You say you want a revolution

Boris, retract the abusive accusations. You could get away with this in a free-form email listserv. You can’t here. One of the basic ground rules for participation is to assume good faith and assume good intentions. Those who violate this are called out for it. Be civil or be blocked.

I am perfectly happy with you claiming precedence. I don’t care about that at all. My chapter of the Handbook was completed in 2014, with subsequent revisions of detail, and published a year and a half ago. I only came to these ideas this summer, and I presented them at the conference as loosely supported speculations to illustrate how PCT can find value in conventional research (the ‘baby’ in the ‘bathwater’). If you’ve got solid research leading to the same ideas, that’s a really good thing. I’m glad you’ve posted a link to your presentation.

O.K. Bruce. Why my accusations are abusive? You just have to prove that my accusations are false. You can use CSGnet archives evidences, you can use physiological evidences etc, Whatever, but don’t manipulate with me, becasue we know each more then well. You know well that you’ll never be able to prove how did you came to the same conclussions as i did on the basis of subjective experiences. That’s what science is preventing.

You can remove all “accusations” if you’ll put into your references for IAPCT meeting also my presentation. You know it’s more then fair offer.

I know that you protected your forum so that nobody could criticise your oppinion. And that you can organise closed sessions where anybody can violate authors rights. It’s not in accordance to Law.

Well I don’t want to talk to those who let you do this but if I’ll have to…

So can we agree that you will put my presentation into your references?

Sorry Bruce I forgot. Can we also start talkings about more then deserved placing Bill Powers into history of Cybernetics and Psychology.

What is it that you forgot and are now remembering?

Being civil on this Discourse platform is non-negotiable. There is no quid pro quo. You have a long history of abusive behavior. You will be civil or you will be out.

I will be happy to put a reference to what you have done into a paper, if I write a paper based on my presentation at this year’s IAPCT conference. So far, all I have as a reference is your link to a Youtube video. If you have a PDF, provide a link please. Slides already presented are what they are, they don’t change. Here, I’ve just made a PDF image of my slides. I think you will find it very different from what you are imagining. It is not a report of research. My speculative extension of Bill’s model of emotion serves to illustrate the point of the presentation, which is about what we can get from conventional research, and how we might communicate more effectively with conventional researchers.

You clearly know very much more about Maturana’s work than I do. Not hard to do, I know very little. Rather than hiding what you have done, out of fear that someone will steal it, make it available to PCT students and researchers, thereby establishing precedence and ‘ownership’ for yourself, since clearly that is important to you.

It’s a delicate situation Bruce, but it seems that we can find proper solution. You are different Bruce who I don’t know.

Your presentation is really not including neurophysiological, physiological or biological “facts” as mine. But still your last diagram includes closed functioning of organisms through internal and external environment by connecting “body variables” or “essential variables” to “external variables” with control units organization what was never done before except in my presentation.

I clearly presented what was the contribution of individual work from Ashby, Maturana and Powers putting all 3 together with Wiener into history of Cybernetics as contributors to understanding model how living organisms function. The most critical part about “arrow” from genetic source to “essential” or “body variables” will follow and will reveal what never was done before as nobody including Maturana went that far.

I only don’t understand what Ricks “gravitational theory” has to do with your presentation? :slight_smile:

It’s interesting that your last diagram seems to deny everything what you presented before (old anatomy of brain) and uses control analytical approach which I used in my presentation. That can’t be hidden. The question is really what to do so that we’ll both be satisfyed.

You proposal is quite fair. And I must also conclude that you can be very constructive in seeking right solutions. I never imagined that we can cooperate. It’s much better then being in conflict, specialy because we probbaly both want advancement of PCT. But we must be aware that we went a little bit out of PCT frame.

As I beleive that you are already acquainted with my presentation as Barb can’t hide “secrets” :slight_smile: I would suggest that you use doc. file which is formed into my presentation. Or you can turn it into pdf. if that is more suitable for platform. I already gave a link to my presentation.

Then you can maybe arrange our conversation into form which you want and put it on so that we’ll both be satisfied. Maybe you can picture my contribution as addition to your presentation. Maybe we can say that we started with necessary upgrade to PCT in the light of new discoveries in scientific branhes that deal with organisms functioning. Afterall the time gap is almost 50 years.

