Re: MD Making sense of it (levels)

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Feb 21 2003 - 15:13:45 GMT

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    Hi Johnny:

    > Doesn't the scale of a pattern have more to do with what level it winds up
    > in? I mean, isn't climbing a tree to get the bananas an idea?

    How do you define "idea?" Is a buzzard swooping down on an a gazelle
    carcass acting on an idea? How about a bee looking for nectar, or a
    germ looking for a cell to infect, or a sunflower following the sun across
    the sky? Where do ideas end and instincts begin?

    > I think to
    > qualify as itellectual a pattern has to be observed over a wide area, of
    > space and time, like democracy or universal health care.

    Whatever gave you that intellectual pattern? Can you cite a passage in
    Pirsig's work that supports that idea? Or is this an example of your
    adopting the MOQ to fit your static intellectual patterns?

    > So a single
    > bicycle is an inorganic pattern, but the knowledge of how to build bicycles
    > and the idea of people riding bicycles to get around is an intellectual
    > pattern.

    Which came first, the intellectual or the inorganic pattern of a bicycle.?

    > This would make biological terrorism an intellectual pattern, because it
    > acts on a wide scale, not on the people it kills. Those people are killed
    > by biological patterns, certainly, but they themselves are not terrorized
    > at all, except for a very brief moment. The point of it though is
    > inciting terror across a large populace and for a long time, which makes
    > terrorism an intellectual pattern. Just because we don't approve of
    > something doesn't mean we have to rationalize some reason why it isn't an
    > itellectual pattern.

    Your "wide scale" criteria for an intellectual pattern sounds like a
    rationalization to fit your static intellectual pattern unless you can back
    it up with a Pirsig quote. What you describe sounds more like
    biologically-based emotional patterns of fear.

    > I disagree with Pirsig's notion that intellectual patterns are
    > automatically superior to social patterns, in fact I think most of them are
    > terribly fascist and anti-human.

    Including the intellectual patterns in your e-mail? Can you provide any
    evidence for your general assertion about intellectual patterns?
    > I also have a problem with Pirsig's notion that evolution has to be toward
    > some goal. He admired Lemark's theories and found Darwin's survival of the
    > fittest nonsense, because it was simply 'survival of the survivors', which
    > he felt was meaningless. But it IS just survival of the survivors.

    To say it just IS survival of the survivors makes as much sense as it just
    IS arrival of the arriveds.

    > Dynamic quality, in my view, is not a goal that static quality advances
    > 'toward', that is just a romantic view that we have come, intellectually,
    > because of static intellectual patterns, to believe. Certainly, what we
    > happen to believe evolution is advancing toward changes culturally, and
    > that would imply that dynamic quality changes. Of perhaps it is just our
    > idea of dynamic quality that changes, but if so, then we don't understand
    > dynamic quality's indifferent nature, imo.
    Where did you get the idea (intellectual pattern) that DQ was
    "indifferent?" According to Pirsig, DQ is a "moral force" whose
    "perceived good is freedom." Hardly having a "nature" that's indifferent or
    purposeless. Quite the contrary.


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