What's the Matter with ECVs?

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1850)]

Martin Taylor (2016.10.27. 16.13)–

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 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.

MT: Actually, p and qi are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is drawn.

RM: They are the same variable in the sense that they are the same function of environmental variables. The function that computes this variable for the controller – the function that computes p – is shown in the control diagram as the Input Function; the function that computes this variable for the observer – the function that computes q.i – is not shown in the diagram; it’s implicit in the fact hat the observer is in the environment of the controller and, hence, is perceiving what the controller is perceiving from outside of the controller, using their own perceptual function. So in the “What is size”?" demo, if the controller is controlling area then the controller is controlling p = hw – where hw is being computed by the controller’s input function. At the same time the observer (in this case, the computer) is perceiving q.i = h*w. So q.i is the same variable as p, computed by different systems.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what I described above shows why this is not necessary; p and q.i are the same variable because they are computed by different individuals (the control system and the observer of the control system) using the same perceptual function.

MT: The mirror arrangement shows the mirror of the Perceptual Input Functions, not their inverses.

RM: I think the the mirror arrangement gives a somewhat misleading picture of the relationship between control systems and the environment in which they control. This can be illustrated using the “Control of Size?” task. In this task you can control two different functions of the same environmental variables, height (h) and width (w). According to PCT, when you are controlling area you are controlling a perception, p.a, = h*w and when you are controlling perimeter you are controlling p.p = 2(h+w). These two different perceptual variables are presumed to be the outputs of two different perceptual input functions. I think the mirror arrangement of this task would look like figure (b) in your diagram:

RM: The two systems immediately above the line are the systems perceiving (and controlling) area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with “+”). Both have two inputs, h and w, which are the two lines entering each from the environment. The mirror image grey dots in the environment represent the “CEV” controlled by each system; the grey dots on the left and right being area and perimeter, respectively. So the mirror arrangement, based on your concept of CEV’s, implies that there are two different variables in the environment that correspond to the two different perceptions that can be controlled, area and perimeter. But, in fact, there is really only one thing varying in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo, the relative lengths of h and w. A better diagram of the situation would look like this:

RM: The single dot below the line represents the rectangular display in the “Control of Size” demo. There are still two inputs to the area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with a “+”) control systems but they are the same inputs; h and w. The area control system perceives (and controls) p.a, the perimeter control system perceives (and controls) p.p, where both p.a and p.p are functions of the same variables, h and w. And since the perceptions p.a and p.p are functions of the same environmental reality, they cannot be controlled at the same time. But the point of the revised “mirror” diagram is that there is really only one thing going on in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo: variations in the length of h and w. What is being controlled in the “What is Size?” demo are two different aspects (or functions) of this environment.

RM: I suppose you could say that area and perimeter are two different CEVs corresponding to the perceptions, p.a and p.p, that can be controlled in the “What is Size?” demo. But this is just redefining a CEV as a perceptual aspect of the environment – which is the same as the definition of a controlled variable – making the term unnecessary at best and confusing at worst.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what you are referring to is the time lag from sensory input to perceptual signal output. And, indeed, this has been the subject of experiment; I’ve shown (in my “Hierarchy of perception and control” (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Hierarchy.html) and more formally in experimental research (Marken, R. S., Khatib, Z. and Mansell, W. (2013) Motor Control as the
Control of Perception, Perceptual and
Motor Skills
, 117, 236-247) that some perceptions take longer to construct than others. In terms of control this is just part of the transport lag introduced by the nervous 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.

MT: Yes.

MT: 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.

RM: The concept of a CEV is not part of PCT. But if you think it is, or that it should be, then all you have to do is show why it is or should be. And you show it by demonstrating what phenomenon it accounts for that is not accounted for by the existing theoretical structure of PCT. I think the concept of a CEV is not only not part of PCT and unnecessary, I think it also throws a red herring across the path of research on PCT.

RM: 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.

MT: 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.

RM: So does that mean that we stop doing research on living control systems? The fact that our models can account for 99% or the variance and come within 2% of the observed behavior suggests that, even if we can’t be sure that we perceive exactly what the controller is perceiving, we can come pretty darn close.

RM: 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).

MT: 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).

RM: There it is; more invented reasons for not doing research testing PCT. I think research on PCT is the most important thing to do now. The theorizing has already been done by Bill Powers – and done rather well. If you are really hot to change or extend the theory I suggest that you do (or suggest) some research, the results of which that would require such a change or extension.

Best regards

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

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1850)]

Martin Taylor (2016.10.27. 16.13)–

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 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.

MT: Actually, p and qi are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is drawn. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â

HB : Right. The diagram show that efects are added in input quantitty (i.q.). Nothing else. And that is what is actually happening. There is no Â»controlled aspect in environmentÂ«, because if it is controlled aspect of environment what is controlling that aspect ? Â»Control of behaviorÂ« ?

How many times do we have to tell you Rick that you first have to prove that Â»Behavior is control, controlledÂ« or whatever if you want to assume that something is controlled in outer environment.

Where do you see control here ? Just set of effects. Organism is affecting environment not controlling.

There is nothing controlled outside. It’s just in the head of observer if he wants to think so. So only if Rick is an oberver whatever will be happening in environment is Rick’s imagination that control is happening outside. And if you think that Â»controlled variableÂ« is outside, how do you imagine that Â»controlÂ« will enter into comparator from outside. Is this something like environment controls the LCS ? Through Â»input functionÂ« and Â»Controlled paerceptual signalÂ« ? And than what ? You have to prove also that such a thing as Â»Controlled perceptual variableÂ« exist.

Rick you simply don’t understand how loop works. And that’s you problem. The Â»controlled variableÂ« outside of organism is simply not part of PCT, what diagram in LCS III is clearly showing. It’s Â»Control of perceptionÂ« not Â»Control of behaviorÂ«.

Best,

Boris

RM: They are the same variable in the sense that they are the same function of environmental variables. The function that computes this variable for the controller – the function that computes p – is shown in the control diagram as the Input Function; the function that computes this variable for the observer – the function that computes q.i – is not shown in the diagram; it’s implicit in the fact hat the observer is in the environment of the controller and, hence, is perceiving what the controller is perceiving from outside of the controller, using their own perceptual function. So in the “What is size”?" demo, if the controller is controlling area then the controller is controlling p = hw – where hw is being computed by the controller’s input function. At the same time the observer (in this case, the computer) is perceiving q.i = h*w. So q.i is the same variable as p, computed by different systems.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what I described above shows why this is not necessary; p and q.i are the same variable because they are computed by different individuals (the control system and the observer of the control system) using the same perceptual function.

MT: The mirror arrangement shows the mirror of the Perceptual Input Functions, not their inverses.

RM: I think the the mirror arrangement gives a somewhat misleading picture of the relationship between control systems and the environment in which they control. This can be illustrated using the “Control of Size?” task. In this task you can control two different functions of the same environmental variables, height (h) and width (w). According to PCT, when you are controlling area you are controlling a perception, p.a, = h*w and when you are controlling perimeter you are controlling p.p = 2(h+w). These two different perceptual variables are presumed to be the outputs of two different perceptual input functions. I think the mirror arrangement of this task would look like figure (b) in your diagram:

RM: The two systems immediately above the line are the systems perceiving (and controlling) area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with “+”). Both have two inputs, h and w, which are the two lines entering each from the environment. The mirror image grey dots in the environment represent the “CEV” controlled by each system; the grey dots on the left and right being area and perimeter, respectively. So the mirror arrangement, based on your concept of CEV’s, implies that there are two different variables in the environment that correspond to the two different perceptions that can be controlled, area and perimeter. But, in fact, there is really only one thing varying in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo, the relative lengths of h and w. A better diagram of the situation would look like this:

RM: The single dot below the line represents the rectangular display in the “Control of Size” demo. There are still two inputs to the area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with a “+”) control systems but they are the same inputs; h and w. The area control system perceives (and controls) p.a, the perimeter control system perceives (and controls) p.p, where both p.a and p.p are functions of the same variables, h and w. And since the perceptions p.a and p.p are functions of the same environmental reality, they cannot be controlled at the same time. But the point of the revised “mirror” diagram is that there is really only one thing going on in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo: variations in the length of h and w. What is being controlled in the “What is Size?” demo are two different aspects (or functions) of this environment.

