Dear AuditoryList subscribers â as we approach the year 2014, the 50th anniversary of the death of Norbert Wiener, please permit me a little âhorn-blowingâ. This note is to let any interested parties know about a recent paper that relates auditory psychophysics (among others) to âsecond-orderâ cybernetics:
âParadigm versus praxis: why psychology âabsolute identificationâ experiments do not reveal sensory processesâ (L. Nizami). This paper appears in the journal Kybernetes, (Vol 42 No 9/10, 2013, 1447-1456; doi 10.1108/K-09-2012-0059).
The journal Kybernetes (Greek for âsteeringâ or âgovernorshipâ) is not found in some science or medicine libraries, as its content often includes education or business topics. Hence I will make a pdf of the paper available to anyone who expresses interest in it, and who privately contacts me by email because they cannot find the paper easily.
I should introduce the paper in order to provide context, as follows briefly. It is the fourth in a series in which each paper proves a different point. The first paper also appeared in a âboutique journalâ, one whose own editors admit that it can be hard to find. That paper is
Nizami, L. (2010), âInterpretation of absolute judgments using information theory: channel capacity or memory capacity?â, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 17 Nos. 1-2, pp. 111-155
and is also available from me on request. It shows that âabsolute identificationâ involves numerous idiosyncracies that are not explainable within Shannon Information Theory, but which altogether suggest that the Garner-Hake measure of âinformation transmittedâ and its alleged asymptote, the channel capacity, must perforce be measures of memory capacity. However, the mechanism whereby memory intrudes into absolute judgments was not identified at that point. A further paper,
Nizami, L. (2011a), âMemory model of information transmitted in absolute judgmentâ, Kybernetes, Vol. 40 Nos. 1-2, pp. 80-109
was then written, which qualitatively (but not quantitatively) integrated memory into absolute judgments through a new, math-free model that predicted how absolute identifications change with the number of judged stimuli. In particular, the model predicted that the distributions of subjectsâ absolute judgments would become systematically skewed, a prediction confirmed by contemporary data of Professors Dana Murphy and Bruce A Schneider and.their co-authors.
Altogether, then, Nizami (2010) and Nizami (2011a) presented mounting evidence that the Garner-Hake measure was merely a needlessly convoluted memory measure. Nonetheless, that measure continues to be used, perhaps encouraged by ongoing attempts to legitimize the Garner-Hake approach by incorporating its ideas into larger theories of perception. A sterling example is the âEntropy Theory of Perceptionâ of K.H. Norwich and co-authors, dating in print from 1975. In response, the third paper in the present series was written, Nizami (2011b):
Nizami, L. (2011b), âNorwich
âs Entropy Theory: how not to go from abstract to actualâ, Kybernetes
, Vol. 40 Nos. 7-8, pp. 1102-1118.
The Entropy Theoryâs interpretation proved to be utterly ambiguous. This paper, also, is available on request.
Neither Nizami (2010) nor Nizami (2011a) had explained precisely how the Garner-Hake measure becomes memory-limited. Nizami (2013) fills that gap, and also answers the crucial underlying question of why
: namely, that Garner and Hake (1951) and their successors did not meaningfully identify the elements of the Shannon
âgeneral communication systemâ. In particular, there was a failure to realize the observer
âs presence and possible actions. This takes us well into âsecond-order cyberneticsâ as we approach the year 2014, the 50th
anniversary of the death of Norbert Wiener.