Taking Stock

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.]

The End Of Change

The End of Change
Extract of book by Arthur D.Little people Peter Scott Morgan, Erik Hoving, Arnoud van der Slot, and Henk Smit.
Uses Pyramid, Cube, Cylinder & Sphere analogies in the obligatory Boston Consulting Group 2×2 grid to charaterise different organisation styles affecting change processes – (How easy is it to move one of these shapes in any given direction, and what profile would that change have ?). Intended as an antidote to change fatigue, where constant stream of “new initiatives” is ultimately self-defeating. Suggests exploiting organisational culture to embed the appropriate style of flexibility, learning and motivation for improvement and innovation. (Cf MBA dissertation on this subject.)

Thinking For A Living

Thinking For A Living
“Quantity begets quality. If you want to find the answer, ask as many questions as possible first”
“Genius is the ability to edit.” – Charlie Chaplin quoted from
Thinking For A Living: Creating Ideas That Revitalize Your Business, Career & Life – by Joey Reiman, summarised in The Creative Process of Ideation, published on Brand Era Readings, spotted by Blog Thinking Around the Corners

[Reminds me of the workplace cartoon – “I can’t stop to think just now, I’m working”.]