RE: MD Irrationality

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 20:22:51 BST

Hi Kevin:

> Platt:
> That's certainly a better connotation of "solidarity" than I usually
> assign
> to the word. However, I'm innately suspicious of all "Movements" except
> those which champion individual liberty. Many Movements are fundamentally
> totalitarian. That's my fear.
> Kevin:
> To which I reply that your suspicion and doubt are vital elements to any
> attempt at building solidarity. I would submit that any Movement that
> disregards the doubts and suspicions of those it would seek to include is
> indeed a step towards totalitariansim and oppression. Perhaps 'coalition
> building' captures the flavor? The intersection of individual interests?

Yes, "coalition" is a better word without the negative baggage of
"solidarity" to describe political agreement among individuals. I
recommend your recommendation to Rorty and his followers. (-:

> Platt:
> Outside of a few viruses and man- made
> freaks (like fruit-flies with 14 legs) there hasn't been any new life forms
> since the cave man to my knowledge (Jonathan can correct me), especially no
> new species (which evolution arguably still can't explain).

> Kevin:
> As most evolutionary changes are glacial in pace, I would suggest that it
> continues but perhaps beyond our perception. Certainly we see adaptation. I
> think it would be short-sighted to infer that biological patters "are
> pretty much stuck there". For the sake of discussion let's table the matter
> for 1 million years and then re-address it:-) It's a minor point, to be
> sure.

I agree to table the matter for future intellects to ponder. (-:

> Platt:
> Since DQ temporarily suspends all static patterns, it can sometimes
> give the appearance of destruction. But overall, DQ is the creative
> force for Good.
> Kevin:
> A new definition of DQ? I'm not sure if I've encountered that exact idea
> before. Is it a Pirsig idea? I'll confess I haven't read LILA or ZMM in a
> while but I don't recall it ever being expressed quite like that. How do we
> know the Good?
> My immidiate reaction is negative. Initially, this idea that "DQ is the
> creative force for Good" suggests to my mind that what is Good is what is
> *now* because it would be better than what came before it. If DQ pushes for
> Good, then what is past must always be less Good since it did not survive
> the evolution of morality that is central to MOQ. No?
That which survives is better than what doesn't according to the MOQ.
But, there are levels of Good. Intellectual good is better than social,
social better than biological, biological better than inorganic. The
greatest Good of all is Dynamic Quality, "the source of all things" (11),
that "creates this world in which we live" (9), which is "natural selection
at work" (11) and "the value force that chooses an elegant mathematical
solution to a laborious one, or a brilliant experiment over a confusing,
inconclusive one." (29)

Evolution to better things results from responses to Dynamic Quality:
"The patterns of life are constantly evolving in response to something
'better' than these laws (inorganic) have to offer." (9); "This definition of
the 'betterness' - this beginning response to Dynamic Quality . . ." (12);
"Substance is one kind of pattern left behind by the creative force." (17);
"But restrictions that stop the degenerates also stop the creative
Dynamic forces of evolution." (17); Its (DQ) only perceived good is
freedom and its only perceived evil is static quality itself -- any pattern of
one-sided fixed values that tries to kill the ongoing free force of life" (9);
"Although Dynamic Quality, the Quality of freedom, creates this world in
which we live . . . (9); "Biological evolution can be seen as a process by
which weak Dynamic forces at a subatomic level discover strategems
for overcoming huge static inorganic forces at a superatomic level" (11);
"Without Dynamic Quality, the organism cannot grow." (11).

These are some of statements by Pirsig that lead me to conclude that
"DQ is the creative force for the Good." How do we know the Good? By
direct experience.
> Platt:
> You suggest some scenarios that are hard for me to imagine. Are you
> talking about an invasion from outer space? A worldwide atomic war
> perhaps? If you could be more specific it would help.
> Kevin:
> I was specifically referring to your dire warnings about nanotechnology. If
> man creates an organism that ultimately diplaces man as the dominant
> speicies on Earth, how would the MOQ view this phenomenon?

If nanotechnology creates a species that responds better to DQ than
humans, then the MOQ would view it positively. But, how likely is that?
More likely is a nanotechno bug getting out of control and killing every
living thing. In spite of DQ's best efforts, there's always the chance that
a lower level will gain the upper hand and wipe out every level above it.

Perhaps it's best to also table this matter for a million years. (-:


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