relationship between the cursor and another scale marker, and the
distance between them. Two questions: (1) where did you get this
knowledge of what exists in the real world? (2) If there were no
perceiving system to perceive these items, could the measurement be
made?

    I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to say

is real and what is not.

  I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

    Controlling the perceptual consequences of these

layers of functions requires you to influence those functions
preferentially to other functions of the same variables. If you
can, then the function results you can control have as much
reality as do the events that cause the millions of individual
sensors to report what they do. We can’t control those millions
of inputs, anyway. We can only control and perceive functions of
them.

  Exactly! But that's all above the line.
Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment so as

to influence one specific perceptual function’s output is “above the
line”?

Martin

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1300)]

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

image332.png

···

Martin Taylor (2016.10.26.23.30)–

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.19 21.30)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.17.31]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.10.32]

RM: The problem with this model is that it implies that controlled variables exist as entities in the environment, as what you call CEVs. In PCT there is no such thing as a CEV. In PCT the aspect of the environment that is controlled – what is ofen called the controlled quantity and symbolized q.i – is defined by the perceptual function of the behaving system. In PCT, the controlled quantity, q.i, is the perceptual aspect of the environment that is controlled by the control system – the controlled variable – as perceived by the observer of the control system. That is, in a control diagram like the one below, both p and q.i are the controlled perceptual variable; p is this variable from the perspective of the control system and q.i is this variable from the point of view of the observer of the control system.

RM: This PCT way of looking at things recognizes the fact that neither the control system nor the observer of the control system has direct access to what is in the environment; both are dealing only with a world of perception. Since, according to PCT, behavior is organized around the control of perceptual variables , an observer who wants to understand the behavior of a control system must learn to perceive what the control system is controlling. That’s what the Test for the Controlled Variable is about; it’s a way for an observer to perceive, as q.i, the same perceptual variable that the control system is controlling, as p. This means that the observer must use the same (or equivalent) input (perceptual) function as the control system to construct a perception of the aspect of the environment that the control system is perceiving and controlling. The observer’s perceptual function might be part of the observer him or herself, as it is in the “Coin Game” where the observer uses his or her own perceptual functions to see what perceptual aspect of the coins is under control. But the observer’s perceptual function can also be based on instrumentation, such as the computer calculation used to provide a perception of the area and perimeter of the rectangular shape in my “What is size” demo (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Size.html).

Best

Rick


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. Powers

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.27. 16.13]

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1300)]

Actually, p and qi are not the same variable, not the way the

diagram is drawn. But they almost are, the way I think of the CEV,
which is "qi in “p is this variable from the perspective of the
control system and q.i is this variable from the point of view of
the observer of the control system”.

As the diagram is drawn, however, there's an input function that

transforms qi to become p. If this function is just a pass-through
connector, why put it in the diagram? If it isn’t, why say qi and p
are the same variable?

"According to PCT", for any perceptual level in the hierarchy , this

input functions is the combined result of lower level perceptual
input functions working on their own individual set of input
variables. In order for qi and p to represent the same variable,
there must be some notional inverse functions, one for each of the
various Perceptual Input Functions in the hierarchy, to invert its
effect. That’s almost the mirror arrangement I show. However, most
perceptual input functions have no inverse. If z = x + y, what are
the values of x and y when z = 3?

So instead of dealing with inverse functions going from qi to the

“Input Function” in the drawing, I like to go from the many
“elemental” inputs to that function and work back to qi, using the
perceptual functions themselves rather than going the other way and
using their inverses. The mirror arrangement shows the mirror of the
Perceptual Input Functions, not their inverses. They aren’t actual
functions working on complex variables to tease them apart. They are
simply devices that define qi for the observer to perceive if the
Observer is capable of perceiving it. Either way, there’s nothing
actually operating in the environment to create qi as a chemist
would create a desired molecule from its atomic constituents.
There’s just a selection created by the array of Perceptual Input
Functions that contribute to the actual perception. They do actually
work on the elemental sensory variables.

Going mirror-fashion from the input (sensory) elements to qi defines

the environmental function that makes qi – also known more
correctly as the Complex Environmental Variable, because it is
not an input quantity to the sensory surface – something that an
outside observer can observe. (Always assuming that there is a real
world to observe and that an outside observer has a perceptual
function that precisely matches that of the controller.) Being
clear about this separation also makes it easier to deal with the
time it takes for any perception to form. The environmental (qi or
CEV) variable always changes before the corresponding perception
does, perhaps by milliseconds, perhaps by days, weeks, or months
(consider how long it takes to produce a profit statement for a
quarter). When you simply say “qi is p”, you lose that, which
sometimes can be important, and can be the subject of experiment.

Yes.

And I love the way you have of saying "the PCT way of looking at

things", “According to PCT”, and similar things whenever we disagree
on what PCT actually means. I’ve got used to it over the years, but
it’s still a fascinating way of referring to a complex abstraction,
as if you have some privileged access to its complexities.

Yes. With the delay caveat described above.

Yes. But there's a sticking point. No observer can ever guarantee to

have the same perceptual function as the one the controller is
using, and it is almost guaranteed that the observer’s sensory
inputs differ from those of the controller being observed. All we
can do is approximate.

Even then, the observer's perception is in the observer. But suppose

it were not. The same problem exists. Does the controller perceive
the variables the computer uses in the same way the computer does?
For that particular demo, it doesn’t matter because the alternatives
are clearly distinct and differences in the way the controller
perceives them would not make the choices less distinct (at least
not enough to create any difficulty).

