VS: VS: To accept a theory (was Re: Control Is)

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2017-02-13 2]

Thank you Warren for your kind reply!
I would also be interested what you thought about the suggestion in the end of my message :slight_smile:

I am not sure did I understood all, so I'll check:

WM: Just like most people on this thread, of course I agree with you in the sense that you are articulating PCT. I am getting to see what this debate is getting at; Rick wants to identify control in the environment, separately from PCT, just like Bill at times, so that PCT has a phenomenon to explain.

EP: I see this so that the "stabilization" (or something like that) is the phenomenon which is explained by control. Like for example the behavior of heavenly bodies can be explained either by some (as such) unperceivable natural laws or by as unperceivable vehicles of gods.

WM: The problem is, once we unpack the nature of control, we see that it can only be defined accurately from an observer's perspective.

EP: I think it can only be defined accurately from the perspective of an observer who has access to PCT as a theory?

WM: I think that Rick has been arguing that the Qi exists in the environment, but would he also propose that the reference value could exist in the environment? Presumably not; in fact of course, like you say Eetu, it doesn't because if it did there would be no point in the organism controlling the Qi.

EP: First, the concept of Qi, if it is a quantity, it must refer to a value of some environmental variable? It is it's current value, isn't it? Perhaps we could talk also about a quasi-reference value which is the Qi in the situation where no error value would be produced. The observer can no way know it beforehand (neither the controller) but it will unveil when control works well.

WM: So the question is whether one can truly say that the Qi is controlled if this is only the case because it is transformed into P which is compared with an internal RV continuously.

EP: I am not quite sure about that sentence. But I would say that, in the name of conceptual coherence, we should call only EITHER the "stabilization" of Qi-variable to quasi-reference value OR the "stabilization" of P to RV as "control". The other one is cause and the other is result (or visa versa depending how you read the loop) and one can explain the other. They are not the same, anyway.

WM: Maybe the fact that we can't actually see control without taking a perceptual perspective is exactly why so many people find PCT hard to adopt.

EP: Yes, I believe so too, and we neither FEEL that we are controlling. That is natural if control is a theoretical concept and thus unperceivable.

WM: A part of the loop of control can be identified in the environment but it can't be judged as controlled without taking a perceiver's perspective.

EP: Do you mean controller's or observerver's perspective (by taking a perceiver's perspective)?

WM: Like Rick I am not sure if using the word 'stabilised' helps at all - because often these components will not be stable if there is a changing reference value for its perception within the organism.

EP: That is certainly a problem, because the reference values of living organisms are typically changeable! I do not know what would be a better word. But isn't this just to same problem for observing the control happening? If we cannot perceive the reference, then we can infer control taking place only if the Qi-variable seems to be stabilised against disturbations? Only in simulations were we can handle both the reference (by asking) and the disturbations (by causing them all) we can claim to be "perceiving" control happening, even if the reference would be changing.
Perhaps there were better terms for stabilisation like handling, regulating, adjusting, managing, constraining, affecting etc.

WM: Could we say the Qi is typically controlled but one can only make this judgement when the observer has an internal reference point to do so? Or is that a weak hybrid of the two positions?

EP: Weak and cheap :slight_smile:



On 13 Feb 2017, at 07:42, Eetu Pikkarainen <eetu.pikkarainen@oulu.fi> wrote:

EP: If "control" means something like affecting a value of one ("controlled") variable so that it becomes the same or near to the current value of an other variable (reference value) and / or remains the same or near to it, then anything in the environment is not controlled. And this has nothing to do with the question how well or badly the control is working. There just are no reference variables and thus reference values in the environment, they exists only inside the control system