RE: MD Irrationality

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Mon Sep 23 2002 - 16:57:56 BST

Hi Kevin:
> Platt:
> Experience as used by Pirsig refers to each individual's experience and
> observed data, not the collective knowledge of our times. In the MOQ,
> personally "observed data" includes Quality.
> Kevin:
> I would agree that this is what Pirsig is referring to as well. It is
> essential for individuals to pursue the Dynamic and to test ideas for
> agreement with personal experience.

> This, of course, also brings up one of Pirsig's other themes in LILA.
> Namely, how to balance a society's needs with the right's of Dynamic
> individuals. Without the Dynamic individual, we have rigid Social
> Patterns and great potential for stagnation and oppression. Social
> patterns, OTOH, require a means of balancing competing individual
> interests. If individual Dynamics are unchecked, they can subvert the
> very social pattern that garuntees their freedoms. Pirsig raises this
> concern several times in LILA.

> Isn't Democracy an idea of high Quality? Doesn't Democracy require that
> individual's sacrifice some individual freedom in favor of collective
> rights? "The right to swing my fist ends where the next man's nose
> begins"--Oliver Wendell Holmes, IIRC.

> Isn't Democracy an exercise in building Solidarity?

"Solidarity" is often used by unions to indicate everyone in the union
agrees with (or should agree with) the union's demands. Scabs (workers
who disagree) risk being physically harmed by "swinging fists." So to
me "solidarity" is not the best way to describe democracy which, if
properly set up, protects minorities from physical abuse by the majority.
(Verbal abuse is permissible for the higher good of free speech.) The
last thing a nation should strive for is everyone marching in lock step
(fascism, communism) which the term "solidarity" suggests.

> Platt quotes me and offers:
> > I reject that notion that Pirsig would suggest a Morality (collection of
> > Quality judgements) as being Universal or ahistorical. He clearly
> > intends, IMO, that Quality judgements are assessments made as needed.
> > Today's High Quality is tomorrow's most rigid Static Pattern.
> Then you and I have read two different books. Universal static moral
> patterns are absolutely necessary for anything to survive. If quantum
> particles go, we all go.
> Kevin:
> Simple miscommunication, I suspect. I assume you are not suggesting that
> "Universal static patterns" are not in flux? That was my point. The
> Dynamic latches as a Static Pattern that is transcended by the Dynamic
> again that latches to a new Static Pattern, etc. I've always felt that the
> idea of the Hegelian Dialectic took on much greater significance (for me at
> least) in a Post-Pirsig Quality Universe.

Social and intellectual static patterns are subject to influence by DQ,
but static inorganic and biological patterns are no longer in flux, i.e.,
they are universally fixed by nature. Man can tinker with DNA and
create unnatural life forms, not as a result of DQ, but of amoral intellect
run amok. Nanotechnology threatens the physical make up of the
universe, but if as a result we all disappear into a black hole it won't be
DQ's fault.


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