Martin

1.2.7DevelopingHierarchy.jpg

image332.png

···

Martin Taylor (2016.10.26.23.30)–

[From Rupert Young (2016.10.19 21.30)]

(Martin Taylor 2016.10.16.17.31]

                    (Martin Taylor

2016.10.16.10.32]

      RM: The problem with this model is that it implies that

controlled variables exist as entities in the environment, as
what you call CEVs. In PCT there is no such thing as a CEV. In
PCT the aspect of the environment that is controlled – what
is ofen called the controlled quantity and symbolized q.i –
is defined by the perceptual function of the behaving system.
In PCT, the controlled quantity, q.i, is the perceptual aspect
of the environment that is controlled by the control system –
the controlled variable – * as perceived by the observer of
the control system* . That is, in a control diagram like
the one below, both p and q.i are the controlled perceptual
variable; p is this variable from the perspective of the
control system and q.i is this variable from the point of view
of the observer of the control system.

      RM: This PCT way of looking at things

recognizes the fact that neither the control system nor the
observer of the control system has direct access to what is in
the environment; both are dealing only with a world of
perception.

      Since, according to PCT, behavior is

organized around the control of perceptual variables , an
observer who wants to understand the behavior of a control
system must learn to perceive what the control system is
controlling. That’s what the Test for the Controlled Variable
is about; it’s a way for an observer to perceive, as q.i, the
same perceptual variable that the control system is
controlling, as p.

      This means that the observer must use

the same (or equivalent) input (perceptual) function as the
control system to construct a perception of the aspect of the
environment that the control system is perceiving and
controlling.

      The observer's perceptual function

might be part of the observer him or herself, as it is in the
“Coin Game” where the observer uses his or her own perceptual
functions to see what perceptual aspect of the coins is under
control. But the observer’s perceptual function can also be
based on instrumentation, such as the computer calculation
used to provide a perception of the area and perimeter of the
rectangular shape in my “What is size” demo (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Size.html).

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing except you are using

the example of “red” rather than “purple”. That is, that the
perception is a combination of lower lower variables, and in itself
may not correlate directly with something in the environment; a
perceptual function is a construct which produces new variables
which do not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line (if they did we
could, in principle, perceive them directly). Well, the robot didn’t act on those variables, it acted on the
motors. As a result, due to the environmental feedback path, those
variables, and perceptual function changed.
Nothing (in addition to what it was already doing).
Not sure I understand the question. But it would act to correct for
disturbances.
Because I created the example scenario.
Through perception. No. But my point was that the distance is
independent of the perceiving system doing the tracking task and if
that system were disappear then the “actual distance”, as you call
it, would still exist (in the physical world as the separation
between the cursor and target) and could be measured by another
perceiving system. The perception (the neural variable) of that
distance by the original perceiver, of course, would have ceased to
exist.
Yes.
No, but you were talking the functions that we control weren’t you,
which, according to PCT, are perceptual functions, i.e. above the
line?
I think the essence of this discussion comes down to what you mean
by reality in your sentence “the function results you can control
have as much reality as do the events that cause the millions of
individual sensors to report what they do”. I’d say they have
reality as perceptual functions, that is, above the line. But those
variables may not, necessarily, have a direct correlate, below the
line; though the constituent elements that contribute to the
perception will do.
I think this is demonstrated by perceptual illusions. For example,
with viewing random dot stereograms when we control our perception
of the dolphin nothing below the line (in the environment) is
changing, we control simply by refocusing our eyes (a change of
muscle tensions presumably). So it is entirely an above the line
variable that is being controlled which is from an internal function
of real below the line elements. The dolphin is not real. So where
would be function below the line or the CEV in this case?
Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a normal room, but that
(the normal room) is not real. The constituent elements are real and
they contribute to our perception of a normal room. So again, where
would be the CEV or function below the line representing a normal
room? The constituent elements are inputs to our perceptual
functions, but we can’t tell the difference between the Ames room
and a normal room; because the only functions involved are internal
perceptual constructs.
However, I don’t think we should regard perceptual illusions as
exceptions or quirks or things going wrong, but that they indicate
that ALL perceptions are illusions; in the sense that they are
constructs of combinations of raw environmental elements. Perceptual
functions give rise to a new dimension of variables which would not
exist without that neural architecture and infrastructure, and do
not exist independently of the perceiving system.
Incidentally see this interesting program on perceptual illusions,
not sure if you can view it outside of the New British Empire,
Rupert

···

On 27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor
wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

    I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few

questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing on
the rest.

    I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are stimulated

these correspond to direct interaction with the environment, due
to the presence of light of specific wavelengths. If there is a
next level perception combining both it perceives purple. But
here is nothing in the environment which is purple, i.e. no
wavelength of light corresponding to purple.

  Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember

that you can’t get a perception of red by simulating a red cone,
because a red cone responds to all visible wavelength. It will
give the same response for a bright blue-green wavelength and a
moderately bright orange wavelength. You can get a perception of
“red” only by comparing the outputs of neighbouring red and green
cones – a perceptual function.

    By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I still

don’t see that there is such a thing. It is the perceptual
function that we influence, by way of the constituent
environmental elements. For example, in my recent paper my
robot had a perceptual function that comprised a smoothed sum of
the changes in a number of sensor values. It could control this
by reversing the motors. The idea was to keep the value higher
than (almost) zero, as it would go to zero when the robot was
stuck. There was only the perceptual function (a dot above the
line), no function in the environment (no dot below the line).
On the environment side of the agent/environment boundary there
was only the elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

  When your robot acted on those variables without altering the

value of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually do?

  When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables

without altering the value of the perceptual function, what did
the robot do?

