RE: MD An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Quality

Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 01:27:48 BST

Dan, Jonathan, Richard and all

Dan wrote:

> I have left out some great posts and even whole discussions due to size
> constraints, mostly. It is already a 450 page book. I just cannot include
> everything. In deciding which posts to use and which to leave out, I would
> just chose one I liked and try to see where fit best. Some posts were
> unclear at the beginning and were left out for that reason, but as time went
> by I became very familiar with the archives and just knew where each
> belonged. Unfortunately some of the early work is still there and needs
> correcting but I am working on it.

You see, reading over the comments on the LC from newer members
it's clear that they *think* that they have read an honest summary of the archives. Yet that is not the truth at all.
In my opinion some of the best material was left out and
some of the worst given prominence. It's misleading and unfair
on the original participants. (And for those of you who aren't
participants just stop for a moment and consider how you'd feel
if it was your words that had been taken out of your mouth and
cut and pasted in ways that you never intended.)

> What I do think extremely cool is Robert Pirsig's interest in
the work. What
> does that mean to all the contributors? (if you don't mind me
asking.) Would
> anyone like to see Robert Pirsig's responses to some of the questions raised
> in LC? I know I would.

Of course people are interested in Pirsig's responses. But at
the same time it seems like a waste of opportunity if he only
responds to old posts, and only the ones that Dan has
'selected'. I suppose comments on posts I made four years ago
may be of some interest, but it's pointless to take them so
seriously because I no longer hold many of those opinions. Nor
do I believe the other participants in the dialog do. In the
years since then we have all revised and expanded our ideas many
times over.

And, of course, Pirsig already has responded to LC. But of all
the wonderful questions he could have answered, he responded
with some very elementary remarks to that idiot Struan. Yet, who
can blame him? When you read LC Dan has skewed things to make it
look like Struan was the only one who ever questioned the MOQ.
Not only is that completely untrue, but Struan's objections were
badly thought-out, uninformed and unrepresentative of the group.
All Struan ever did was be more rude than anyone else. You can
say, well at least Pirsig responded, but why settle for second
best? Hundreds of people have asked intelligent and relevant
questions about the MOQ, why do they not merit a response?
If we're going to ask Pirsig questions, let's first gather
some consensus on what are the most important things to ask.
Then maybe we could put together a letter spelling out the
things that concern us. That would let all members, old and new,
polite and rude, have a say. Surely that's more efficient for us
and for him.

And Dan, style is the least of an editor's jobs, in fact it's
usually handled by the most junior proofreader. The primary role
an editor plays is in identifying the objectives of a piece of
writing and shaping it to meet those objectives. In the case of
an MOQ book you would be asking questions like

Why does this book need to be written?
Who is the audience?
What message is it sending out?
What is the best format for this message?
How will it be positioned?

By your own admission you only have the vaguest idea of what the
point of LC is. And yet, that is the most important question to ask! Believe me, LC would be ripped to shreds in the marketplace,
and anyone whose name is attached to it will look
like a fool.

> I still think that there is value in doing some more serious writing in the form
> of essays on the MOQ web site. Personally, I have a few ideas that intend to
> compile into another essay, but I have yet to find the time and enegy for it. I
> think that all of us should be thinking in these terms. Maybe some of the essays
> can be worked up to form chapters of a book.

This kind of approach sounds much better to me - properly referenced and carefully written essays will let us present a
much clearer view of opinions.

Richard wrote:
> Diana--- Just a thought.... I noticed that one of your criticisms of LC was
> that the posts were "outdated." This may see, obvious, but while they may
> be outdated to you, they aren't for anyone else in the world who has never
> read them. Imagine if everyone who participated here read LC... it would
> save new members and all who are intersted in things MoQ from being forced
> to reinvent the wheel for themselves... and it would save dozens and dozens
> of redundant posts asking questions on topics and subjects that have been
> 'done to death'.... (people could still invent their own wheels and ask all
> the questions they'd like of course... they just wouldn't be forced to). LC
> could be a static latch for the early thoughts of this forum. And once we've
> latched, our freedom to explore new territory is increased.

Yes latching is important. That's something I've pushed for from
the very start and that is why I'm working on a FAQ. In MF we
have already identified a list of the questions that come up
over and over again. We've divided that list into sections and
we're working our way through it answering these questions one
at a time. Quite a good idea actually.


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