My last request is whether we can open (toghether) discusion about how can we assure more than deserved place for Bill Powers in history of Cybernetics and Psychology. I’ve started this on Cybernetics Society but I think that more people including Barb, should be involved in defining right place for Bill Powers. He was a genious and I think that World should see that. Maybe when we make a right concept that will satisfy most of members, you can organize also broadcats on radio or TV stations. It’s just a thought. But I can promise as much I’m concerned that presenting Bill Powers in public will have so strong scientific support that it will represent a progress in the whole science. Me and John (president of CS) also plan to maybe organize University for Cybernetics. I have already made the mainframe in which Bill Powers has also deserved place.

If I remember right we had a chance once to put PCT into some psycholigical encyclopedia but CSGnet forum couldn’t find appropriate scientific form as some harmonic solution. If I recall right Rick blow up a chance starting with “behavior is control”.

Discussion could show also the way how to upgrade Bill Powers work. I think that we opened the door into another dimenssion of PCT and organisms functioning. Control analytical approcah which I presented and you performed in your presentation shows the way of upgrading PCT into leading Cybernetics theory of organisms functioning.

First I didn’t want to but now after we had constructive discusion I can admitt that you were rare intelectual that understood what I was talking about in my presentation. So it seems that we have knowledge to upgrade PCT. And it seems that we both want that, Also for next generations.

You have convinced me that you believe this, but it’s not true, it is a false belief. You are mistaken. Other than the Youtube link that you just posted, I have not received your presentation or paper from Barbara Powers or from anyone else, including you. I do not have it.

As to making PDF files from your presentations or papers and posting them here, that’s for you to do.

Our conversation is already here on

Yes, as a field of science PCT is growing and changing as a reflection of new developments in each of the institutionally separated life sciences, and more subtly and pervasively PCT is growing and changing because of its inherently ‘interdisciplinary’ character, correlating and connecting the diversely expressed findings of separated disciplines. The purpose of IAPCT is to support and promote this. Recognition of Bill Powers will follow recognition and adoption of PCT. This is as it should be, and as Bill himself wished. To promote it as his personal achievement locks it up as a historical artifact, or worse, as a cult of personality. That is crippling.


except my appologie for accusing you that you were acquanted with my presentation. I went through your presentation and I see it’s quite different as I thought it is. We could make some adjustments so that everything would fall into scientific explanation. But control analytic method which you used is by my oppinion right. Sorry for chasing witches.

As I assumed we have quite similar goal : keeping and promoting memory on Bill Powers and I hope scientific view on his work.

Bit you didn’t answer me what is about discussion for placing Bill Powers into history of Cybernetics and Psychology?


do I understand right that you put all our conversation on here where we were discussing? Or link should open the page where our conversation is. If I clikc on the link some strange page opens.

BN : What is it that you forgot and are now remembering?

HB : In the essence of my problem I didn’t forget but I was not prepared to talk about yet. But now I think that our relationship is in a state that I can talk with you.

I’d like to appologize to you for my really abusive talkings and insults and other uncivilized accusations.

If you beleive me or not everything started when Rick insuIted me that he rather watch football then talk to me. I contacted him becasue he tried after Bills death to turn PCT into RCT. His insult and my “back-insults” expand on any relationship with anybody who tried to support Rick in his trials to introduce his RCT and present it as cult of personality in the name of PCT. If I understood you right you said “That is crippling”.

Now I see you in totaly different dimenssions. And it seems that you forgive me all that. I’m thankfull to you.

I obviously didn’t take time to know you better. It seems from this new perspective that you are very honest man and very inteligent if you manage to make crucial conclusions about how organisms “a lot of subjective investigation of how mental experience is related to sensations in the body, how memories, imaginings, and emotions arise”…

It seems that we became connected in another “common” goal : how to understand organisms functioning. Bill started that question in me, although he went into another direction with “reorganization”, but we obviously became connected through common understanding how control units are connected and organized to form Living organism which is tending to homeostasis.

You contributed your subjective experiences and I contributed scientific support.

