Could this take off into wider public awareness ? Here’s hoping.
This is one of Adbuster.Org’s Biggest Ideas for 2005 – called Clarity of Mind. Brought to my attention by David Hodgson [blogged here at Digital Falcon], via contact with Reed Burkhart.
Also from contact with Rudy van Stratum, links to the work of the late Dr Harvey Rosenberg via Meta-Gizmo Knowing the mechanics of a piece of HiFi Audio Equipment is as an-ashtray-on-a-motorcycle to knowing good quality sound when you hear it – parallel’s Pirsig’s motorcycle mechanics. The brain really is hard-wired by evolution to know quality / value / good / truth in ways that transcend objective analysis, etc. (also Minsky on music and humour too.)
[Quote from Meta-Gizmo] For those who know about [Quality], no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible. [Unquote] It’s that Catch-22 again – no explanation is possible – to a “western” brain.
The Clarity of Mind meme goes a step further … Clarity of Mind [and good decision making] is being lost in the western culture – the values of cold impersonal objectivism dominating subjective social interaction, for example. The signs are there, that without a change of mental culture, the end-game will be played out either in mental institutions or in drug-use, or both (or escapist games and reality TV perhaps).
Pirsig scholars (and many others) will empathise with that message. In fact the message is as old as man’s quest to understand life and values, but has been suppressed by the Aristotelian / Cartesian stanglehold on value systems in the west. If we don’t break that stranglehold sometime soon, the human brain may evolved to a point where that hard-wired-quality is lost forever. The bad memes lead the genes astray.
Adbuster’s biggest idea for 2005 is to place concern and action to improve our environment in terms of “mental ecology” at the same level the eco-movement has driven sustainable global ecology into public awareness, and the workings of political systems and economies in the last few decades. Good idea.