  If your robot had had several orthogonal perceptual

functions of those same variables and controlled all of them (as
the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you randomly disturbed those
variables in the environment, what would the robot do?

      No. As I said, the correspondence applies only

for perceptual functions that persist. The process of
reorganization produces all sorts of results before finding
ways to control perceptions well that help keep the intrinsic
variables in good condition. There are lots of perceptions
that don’t have that correspondence, but they are unlikely to
last very long if they are, to use the term, “a waste of
space” or worse, an active detriment to control that does help
with the intrinsic variables.

    Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see reorganization

as relevant here as I am talking about perceptual functions that
persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you can control a
perceptual function of purple by influencing the input elements
to it without there being such a thing as purple in the
environment.

  On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no such

thing as purple in the environment?

      Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a

mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the left-right
motions of a target. One dot above the line would represent a
perception of the x difference between cursor and target. The
dot below the line would be the actual distance between the
luminous spots representing cursor and target.

    But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system. That

is, it could be measured objectively if the perceiving system
disappeared.

  So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with

scale markings, exists objectively and really in the environment,
as do the relationship between the target and one scale marker,
the relationship between the cursor and another scale marker, and
the distance between them. Two questions: (1) where did you get
this knowledge of what exists in the real world? (2) If there were
no perceiving system to perceive these items, could the
measurement be made?

      I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to

say is real and what is not.

    I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

      Controlling the perceptual consequences of these

layers of functions requires you to influence those functions
preferentially to other functions of the same variables. If
you can, then the function results you can control have as
much reality as do the events that cause the millions of
individual sensors to report what they do. We can’t control
those millions of inputs, anyway. We can only control and
perceive functions of them.

    Exactly! But that's all above the line.
  Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment so as

to influence one specific perceptual function’s output is “above
the line”?

[ BBC Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is Seeing

Believing?](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=)

[John Kirkland 2016 10 31 0648 NZT]

Is seeing believing?

Short snips awaiting PCT deconstruction

Rubber hand illusion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwn1w7MJvk

McGurk effect

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0

Magic tricks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtcEORmAWvQ

···

On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 3:57 AM, Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com wrote:

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

  On 27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor

wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

    I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few

questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing on
the rest.

    I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are stimulated

these correspond to direct interaction with the environment, due
to the presence of light of specific wavelengths. If there is a
next level perception combining both it perceives purple. But
here is nothing in the environment which is purple, i.e. no
wavelength of light corresponding to purple.

  Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember

that you can’t get a perception of red by simulating a red cone,
because a red cone responds to all visible wavelength. It will
give the same response for a bright blue-green wavelength and a
moderately bright orange wavelength. You can get a perception of
“red” only by comparing the outputs of neighbouring red and green
cones – a perceptual function.

    By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I still

don’t see that there is such a thing. It is the perceptual
function that we influence, by way of the constituent
environmental elements. For example, in my recent paper my
robot had a perceptual function that comprised a smoothed sum of
the changes in a number of sensor values. It could control this
by reversing the motors. The idea was to keep the value higher
than (almost) zero, as it would go to zero when the robot was
stuck. There was only the perceptual function (a dot above the
line), no function in the environment (no dot below the line).
On the environment side of the agent/environment boundary there
was only the elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

  When your robot acted on those variables without altering the

value of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually do?

  When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables

without altering the value of the perceptual function, what did
the robot do?
If your robot had had several orthogonal perceptual
functions of those same variables and controlled all of them (as
the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you randomly disturbed those
variables in the environment, what would the robot do?

      No. As I said, the correspondence applies only

for perceptual functions that persist. The process of
reorganization produces all sorts of results before finding
ways to control perceptions well that help keep the intrinsic
variables in good condition. There are lots of perceptions
that don’t have that correspondence, but they are unlikely to
last very long if they are, to use the term, “a waste of
space” or worse, an active detriment to control that does help
with the intrinsic variables.

    Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see reorganization

as relevant here as I am talking about perceptual functions that
persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you can control a
perceptual function of purple by influencing the input elements
to it without there being such a thing as purple in the
environment.

  On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no such

thing as purple in the environment?

      Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a

mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the left-right
motions of a target. One dot above the line would represent a
perception of the x difference between cursor and target. The
dot below the line would be the actual distance between the
luminous spots representing cursor and target.

    But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system. That

is, it could be measured objectively if the perceiving system
disappeared.

  So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with

scale markings, exists objectively and really in the environment,
as do the relationship between the target and one scale marker,
the relationship between the cursor and another scale marker, and
the distance between them. Two questions: (1) where did you get
this knowledge of what exists in the real world? (2) If there were
no perceiving system to perceive these items, could the
measurement be made?

      I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to

say is real and what is not.

    I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

      Controlling the perceptual consequences of these

layers of functions requires you to influence those functions
preferentially to other functions of the same variables. If
you can, then the function results you can control have as
much reality as do the events that cause the millions of
individual sensors to report what they do. We can’t control
those millions of inputs, anyway. We can only control and
perceive functions of them.

    Exactly! But that's all above the line.
  Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment so as

to influence one specific perceptual function’s output is “above
the line”?

Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing except you are using

the example of “red” rather than “purple”. That is, that the
perception is a combination of lower lower variables, and in itself
may not correlate directly with something in the environment; a
perceptual function is a construct which produces new variables
which do not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line (if they did we
could, in principle, perceive them directly).

Well, the robot didn't act on those variables, it acted on the

motors. As a result, due to the environmental feedback path, those
variables, and perceptual function changed.

Nothing (in addition to what it was already doing).




Not sure I understand the question. But it would act to correct for

disturbances.