But I hope we understand each other that we are not in accordance with PCT in this part. Control of perception stays as the main mechanism of understanding how control units function and how they connect with each other. So the analytical control method is with no doubt Bill Powers contribution to history of Cybernetic research of Living beings. That’s what I’d like that Cyberneticians and Psychologist and all other people on Earth would understand, because I think it can accelerate and improve scientific research and technological development.

But understanding how the whole organism function as conglomerat of control units is for now appart from his “reorganization” and understanding “open” organisms functioning through only behavior. Maturana’s biological evidences for closed loop organisms functioning are simply too strong.

Anyway there is a lot of work for both of us and still very long way to understanding how organisms function. But important is that our views on organisms fuinctioning became closer. And I’m glad that we finaly found the way to cooperate. I feel much better then persisting in conflict situation which was caused by me and Rick and influenced the whole CSGnet forum.

Apology accepted, of course. Taking offense causes more trouble than giving offense does.

If you’re asking whether I copied our email exchange into Discourse, no. By replying to email that Discourse sends to you (according to how your Discourse account is configured), you put it in Discourse. I make my replies directly in Discourse, usually, rather than by replying to email.

At the 2020 annual meeting of IAPCT we agreed to migrate to Discourse and to shut down CSGnet at the end of 2020. We then did so.

Mak posted some guidelines here. There’s a [New User Guide]{Discourse New User Guide - faq - Discourse Meta) and other resources on

Rick’s presentation asked why people in other fields have not understood and accepted PCT. So he and I are talking about the same perceptions that we would like to control: people in the life sciences reorganizing their work as the study of controlled variables, but his approach and mine differ. He asked, why isn’t it working. I said here is how it might work.

Rick contrasted the how physicists accepted Einstein’s theory of general relativity with how researchers in the life sciences (especially in psychology) have not accepted PCT, and made some suggestions why the two histories are so different.

I suggested ways that we could identify phenomena that are familiar in one or more of the life sciences and show the place of those phenomena in the PCT model. Instead saying “everything you have dedicated your life to is wrong, you have to start over” we could say “hey, you know about this phenomenon, if you look for controlled variables and disturbances, isn’t it interesting how these other phenomena can be treated in the same way rather than as isolated problems, and look at the correlations with what people are doing in these other fields of research.” Well, I didn’t get that far with it, actually, only as far as saying “Hey, fellow students and researchers of PCT, let’s look for valid phenomena in the publications of conventional researchers and consider what they look like in PCT.”

Success of PCT will accomplish that. Something people can do more immediately is editing articles in Wikipedia.

We talked about setting up a PCT wiki with linked articles. The category/topic structure of Discourse is a step in that direction, and some content from Discourse could be migrated into a wiki, probably with some rewriting. Kent’s posts on collective control could be migrated from Discourse to such a wiki. But to create and maintain a PCT wiki requires one or more people to set it up and administer it. Our Dreamhost hosting service supports wiki, and a lot of other functions that we don’t currently use.

It may be that I am a dilettante, as you seem to suggest. I am certainly inexpert outside my field and indeed in many of its subfields. The scope of PCT is such that to do it justice we must all at times reach far beyond our formal training. I make guesses and proposals based on reinterpreting in PCT terms what I read in neurophysiology, endocrinology, and other fields (ethology, anthropology, sociology, and more). I try to be consistent in labeling them as guesses and proposals, and in labeling myself as uncredentialed, with the hope that others who are in fact more expert will join in discussion of how to reframe such material, to show the benefit of doing so, and to see whether doing so exposes limitations in the current model. Bill’s model of emotions is one example; the place of limbic systems and the brainstem in that model, between the somatic branch and the behavioral/cognitive branch, is another.


I’m really glad that we openly talk about past and actual problems in PCT. I really never thought that will talk on such an academic level.
It was my fault as we already established and I’m thankful to you that you accepted my apologies. You must be an “iron man” if you endured so many insults. I must say that I started to admire you as a person.

And I’m really glad that you gave me a chance to open new chapter in our relation.