RM: I suppose you could say that area and perimeter are two different CEVs corresponding to the perceptions, p.a and p.p, that can be controlled in the “What is Size?” demo. But this is just redefining a CEV as a perceptual aspect of the environment – which is the same as the definition of a controlled variable – making the term unnecessary at best and confusing at worst.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what you are referring to is the time lag from sensory input to perceptual signal output. And, indeed, this has been the subject of experiment; I’ve shown (in my “Hierarchy of perception and control” (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Hierarchy.html) and more formally in experimental research (Marken, R. S., Khatib, Z. and Mansell, W. (2013) Motor Control as the Control of Perception, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 117, 236-247) that some perceptions take longer to construct than others. In terms of control this is just part of the transport lag introduced by the nervous 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.

MT: Yes.

MT: 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.

RM: The concept of a CEV is not part of PCT. But if you think it is, or that it should be, then all you have to do is show why it is or should be. And you show it by demonstrating what phenomenon it accounts for that is not accounted for by the existing theoretical structure of PCT. I think the concept of a CEV is not only not part of PCT and unnecessary, I think it also throws a red herring across the path of research on PCT.

RM: 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.

MT: 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.

RM: So does that mean that we stop doing research on living control systems? The fact that our models can account for 99% or the variance and come within 2% of the observed behavior suggests that, even if we can’t be sure that we perceive exactly what the controller is perceiving, we can come pretty darn close.

RM: 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).

MT: 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).

RM: There it is; more invented reasons for not doing research testing PCT. I think research on PCT is the most important thing to do now. The theorizing has already been done by Bill Powers – and done rather well. If you are really hot to change or extend the theory I suggest that you do (or suggest) some research, the results of which that would require such a change or extension.

Best regards

Rick

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2016 3:54 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Cc: Richard Marken
Subject: What’s the Matter with ECVs?

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 2016.10.28.11.01]

``````        [From Rick Marken
``````

(2016.10.27.1850)]

Martin Taylor (2016.10.27 .
16.13)–

``````              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
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*.

``````        MT: Actually, p and qi
``````

are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is
drawn.

``````        RM: They are the
``````

same variable in the sense that they are the same function
of environmental variables…

``````It never ceases to amaze me, the lengths to which you will go to
``````

demonstrate that whatever I might offer to CSGnet, it must be an
attempt to destroy PCT, either as an unjustifiable alteration or as
a direct block to PCT research. Not long ago, I was an advocate of
S-R behaviourism because I suggested that we needed to use the Test
for the Controlled Variable to see what variable(s) were being
controlled when people and fly larvae travelled curve paths. Now
this.

``````The message that I refrain from quoting might be funny if it were
``````

not so sad. In it, I see three themes:

``````1) Every perception has a value "p" and in the environment there is
``````

a function of environmental values that produces a value “qi”. To
give this function of environmental values a descriptive name is an
unjustifiable extension of PCT.

``````2) If a perception is produced by Perceptual function X that has
``````

inputs from two lower-level functions A and B, the perception pX has
a corresponding qi in the environment, but perceptions produced by A
and B need not. (This, despite the basic PCT requirement that every
controlled perception has a corresponding qi).

``````3) Any description of limitations on the precision of the Test for
``````

the Controlled Variable is an assault on the possibility of doing
research into PCT.

``````Did I miss something? Probably, but those three will do.

Martin
``````

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.28.1210)]

···

eetu pikkarainen 2016-10.28

EP: If I understood it right Rick said that q.i is the same variable as p, only difference that the previous is seen from the view point of controller and latter from that of observer? I tried to redraw the diagram so that the input function of the observer
were also explicit:

RM: Perfect!!

EP: Here the observer is in the environment of the controller and v.v. In the section of the both environments there is something unknown X which is somehow causing the physical stimuli
for the receptors of both.

RM: Yes, X is the reality that exists beyond our senses and that we will never know of directly. We only know X in terms of our models of physics and chemistry. So the environment in the PCT model of organisms is itself a model.

EP: But how can we still know that p is the same variable as q.i?

RM: This is what the Test for the Controlled Variable (TCV) tells you. The basic idea is very simple. The observer’s perception, q.i, is considered to be the same as (or equivalent to) the perception, p, controlled by the control system if q.i is protected from the effect of independent variables (disturbances) that would affect q.i if it were not under control. If you have a copy of “Behavior: The Control of Perception” read the section on the “Coin Game” in the “Experimental Methods” chapter.

RM: In the “Coin Game” the observer (experimenter, E) is to discover the perception of a pattern of coins that a person (subject, S) is controlling. E is trying to find a way of perceiving the coins (q.i) that corresponds to the perception (p) that S is controlling. Eventually E finds a way of perceiving the coins (as an “N” pattern) that corresponds to the perception S is controlling in the sense that S protects that perception (the “N” pattern) from disturbances (like moving a coin so the the pattern becomes “O”) by always moving the “offending” coin(s) in a way that restores the “N” pattern.

EP: Secondly the relationships of
Controller and Observer with the X are probably different.

RM: Yes, and that can result in interesting problems (and discoveries). In a recent experiment that was done with Warren Mansell and Andrew Willett I built a simple PCT model of behavior in the rubber band task. The model worked great but it kept the knot in the rubber bands too far to the side of the target dot. It looked like the subject (whose behavior I was modeling) had a reference for keeping the knot to the side of rather than on the target. Then I realized that the subject was seeing the situation from the side while I was looking at it head on. So when the knot was on the side of the target for me it was on the target for the subject, due to parallax. So my perception of the controlled variable (my q.i) was not the same as the subject’s (p) simply due to the fact that we were in different positions in the world. So, clearly, the TCV can’t be done successfully by just following rules by rote. It requires some thinking, which is why it’s fun.

EP: Also I am still a bit confused with the idea that the variable could be same but its value could be very different. I guess that here is needed the Test (TCV) to know if these variables are same??

RM: That’s what basically happened in the example of the parallax problem in my model of the subject’s behavior in the rubber band experiment. I got the controlled variable right; it was the distance from knot to target. So q.i = knot-target and p = knot - target. What I missed was the fact that, due to parallax, the optical difference between knot and target was different for the subject and me. So the values of q.i that corresponded to the physical difference between the knot and target were different for the subject and me – at least, until I figured out that there was a parallax difference between us.

EP: Now I would interpret Martin’s diagram so that the mirror (seems like shadow) side below the line is some kind of generalized structure of the controlling system(s)? So that red
and blue form purple as CEV because (!) they (generally) create a perception of purple in perceiving subject(s)? Perhaps I interpret wrong?

RM: I’ll defer to Martin on that.

Best regards

Rick

And I am sorry Martin that I did not react your very clear answer to my question which you sent oct 11th and which started that discussion. For some reason I did never
get it. I now unearthed it from the archive. Thank you!​

Eetu Pikkarainen

Lähettäjä: Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com
Lähetetty: 28. lokakuuta 2016 4:53
Vastaanottaja: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Kopio: Richard Marken
Aihe: What’s the Matter with ECVs?

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1850)]

Martin Taylor (2016.10.27. 16.13)–

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 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.

MT: Actually, p and qi are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is drawn.

RM: They are the same variable in the sense that they are the same function of environmental variables. The function that computes this variable for the controller – the function that computes p – is shown in
the control diagram as the Input Function; the function that computes this variable for the observer – the function that computes q.i – is not shown in the diagram; it’s implicit in the fact hat the observer is in the environment of the controller and, hence,
is perceiving what the controller is perceiving from outside of the controller, using their own perceptual function. So in the “What is size”?" demo, if the controller is controlling area then the controller is controlling p = hw – where hw is being computed
by the controller’s input function. At the same time the observer (in this case, the computer) is perceiving q.i = h*w. So q.i is the same variable as p, computed by different systems.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what I described above shows why this is not necessary; p and q.i are the same variable because they are computed by different individuals (the control system and the observer of the control system)
using the same perceptual function.

MT: The mirror arrangement shows the mirror of the Perceptual Input Functions, not their inverses.

RM: I think the the mirror arrangement gives a somewhat misleading picture of the relationship between control systems and the environment in which they control. This can be illustrated using the “Control of Size?”
task. In this task you can control two different functions of the same environmental variables, height (h) and width (w). According to PCT, when you are controlling area you are controlling a perception, p.a, = h*w and when you are controlling perimeter
you are controlling p.p = 2(h+w). These two different perceptual variables are presumed to be the outputs of two different perceptual input functions. I think the mirror arrangement of this task would look like figure (b) in your diagram:

RM: The two systems immediately above the line are the systems perceiving (and controlling) area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with “+”). Both have two inputs, h and w, which are the two lines entering each
from the environment. The mirror image grey dots in the environment represent the “CEV” controlled by each system; the grey dots on the left and right being area and perimeter, respectively. So the mirror arrangement, based on your concept of CEV’s, implies
that there are two different variables in the environment that correspond to the two different perceptions that can be controlled, area and perimeter. But, in fact, there is really only one thing varying in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo, the
relative lengths of h and w. A better diagram of the situation would look like this:

RM: The single dot below the line represents the rectangular display in the “Control of Size” demo. There are still two inputs to the area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with a “+”) control systems but they
are the same inputs; h and w. The area control system perceives (and controls) p.a, the perimeter control system perceives (and controls) p.p, where both p.a and p.p are functions of the same variables, h and w. And since the perceptions p.a and p.p are functions
of the same environmental reality, they cannot be controlled at the same time. But the point of the revised “mirror” diagram is that there is really only one thing going on in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo: variations in the length of h and w.
What is being controlled in the “What is Size?” demo are two different aspects (or functions) of this environment.

RM: I suppose you could say that area and perimeter are two different CEVs corresponding to the perceptions, p.a and p.p, that can be controlled in the “What is Size?” demo. But this is just redefining a CEV as
a perceptual aspect of the environment – which is the same as the definition of a controlled variable – making the term unnecessary at best and confusing at worst.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what you are referring to is the time lag from sensory input to perceptual signal output. And, indeed, this has been the subject of experiment; I’ve shown (in my “Hierarchy of perception and control”
and more formally in experimental research (Marken, R. S., Khatib, Z. and Mansell, W. (2013) Motor Control as the Control of Perception,
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 117, 236-247) that some perceptions take longer to construct than others. In terms of control this is just part of the transport lag introduced by the nervous 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.

MT: Yes.

MT: 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.

RM: The concept of a CEV is not part of PCT. But if you think it is, or that it should be, then all you have to do is show why it is or should be. And you show it by demonstrating what phenomenon it accounts for that is not accounted for by the existing
theoretical structure of PCT. I think the concept of a CEV is not only not part of PCT and unnecessary, I think it also throws a red herring across the path of research on PCT.

RM: 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.

MT: 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.

RM: So does that mean that we stop doing research on living control systems? The fact that our models can account for 99% or the variance and come within 2% of the observed behavior suggests that, even if we can’t be sure that we perceive exactly what
the controller is perceiving, we can come pretty darn close.

RM: 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).

MT: 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).

RM: There it is; more invented reasons for not doing research testing PCT. I think research on PCT is the most important thing to do now. The theorizing has already been done by Bill Powers – and done rather well. If you are really hot to change or
extend the theory I suggest that you do (or suggest) some research, the results of which that would require such a change or extension.

Best regards

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

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

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.28.1900)]

···

Martin Taylor (2016.10.28.11.01)–