Because I created the example scenario.




Through perception. No. But my point was that the distance is

independent of the perceiving system doing the tracking task and if
that system were disappear then the “actual distance”, as you call
it, would still exist (in the physical world as the separation
between the cursor and target) and could be measured by another
perceiving system. The perception (the neural variable) of that
distance by the original perceiver, of course, would have ceased to
exist.

Yes.




No, but you were talking the functions that we control weren't you,

which, according to PCT, are perceptual functions, i.e. above the
line?

I think the essence of this discussion comes down to what you mean

by reality in your sentence “the function results you can control
have as much reality as do the events that cause the millions of
individual sensors to report what they do”. I’d say they have
reality as perceptual functions, that is, above the line. But those
variables may not, necessarily, have a direct correlate, below the
line; though the constituent elements that contribute to the
perception will do.

I think this is demonstrated by perceptual illusions. For example,

with viewing random dot stereograms when we control our perception
of the dolphin nothing below the line (in the environment) is
changing, we control simply by refocusing our eyes (a change of
muscle tensions presumably). So it is entirely an above the line
variable that is being controlled which is from an internal function
of real below the line elements. The dolphin is not real. So where
would be function below the line or the CEV in this case?

Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a normal room, but that

(the normal room) is not real. The constituent elements are real and
they contribute to our perception of a normal room. So again, where
would be the CEV or function below the line representing a normal
room? The constituent elements are inputs to our perceptual
functions, but we can’t tell the difference between the Ames room
and a normal room; because the only functions involved are internal
perceptual constructs.

However, I don't think we should regard perceptual illusions as

exceptions or quirks or things going wrong, but that they indicate
that ALL perceptions are illusions; in the sense that they are
constructs of combinations of raw environmental elements. Perceptual
functions give rise to a new dimension of variables which would not
exist without that neural architecture and infrastructure, and do
not exist independently of the perceiving system.

Incidentally see this interesting program on perceptual illusions,

not sure if you can view it outside of the New British Empire,

[ BBC Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is Seeing

Believing?](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=)

Rupert

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing on the rest.

I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are stimulated these correspond to direct interaction with the environment, due to the presence of light of specific wavelengths. If there is a next level perception combining both it perceives purple. But here is nothing in the environment which is purple, i.e. no wavelength of light corresponding to purple.

Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember that you can't get a perception of red by simulating a red cone, because a red cone responds to all visible wavelength. It will give the same response for a bright blue-green wavelength and a moderately bright orange wavelength. You can get a perception of "red" only by comparing the outputs of neighbouring red and green cones -- a perceptual function.

Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing except you are using the example of "red" rather than "purple". That is, that the perception is a combination of lower lower variables, and in itself may not correlate directly with something in the environment; a perceptual function is a construct which produces new variables which do not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line (if they did we could, in principle, perceive them directly).

By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I still don't see that there is such a thing. It is the perceptual function that we influence, by way of the constituent environmental elements. For example, in my recent paper my robot had a perceptual function that comprised a smoothed sum of the changes in a number of sensor values. It could control this by reversing the motors. The idea was to keep the value higher than (almost) zero, as it would go to zero when the robot was stuck. There was only the perceptual function (a dot above the line), no function in the environment (no dot below the line). On the environment side of the agent/environment boundary there was only the elementary, and independent, variables that impinged on the sensory systems.

When your robot acted on those variables without altering the value of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually do?

Well, the robot didn't act on those variables, it acted on the motors. As a result, due to the environmental feedback path, those variables, and perceptual function changed.

When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables without altering the value of the perceptual function, what did the robot do?

Nothing (in addition to what it was already doing).

If your robot had had several orthogonal perceptual functions of those same variables and controlled all of them (as the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you randomly disturbed those variables in the environment, what would the robot do?

Not sure I understand the question. But it would act to correct for disturbances.

No. As I said, the correspondence applies only for perceptual functions that persist. The process of reorganization produces all sorts of results before finding ways to control perceptions well that help keep the intrinsic variables in good condition. There are lots of perceptions that don't have that correspondence, but they are unlikely to last very long if they are, to use the term, "a waste of space" or worse, an active detriment to control that does help with the intrinsic variables.

Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see reorganization as relevant here as I am talking about perceptual functions that persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you can control a perceptual function of purple by influencing the input elements to it without there being such a thing as purple in the environment.

On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no such thing as purple in the environment?

Because I created the example scenario.

Let's say you are doing a pursuit track, moving a mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the left-right motions of a target. One dot above the line would represent a perception of the x difference between cursor and target. The dot below the line would be the actual distance between the luminous spots representing cursor and target.

But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system. That is, it could be measured objectively if the perceiving system disappeared.

So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with scale markings, exists objectively and really in the environment, as do the relationship between the target and one scale marker, the relationship between the cursor and another scale marker, and the distance between them. Two questions: (1) where did you get this knowledge of what exists in the real world? (2) If there were no perceiving system to perceive these items, could the measurement be made?

Through perception. No. But my point was that the distance is independent of the perceiving system doing the tracking task and if that system were disappear then the "actual distance", as you call it, would still exist (in the physical world as the separation between the cursor and target) and could be measured by another perceiving system. The perception (the neural variable) of that distance by the original perceiver, of course, would have ceased to exist.

...

I think you can't cherry-pick what you want to say is real and what is not.

I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

Yes.

Controlling the perceptual consequences of these layers of functions requires you to influence those functions preferentially to other functions of the same variables. If you can, then the function results you can control have as much reality as do the events that cause the millions of individual sensors to report what they do. We can't control those millions of inputs, anyway. We can only control and perceive functions of them.

