[From Bill Curry (991126.1635 EST)]
This seems like an appropriate time of the year to thank _everyone_ on CSGnet
for helping me expand my knowledge base of PCT. I feel fortunate to have
stumbled somewhat randomly into this place [and blithely unaware that some
_fundamental_ reorganization was lying in wait for me ;-)].
While I am truly grateful for the ideas shared here, I must hasten to add that
the rancorous tone of some exchanges can make CSGnet a very unpleasant
experience at times. In the latter instances I try to glean any good wheat
lying amidst all the verbal chaff, and I also know that there are usually
some good science based intentions underlying most positions no matter how
rudely they are communicated.
I am also frustrated that the wonderfully informative and elegant PCT
framework remains sequestered from the main streams of intellectual inquiry.
So many fields could benefit from this perspective, and be actively involved
in its testing, revision and elaboration. I can't imagine what it must be
like for those of you who have invested so much time and energy in its
development. You have unearthed a Rosetta Stone of inestimable potential
value to humanity, and have made good progress in it's initial
decipherment...but no one "out there" seems to care much at this point! This
dilemma led me to purloin the subject of Bill's last chapter in MSOB for the
title of this post--indeed, "Where _do_ we go from here?"
I think it well worth some bandwidth to ponder two questions that appear
central to the future of this enterprise:
� What _really_ accounts for this state of affairs?
� Could PCT proponents go up a level and _collaborate_[!] to change this situation?
WRT the first question, I am well aware of the embattled Rodney Dangerfield
posture that many take vis a vis rejection by professional journals and the
like. While no doubt sadly accurate, this sort of explanation can become a
facile excuse for not exploring new ways to scale, circumvent, or destroy the
barricades. It does not get us very far.
Perhaps it would be more helpful to look within before turning to identify
external impediments. In my limited experience here, I perceive several
factors that inhibit a wider awareness of PCT:
� An appalling lack of respectful collegiality both within CSGnet and
apparently with researchers in other fields.
� A paranoid, almost xenophobic isolationism
� Use of conflictive forms of communication rather than dispassionate,
persuasive, respectful argument.
� A lack of any consensus as to any shared priorities, responsibilities and
directions for PCT.
On several occasions I have read glorious, insightful descriptions of how a
knowledge of PCT can transform interpersonal relations [even entire
societies!], would the participants just realize that they can't control each
other. In this view, negotiated solutions are the only way conflicted views
can be resolved. To do this the parties have to view the situation from a
position where they can determine what needs to be changed.
Do we practice what we preach? I don't get much sense of such an awareness
here. Unfortunately, I am more often reminded of Al Capp's caricatures of the
United Nations in L'il Abner which was populated by a bunch of zany, bickering
potentates so involved with their own agendas that they couldn't even agree on
the day of the week. [Oops--there I go with one of those damned ad hominem
So what are the up-a-level views out there on these questions? Indeed, _are_
these the right questions? I don't have any coherent suggestions at this
point. Maybe making good science these days _does_ require drawing long
knives and leaving lots of blood on the field to win a skirmish. Still, it
seems terribly counterproductive and enervating. Alternatively, I think the
record in science and OD shows that individual empowerment and clear goal
orientation can produce outstanding results.
William J. Curry, III 941-395.0088
Capticom, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org