``````        MT: Actually, p and qi
``````

are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is
drawn.

``````        RM: They are the
``````

same variable in the sense that they are the same function
of environmental variables…

``````MT: It never ceases to amaze me, the lengths to which you will go to
``````

demonstrate that whatever I might offer to CSGnet, it must be an
attempt to destroy PCT, either as an unjustifiable alteration or as
a direct block to PCT research.

RM: I don’t think you are trying to destroy PCT at all. I just think you get some things wrong.

``````MT: Not long ago, I was an advocate of
``````

S-R behaviourism because I suggested that we needed to use the Test
for the Controlled Variable to see what variable(s) were being
controlled when people and fly larvae travelled curve paths. Now
this.

RM: I don’t think I ever said your were an advocate of S-R behaviorism. I certainly don’t think you are. We have gone through a couple of iterations of the debate about there being information in the disturbance where I might have said that this is an S-R concept. But I don’t recall it coming up when you said we needed a Test for the Controlled Variable to see what variables the fly larva is controlling. I do recall saying that the idea that the power law tells us something about behavior is based on an S-R concept of how behavior works. I’m sorry if you took that to be saying that you were an advocate of an S-R theory of behavior.

``````MT: The message that I refrain from quoting might be funny if it were
``````

not so sad. In it, I see three themes:

RM: If these are the themes that you pick up from my posts then what we have here is a failure to communicate. I’ll try to rephrase these in a way that better communicates (to me, anyway) my point of view:

``````MT: 1) Every perception has a value "p" and in the environment there is
``````

a function of environmental values that produces a value “qi”. To
give this function of environmental values a descriptive name is an
unjustifiable extension of PCT.

RM: In PCT, controlled perceptual variables, denoted p, are functions of the sensory effect of environmental variables. An observer of a control system can perceive the same perceptual variables a control system is controlling by computing functions of the sensory effects of those same environmental variables that are equivalent to the functions producing the controlled perception in the control system. The perceptual variable computed by the observer is called the controlled quantity and denoted q.i to distinguish it from the same perceptual variable controlled by the control system, which is called the controlled variable or controlled perceptions and denoted p. There are no functions in the environment that produce the controlled quantity, q.i. Both the controlled variable, p, and the controlled quantity, q.i, exist only as perceptual variables in systems (such as the control system and the human observer of that system) that can compute these perceptions. Both p and q.i are functions of environmental variables but neither are entities in the environment. Since there is no function in the environment that produces q.i, there is no need to give this function (or its output) a descriptive name, such as CEV.

``````MT: 2) If a perception is produced by Perceptual function X that has
``````

inputs from two lower-level functions A and B, the perception pX has
a corresponding qi in the environment, but perceptions produced by A
and B need not. (This, despite the basic PCT requirement that every
controlled perception has a corresponding qi).

RM: A perception produced by a perceptual function does not have a corresponding q.i in the environment; q.i, like p, is a perceptual function of environmental variables. The q.i one the environmental side of the PCT diagram of a control system represents the controlled perceptual variable (a function of sensory effects of environmental variables) seen from the point of view of an observer of the control system.