Exactly! But that's all above the line.

Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment so as to influence one specific perceptual function's output is "above the line"?

No, but you were talking the functions that we control weren't you, which, according to PCT, are perceptual functions, i.e. above the line?

I think the essence of this discussion comes down to what you mean by reality in your sentence "the function results you can control have as much reality as do the events that cause the millions of individual sensors to report what they do". I'd say they have reality as perceptual functions, that is, above the line. But those variables may not, necessarily, have a direct correlate, below the line; though the constituent elements that contribute to the perception will do.

I think this is demonstrated by perceptual illusions. For example, with viewing random dot stereograms when we control our perception of the dolphin nothing below the line (in the environment) is changing, we control simply by refocusing our eyes (a change of muscle tensions presumably). So it is entirely an above the line variable that is being controlled which is from an internal function of real below the line elements. The dolphin is not real. So where would be function below the line or the CEV in this case?

Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a normal room, but that (the normal room) is not real. The constituent elements are real and they contribute to our perception of a normal room. So again, where would be the CEV or function below the line representing a normal room? The constituent elements are inputs to our perceptual functions, but we can't tell the difference between the Ames room and a normal room; because the only functions involved are internal perceptual constructs.

However, I don't think we should regard perceptual illusions as exceptions or quirks or things going wrong, but that they indicate that ALL perceptions are illusions; in the sense that they are constructs of combinations of raw environmental elements. Perceptual functions give rise to a new dimension of variables which would not exist without that neural architecture and infrastructure, and do not exist independently of the perceiving system.

Incidentally see this interesting program on perceptual illusions, not sure if you can view it outside of the New British Empire,
<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=>> BBC Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is Seeing Believing?
Rupert

···

On 2016/10/30 10:57 AM, Rupert Young wrote:

On 27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor wrote:

Ah, I see you were so overwhelmed by the brilliance of my
response that it left you speechless!

···

On 30/10/2016 20:47, Martin Taylor
wrote:

    On 2016/10/30 10:57 AM, Rupert Young

wrote:

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

    Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing except you are

using the example of “red” rather than “purple”. That is, that
the perception is a combination of lower lower variables, and in
itself may not correlate directly with something in the
environment; a perceptual function is a construct which produces
new variables which do not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line
(if they did we could, in principle, perceive them directly). Well, the robot didn’t act on those variables, it acted on the
motors. As a result, due to the environmental feedback path,
those variables, and perceptual function changed.
Nothing (in addition to what it was already doing).
Not sure I understand the question. But it would act to correct
for disturbances.
Because I created the example scenario.
Through perception. No. But my point was that the distance is
independent of the perceiving system doing the tracking task and
if that system were disappear then the “actual distance”, as you
call it, would still exist (in the physical world as the
separation between the cursor and target) and could be measured
by another perceiving system. The perception (the neural
variable) of that distance by the original perceiver, of course,
would have ceased to exist.
Yes.
No, but you were talking the functions that we control weren’t
you, which, according to PCT, are perceptual functions, i.e.
above the line?
I think the essence of this discussion comes down to what you
mean by reality in your sentence “the function results you can
control have as much reality as do the events that cause the
millions of individual sensors to report what they do”. I’d say
they have reality as perceptual functions, that is, above the
line. But those variables may not, necessarily, have a direct
correlate, below the line; though the constituent elements that
contribute to the perception will do.
I think this is demonstrated by perceptual illusions. For
example, with viewing random dot stereograms when we control our
perception of the dolphin nothing below the line (in the
environment) is changing, we control simply by refocusing our
eyes (a change of muscle tensions presumably). So it is entirely
an above the line variable that is being controlled which is
from an internal function of real below the line elements. The
dolphin is not real. So where would be function below the line
or the CEV in this case?
Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a normal room, but
that (the normal room) is not real. The constituent elements are
real and they contribute to our perception of a normal room. So
again, where would be the CEV or function below the line
representing a normal room? The constituent elements are inputs
to our perceptual functions, but we can’t tell the difference
between the Ames room and a normal room; because the only
functions involved are internal perceptual constructs.
However, I don’t think we should regard perceptual illusions as
exceptions or quirks or things going wrong, but that they
indicate that ALL perceptions are illusions; in the sense that
they are constructs of combinations of raw environmental
elements. Perceptual functions give rise to a new dimension of
variables which would not exist without that neural architecture
and infrastructure, and do not exist independently of the
perceiving system.
Incidentally see this interesting program on perceptual
illusions, not sure if you can view it outside of the New
British Empire,
Rupert

      On 27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor

wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

        I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few

questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing
on the rest.

        I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are

stimulated these correspond to direct interaction with the
environment, due to the presence of light of specific
wavelengths. If there is a next level perception combining
both it perceives purple. But here is nothing in the
environment which is purple, i.e. no wavelength of light
corresponding to purple.

      Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember

that you can’t get a perception of red by simulating a red
cone, because a red cone responds to all visible wavelength.
It will give the same response for a bright blue-green
wavelength and a moderately bright orange wavelength. You can
get a perception of “red” only by comparing the outputs of
neighbouring red and green cones – a perceptual function.

        By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I

still don’t see that there is such a thing. It is the
perceptual function that we influence, by way of the
constituent environmental elements. For example, in my
recent paper my robot had a perceptual function that
comprised a smoothed sum of the changes in a number of
sensor values. It could control this by reversing the
motors. The idea was to keep the value higher than (almost)
zero, as it would go to zero when the robot was stuck. There
was only the perceptual function (a dot above the line), no
function in the environment (no dot below the line). On the
environment side of the agent/environment boundary there was
only the elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

      When your robot acted on those variables without altering the

value of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually
do?

