Wavelengths oh oh oh Wavelengths

[From Rick Marken (941211.1620)]

Bill Powers (941211.0830 MST)--

Martin is offering us a fine opportunity. Why not use it?

I agree. Maybe I'll try to write up a methodological piece, as
you suggest. It's just not a priority. I don't have anything
against Martin being the editor (as your husband-wife allegory
suggests). I really just think it's more profitable for me
(with limited PCT time) to spend that time interacting on the
net. If I can get just ONE more PCT researcher on board we will
have increased the size of the PCT research community by about
25% -- that would be a BIG DEAL. I don't think I'll get that one
person by putting more articles in journals. The network is just
a much more efficient way to teach PCT, first, because the people
who are on the net are at least a little bit interested in PCT already
and second, because questions and disagreements can be delt with
interactively, in "real time" -- often with actual models.

So I'm not against Martin's journal efforts. But publishing in journals
(unless it's a really valuable new piece of research) is just not
a priority for me anymore. I think I'm most likely to find the next
Tom Bourbon right here on the net. The net is where it (getting
new PCTers) will happen.

Bill to Lars-Christian Smith (941210.1713) --

Thanks for the reference to Harry Klopf's paper. I gave Klopf a very
hard time some years ago when he kept trying to model control systems
without control systems, and haven't been in communication since then.
We have his paper on order; if he has started using PCT I will owe him
an olive branch.

Based on the my reading of the abstract of Klopf's paper, I'd say that
you needn't worry if the stores are all out of olive branches. Boy,
would I love to be wrong!

Bill to Dick Robertson (941210.2055 CST) --

Lovely post on reorganization in the clinical world.

I enthusiatically second that emotion. Great post, Dick. Your discussions
of reorganization based on clinical experience (and research experience!)
have always been an inspiration to me. I don't think I really understood
reorganization until you talked about it at one of the early meetings
of the CSG.

Bruce Abbott (941211.1330 EST)--

Just to be sure you are actually READING what I have said with SOME attempt at
comprehension, how about paraphrasing my statement. Then show me how this
differs from the PCT view of the same events. I would find this far more
helpful in advancing my understanding than your typical reply, which simply
copies my statement (sometimes taking it out of context in doing so) and then
asserts that I am wrong and PCT is right.

I'm not asserting that you are wrong and PCT is right. I am asserting
(and explaining, in tightly packed prose;-)) that you don't have PCT right.
For all I know, you are right and PCT is wrong; that's a matter for
experiment (we already did the "selection by consequences" experiment
and it seems to have made no big impression; you did notice that the
model stoped controlling when the consequences of tumbles were changed
but that fact does not seem to have convinced you that selection BY
consequences is not compatible with control; ah well, off to the next demo).

Here is your statement of the Law of Effect, which you claim is an
empirical law; a description of appearance.

As seen from OUTSIDE the behaving system, the cat tries this 'n that;
those responses in the situation that are followed by a satisfying state
of affairs become more strongly connected to the situation so
that, when the situation recurs, the response is more likely to occur.

Can you really see the cat "trying"? Can you see whether or not a state
of affairs is "satisfying"? How empirical is a law that describes things
that we don't see?

The term "responses" must refer to actions, like pulling on the string,
that could produce the "satisfying state of affairs". We don't really
see these responses being "connected" more strongly to anything. In fact,
if we looked carefully enough we would see that the responses that produce
the "satisfying" result are different each time; in fact, they could be
substantially different if you arranged things so that, say, the string
was a a different height each time. So your description of the empirical
situation is "correct" only to the extent that you are willing to refer to
the variations in "responses" that produce the "satisfying result" as
"the same response". In the Thorndike situation the responses were
"pretty much" the same, but the cat would have learned to get the food
even if great variation in "the response" that produces it is required.

So, as Bill noted in an earlier post, the "empirical law of effect"
is false in a disturbance prone (ie. the real) world. It is disturbances
(like the changing height of the string and/or the changing location of the
cat with respect to the string) that requires variations in responses in
order to produce the intended effect.

I know that giving up on the Law of Effect means giving up the most
fundemental assumptions of conventional psychology -- but, hey, that's
what you have to do to pick up on the PCT wavelength -- change the