Rick’s presentation asked why people in other fields have not understood and accepted PCT. So he and I are talking about the same perceptions that we would like to control: people in the life sciences reorganizing their work as the study of controlled variables, but his approach and mine differ. He asked, why isn’t it working. I said here is how it might work.

I see. I think that you really opened very substantial topics for understanding why people “don’t want” to understand PCT. The analogy with Einstein and physicist is very good. But I think that problem why PCT is not so accepted is not because people should understand “if you look for controlled variables and disturbances” then they would understand PCT.

From our previous discussions we saw that most important is that we understand how organisation of nervous system was accomplished through evolution and how it really functions. You showed that intuintionaly and I showed it scientifically. I think that you should continue your thought experimenting in that direction. Your internal diagrams extremly differ from standard behavioristic explanation of behavior as Rick as psycholigist think it is.

As there are tens of bilions neurons (99% direct nerv communication) organized into “input-ouput” as you called them, it’s hard to talk about “controlled variables” as major activity of nervous system, specially when we talk about external environment.

So I think that major PCT method for understanding nervous system functioning is not “input - disturbances” and “output-controlled behavior” but Control Unit Synhronization Analyses (CUSA) in nervous system as I and you presented in similar diagrams. I think this is major research method in PCT although Powers didn’t see that because he was misleaded by Ashby and so he concentrated to external output - behavior, as major “correction” of homeostatic conditions in organism. But Maturana’s and physiological evidences show the opposite picture…

Also by understanding of PCT there is no “controlled variable” in external environment (diagram LCS III). There is no “control of behavior” and there is no disturbances to “controlled variable” in external environment. You would be surprised as I was that Wiener and Maturana directly support Bill Powers diagram (LCS III) with no “control of behavior” and thus no “controlled variable” in external environment. But we can talk about such attributes in internal environment and effects of disturbances on “body variables” as you called them. Also neurophysiology is quite specific about “uncontrolled” behavior. I hope that Earling emphasized that when he was presenting neurophysiology.

I even think that common understanding of Friston and Powers about these issues came from neurophysiology. Powers was acquanted with neurophsiology. Usually the output of thinking processes depend on information of what is stored in memory. So I think that every person is limited with quantity informations she/he has and how quality of control units organization “digest” complex perceptions.

TCV seems to be side effect of organisms functioning as “control unitscomplex organization”. I again think that was the problem because Ashby misleaded Powers into “behavioral error-correction” process of homeostatic imbalance.

So I think that major problem why people don’t accept PCT is so different understanding of PCT of their protagonists.


V V pon., 18. okt. 2021 ob 03:57 je oseba Bruce E. Nevin via IAPCT <> napisala:


I am not the best equipped to carry such a discussion with you, though I will be glad to participate as I can once you get it going. You should be corresponding with Martin Taylor and reading Martin’s multi-volume book in progress. I have no idea what preparation you may have for the mathematical aspects of his work, but he is also deeply grounded in the physiological aspects and the perceived behavioral and social consequences. I suggest you write to him directly if he doesn’t respond here. He recently posted an excerpt in a discussion of robotics.

We all come to PCT with our particular prior experience and training, and synecdoche is the inevitable rule of our conduct: like the fabled blind men and the elephant, we each assume that the aspect that we grasp is the whole. The breadth and scope of PCT forces change on us all, and that process of change does not stop. The Babel-sundered specializations of the life sciences implicate one another, so changes in some other field are liable to come 'round and affect my own ‘home base’ even after I thought the ramifications of the PCT revolution there were clear.

Just assume good will, be civil, maintain awareness that everyone’s comprehension of PCT is incomplete, and you can get a hearing for your views–and you might learn something too.

I started looking at your youtube video this morning. I have a number of obligations intervening. I will return to it as soon as I can. It would be helpful for you to post the slides or a PDF rendition of the slides. I heard Warren’s voice giving some help about how to advance the slides. Introducing you, the convener said you were educated in sports and health, had a university degree in pedagogical informatics, and an MD (medical doctor?) in social pedagogics using Maturana and Powers, and 40 years’ work in education in schools. Now this is my rendition of his rendition of (presumably) your notes, so probably I’ve got something wrong. So please write a brief introduction of yourself and post it in the member introduction subcategory.