      When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables

without altering the value of the perceptual function, what
did the robot do?

      If your robot had had several orthogonal

perceptual functions of those same variables and controlled
all of them (as the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you
randomly disturbed those variables in the environment, what
would the robot do?

          No. As I said, the correspondence applies

only for perceptual functions that persist. The process of
reorganization produces all sorts of results before
finding ways to control perceptions well that help keep
the intrinsic variables in good condition. There are lots
of perceptions that don’t have that correspondence, but
they are unlikely to last very long if they are, to use
the term, “a waste of space” or worse, an active detriment
to control that does help with the intrinsic variables.

        Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see

reorganization as relevant here as I am talking about
perceptual functions that persist, as with my above
examples. E.g. you can control a perceptual function of
purple by influencing the input elements to it without there
being such a thing as purple in the environment.

      On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no

such thing as purple in the environment?

          Let's say you are doing a pursuit track,

moving a mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the
left-right motions of a target. One dot above the line
would represent a perception of the x difference between
cursor and target. The dot below the line would be the
actual distance between the luminous spots representing
cursor and target.

        But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system.

That is, it could be measured objectively if the perceiving
system disappeared.

      So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with

scale markings, exists objectively and really in the
environment, as do the relationship between the target and one
scale marker, the relationship between the cursor and another
scale marker, and the distance between them. Two questions:
(1) where did you get this knowledge of what exists in the
real world? (2) If there were no perceiving system to perceive
these items, could the measurement be made?

          I think you can't cherry-pick what you want

to say is real and what is not.

        I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

          Controlling the perceptual consequences of

these layers of functions requires you to influence those
functions preferentially to other functions of the same
variables. If you can, then the function results you can
control have as much reality as do the events that cause
the millions of individual sensors to report what they do.
We can’t control those millions of inputs, anyway. We can
only control and perceive functions of them.

        Exactly! But that's all above the line.
      Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment

so as to influence one specific perceptual function’s output
is “above the line”?

[ BBC Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is

Seeing Believing?](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=)

Rupert, it may possibly have been an extremely subtle joke on Martin’s part. We’ll see.

···

On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 12:37 PM, Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com wrote:

  Ah, I see you were so overwhelmed by the brilliance of my

response that it left you speechless!

  On 30/10/2016 20:47, Martin Taylor

wrote:

    On 2016/10/30 10:57 AM, Rupert Young

wrote:

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

      On 27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor

wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about that.

        I'll leave aside most of your message, and just ask a few

questions, because the answers to those has a strong bearing
on the rest.

        I don't think so. If a red cone and a blue cone are

stimulated these correspond to direct interaction with the
environment, due to the presence of light of specific
wavelengths. If there is a next level perception combining
both it perceives purple. But here is nothing in the
environment which is purple, i.e. no wavelength of light
corresponding to purple.

      Is there also nothing in the environment that is red? Remember

that you can’t get a perception of red by simulating a red
cone, because a red cone responds to all visible wavelength.
It will give the same response for a bright blue-green
wavelength and a moderately bright orange wavelength. You can
get a perception of “red” only by comparing the outputs of
neighbouring red and green cones – a perceptual function.

    Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing except you are

using the example of “red” rather than “purple”. That is, that
the perception is a combination of lower lower variables, and in
itself may not correlate directly with something in the
environment; a perceptual function is a construct which produces
new variables which do not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line
(if they did we could, in principle, perceive them directly).

        By "particular function" do you mean CEV? I

still don’t see that there is such a thing. It is the
perceptual function that we influence, by way of the
constituent environmental elements. For example, in my
recent paper my robot had a perceptual function that
comprised a smoothed sum of the changes in a number of
sensor values. It could control this by reversing the
motors. The idea was to keep the value higher than (almost)
zero, as it would go to zero when the robot was stuck. There
was only the perceptual function (a dot above the line), no
function in the environment (no dot below the line). On the
environment side of the agent/environment boundary there was
only the elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

      When your robot acted on those variables without altering the

value of the perceptual function, what did the robot actually
do?

    Well, the robot didn't act on those variables, it acted on the

motors. As a result, due to the environmental feedback path,
those variables, and perceptual function changed.

      When a disturbance in the environment changed those variables

without altering the value of the perceptual function, what
did the robot do?

    Nothing (in addition to what it was already doing).
      If your robot had had several orthogonal

perceptual functions of those same variables and controlled
all of them (as the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you
randomly disturbed those variables in the environment, what
would the robot do?

    Not sure I understand the question. But it would act to correct

for disturbances.

          No. As I said, the correspondence applies

only for perceptual functions that persist. The process of
reorganization produces all sorts of results before
finding ways to control perceptions well that help keep
the intrinsic variables in good condition. There are lots
of perceptions that don’t have that correspondence, but
they are unlikely to last very long if they are, to use
the term, “a waste of space” or worse, an active detriment
to control that does help with the intrinsic variables.

        Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't see

reorganization as relevant here as I am talking about
perceptual functions that persist, as with my above
examples. E.g. you can control a perceptual function of
purple by influencing the input elements to it without there
being such a thing as purple in the environment.

      On what basis do you assert so confidently that there is no

such thing as purple in the environment?

    Because I created the example scenario.
          Let's say you are doing a pursuit track,

moving a mouse to cause a cursor on screen to follow the
left-right motions of a target. One dot above the line
would represent a perception of the x difference between
cursor and target. The dot below the line would be the
actual distance between the luminous spots representing
cursor and target.

        But the distance IS independent of the perceiving system.