``````MT: 3) Any description of limitations on the precision of the Test for
``````

the Controlled Variable is an assault on the possibility of doing
research into PCT.

RM: Not at all. Descriptions of purported limitations of the TCV are very welcome. I am just not convinced that the "imitations you have described are actual limitations. Those limitations are, from my point of view, based on interpretations of the PCT model that I think are incorrect, particularly your idea that what you call the CEV and the controlled perception, p, are two separate variables with p a function of the CEV. If, however, there truly are limitations of the TCV you should be able to demonstrate them in an actual example of the TCV.

RM: I think there are important methodological caveats that should be heeded when doing the TCV; for example, don’t use disturbances that make control difficult or impossible; monitor the behavior of the hypothetical controlled variable on a time scale that appropriate to the type of variable being controlled.

MT: Did I miss something? Probably, but those three will do.

RM: Yes, they will. I hope I clarified my position. And I hope you understand that my criticisms of some of your ideas about PCT are simply responses to disturbances to my perception of PCT; I don’t attribute any “bad” motives to you. I think you are a very smart and sweet guy. I just think some of your ideas about PCT are incorrect. But feel free to try to set me straight. Even if you don’t manage to do so I always learn from these discussions.

Best regards

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

[From Bruce Abbott (2016.10.29.1025 EDT)]

eetu pikkarainen 2016-10.28 –

EP: This is very interesting and confusing discussion (for a newcomer). PCT tastes really quite Kantian (constructivist) way of thinking. Kant was (or is regarded as) the first one to claim against the (Aristotelian) model of “in-formation” according to which the external forms of the environment are copied (as scaled down) in our minds. Kant said that our (experiential) knowledge is a product or function of our own cognitive machinery (which consists of modes of perception and categories of reason). Thus we cannot state anything about the features of the environment as such (Ding an sich) on the basis of our (experiential) knowledge about them.

EP: If I understood it right Rick said that q.i is the same variable as p, only difference that the previous is seen from the view point of controller and latter from that of observer? I tried to redraw the diagram so that the input function of the observer were also explicit:

EP: Here the observer is in the environment of the controller and v.v. In the section of the both environments there is something unknown X which is somehow causing the physical stimuli for the receptors of both. But how can we still know that p is the same variable as q.i? Kant believed that the cognitive machinery is similar and functioning similarly in every normal mature human being but thatâ€™s not so sure. Secondly the relationships of Controller and Observer with the X are probably different. Also I am still a bit confused with the idea that the variable could be same but its value could be very different. I guess that here is needed the Test (TCV) to know if these variables are same??

BA: I would modify your diagram in several ways.Â First, I would relabel the variable X as q.i. as it is the input variable to the perceptual systems of both the controller and the observer.Â Second, I would relabel the observerâ€™s q.i. as p, as the output of the observerâ€™s perceptual input function is a perception, just as it is for the control system.Â Third, I would eliminate the observerâ€™s comparator, reference, error signal, and output function, unless you are assuming the both the controller and the observer are controlling (or attempting to control) q.i. Â As this individualâ€™s stated role is â€œobserver,â€? it would make more sense to assume that the observer is simply perceiving q.i. (if in fact the observer does perceive it) and not attempting to control it.Â

It Is true that neither the observer nor the controller can directly perceive the real-world variable q.i.Â However, it seems to add an unnecessary layer of complexity to worry much about this and potentially adds confusion to the discussion of how control systems work, and how we model them.Â I would rather view q.i. as some quantitative aspect or combination of aspects of reality that stimulates sensory receptors.Â The relevant perceptual input function then generates a neural signal, based on this input, the perceptual signal,

You can think of q.i. as a physical variable and p as its representation within the control system.Â If we were dealing with a physical system such as a temperature controlled water bath, q.i. would be the actual temperature of the bath and p would be the signal generated by the temperature sensor.Â If the sensor is working properly, then by controlling p to a certain reference value, the system would also be controlling the bath temperature to its reference value.

Where it becomes important to distinguish between q.i. and p is when the output of the sensor does not properly represent the actual bath temperature.Â If the sensor is defective, then the control system may be getting a perception of bath temperature that deviates from the actual bath temperature.Â An electrical sensor such as a thermistor, for example, may develop a high resistance so that the output is less than it should generate at a given temperature.Â The control system will still control p, but the actual bath temperature will have to be raised well above the desired value before the perceptual signal reaches the reference value.Â If the connection with the thermistor is corroded, the perceptual signal may vary greatly even though the bath temperature is not varying in the same way.Â It seems to me that this is the primary reason for emphasizing that control is control of perception – the controllerâ€™s onnly â€œknowledgeâ€? about q.i. is the value of p.

The variable q.i. can represent a simple variable like bath temperature or something more complex, such as a combination of the temperature and humidity level of the air.Â In this case p may be perceived as mere temperature but the perception would not map directly onto air temperature alone.Â In such a case q.i. would represent the combination of variables going into the perception of air temperature, and the combinations that generate a given perceptual signal value would be determined by the perceptual input function.

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.30.1250)]

···

Bruce Abbott (2016.10.29.1025 EDT)

EP: If I understood it right Rick said that q.i is the same variable as p, only difference that the previous is seen from the view point of controller and latter from that of observer? I tried to redraw the diagram so that the input function of the observer were also explicit:

BA: I would modify your diagram in several ways. First, I would relabel the variable X as q.i. as it is the input variable to the perceptual systems of both the controller and the observer.

RM: q.i, like p, is a function of environmental (physical) variables, a function that can only be computed by a perceptual system of some kind. The environment itself cannot compute a function of its own variables. So putting q.i in the environment is misleading. I like the fact that Eetu labeled the environmental variables X since these variables are known only as variables in our models of the physical world. And the capital X can be taken to mean that X is matrix or array, which is a nice representation of the physical world in which we live – an array of various types of energy impinging on us.

BA: Second, I would relabel the observer’s q.i. as p, as the output of the observer’s perceptual input function is a perception, just as it is for the control system.

RM: I think that would be misleading as well. Since q.i is itself a function of environmental variables p would have to be the identity multiplier. I think this is the way Gibson thought of perception – we just detect “invariant” aspects of the environment. But I think people who build systems that perceive are aware that it’s not that simple and teh "detection of invariants approach to perception is not the PCT model of perception anyway.

RM: I think Eetu’s diagram nicely captures the fact that q.i is a perception in the observer (or in the observer’s surrogate, such as a computer) that corresponds to the perception controlled by the control system under observation. This is made quite tangible in my “What s Size”? demo (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Size.html). In that demo the computer perceives two different aspects of the display – the area (hw) and the perimeter (2(h+w)) of the rectangle. These two variables correspond to two different q.i’s. The test is then use to see which of the q.i perceived by the computer is closest to the perception, p, controlled by the subject in the demo.

BA: Third, I would eliminate the observer’s comparator, reference, error signal, and output function, unless you are assuming the both the controller and the observer are controlling (or attempting to control) q.i.

RM: And again, I think Eetu’s diagram is just fine. The “Observer” control system can be thought of as being in “passive observation mode” (see "pp. 222-223 in B:CP, 2nd edition), where no reference signal is being sent to the comparator; so the observer s not actually controlling q.i, just monitoring it.

BA: It Is true that neither the observer nor the controller can directly perceive the real-world variable q.i.

RM: That’s because there is no “real world” variable q.i. The only variables that exist in the real world are physical variables, which I will from now on refer to as X. The variable we experience as “the real world out there” are perceptions – functions of X.

BA: However, it seems to add an unnecessary layer of complexity to worry much about this and potentially adds confusion to the discussion of how control systems work, and how we model them. I would rather view q.i. as some quantitative aspect or combination of aspects of reality that stimulates sensory receptors. The relevant perceptual input function then generates a neural signal, based on this input, the perceptual signal,

RM: I don’t think you would get into much trouble thinking of it this way. You would end up thinking of q.i as a set of physical variables that are inputs to the perceptual function you are trying to determine. So in the “What is Size” demo your q.i would be the height and width of the figure (h and w) and when you did the test you would be trying to figure out the function of h and w that corresponds to the perception that is under control. But I just think Eetu’s diagram is a better way to communicate what is actually going on in the TCV.

BA: Where it becomes important to distinguish between q.i. and p is when the output of the sensor does not properly represent the actual bath temperature.