You note that Maturana published about e. choli chemotaxis in 1989. That is the same year that Bill Powers and Rick Marken jointly published on the same topic:

Marken, R. S., & Powers, W. T. (1989). Random-walk chemotaxis: Trial and error as a control process. Behavioral Neuroscience, 103(6), 1348–1355. APA PsycNet [Repr. in R.S. Marken (1992) Mind readings: Experimental studies of purpose pp. 87-105.]

They cite
Koshland, D.E. (1980) Behavioral chemotaxis as a model behavioral system. New York: Raven Press.

Presumably, Maturana makes the same citation and his observation is also derived from Koshland’s published work.

My impression over the years has been that Ashby and Maturana and Powers are in agreement about the primacy of intrinsic homeostasis, but that where Bill saw that as the ultimate arbiter of reference values and of learned organization of the behavioral hierarchy, which in turn governs behavior within tolerable error, they saw homeostasis of intrinsic variables as more directly governing the behavioral feedback loops with the environment. In simpler organisms it can certainly seem so.

I don’t want to comment in any detail on your explanation of Ashby’s diagrams without having more time to do so with care. As I said, I would prefer to be a secondary contributor to your conversation with someone more well prepared than myself. In any case, I have to interrupt any further look at this to deal with some more immediately vital issues.



I talked already to Martin and he sent me introduction and 1. Chapter where it stopped, because the beggining defitnition of PCT was in RCT style. I adviced him to use Powers meaning of PCT and there where our communication get stuck. He didn’t answer.

I personaly think that you are right about learning from each other. But experiences show that I’m willing to learn but others are not. They persist at existing level of knowledge and do not accept any other knowledge. It’s somehow like a buble hanging in the air.

I’ve returned to PCT community with only intention that Powers work in science light would be promoted as I think it’s in this moment the top thinking about Cybernetics understadning how organisms function.

I think that LCS III tells everything where Bill was heading too. I understood that when he sent me some Chapters of his book to talk about before it was published.

And I see now that you understand that too. LCS III is about some kind of introduction to “control unit organization” of organisms. It seems that Martin’s enormous work didn’t comprehend that.

As I see it now we are the only two islands in the PCT ocean. Please look at the LCS III again specially beggining of the Chapter “Multidimensional control”. It says : “The basic approach to many dimenssions that we will take here is elementary, but it is a start toward understanding large organization made of control systems”.

I see Chapter 6 and 8 (LCS III) somehow as the end points of his theoretical approcah to understanding organisms as “complex control units organization” as you (intuitivelly) and me scientifically came to the same conclusions analysing internal structure and functioning of organism.

As E,colli is concerned Maturana and his experimental work, I think it’s originating from time much before he published his central book with Varella in 1979. I mentioned edition which I have from 1987. Thank you for noticing that I made a mistake in year of publishing revised edition. So there is no paralel time connection between Koshland and Matuana. Maybe Koshland (1980) copied something from Maturana.

But anyway Bill nad Rick are who knows which source of E.colli understanding. And the main problem is that Bill didn’t mentioned “goal-directed” behavior performed by E.colli because he obviously didn’t know for experiments mentioned by Maturana, I was the first one who mentioned them on CSGnet forum.

Biological experiments mentioned by Maturana show that not only behavior of 4 bilion years old micro-organisms are goal directed, but also that “net of molecular reactions” as Maturana called organic structure can make a “decission”. How is that possible? These are questions that I left in my presentations opened as I’ll try to answer them in my next presentation with “genetic control subsystems”. I’m glad that you start watching my presentation. It’s historical as nobody before integrated knowledge of great Cyberneticians with temporary knowledge in physiology and neurophysiology.

As original PPS is concerned I sent it to many PCT’ers including Martin, Gary, Bruce Abbott, Barb… So maybe you can get from them what you need. I’m sorry I didn’t send material to you, but we were not in such good relatioship as we are now. But I can send it now if you wish.

Maturana’s experimental legacy which showed the specter of microorganisms including amoeba and other protozoans, and insects etc. prolonged probably from his graduating at Harward University (1958). So there is no doubt who was the origin of biological experiments Bill used. There is no presumably connections between Maturana and Koshland and even less between Bill and Rick. They were the last “consumers” in the chain of knowledge about how organisms function.