That is, it could be measured objectively if the perceiving
system disappeared.

      So you assert that some measuring instrument, say a ruler with

scale markings, exists objectively and really in the
environment, as do the relationship between the target and one
scale marker, the relationship between the cursor and another
scale marker, and the distance between them. Two questions:
(1) where did you get this knowledge of what exists in the
real world? (2) If there were no perceiving system to perceive
these items, could the measurement be made?

    Through perception. No. But my point was that the distance is

independent of the perceiving system doing the tracking task and
if that system were disappear then the “actual distance”, as you
call it, would still exist (in the physical world as the
separation between the cursor and target) and could be measured
by another perceiving system. The perception (the neural
variable) of that distance by the original perceiver, of course,
would have ceased to exist.

          I think you can't cherry-pick what you want

to say is real and what is not.

        I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

    Yes.
          Controlling the perceptual consequences of

these layers of functions requires you to influence those
functions preferentially to other functions of the same
variables. If you can, then the function results you can
control have as much reality as do the events that cause
the millions of individual sensors to report what they do.
We can’t control those millions of inputs, anyway. We can
only control and perceive functions of them.

        Exactly! But that's all above the line.
      Are you saying that everything you act on in the environment

so as to influence one specific perceptual function’s output
is “above the line”?

    No, but you were talking the functions that we control weren't

you, which, according to PCT, are perceptual functions, i.e.
above the line?

    I think the essence of this discussion comes down to what you

mean by reality in your sentence “the function results you can
control have as much reality as do the events that cause the
millions of individual sensors to report what they do”. I’d say
they have reality as perceptual functions, that is, above the
line. But those variables may not, necessarily, have a direct
correlate, below the line; though the constituent elements that
contribute to the perception will do.

    I think this is demonstrated by perceptual illusions. For

example, with viewing random dot stereograms when we control our
perception of the dolphin nothing below the line (in the
environment) is changing, we control simply by refocusing our
eyes (a change of muscle tensions presumably). So it is entirely
an above the line variable that is being controlled which is
from an internal function of real below the line elements. The
dolphin is not real. So where would be function below the line
or the CEV in this case?

    Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a normal room, but

that (the normal room) is not real. The constituent elements are
real and they contribute to our perception of a normal room. So
again, where would be the CEV or function below the line
representing a normal room? The constituent elements are inputs
to our perceptual functions, but we can’t tell the difference
between the Ames room and a normal room; because the only
functions involved are internal perceptual constructs.

    However, I don't think we should regard perceptual illusions as

exceptions or quirks or things going wrong, but that they
indicate that ALL perceptions are illusions; in the sense that
they are constructs of combinations of raw environmental
elements. Perceptual functions give rise to a new dimension of
variables which would not exist without that neural architecture
and infrastructure, and do not exist independently of the
perceiving system.

    Incidentally see this interesting program on perceptual

illusions, not sure if you can view it outside of the New
British Empire,

[ BBC Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is

Seeing Believing?](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=)

    Rupert

Not deliberate, just ancient fumble-fingers. Sorry. A real
response is forthcoming.

···

On 2016/10/30 11:31 PM, John Kirkland
wrote:

    Rupert, it may possibly have been an extremely

subtle joke on Martin’s part. We’ll see.

      On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 12:37 PM,

Rupert Young rupert@perceptualrobots.com
wrote:

            Ah, I see you were so overwhelmed by the brilliance of

my response that it left you speechless!

                On

30/10/2016 20:47, Martin Taylor wrote:

                  On

2016/10/30 10:57 AM, Rupert Young wrote:

[Rupert Young (2016.10.30 15.00)]

                    On

27/10/2016 04:53, Martin Taylor wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2016.10.26.23.30]

                      A rather delayed continuation. Sorry about

that.

                      I'll leave aside most of your message, and

just ask a few questions, because the answers
to those has a strong bearing on the rest.

                      I don't think so. If a

red cone and a blue cone are stimulated these
correspond to direct interaction with the
environment, due to the presence of light of
specific wavelengths. If there is a next level
perception combining both it perceives purple.
But here is nothing in the environment which
is purple, i.e. no wavelength of light
corresponding to purple.

                    Is there also nothing in the environment that is

red? Remember that you can’t get a perception of
red by simulating a red cone, because a red cone
responds to all visible wavelength. It will give
the same response for a bright blue-green
wavelength and a moderately bright orange
wavelength. You can get a perception of “red”
only by comparing the outputs of neighbouring
red and green cones – a perceptual function.

                  Ok, that's saying pretty much the same thing

except you are using the example of “red” rather
than “purple”. That is, that the perception is a
combination of lower lower variables, and in
itself may not correlate directly with something
in the environment; a perceptual function is a
construct which produces new variables which do
not exist elsewhere; i.e. below the line (if they
did we could, in principle, perceive them
directly).

                      By "particular

function" do you mean CEV? I still don’t see
that there is such a thing. It is the
perceptual function that we influence, by way
of the constituent environmental elements.
For example, in my recent paper my robot had a
perceptual function that comprised a smoothed
sum of the changes in a number of sensor
values. It could control this by reversing the
motors. The idea was to keep the value higher
than (almost) zero, as it would go to zero
when the robot was stuck. There was only the
perceptual function (a dot above the line), no
function in the environment (no dot below the
line). On the environment side of the
agent/environment boundary there was only the
elementary, and independent, variables that
impinged on the sensory systems.

                    When your robot acted on those variables without

altering the value of the perceptual function,
what did the robot actually do?

                  Well, the robot didn't act on those variables, it

acted on the motors. As a result, due to the
environmental feedback path, those variables, and
perceptual function changed.

