Taking Stock (Feb 2002) –
Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Well at last I’ve read it …. and Wow ! – I am that man.
Reading it 15 (or even 25) years ago could have saved a lot of effort.
Still, better to travel than to arrive – No ?
Well, yes and no actually.
(Time to revisit the Manifesto ?)
Take care – “It is [not] written” (T E Lawrence)
Trying to dialectically justify why a dialectical model of the world is doomed,
….. is doomed to drive you insane.
The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Obvious Ken Kesey / Joseph Heller resonances here.
No flight from reason here – this is no excuse for abandoning reason, but a strong case for extending reason to include the observer / participant. There has been such a strong case for such important periods of history already that it is hard to grasp how the status-quo preserves any alternative view. A strong element of Catch-22. How do you “beat the system” when the system is the basis of rational thought ? Exhausting when your quest is, as Pirsig put it, “an attempt to outflank the entire body of western thought.”
How do you publish a learned academic thesis / technical specification, when what you really have is a work of “fiction”.
The real objects of interest are indeed the relationships and processes. Mind (subject) Matter (object) unification. Poincare seems to be everybody’s hero. Still leaves the whole quantum / uncertainty / complexity / chaos / cause-effect / non-locality story very tangled – but truly compelling issues.
Quality / Excellence / Reality / Interconnectedness / Interaction / Holism
– Dirk Gently / Douglas Adams again.
(Did Pirsig inspire Peters, Handy et al in the 80’s ? We certainly know Peters & Waterman’s “In Search of Excellence” cites Pirsig. The reference I infamously never followed-up at the time.)
(Where did Brunsson and Argyris get irrationality from first ?)
(Check who cites who.)
[Editorial Note : As part of this stock-taking triggered, notice, by reading Robert Pirsig’s ZMM, I revisited the first few posts on Psybertron and added this one right at the start … which now (or did for many years) form the footnote to every new page of Psybertron.]