RM: This is true, as long as q.i is understood to be a measure of the actual physical variables (“actual” per our models of physics) and not a perceptual function of those variables. In the “What is size” demo, q.i would be actual physical measures of area or perimeter. But the accuracy with which a perceptual variable corresponds to a presumed physical correlate of that variable is not really concern of PCT; PCT is about what variables are being controlled and how they are being controlled. And the question of “accuracy” of a perception as a representation of a physical correlate of that perception makes little sense once one starts dealing with high level perceptions, like the perception of principles, like honesty and integrity, or system concepts, like being a Cubs or Dodgers fan (we have both in this house;-)

BA: The variable q.i. can represent a simple variable like bath temperature or something more complex, such as a combination of the temperature and humidity level of the air. In this case p may be perceived as mere temperature but the perception would not map directly onto air temperature alone. In such a case q.i. would represent the combination of variables going into the perception of air temperature, and the combinations that generate a given perceptual signal value would be determined by the perceptual input function.

RM: See how confusing it is. Isn’t humidity a function of air temperature and water vapor content of the air? So the more complex perception is that of humidity (h) and its a function of two physical variables, air temperature (t) and water vapor level (w). You say q.i is the “the combination of variables going into the perception of air temperature” but I suspect that you meant the combination going into the perception of humidity. But what do you mean by “combination”. Is q.i just t and w or is it the combination that results in the perception of humidity – say it’s t * w. I think it’s simpler to say that t and w are variables in X – physical reality; q.i is the function of t and w – t*w – that produces the perception, p, of humidity. So q.i and p are the same thing; a perception of humidity that is a function of two environmental variables.

RM: See how nice and clear that is.

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

In the text bellow…

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2016 9:08 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: What’s the Matter with ECVs?

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.28.1210)]

eetu pikkarainen 2016-10.28

EP: If I understood it right Rick said that q.i is the same variable as p, only difference that the previous is seen from the view point of controller and latter from that of observer? I tried to redraw the diagram so that the input function of the observer were also explicit:

RM: Perfect!!

HB : Wrong.

Dear Eetu

I think that you should follow Bruce Abbott because he is showing the way to Bills right diagram, where q.i. is outside the system. That’s most important. That you stick to Bill and PCT not RCT, with some new explanation from Ricks’ imagination, which has nothing to do with PCT. There could be some cosmetic changes that I would add, but I think that Bruces’ ciritics is super and right. Thanks Â»GodÂ« that there is one person kepping his mind clear on this forum who is not subordinated to Rick-omania.

I could add also some other things beside diagrma but for now I’ll keep my mouth shut. But for now I’d warmly recommend following Bruce.

And second thing, that I’d like to show is Ricks new manipuation and probably coinscious misleading of the forum to prove his point. But I’m interested what Warren, Bara and Martin will have to say.

RM: In the “Coin Game” the observer (experimenter, E) is to discover the perception of a pattern of coins that a person (subject, S) is controlling. E is trying to find a way of perceiving the coins (q.i) that corresponds to the perception (p) that S is controlling. Eventually E finds a way of perceiving the coins (as an “N” pattern) that corresponds to the perception S is controlling in the sense that S protects that perception (the “N” pattern) from disturbances (like moving a coin so the the pattern becomes “O”) by always moving the “offending” coin(s) in a way that restores the “N” pattern.

Actually the coin game is presenting that Â»Test for the controlled variableÂ« is almost useless. It’s better Â»finding some reasonÂ« or Â»come upÂ« with many hypothesis as Bill is proposing….

Bill P (B:CP) :

One of the first natural predictions to fail is the feeling that practically any disturbance will be resisted. As E get’s one Â»no errorÂ« response after another she will realize how easily her own perceptions can miss what the subject is perceiving and controlling. Another early (and to some shocking) realization is that one normally can not say what the subject Â»is doingÂ« even though the error-correcting actions are completely visible and obvious. The experimenters perception of what the subject is doing is completely irrelevant unless E has some reason to think she knows what S is perceiving. It is all to easy, as E will soon discover, to Â»make senseÂ« of S’s behavior. E will come up with many hypothesis that fit the coin patterns but fail The test. It will become all too clear that an ability to see patterns in behavior can lead as easily to a wrong description as a right one.

HB : We can see how Ricks’ imagination at perceiving his q.i. is different as mine and we had the same book in our hands. Rick is adding imagination and make distortion to what he was perceiving in the text so to make Â»his pointÂ«, and I was just citating Bill not making any my Â«own pointsÂ« until now. So I can conclude that Rick was misleading CSGnet forum with his interpretation of Â»Coin gameÂ« to prove his point. He is LCS with his own q.i.

Best,

Boris

EP: Here the observer is in the environment of the controller and v.v. In the section of the both environments there is something unknown X which is somehow causing the physical stimuli for the receptors of both.

RM: Yes, X is the reality that exists beyond our senses and that we will never know of directly. We only know X in terms of our models of physics and chemistry. So the environment in the PCT model of organisms is itself a model.

EP: But how can we still know that p is the same variable as q.i?

RM: This is what the Test for the Controlled Variable (TCV) tells you. The basic idea is very simple. The observer’s perception, q.i, is considered to be the same as (or equivalent to) the perception, p, controlled by the control system if q.i is protected from the effect of independent variables (disturbances) that would affect q.i if it were not under control. If you have a copy of “Behavior: The Control of Perception” read the section on the “Coin Game” in the “Experimental Methods” chapter.

RM: In the “Coin Game” the observer (experimenter, E) is to discover the perception of a pattern of coins that a person (subject, S) is controlling. E is trying to find a way of perceiving the coins (q.i) that corresponds to the perception (p) that S is controlling. Eventually E finds a way of perceiving the coins (as an “N” pattern) that corresponds to the perception S is controlling in the sense that S protects that perception (the “N” pattern) from disturbances (like moving a coin so the the pattern becomes “O”) by always moving the “offending” coin(s) in a way that restores the “N” pattern.

EP: Secondly the relationships of Controller and Observer with the X are probably different.

RM: Yes, and that can result in interesting problems (and discoveries). In a recent experiment that was done with Warren Mansell and Andrew Willett I built a simple PCT model of behavior in the rubber band task. The model worked great but it kept the knot in the rubber bands too far to the side of the target dot. It looked like the subject (whose behavior I was modeling) had a reference for keeping the knot to the side of rather than on the target. Then I realized that the subject was seeing the situation from the side while I was looking at it head on. So when the knot was on the side of the target for me it was on the target for the subject, due to parallax. So my perception of the controlled variable (my q.i) was not the same as the subject’s (p) simply due to the fact that we were in different positions in the world. So, clearly, the TCV can’t be done successfully by just following rules by rote. It requires some thinking, which is why it’s fun.

EP: Also I am still a bit confused with the idea that the variable could be same but its value could be very different. I guess that here is needed the Test (TCV) to know if these variables are same??

RM: That’s what basically happened in the example of the parallax problem in my model of the subject’s behavior in the rubber band experiment. I got the controlled variable right; it was the distance from knot to target. So q.i = knot-target and p = knot - target. What I missed was the fact that, due to parallax, the optical difference between knot and target was different for the subject and me. So the values of q.i that corresponded to the physical difference between the knot and target were different for the subject and me – at least, until I figured out that there was a parallax difference between us.

EP: Now I would interpret Martinâ€™s diagram so that the mirror (seems like shadow) side below the line is some kind of generalized structure of the controlling system(s)? So that red and blue form purple as CEV because (!) they (generally) create a perception of purple in perceiving subject(s)? Perhaps I interpret wrong?

RM: I’ll defer to Martin on that.

Best regards

Rick

And I am sorry Martin that I did not react your very clear answer to my question which you sent oct 11th and which started that discussion. For some reason I did never get it. I now unearthed it from the archive. Thank you!â€‹

Eetu Pikkarainen

LÃ¤hettÃ¤jÃ¤: Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com
LÃ¤hetetty: 28. lokakuuta 2016 4:53
Vastaanottaja: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Kopio: Richard Marken
Aihe: What’s the Matter with ECVs?

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.27.1850)]

Martin Taylor (2016.10.27. 16.13)–

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 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.

MT: Actually, p and qi are not the same variable, not the way the diagram is drawn.

RM: They are the same variable in the sense that they are the same function of environmental variables. The function that computes this variable for the controller – the function that computes p – is shown in the control diagram as the Input Function; the function that computes this variable for the observer – the function that computes q.i – is not shown in the diagram; it’s implicit in the fact hat the observer is in the environment of the controller and, hence, is perceiving what the controller is perceiving from outside of the controller, using their own perceptual function. So in the “What is size”?" demo, if the controller is controlling area then the controller is controlling p = hw – where hw is being computed by the controller’s input function. At the same time the observer (in this case, the computer) is perceiving q.i = h*w. So q.i is the same variable as p, computed by different systems.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what I described above shows why this is not necessary; p and q.i are the same variable because they are computed by different individuals (the control system and the observer of the control system) using the same perceptual function.

