From: Paul Turner (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jun 10 2003 - 13:27:44 BST
> Based on the quotes you provided, clearly DMB uses
> different definitions of
> the static levels than Pirsig does. You should
> know that DMB also
> considers some human beings to be biological
> patterns of values (e.g. Lila),
> others to be social patterns of value (e.g. Rigel),
> and still others to be
> intellectual patterns of values (e.g. DMB)--also
> directly contradicted by
> one of the quotes you cited from Lila's Child.
Pirsig clearly states that a baby forms intellectual
patterns of value immediately, if, according to DMB,
that then makes them 'intellectuals' maybe we should
invite some babies on for a discussion :-)
I think Pirsig's commments in Lila's Child and the
responses he has given in letters to Ant McWatt and
others provide precision missing from Lila. Precision
he openly admits is missing. When you write something
like Lila it must be hard to gauge how much you need
to hammer certain points to convey something when it
is so clear to you.
The annotations are a direct reponse to the different
kinds of interpretation Lila has created. They are
divorced from narrative and literary device.
Here is an example:
In response to one contributors blurring of the
biological and social levels by referring to a
'cell-society' (after misinterpreting Pirsig's
statement about 'metazoan societies called plants and
animals') Pirsig comments -
'"Societies" is used figuratively here as a more
colorful word meaning "groups". If I had known it
would be taken literally as evidence that cells belong
in the social level I would not have used it. Maybe in
a future edition it can be struck out.'
Poor Pirsig, if he struck out all of the colourful
words to provide precision, it would end up as a
Once you apply the precision given in LC back to Lila,
the whole thing is a lot clearer, in my opinion
anyway. And it still makes a great read!
> It is interesting to talk about what patterns of
> value dominate the behavior
> of the people or the teaching of the school, but it
> doesn't make sense to me
> to make a metaphysical distinction in kind between
> two human beings or
> between two schools as we would between a dog and a
> scientific law or an
> atom and a government.
I'm glad you see that too.
> I suspect that there is an important distinction
> between "being dominated
> by" a particular type of pattern and actually being
> a particular type of
> pattern that would be useful here.
Yes, good point.
> I'd be very interested to hear anyone else's
> thoughts about distinguishing
> intellectual and social patterns.
Me too. Maybe everybody else had it figured out ages
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