RE: MD junk

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sat Mar 20 2004 - 19:48:22 GMT

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: FW: MD Beyond"

    Wim and y'all:

    Wim said:
    Referring to your recent postings that abuse the 'Beyond'-thread:
    Can you ****** Americans never stop bickering about whether information is
    to be disctrusted because it is from a supposedly left-wing or from a
    supposedly right-wing source?!? You are to be collectively pitied that your
    political climate is so polarized that no-one seems to trust anyone else
    that is not of his/her own political color.
    The Pentagon report you are discussing appears to be interpreted radically
    different by different journalists who have read it, which pleads for the
    objectivity of neither of them. As soon as you are aware of that fact, you'd
    better stop taking either of these 'information' sources for sure and either
    read the report yourself before you comment on it or leave it out of the
    discussion here.

    dmb says:
    I think that you belittle the debate as "bickering" not because America is
    polarized, but because you deny one of Pirsig's central ideas; the idea that
    we are presently in a period of evolutionary channge and that the social and
    intellectual levels are at war. This is the metaphysics behind the debate
    between Platt and myself. And its clear that you have missed the point even
    on a political level. This really is NOT one of those cases where both sides
    in the debate both have an equally valid point of view. To treat the global
    warming views of a right wing think tank that is heaivly funded by polluters
    as if they had any intention of producing or propagating unbiased scientific
    data is the height of foolishness. To act as if the views of these oil
    company "scientists" were just as valid as the majority opinion of the
    scientific community is what's known as "grotesque even-handedness". The
    suppression of the Pentagon's report is just one example in a long list of
    anti-intellectual behaviour by the Bush administration. They have repeatedly
    been as odds with science where ever there is a financial or ideological
    conflict of interest. So, what I'm talking about is not lefty science vs.
    right wing science. I'm talking about science vs politics. And that's why
    this case represents what Pirsig describes as a conflict between social and
    intellectual values. But then maybe this is all pointless to you, Wim,
    because your "definitions" are entirely different than Pirsig's and so maybe
    were not even discussing the same topic....
    Wim said:
    I don't agree that there is (or has been) a war between the intellectual and
    social level anywhere. In my definitions of intellectual and social patterns
    of value they are too discrete to be at war.
    (I know, in 'Lila' Pirsig not only states that the levels are discrete, but
    also uses the 'war' metaphor for the relation between these levels. For me
    this implies an inconsistency in his ideas. Maybe because he is an American
    too? (-;)

    dmb says:
    Too discrete to be at war? This war implies an inconsistency in his ideas?
    Huh? Never mind, I don't want to know. In any case, if you reject Pirsig's
    idea, one he says has been the theme song of the 20th and the driving force
    behind wars that have killed nearly 200 million people, then my pointing out
    current examples in that ongoing war will never be of any use to you - and
    neither will the MOQ. I think you're missing the boat entirely by
    subsituting your own definitions for Pirsig's key terms. (And as I've said
    to just about everyone else who does that, I think its a rude, confusing and
    dishonest practice.)

    Wim said:
    There can be a war between people behaving in accordance with a lower
    quality social pattern of value and people behaving in accordance with a
    higher quality social pattern of value. War, and more generally 'us versus
    them' behaviour, is a relatively low quality social pattern of value anyway,
    lower than cooperative behaviour.

    dmb says:
    Pirsig says that war and genocide are the antics of the giant, of the social
    level and that the rise of the intellectual level after WWI was aimed at
    controlling the problem. Pirsig's definitions of the levels allows us to
    make a distinction that yours does not. In your view war and peace are just
    two rival social pattterns with on real way to assert one over the other. I
    want to say that such a view doesn't help, but in this case its worse than
    that. You've decided to remove the distinction that DOES work in favor of
    one that doesn't. Not only do I disagree with the view itself, but also the
    act of destruction it inflicts on the MOQ's key terms.

    Wim said:
    They can motivate their behaviour using intellectual patterns of value of
    different quality. (Those behaving in accordance with a higher quality
    social pattern of value don't necessary motivate their behaviour with the
    highest quality intellectual pattern of value...)
    Unthinking behavioural patterns (collective 'habits') can't be at war with
    patterns of motivation of behaviour (or patterns of understanding reality,
    that are also part of the intellectual level), however.

    dmb says:
    Maybe its because English is not your native tongue. Maybe its because
    there's something about the MOQ that threatens previous beliefs. Whatever
    the reason, Wim, this makes no sense. The war between levels described in
    Lila have very little to do with your definitions. Maybe "unthinking
    behavior" can't be at war with "patterns of motivation" (Whatever THAT is.)
    but that doesn't mean Pirsig's third and fourth levels can't be in conflict,
    because they are completely different than yours. When using your
    "definitions", you are not talking about the MOQ, only your definitions,
    which are so far away from Pirsig's that they can't even be called
    interpretations. For the sake of honesty and deceny, you really should call
    them something else - at least in this forum.

    Wim said:
    I don't think it clarifies the discussion to associate 'the intellectual
    level' with 'intellectuals'. 'Intellectual' is a role in a social pattern of

    dmb says:
    Its hard to believe you're not joking. We shouldn't associate intellectuals
    with the intellectual level? Why not? How can we reasonably avoid it? Isn't
    that like saying we shouldn't associate scientists with science or doctors
    with medicine? Yes, intellectuals play a role in society and participate in
    social organizations. Since this is true of EVERY person, I fail to see what
    the point is. Again, you want to erase distinctions that are central to
    Pirsig's MOQ for unknown reasons. All persons are inorganic, biological,
    social creatures. The intellectual level has been available to all of since
    at least ancient Greece. The fact that we all share these levels in common
    does not negate the fact that they in conflict.


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