MT: The mirror arrangement shows the mirror of the Perceptual Input Functions, not their inverses.

RM: I think the the mirror arrangement gives a somewhat misleading picture of the relationship between control systems and the environment in which they control. This can be illustrated using the “Control of Size?” task. In this task you can control two different functions of the same environmental variables, height (h) and width (w). According to PCT, when you are controlling area you are controlling a perception, p.a, = h*w and when you are controlling perimeter you are controlling p.p = 2(h+w). These two different perceptual variables are presumed to be the outputs of two different perceptual input functions. I think the mirror arrangement of this task would look like figure (b) in your diagram:

RM: The two systems immediately above the line are the systems perceiving (and controlling) area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with “+”). Both have two inputs, h and w, which are the two lines entering each from the environment. The mirror image grey dots in the environment represent the “CEV” controlled by each system; the grey dots on the left and right being area and perimeter, respectively. So the mirror arrangement, based on your concept of CEV’s, implies that there are two different variables in the environment that correspond to the two different perceptions that can be controlled, area and perimeter. But, in fact, there is really only one thing varying in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo, the relative lengths of h and w. A better diagram of the situation would look like this:

RM: The single dot below the line represents the rectangular display in the “Control of Size” demo. There are still two inputs to the area (open circle) and perimeter (circle with a “+”) control systems but they are the same inputs; h and w. The area control system perceives (and controls) p.a, the perimeter control system perceives (and controls) p.p, where both p.a and p.p are functions of the same variables, h and w. And since the perceptions p.a and p.p are functions of the same environmental reality, they cannot be controlled at the same time. But the point of the revised “mirror” diagram is that there is really only one thing going on in the environment in the “What is Size?” demo: variations in the length of h and w. What is being controlled in the “What is Size?” demo are two different aspects (or functions) of this environment.

RM: I suppose you could say that area and perimeter are two different CEVs corresponding to the perceptions, p.a and p.p, that can be controlled in the “What is Size?” demo. But this is just redefining a CEV as a perceptual aspect of the environment – which is the same as the definition of a controlled variable – making the term unnecessary at best and confusing at worst.

MT: 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.

RM: I think what you are referring to is the time lag from sensory input to perceptual signal output. And, indeed, this has been the subject of experiment; I’ve shown (in my “Hierarchy of perception and control” (http://www.mindreadings.com/ControlDemo/Hierarchy.html) and more formally in experimental research (Marken, R. S., Khatib, Z. and Mansell, W. (2013) Motor Control as the Control of Perception, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 117, 236-247) that some perceptions take longer to construct than others. In terms of control this is just part of the transport lag introduced by the nervous 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.

MT: Yes.

MT: 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.

RM: The concept of a CEV is not part of PCT. But if you think it is, or that it should be, then all you have to do is show why it is or should be. And you show it by demonstrating what phenomenon it accounts for that is not accounted for by the existing theoretical structure of PCT. I think the concept of a CEV is not only not part of PCT and unnecessary, I think it also throws a red herring across the path of research on PCT.

RM: 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.

MT: 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.

RM: So does that mean that we stop doing research on living control systems? The fact that our models can account for 99% or the variance and come within 2% of the observed behavior suggests that, even if we can’t be sure that we perceive exactly what the controller is perceiving, we can come pretty darn close.

RM: 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).

MT: 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).

RM: There it is; more invented reasons for not doing research testing PCT. I think research on PCT is the most important thing to do now. The theorizing has already been done by Bill Powers – and done rather well. If you are really hot to change or extend the theory I suggest that you do (or suggest) some research, the results of which that would require such a change or extension.

Best regards

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

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

[From Bruce Abbott (2016.10.31.1520 EDT)]

Rick Marken (2016.10.30.1250) –

Bruce Abbott (2016.10.29.1025 EDT)

EP: If I understood it right Rick said that q.i is the same variable as p, only difference that the previous is seen from the view point of controller and latter from that of observer? I tried to redraw the diagram so that the input function of the observer were also explicit:

BA: I would modify your diagram in several ways. First, I would relabel the variable X as q.i. as it is the input variable to the perceptual systems of both the controller and the observer.

RM: q.i, like p, is a function of environmental (physical) variables, a function that can only be computed by a perceptual system of some kind. The environment itself cannot compute a function of its own variables. So putting q.i in the environment is misleading.

BA: Â Well, strictly speaking, the environment â€œcomputesâ€? functions of its own variables all the time: witness the fact that a soap bubble â€œcomputesâ€? the minimum surface area that will enclose a given volume of air, with the effect of gravity thrown in to boot. Â However, in such a case we would not need to create a perceptual function to duplicate those computations as we could directly perceive the environmental variable that results from such a physical interaction. Â

BA: If a given perception depends on environmental variables that are combined in the input function, then you are correct that qi would not exist in the environment as such.Â Tests would need to be conducted to determine which variables enter the input function for that perception and how they are combined to produce the perceptual signal that depends on them.Â Nevertheless, q.i. represents the combination of environmental variables that yields the perception and thus properly belongs in the environment where it can be observed.Â For example, I can adjust the intensities of r, g, and b inputs to the retina and determine which combinations produce what the perceiver identifies as a given hue. Those intensities and wavelengths that serve as inputs are observable, measurable properties out in the environment, and their combination should be represented on the environmental side of the system diagram as q.i. Â

BA: This is especially important when considering how the individual may exert control over the perception.Â Control will require being able to vary one or more of the input variables, alone or in some combination with the others, by means of the output.Â We need to know what physical variables went into q.i. in order to know what variable or variables must be affected by the systemâ€™s output if it is to succeed in controlling its perception.

BA: Â If the observerâ€™s input function is like the controllerâ€™s, then the observerâ€™s p will depend in like manner on the variables that go into q.i. Â But what if the observer is a person and the control system is part of a mosquitoâ€™s system for finding a source of blood.Â The q.i. that inputs to the mosquitoâ€™s system to produce a given p likely will not be a q.i. for the observer.Â However, the observer can discover the mosquitoâ€™s q.i. through appropriate testing.

BA: The input variable q.i. is the appropriate combination of potentially observable physical variables that determine, via the control systemâ€™s input function, what the values of the perceptual signal will be.

RM: I think Eetu’s diagram nicely captures the fact that q.i is a perception in the observer (or in the observer’s surrogate, such as a computer) that corresponds to the perception controlled by the control system under observation.

BA:Â And I think that placing q.i. inside the observer just adds confusion.Â The variables going into q.i. are in the environment of the control system.Â The particular combination of them that yields p is given by the input function, so there is no need to place q.i. elsewhere in the diagram.

BA: It seems to me that this issue arises because q.i. was used to identify the controlled variable in Billâ€™s models involving only single environmental variables.Â So if you are controlling the intensity of the lighting, adjusting it for your comfort while reading, the controlled variable or q.i. is the intensity of the light as input to your eyes and p is the perceived intensity of the light.Â The environmental variable q.i. is present in the environment where you can manipulate it by, say, adjusting an intensity knob on your lamp.Â The variable q.i. does not have this status when it consists of a set of variables that are combined in some way inside the input function to produce p.Â In that case q.i. is still being varied as needed to control p, but it does not exist per se in the environment – only its constituent varriables do.Â To be consistent with the diagram for control where q.i. is a single variable, we still need to identify q.i. with its environmental variables, not as something existing alongside p inside the control system.Â It is enough to show in the input function how the input variables combine to produce p.

BA: Perhaps a better solution would be to identify as separate q.i.â€™s each of the constituent variables going into the perceptual input function and just let the input function indicate how they are combined to produce p.Â What do you think?

BA: Third, I would eliminate the observerâ€™s comparator, reference, error signal, and output function, unless you are assuming the both the controller and the observer are controlling (or attempting to control) q.i.

