RE: MF Art vs Technology

From: Andrew Bowen (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 03:01:34 GMT

> I only came upon your website this morning to find this
>interesting and informative discussion group highlighting the works of
>Robert Pirsig. Hopefully I can have a say in the Art vs Technology topic. I
>am a lecturer of Technology Education in New Zealand and identify with the
>philosophies contained in Pirsigs' work. In the process of learning and
>beginning to understand what technology is I systematically define it as
>technology n. 1. the study of art (from the Greek tekhne meaning art)
>art n. 1. human creative skill
>create n. 1. to bring into existence
>creative a. 1. inventive, imaginative
>invent n. 1. to create by thought
>imagine v.t. 1. to form a mental picture of (from Latin imagin meaning
>mirror or reflect)
>skill n. 1. expertness
>knowledge n. 1. sum of what has been learned
>values .n 1. one's judgement of what is worthwhile in life
>Technology is the pathway towards Quality. There is no separation of art
>technology, they have the same goals. It is the social perception to the
>varying amounts of the last three definitions skill, knowledge and values
>that acts as a wedge. In fact concerning the art, science and religion
>triumvirate, they all have the goal of finding 'peace of mind' as an
>outcome. If this is truly the case then technology is the defining factor
>for unifying them towards the path of Quality.
> All cultures have technology and the success of these cultures,
>spiritually or otherwise is dependant on the balace and interrelationship
>knowledge, skill and values. It is unfortunate that in our western culture
>technology is emphasised through knowledge and skill in an objective
>scientific manner, excluding the values of emotional well being and oneness
>with our ecological environment. The value of economic prosperity and high
>material standards of living is deepening a hollow chasm in our soul, an
>emptyness that will never find the 'peace of mind' of Quality that Pirsig
>pertains to. This absence of care within the soul of western culture will
>have us believe that there is no Quality in our cultural achievement
>outcomes. It would be easy to then say that there is a considerable gap
>between art and technology.
> However in the indigenous cultures of Amazonian Indians and Papua
>New Guinean natives, their technology is emphasised with knowledge, skills
>and values that highlight oneness with their ecological environment.
>Anthropologist Jean Leidloff in her remarkable book 'The Continuum Concept'
>points out that the indigenous culture of Indians in the Amazon Valley were
>very happy, enlightened and spiritual people. The knowledge base of the
>tribe was small but highly relevant to the needs of the people. The skills
>exhibited enabled them to live sustainably within the forests they presided
>in and the values were harmonious to the ecological environment in which
>they lived. One remarkable fact that came from her study was that there
>no crying babies or children, and in fact they were very proactive within
>the tribe and there was none of the modern adolescent 'dis-eases' that
>in western culture. The technology that they exhibited was in fact art.
>had maintained the link between art and technology. Technology was also
>inclusive of science and spirituality. As a result they had 'peace of mind'
>in their lives.
> As westerners we are on a journey, unfortunately as we hack our way
>through the forests towards rediscovering the pathway towards quality, we
>are killing and exterminating the last remnants of cultures, absorbing
>into our confusioned world that we know as technology. The only art we seem
>to display at the moment is ego, the fact that we supposedly know the path
>towards 'peace of mind'.
>I look forward to keeping tabs with future discussions
>Kindest Regards
>Andrew R. Bowen -

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