Re: Limitations on PCP

j.Maxwell Legg (
Wed, 07 Apr 1999 14:59:38 +1200

> My second thought refers however to your suggested use of Grids for
> selection and promotion purposes. I ask people to think very very carefully
> before doing this, for the following reasons:
> 1. the corollary of Grid being free from observer bias is that it's
> impossible to fake. Try giving me a construct that's not yours. So if

good point!

> people feel under pressure to give the 'right answer' (whatever that may
> be) then they tend to clam up and give little beyond propostisional
> constructs. The other party needs to feel very secure indeed about the
> contract - real and psychological - between them and the interviewee, what
> will happen to the data, etc. Personally I only use it for
> selection/assessment in organisations where I am personally trusted and
> likely to be around for a long time - i.e. not a 'hit-and-run' job.

We already have a system of totalitarian transactions that require the
exact fare.
It's called money. Except that money by its nature is very clumpy and
tends to end up in the wrong hands. I don't like the system of
capitalism because of its secrecy and, in looking for the right change,
I ask why
can't there be grids in place now for all public servants and
politicians, as is
being suggested/implemented in some Scandinavian countries. If you can't
consistently lie in grid format, why bother. If you've told the truth,
why worry about what will happen to the data? Have you read the Truth
Machine? Here, the network of grids is large enough for its emergent
properties to eliminate the sort of abuse that you refer to. If we are
to live with nanotechnology, it is vital that we have such a network.

> 2. The US restrictions on validation of tests can't in my view be
> used to make a test case out of Grid because it is a procedure not a test.
> Each person's experience of it will be different, depending on content,
> purpose, contract, and of course the skills of the interviewer. So none of
> the standard validation techniques can be applied to it.

Isolated grids, maybe. But the Grid has massive networking potential in
AI and related fields so its only a matter of time before your
definition of test disappears.

> 3. Still with selection and promotion purposes, but with other
> purposes in mind also: Grid used thus would almost certainly put the
> administrator in the position of construing someone else's construing. This
> isn't an ethical use of Grid in my view - and it then raises the question
> of who else would get to see the data?

And why not? It seems, you've just described an inherent weakness of
western civilization; - systematic white-anting.

> 4. Finally on this and related points; factor analysis methods are
> bound to lose some of the details of the data, and so the analysis could be
> challenged on that basis. You can perhaps imagine the court battle where
> two lawyers on a discrimination case get their expert witnesses to go
> mano-a-mano about the most appropriate method of analysis. This is one
> reason why we chose dentritic analysis and differentiation for Enquire
> Within. It loses nothing about the interrelationships within the data and
> is very easy to use interactively.

Component analysis isn't suitable for mass testing like factor analysis
is, which is why PCA is used for grid analysis and factor analysis
isn't. And we've all seen the farce of the DNA arguments in the Simpson
case. I for one would much rather trust the genetic discourse of several
super computers than a couple of L.A. lawyers. However, on the subject
of analysis I contend that PCA doesn't loose fine details and you will
still find these, albeit at a lower level, ready to escalate to the
surface with the slightest change in the data. I've even read laments in
the literature of examples that show dendritic pruning making such data
unavailable should circumstances change. If I'm wrong, I stand to be

> To sum up from my point of view: Grid isn't a test, and so can't be tested

Each grid is already a sort of test for each new element or construct
gets added. I expect to see loose elements and constructs wandering
around the network being 'tested' against grids, looking for

> against some of the APA criteria. Where it is vulnerable, from what I've
> seen, is that it often isn't well taught. In particular I wish that more
> emphasis be given to:
> 1. Grid is a conversation and useless without feedback.

Feedback on a grid can come also now from the Internet and the person
experiencing the feedback need not be the one who created the grid. In
my experience, this is a great way of learning.

> 2. Each Grid is and should be different.

I'm searching to find a way to link all disparate grids. Any clues?

> 3. People will not commit or be able to cooperate with what Grid
> asks of them unless they have practised construct elicitation and know the
> nature of the contract.

I live to see Grid as the basis of welfare and then eventually all forms
of economic transactions. Under such a system, people's objections would
vanish after they were a few years old.

> 4 .The best interpreter of what a Grid means is almost always the
> client, but in any case don't construe other people's construing.

That's funny. I think I've read the opposite sentiment being expressed
on this list. Nonetheless, you raise valid explanations of the status
quo and the enormous resistance to grids.

Can you remember when we didn't have word processors?