                    When a disturbance in the environment changed

those variables without altering the value of
the perceptual function, what did the robot do?

                  Nothing (in addition to what it was already

doing).

                    If your robot had had

several orthogonal perceptual functions of those
same variables and controlled all of them (as
the Little Man or Arm2 demos do), and you
randomly disturbed those variables in the
environment, what would the robot do?

                  Not sure I understand the question. But it would

act to correct for disturbances.

                        No. As I said, the

correspondence applies only for perceptual
functions that persist. The process of
reorganization produces all sorts of results
before finding ways to control perceptions
well that help keep the intrinsic variables
in good condition. There are lots of
perceptions that don’t have that
correspondence, but they are unlikely to
last very long if they are, to use the term,
“a waste of space” or worse, an active
detriment to control that does help with the
intrinsic variables.

                      Perhaps we are at cross purposes as I don't

see reorganization as relevant here as I am
talking about perceptual functions that
persist, as with my above examples. E.g. you
can control a perceptual function of purple by
influencing the input elements to it without
there being such a thing as purple in the
environment.

                    On what basis do you assert so confidently that

there is no such thing as purple in the
environment?

                  Because I created the example scenario.
                        Let's say you are

doing a pursuit track, moving a mouse to
cause a cursor on screen to follow the
left-right motions of a target. One dot
above the line would represent a perception
of the x difference between cursor and
target. The dot below the line would be the
actual distance between the luminous spots
representing cursor and target.

                      But the distance IS independent of the

perceiving system. That is, it could be
measured objectively if the perceiving system
disappeared.

                    So you assert that some measuring instrument,

say a ruler with scale markings, exists
objectively and really in the environment, as do
the relationship between the target and one
scale marker, the relationship between the
cursor and another scale marker, and the
distance between them. Two questions: (1) where
did you get this knowledge of what exists in the
real world? (2) If there were no perceiving
system to perceive these items, could the
measurement be made?

                  Through perception. No. But my point was that the

distance is independent of the perceiving system
doing the tracking task and if that system were
disappear then the “actual distance”, as you call
it, would still exist (in the physical world as
the separation between the cursor and target) and
could be measured by another perceiving system.
The perception (the neural variable) of that
distance by the original perceiver, of course,
would have ceased to exist.

                        I think you can't

cherry-pick what you want to say is real and
what is not.

                      I'm not.

Do you still believe that?

                  Yes.
                        Controlling the

perceptual consequences of these layers of
functions requires you to influence those
functions preferentially to other functions
of the same variables. If you can, then the
function results you can control have as
much reality as do the events that cause the
millions of individual sensors to report
what they do. We can’t control those
millions of inputs, anyway. We can only
control and perceive functions of them.

                      Exactly! But that's all above the line.
                    Are you saying that everything you act on in the

environment so as to influence one specific
perceptual function’s output is “above the
line”?

                  No, but you were talking the functions that we

control weren’t you, which, according to PCT, are
perceptual functions, i.e. above the line?

                  I think the essence of this discussion comes down

to what you mean by reality in your sentence “the
function results you can control have as much
reality as do the events that cause the millions
of individual sensors to report what they do”.
I’d say they have reality as perceptual functions,
that is, above the line. But those variables may
not, necessarily, have a direct correlate, below
the line; though the constituent elements that
contribute to the perception will do.

                  I think this is demonstrated by perceptual

illusions. For example, with viewing random dot
stereograms when we control our perception of the
dolphin nothing below the line (in the
environment) is changing, we control simply by
refocusing our eyes (a change of muscle tensions
presumably). So it is entirely an above the line
variable that is being controlled which is from an
internal function of real below the line elements.
The dolphin is not real. So where would be
function below the line or the CEV in this case?

                  Similarly when we view the Ames room we view a

normal room, but that (the normal room) is not
real. The constituent elements are real and they
contribute to our perception of a normal room. So
again, where would be the CEV or function below
the line representing a normal room? The
constituent elements are inputs to our perceptual
functions, but we can’t tell the difference
between the Ames room and a normal room; because
the only functions involved are internal
perceptual constructs.

                  However, I don't think we should regard perceptual

illusions as exceptions or quirks or things going
wrong, but that they indicate that ALL perceptions
are illusions; in the sense that they are
constructs of combinations of raw environmental
elements. Perceptual functions give rise to a new
dimension of variables which would not exist
without that neural architecture and
infrastructure, and do not exist independently of
the perceiving system.

                  Incidentally see this interesting program on

perceptual illusions, not sure if you can view it
outside of the New British Empire,

[ BBC

Two - Horizon, 2010-2011, Is Seeing Believing?](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_url-3Fsa-3Dt-26rct-3Dj-26q-3D-26esrc-3Ds-26source-3Dweb-26cd-3D2-26cad-3Drja-26uact-3D8-26ved-3D0ahUKEwjHo9Sw4YLQAhXqLMAKHWK8BUUQFggkMAE-26url-3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.bbc.co.uk-252Fprogrammes-252Fb00vhw1d-26usg-3DAFQjCNFoM2vYfGOGdQDnPCmYYb0kDQmSUg-26sig2-3DcxDIigxC2jtOoY-2DE6VQjig-26bvm-3Dbv.136811127-2Cbs.1-2Cd.d24&d=DQMD-g&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=IWf9Z6Hb7guuT-GptXmVt7BqZh9iTFfKzY-nj8w4wBc&s=N6tVnB2275eZyEVMaDwEjfb6NBP7m2OQ-nsDaj1bjMs&e=)

                  Rupert