But I feel somehow that you’ll try to defend Rick again. Rick’s RCT is really totaly wrong as he doesn’t have any scientific evidences (at least he didn’t show them till now and still he is selling his theory arround. I don’t mind about whether his oppinion about PCT is different. I mind that he is saying that PCT says that and that… He is hiding his RCT behind PCT. It’s not PCT that he is talking about but his privatae theory. He just have to say that his oppinion about PCT is such and such. Not that what he is saying is PCT.

Anyway I admitt I’m a “pig” in relation to him. I could explain to him how to connect his RCT to PCT, so that RCT would work properly and could of great use for understanding PCT. But I didn’t when he asked me to do so, because he is not respecting authors rights. Maybe once in future I’ll explain to him if our relationship will get better.

All in all Bruce I’m glad that you are interested in my work as I become interested in yours. My personal oppinion is that it doesn’t matter how you represent nervous system : reptilian etc. It does matter how you analyze this imagined “control areas”. And you did it as I did, with control units what was the course of Bill’s last LCS III. As I have quite a “mountain” of physiological evidences (see my references) so that I’m sure that this is the right course for understanding and analysing and researching of Living beings.

Boris, I’m curious–when did you first connect with Bill and with PCT? Of course that will be in your introduction of yourself, but you haven’t posted that yet.


my first contact with Bill Powers was in 1999. But he wasn’t the first I contacted. My first contact with PCT was Kent and his links to his incredibly good articles that were published or presented on anual meetings in 1994, 1996, 1998. But at first I thought that Kent’s articles are not enough for understanding PCT so I ordered some Bill’s literature. Then I needed some years to get through his books with “heavy” terminology. I recognized that Kent’s literature was much easier to read and understand PCT.

I don’t know exactly when I got Bruce Abbott’s synopsis. Till 2007 when I joint CSGnet forum I occasionaly contacted Bill and asked questions. He was always willing to help and explain what I needed. We had fine discussions and he even sent me his original book B:CP (2005) with his signature. Our relation went wrong when I proposed “arrow” from genetic source to intrinsic variables.

That’s in short when and what happened in my relationship with Bill Powers. I think I owe him a lot for his hours he patiently spent with me. That’s why I’m so interested in finding deserved place for him in history of Cybernetics and Psychology. We’ll need a lot of scientific support that we’ll persuade others what is that PCT could offer to understanding organisms functioning.

Thank you, Boris. That’s helpful for understanding you.

I agree that Kent’s writings are exemplary. His work on collective control has introduced important changes in how we think about and work with the PCT model. It’s a source of ongoing growth and development of our science, and an avenue for engagement with conventional research.

In the early '90s, Bill pushed back against talk of social structures, social systems, social realities, and the like, mostly when such talk could be construed as proposing control systems at a social-structure level, as e.g. Kroeber’s ‘superorganic’ and other anthropological and sociological proposals seem to do. (Such proposals are metaphorical, in my view.) He said things like “I want to see where the input and output functions are.” There was strong push-back from him and others against the notion that people could share reference values, i.e. control a variable according to the same reference level.

Bill was an example to us in many ways, among them his open-minded willingness to entertain new ideas in discussion and his willingness to change his mind. But he had to see how it would work and how it could be modeled, at least in principle.

Kent’s earliest demonstrations showed emergent effects that look like shared reference values. The combination with work on communication (Martin’s work in its early form was called LPT) showed how participants may mutually adjust reference levels (and also may change what is controlled and with what gain) to achieve aims cooperatively that they cannot or prefer not to control as individuals.

Bill was perhaps most exemplary for his patience with us, as you also recognize and have said. I doubt very much that he broke off communication and forbade you to talk to him after you proposed an ‘arrow’ from genetic sources to intrinsic variables. I don’t yet know what you mean by that, but if it was you who lost patience and broke off communication, that was an unfortunate loss for you.

Bill was modest. But he was also very smart – brilliant – and he had introduced a new way of organizing the scientific investigation of living things, a new foundation for all the sciences of life and their synthetic extension to robotics. He was modest, but he also knew both these things about himself. Bit of a conflict there.

