Re: MD An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Quality

Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 13:18:39 BST

To: Dan , Diana, Jonathan, Elephant and MOQ


Sorry Diana, I did not mean to imply that your objection was comparable to
Fintans. It just got me trying to recall the thread and the similar
discussion. I respect your wish to stay out of his book.

I will say that I seriously agree with you that any writing of mine from
prior years is so hopelessly out of date that it would in no way match up
with my current thoughts. Even assuming perfect editing, it would not be
what Roger thinks today, it would be what Roger thought then. On the other
hand, I think that is the intended context that Dan will use in presenting
the material...??? I also agree with Elephant that Dan should get permission
to use anyone's correspondence. I believe he has gotten everyone's except
Diana's and those that have disappeared. I also agree that Dan should not
use Diana's writing without her approval.

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?

I was corresponding with Dan at the time he started this project (even
tinkering with the idea of helping him, to be honest), and can attest he had
done much thinking about these issues. In fact, he seemed fairly confident
in his intentions. Granted he may have changed these in scope through the
process of development, and they may still be evolving even now, but I see
this as a normal part of a dynamic creative process.
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.

Excellent idea.

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 predict (like Dan) that LC will be ignored by the marketplace. However, I
think that even with a limited MOQ forum audience we need to respect that
some people are no longer represented by their views. In fact most aren't.
If you actually track the threads from the beginning to the end of each
month, you can find growth in individuals on each topic in just 30 days. To
be honest, anyone who does think the same thing now as 3 or 4 years ago was
either really, really well thought out back then, or hopelessly frozen in

I agree that Dan needs to make this real clear, or find a way to mitigate
this effect.
...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.

I again agree that it would be better. That doesn't mean that what Dan is
doing doesn't have value though. It is extremely difficult and perhaps even
impossible to edit streams of correspondence. But I am happy that Dan is
trying, and wish him well.


PS -- Is there an agreed upon line that clearly separates what can be quoted
without permission? Obviously, a phrase or sentence can be referenced to
whomever said it without permission, or newspapers could not exist. Does
anyone know what the formal or informal rules are?

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