[From Rick Marken (941210.1900)]

Bruce Abbott (941210.1330 EST) --

What I've been saying all along (I thought) was that the consequences
of behavior (and by this I always understood them in terms of
ultimate effect on controlled perceptions) provided the selection
criteria that determine which behaviors are retained in the output
unction and which are not.

I know this is what you've been saying. And I've been saying that what
you are saying is demonstrably wrong. What is wrong is the idea that
the "consequences of behavior ... provide the selection criteria". They
don't. Consequences are just consequences; the criteria for whether
those consequences are good or bad, desirable or undesirable, too much
or too little are inside the organism. Consequences don't select. When
then they DO select -- as they did in your E. coli model--they take control
away from the organism. Since we know that organisms -- real
organisms--are virtually always in control, we know that consequences
are never (under ordinary circumstances) selecting behavior.

Are we on the same wavelength now, or am I still stuck in "Who's
on First?"

I wish we were but I'm still hearing a lot of static. I am tuned to a
wavelength that picks up on the fact that organisms are controllers of
their own experience; you are seem to be tuned to a wavelenth that
picks up on the appearance of consequences as selectors of behavior.

I think we'll start to get on the same wavelength once you start doing
the PCT-based operant conditioning experiments that Bill Powers has
suggested. When you see a rat precisely controlling a variable against
disturbance, you'll start to see things from the rat's perspective (which
is the PCT perspective). Then you'll see that it's the rat that selects the
effecs it wants, the rat that sets the criteria for the consequnces of its
actions, the rat that's in control


Ratso Ricko