You might have persuaded him of something, if you could show how it could be modeled and tested and if it fit the known facts without disrupting other parts of the model. On the other hand, you might have changed your mind about some things in the process. In 1999 he’d been deep into the relevant research for more than 50 years. It’s possible that he knew more than you and it’s possible that he was smarter than you.

Follow Bill’s example. Explain your ideas as clearly as you can. Show their place in the model. Indicate how they can be modeled and tested. Adduce literature that you think demonstrates and has tested your ideas. Then be patient.


it’s interesting how our conversation is easy and spontaneous. Your thoughts gave me some ideas. Specially part about explaning ideas as clearly as I can. But I think that explaining with sciences which I used till now is enough for beggining because thre is to much knowledge on the World to “absorb”.

As Bill is concerned he was great person and that’s why I’m trying to promote him and his work. About our departure with Bill you can see on CSGnet archives discussion about 2010. At the end of discussion I offered him cooperation in explaining model with “arrow”. This is actual model which was presented by Dug Forsell on Bill’s wish. You can see difference in diagram on p. 191 (B:CP, 2005) and diagram which was published on CSGnet forum.

Whatever, In first phase I’ll explain that “arrow” and functioning of genetic control subsystem in my next presentations. As clear as possible as you say and adduce literature that demonstrate and test my ideas. I can also say that I always admired you clear language, although because of situation I never admitted that. :slight_smile: You are afterall expert in language.

I’ll look forward to your explanation and the discussion of it.

Something in the situation influenced your autonomous setting of gain and reference values for controlling certain perceptions. The diagrams and discussion in my presentation this year are a proposal for the mechanism by which that happens.

The proposal begins with the physiological data that the paleo-mammalian part of the brain receives input from the environment and sends outputs mostly to the brainstem initiating release of excitatory neurochemicals and changing conditions within the body. The environmental inputs are surmised to go to levels up to the Configuration and Transition levels, perhaps the Event level. The rest accords with Bill’s model of emotion. Sensed corporeal conditions are interpreted at higher ‘cognitive’ levels as emotions. We typically ignore the Intensity and Sensation perceptions in the body and pay attention to perceptions at the higher ‘cognitive levels’. At the Sequence level we maintain a ‘narrative’, a coherent “this caused that and this is why” control of dependencies which includes imagined perceptions to fill in gaps. This ongoing nonverbal or preverbal ‘narrative’ of controlled perceptions at the Sequence level is an important means by which we control a perception of self at the System Concept level. At the Planning level below that we write the movie, arranging sequences that serve the purpose.

People don’t always give themselves a starring role. Though his explanatory framework is imaginary (appropriate to his era and his training), there are some examples in Eric Berne’s Games People Play.

As I wrote before I think that your “control unit” thinking as far as basic analysis in organisms functioning is concerned by my oppinion couldn’t be better.

But I hope we can also establish that you are on the beggining of the very “hard task” to comprehend the whole control unit functioning of organism as Ashby and Bill Powers has started the “hard task”.

Your partial analysis has to be put into much wider main frame of control unit functioning of organism.
So I’m sorry that I can’t comment yet specific cases of “Control unit analyses” becasue I have to present the whole functioning of organism from genetic control system to top of the hierarchy, which will be quite different from Bills imagined diagram in B:CP, 2005, p. 191.

You can see from my diagram on the end of presentation that is much more comprehensive in respect to control areas which work synhronously in organism. It results from knowledge of mentioned Cyberneticians and scientific findings. The main principle of control organiization are :

  1. Organisms function as a whole (part to part), what was quite good presented by Ashby and physiological findings fully support

  2. Organisms function as a closed system what was presented by Maturana. He showed that also through evolution perspective. All in all closed loop functiong of organism removes “question mark” on the top of the hierarchy Bill had presented in his diagram p.191 (B:CP, 2005).

