Re: Response re Bill

W Ramsay (
Tue, 7 May 1996 10:10:10 +0100

>For those still remaining
>I would also like to vote that Bill be removed from the list.


As one of the remaining I'd like to contribute a few points:

1. For some, Bill's behaviour is personal and offensive. For others it's
just plain boring. Of the former aspect I have no experience. Of the
latter I have to say that being boring is not yet a capital offence, nor is
it confined to Bill. I've had a lot of stimulation from this net and hoped
to have yet more. I've also binned a fair proportion of the postings right
off. Whether Bill is removed from the list is a bullet that someone else
will have to bite on since a valid ballot on the net is pretty impractical.

2. I find it interesting that, in a group whose core seems to (or used
to!) contain so many individuals engaged in therapy and para-therapeutic
activities, no effective and sensitive way of dealing with the situation has
emerged. As a peripheral member and a behaviourist by inclination could I
point out that reciprocal offensiveness and self-defence have not worked.
Rather they have aggravated the problem as perceived by the net. (No value
judgements of members' behaviours are intended or needed here, their
consequences explain them.) If PCP is that good, how has this come about?
I found Robin Hill's recent posting on non-reinforcement entertaining in
this respect. Extinction is a difficult strategy to make work, especially
by non-behaviourists. The danger of shifting the subject on to an
extinction-resistance-promoting intermittent reinforcement schedule is great
and usually happens because the 'trainer' loses patience. If you don't
believe this (or believe in it) have a dig in the archives and look at the
pattern of postings. As a practical piece of behaviour therapy for the
future may I suggest simply checking the heading and hitting the delete key?
Don't read the stuff and thus don't be tempted to respond.

3. My analysis comes back to a point I raised long ago, it seems now. If
we are scientists then we should be able_and_willing to test the relative
merits of alternative theories. Isn't that what constructive alternativisim
is about? I first raised this in connection with behaviourist and
constructivist models of (core) personality. I asked for discussion and got
the War of Jim Mancuso's Tongue, which was fun but not a lot of help. To
the extent that this kind of thing happens, Bill Chambers has a point. Is
there a paper in "death-of-a-theory threat" I wonder?

4. No-one who looks at the archives is going to be impressed by a bunch of
so -called mature scientists and therapists whose response to the problem is
to go and play in someone else's yard. There are other balls, other bats
and other problems, so let's get on with it. It's a big yard.

5. I've had some personal correspondence with Bill Chambers and I don't
propose to discontinue it. I think I can learn a lot from him. Despite
this, I hold no brief for the way in which he conducts discussions on this
net, or for his dealings with other individuals, but I would say two things,
for Bill and for all of us:

"A scream is easier to hear, but a whisper is easier to decode."

Edvard Munch.

"Bairnies 'gree, you'll soon be parted"

My grannie - and God knows how many others'.

Sorry to introduce the B-word again.

Kind regards to the survivors.


Bill Ramsay,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Jordanhill Campus,
G13 1PP,

'phone: +44 (0)141 950 3364
'fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367