RM: And again, I think Eetu’s diagram is just fine. The “Observer” control system can be thought of as being in “passive observation mode” (see "pp. 222-223 in B:CP, 2nd edition), where no reference signal is being sent to the comparator; so the observer s not actually controlling q.i, just monitoring it.

BA:Â Because we are discussing how the observer perceives (or deduces) the controllerâ€™s q.i., including a superfluous control system in the observerâ€™s side of the diagram adds nothing.Â It might also suggest, incorrectly, that monitoring a given input can only be done by a control system.Â There are plenty of environmental variables out there that we perceive but do not control, or control only on occasion.

Bruce

[From Rick Marken (2016.10.31.1810)]

···

Bruce Abbott (2016.10.31.1520 EDT)–

Â

RM: q.i, like p, is a function of environmental (physical) variables, a function that can only be computed by a perceptual system of some kind. The environment itself cannot compute a function of its own variables. So putting q.i in the environment is misleading.

Â

BA: Â Well, strictly speaking, the environment âcomputesâ? functions of its own variables all the time: witness the fact that a soap bubble âcomputesâ? the minimum surface area that will enclose a given volume of air, with the effect of gravity thrown in to boot.Â However, in such a case we would not need to create a perceptual function to duplicate those computations as we could directly perceive the environmental variable that results from such a physical interaction.

RM: What is the environmental variable being perceived?Â How do you “directly perceive” it?Â

Â

Â BA: If a given perception depends on environmental variables that are combined in the input function, then you are correct that qi would not exist in the environment as such.Â Tests would need to be conducted to determine which variables enter the input function for that perception and how they are combined to produce the perceptual signal that depends on them.Â Nevertheless, q.i. represents the combination of environmental variables that yields the perception and thus properly belongs in the environment where it can be observed.Â For example, I can adjust the intensities of r, g, and b inputs to the retina and determine which combinations produce what the perceiver identifies as a given hue. Those intensities and wavelengths that serve as inputs are observable, measurable properties out in the environment, and their combination should be represented on the environmental side of the system diagram as q.i. Â

RM: I see the intensities of the light sources, r, g and b, as the environmental variables, which are part of the array of environmental variables that I now call X. The hue perceived as a function of r,g and b is q.i. Indeed, q.i is a linear combination of r, g and b. So the function that produces a particular value of q.i is q.i = k.1r+k2g+k3*b. This function doesn’t exist in the environment; it exists in a perceiving system. The output of this function, q.i, is, thus, a perception.

Â

BA: This is especially important when considering how the individual may exert control over the perception.Â Control will require being able to vary one or more of the input variables, alone or in some combination with the others, by means of the output.Â

RM: Yes, this is taken care of by specifying the environmental variables that are the arguments of the perceptual function. A person controlling a perception, p, equivalent to q.i = k.1r+k2g+k3b can control this perception by varying r, g and b appropriately. This is illustrated nicely in my “What is Size” demo. If the subject is controlling a perception, p, that is equivalent to q.i = h w, where h and w are the environmental variables of which the perception is a function, then they can control that perception by varying w (while h varies independently as a disturbance to the perception). Same is true if the subject is controlling a perception equivalent to Â q.i = 2(h+w). When modeling control you always have to include the physical variables of which the controlled perceptual variable is a function in the model. Â Â

Â

BA: We need to know what physical variables went into q.i. in order to know what variable or variables must be affected by the systemâs output if it is to succeed in controlling its perception.

RM: You betcha.

Â

Â BA: Â If the observerâs input function is like the controllerâs, then the observerâs p will depend in like manner on the variables that go into q.i.Â But what if the observer is a person and the control system is part of a mosquitoâs system for finding a source of blood.Â The q.i. that inputs to the mosquitoâs system to produce a given p likely will not be a q.i. for the observer.Â However, the observer can discover the mosquitoâs q.i. through appropriate testing.

RM: Right. The observer can do it using artificial perceptual systems. That’s how we know that bats control the time of return of the echos of high frequency tone bursts. You need a device that can perceive that aspect of the environment; a device that can create a perception, q.i, of this time lag that is equivalent to the bat’s perception, p, of this time lag.Â

Â

BA: The input variable q.i. is the appropriate combination of potentially observable physical variables that determine, via the control systemâs input function, what the values of the perceptual signal will be.

RM: The only part of that statement that is incorrect is calling q.i an input variable. Just eliminate the word “input” and you’ve got it right. Â

RM: I think Eetu’s diagram nicely captures the fact that q.i is a perception in the observer (or in the observer’s surrogate, such as a computer) that corresponds to the perception controlled by the control system under observation.Â

Â

BA:Â And I think that placing q.i. inside the observer just adds confusion.Â The variables going into q.i. are in the environment of the control system.Â The particular combination of them that yields p is given by the input function, so there is no need to place q.i. elsewhere in the diagram.

Â RM: Yes, I think it’s fine to leave q.i in the environment of the diagram, as long as it’s understood that q.i is not an entity that exists in the environment. It’s a perceptual aspect of the environment; an observer would see it as something in the environment of the controlled; but that “something” is not actually an entity in the environment; it’s a perception in the observer.

Â

BA: It seems to me that this issue arises because q.i. was used to identify the controlled variable in Billâs models involving only single environmental variables.Â So if you are controlling the intensity of the lighting, adjusting it for your comfort while reading, the controlled variable or q.i. is the intensity of the light as input to your eyes and p is the perceived intensity of the light.Â The environmental variable q.i. is present in the environment where you can manipulate it by, say, adjusting an intensity knob on your lamp.Â The variable q.i. does not have this status when it consists of a set of variables that are combined in some way inside the input function to produce p.Â In that case q.i. is still being varied as needed to control p, but it does not exist per se in the environment  only its constituent variables do.ÂÂ To be consistent with the diagram for control where q.i. is a single variable, we still need to identify q.i. with its environmental variables, not as something existing alongside p inside the control system.Â It is enough to show in the input function how the input variables combine to produce p.

RM: Completely agree!!Â

Â

BA: Perhaps a better solution would be to identify as separate q.i.âs each of the constituent variables going into the perceptual input function and just let the input function indicate how they are combined to produce p.Â What do you think?

RM: I think Bill always had difficulty figuring out how to represent this in a diagram – “this” being the fact that a controlled variable is a function of environmental variables and, therefore, exists as a perception for both the controller (as p) and for the observer of the control system (as q.i). In one of his first efforts (p. 66 of LCS I) the Input quantity (what we now call q.i) is shown as a circle around collection physical environmental variables, v. This is pretty good but it can give the impression that the Input quantity is an entity in the environment that is built out of the environmental variables, the v’s, like Martin’s CEV. In fact, the Input quantity is not an entity on the environment built from the v’s, which can be seen if you think of the v’s as h and w in the size control task. If you are controlling h*w then the Input quantity is an area; if you are controlling 2(h+w) then the Input quantity is a perimeter; same environmental variables; same “building blocks” different entity each time. The Input quantity is the the perception of the controlled variable from outside the control system.Â

RM: Bill’s next attempt was to leave out the Input quantity completely. This is done in Figure 5.2 on p. 61 Â of B:CP (1 st edition).Â The only input to the system is the “proximal physical stimuli” but these emerge from an unlabeled circle that could be seen as an entity in the environment that corresponds to the controlled perceptual variable.Â

RM: So, ultimately, I think one just has to understand that q.i is the controlled perception as seen from the point of view of an observer (or real or artificial). But it’s not a big deal if one doesn’t understand this; it is a pretty subtle point, I suppose. One can still have a pretty good understanding of PCT and still think that the perceptions people control correspond to actual entities out there in the environment – CEV’s. For me, the main problem with thinking that there are entities out there that correspond to controlled perceptions is that it can get in the way of doing quality research on the controlling done by living organisms. Â

Â

RM: And again, I think Eetu’s diagram is just fine. The “Observer” control system can be thought of as being in “passive observation mode” (see "pp. 222-223 in B:CP, 2nd edition), where no reference signal is being sent to the comparator; so the observer s not actually controlling q.i, just monitoring it.

Â

BA:Â Because we are discussing how the observer perceives (or deduces) the controllerâs q.i., including a superfluous control system in the observerâs side of the diagram adds nothing.Â It might also suggest, incorrectly, that monitoring a given input can only be done by a control system.Â There are plenty of environmental variables out there that we perceive but do not control, or control only on occasion.

RM: I agree. It would probably be better to just put a diagram of a device (which could be a human or artificial perceptual system) perceiving q.i as the same function of environmental variables, X, as the control system is perceiving as p.Â

BestÂ

RickÂ

Richard S. MarkenÂ

“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 2016.11.01.15.00]