  3. Organisms functioning on the principles of connections between genetic pattern and ultrastability was presented by Ashby and Bill tried to integrate main principles in his original diagram (B:CP, 2005, p.191) through genetic source but without control connection to intrinsic variables which are levitating in “nothing” connected through disturbances from external environment (input) and genetic source (output). In this way Bill showed in diagram that external output (behavior) and disturbances are the only source of keeping homeostatic conditions in organism and of course in hierarchy. But they both made a mistake and didn’t close system inside, so they contradicted Maturana’s biological experiments and basic physiological “facts”. Suplemented diagram from p. 191 (B:CP, 2005) with “arrows” from genetic source to intrinsic variables under my influence was published by Dug after Bills death.

  4. Organisms functioning on the bases of physiological and neurophysiological principles show that organism functions as integrated whole and closed system, with thousands of control functions that help maintain constant conditions in the organism.

Your analyses includes only partial control structures in organism so it’s not included in the whole analyses of the organism what is basic condition if you want to understand clearly what is happening in organisms whole control while keeping homeostatic conditions.

Brainstem is interesting structure in the whole control hierarchy considering mostly negative and some positive control loops through higher and lower levels. Here I think it’s necesary to understand some kind of “somatotopy” where output signals will reach the areas where input signals originate thus closing complex loops. Even more complex loops are closing functioning of lower and the highest levels of nervous system.

Direct connections between specific sensory and motor neurons are usually called “reflexes”. Direct connections usually do not involve any “intermediate” neurons or any other control structures of control units as are present in more complex relations through numerous “macro- and micro-circuits” on higher levels of central nervous system.

Brainstem is quite clear anatomical structure and thus quite well researched. Bio-electrical signals produced by different control areas inside brainstem, can be quite well traced through “inputs and outputs”.

Limbic subsytem is much more complex control structure and is quite imperfectly defined as anatomical structure as it includes many anatomical structures. So usually is in physiological literature refered as functional structure (that’s also how I called it) with many control functions which are combined through different anatomical structures and were functionally changing place through history probably along with understanding of nervous system. So it was not clear which anatomical functions perform certain anatomical control structures.

So Limbic subsystem as much more complex control structure is not so well defined in research work but it can be researched also in your way using control unit organization and tested through TCV or some experiments. Even more problems are with highest control structures in Telencephalon which has also direct control loop connections with brainstem.

Perceptual signals from outside as you presented your example are including into internal functioning of organism.

I’ll try to explain that in my next presentation as much as time will be availlable, because John president of CS is very precise about the time availabel for presentation. So I’ll have to make quite precise “parcel” of informations which will present control functiong from genetic source to wherever I’ll manage to come in presentating some logical whole.

It’s not easy to deal with such a complex structure as nervous system is. But control unit idea as was presented by Bill was an alleviation for me.

And it seems also, that such a “control unit analyses” (CUA) makes you possible to see more clear control structures involved in explaining your problem. That was by my oppinion the greatest advantage of your presentation. But as I wrote before. Hard times await us, first to convince PCT community and then wider public that LCS III is the basics for multidimensional analysis of control units and Bill Powers place in history of Cybernetics has to be assured.

So one of the most important task will be persuading people that Bill Powers was right about analysing control unit organization through synchonization of their functioning. That’s also the point of placing Bill Powers into history of Cybernetics. Simply I don’t see any better method for analyzing complex Living sysems and research work that could advance for decades “paralysed” advancement in Cybernetics.

I hope at least in minimum this is how I saw your explanation. The rest of my explanation will come through time.

You can see at the end of my presentation diagram with “complex control unit organization” (CCUO) that has removed “question mark” from top of the PCT hierarchy. It was not such an easy task. It concerns the whole functioning of organism on the bases of main principles I mentioned above.

Any “Complex Control Unit Analyses” (CCUA) like yours will demand considering the whole control functioning of organism as any control structure contribute to the whole negative feedback control and any structure benefit from it. If there are any positive feedback loops they are “traped” into negative control loops as the final result has to be returning to the “same state” if organism is to survive.

So my oppinion is that your partial control structural analysis has to be part of the whole control functioning of organism to be seen whether is right or wrong and what kind of control loops are involved. There can be also “feedforward” signals which are part of complex feedback loops as I presented in diagram in the beggining of presentation.

Bruce I forgot again,

maybe we could show our last conversation on in real.