It never occurred to me that giving a name to a variable known only by an algebraic symbol in a diagram would lead to such a flurry of denunciations in two threads.

A diagram of a control loop is something that can be perceived and controlled, in that anyone can offer a changed version. The reality behind it is completely unknowable, but the diagram represents a possibility. In that representation of a possibility exists a variable with a name "perception" and the algebraic symbol "p". The value of "p" at any moment, according to the concept represented by the diagram, could in principle be computed from the values of sensory variables that are neither labelled or named, other than as "inputs" in some versions of the diagram.

In the possibility represented by the diagram, there is an environment, and in that environment there is a variable with an algebraic symbol "qi" but no name. When qi takes on a certain value, the sensory inputs take on values that would produce the actual value of "p". Usually there is a whole range of sets of sensory values that would give the same value of "p", but they all correspond to just one value of "qi". For example, one sensor may report "X", while another reports "Y", while "p" takes on the value "X-Y", a value enforced by another "named" component of the diagram, the "Perceptual Function" or "Perceptual Input Function". Then "qi" must also have the value "X-Y" (according to the diagram). For example, if qi = 3, X could be 2, 7, or 125481, provided Y at the corresponding times had the values -1, 4, or 125478 respectively.

As I said, I have no idea why giving the English Language Name "Complex Environmental Variable" of "CEV" to the variable that has the algebraic symbol "qi" in the diagram causes such angst, especially to Rick. The variable "p" has a name. Why should it be so privileged over "qi"? Mind you, I'm only tlking about the conventional diagram, in which there does exist an environment. However, if, as Rick has said "qi" IS "p", then we are talking about a different diagram, one in which there may not be an environment at all. It's perfectly fine to talk about that different diagram, provided that it is made clear that it would imply a major revision to PCT.

The question of whether the CEV exists as such in the environment will be forever unknown. All we can know is that if we act as though it does, we can act in ways that we perceive to influence the environment consistently to alter in one direction or the other the value of "p". So it is irrelevant what is "really" in the unknowable "real reality" so long as "real reality" interprets our actions as though they influenced a variable in the environment with the value "qi", to which I choose to give the name "CEV" (and not ECV).

Martin

[From Rick Marken (2016.11.02.1010)]

···

Martin Taylor (2016.11.01.15.00)–

MT: It never occurred to me that giving a name to a variable known only by an algebraic symbol in a diagram would lead to such a flurry of denunciations in two threads.

RM: It’s not the name (CEV) that’s the problem so much as the concept to which it points. And I prefer to think of my objections to the concept of a CEV as disagreements rather than denunciations.

MT: In the possibility represented by the diagram, there is an environment, and in that environment there is a variable with an algebraic symbol “qi” but no name.

RM: Actually, it is called the “controller quantity”.

MT: When qi takes on a certain value, the sensory inputs take on values that would produce the actual value of “p”.

RM: Exactly! The sensory inputs are the arguments of the perceptual function that produces p and qi.

MT: Usually there is a whole range of sets of sensory values that would give the same value of “p”, but they all correspond to just one value of “qi”. For example, one sensor may report “X”, while another reports “Y”, while “p” takes on the value “X-Y”, a value enforced by another “named” component of the diagram, the “Perceptual Function” or “Perceptual Input Function”. Then “qi” must also have the value “X-Y” (according to the diagram). For example, if qi = 3, X could be 2, 7, or 125481, provided Y at the corresponding times had the values -1, 4, or 125478 respectively.

RM: Exactly right! For example, there are many combinations of the sensed values of height (h) and width (w) that result in a particular perception of area.

MT: As I said, I have no idea why giving the English Language Name “Complex Environmental Variable” of “CEV” to the variable that has the algebraic symbol “qi” in the diagram causes such angst, especially to Rick. The variable “p” has a name. Why should it be so privileged over “qi”?

RM: Two reasons. One, as I said, is because qi already has a name: “controlled quantity”. The other is that your concept a CEV is of a variable in the environment; it is not. It is a function of variables in the environment; the same function of variables in the environment as the controlled perceptual variable, p.

MT: Mind you, I’m only tlking about the conventional diagram, in which there does exist an environment. However, if, as Rick has said “qi” IS “p”, then we are talking about a different diagram, one in which there may not be an environment at all. It’s perfectly fine to talk about that different diagram, provided that it is made clear that it would imply a major revision to PCT.

RM: I’m not saying that qi IS p; I’m saying the qi is equivalent to p. q.i is a perception in an observer that is equivalent to the perception being controlled by the control system under study. The observer may be a human or a device, such as a computer, which is capable of computing the same function of environmental variables as the control system under study. In the “What is size?” demo, p is the perception, p, of area or perimeter that you are controlling; qi is the perception of area or perimeter that the computer is monitoring. So when you are seated a the computer controlling the area of the rectangle, the area of the rectangle is your perception, p. At the same time teh computer is computing the area of the rectangle; this the computer’s perception, qi, that is equivalent to your perception, p. Another example is in the coin game. If S is controlling the pattern of coins, trying to keep the coins arranged in a “Z” pattern, then the pattern of coins perceived by S is the controlled perceptual variable, p; when the pattern pattern of coins perceived by E is the same as that perceived by S, then the pattern of coins perceived by E is the controlled quantity, qi – a perceptual variable in E that is equivalent to the perceptual variable controlled by S.

MT: The question of whether the CEV exists as such in the environment will be forever unknown.

RM: It’s the arguments to the function that produces what you call the CEV, not the CEV itself, that will be forever unknown. The arguments to the CEV are the environmental variables that are the basis of the CEV. In our models, these environmental variables are taken to be the variables in our models of physics and chemistry. There is no question that what you call the CEV exists; it exists as a perception in the observer of the control system.

MT: All we can know is that if we act as though it does, we can act in ways that we perceive to influence the environment consistently to alter in one direction or the other the value of “p”. So it is irrelevant what is “really” in the unknowable “real reality” so long as “real reality” interprets our actions as though they influenced a variable in the environment with the value “qi”, to which I choose to give the name “CEV” (and not ECV).

RM: Again, the problem with your concept of a CEV is that it implies that there is an entity in the environment that exists independent of the perception of that entity. This has apparently led you to the notion that the CEV can vary independently of the perception that corresponds to it, which you consider to place a “limitation” on the “Test for the Controlled Variable”. This is a problem because no such limitation exists – because the CEV is defined by the perceptual function; it doesn’t exist in the environment – and the notion that such a limitation does exists is an unnecessary obstacle on the road to getting the behavioral science research reoriented to studying organisms as controllers rather than reactors.

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

[From Rick Marken (2016.11.02.1040)]

···

Errata from Rick Marken (2016.11.02.1010)]

RM: Of course, that should be “controlled quantity”. See glossary of B:CP.

Best

Rick

MT: In the possibility represented by the diagram, there is an environment, and in that environment there is a variable with an algebraic symbol “qi” but no name.

RM: Actually, it is called the “controller quantity”.

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

[From Rick Marken (2016.11.02.1040)]

Errata from Rick Marken (2016.11.02.1010)]

MT: In the possibility represented by the diagram, there is an environment, and in that environment there is a variable with an algebraic symbol “qi” but no name.

RM: Actually, it is called the “controller quantity”.

RM: Of course, that should be “controlled quantity”. See glossary of B:CP.

HB : I think that you and Bill don’t understand Â»controlled quantittyÂ« in the same sense. I think that Bill understood Â»controlled quantittyÂ« as part of Â»perceptual signalÂ« which is Â»controlled variableÂ« and that will be controlled when perceptual signal will be matched with reference. So in that sense (if analyze backward) we can assume that Â»controlled quantityÂ« in ouside environment could exist. But not in the sense that Â»controlled quantittyÂ« is formed in outer environment by Â»control of behaviorÂ«. Behavior can’t be controlled. I think that we all agree about that. Â»Perception is controlledÂ«.

I admitt that Bills’ defitnition is quite vague. He did change his mind some times.

In defintion above he used both terms to describe behavior. In affecting and control sense. But I think that non of other definitions in Glossary of B:CP support the control part of this defintion only affecting part. Also physiolgical evidences don’t support Â»behavior as controlÂ« but Â»Behavior as effectsÂ«. Bill proved that. So I think that putting Â»controlÂ« in relation with behavior is simply a mistake if PCT don’t want to be in contradicting position. But now I understand why Rick is confused.

Output is not controlled, it affects environment. Why Bill is contradicting himself in this definition I don’t know, But one thing is sure. He mostly understood behavior as process of afecting environment not controlling.Â

If you Â»control behaviorÂ«, control process was already done in environment, you don’t need to control perception of the same event. Why ? If control is already done.

Best,

Boris

Best

Rick

···

From: Richard Marken [mailto:rsmarken@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 6:40 PM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: What’s the Matter with ECVs?

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