Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 22:34:10 BST

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    Dear David B. and (at the end) Horse,

    You wrote 3 Apr 2004 16:02:47 -0700:
    'OK. Fair enough.'
    in reply to my:
    'It's not your use of the term "junk" that bothers me. It's polarization on
    this list. "Offensiveness" of the words used is not a good measure of

    Let's leave it at that. I didn't intend to criticize your overall behaviour
    on this list, so I won't go into your 'exhibits'.

    I think I'm generous and sympathetic enough with respect to the content of
    what of you are trying to say by translating what you describe as a conflict
    between social and intellectual patterns of value into a conflict between
    intellectual patterns of value that support respectively want to change
    social patterns of value and ... by taking by and large the same side in
    this conflict as you do.

    Your wrote:
    'Wim, dude, that's just not true.'

    WHAT is not true? That I take Pirsig's descriptions of conflicts between
    social and intellectual patterns of value in terms of a 'war' as
    metaphorical?? Or that metaphors have limited applicability?? The many
    examples in 'Lila' of Pirsig using the 'war' metaphor (in spite of the
    discreteness of levels that is explained with another metaphor for their
    relation: software and hardware with only a limited 'machine code language'
    as link) in my view support my idea that he may have been slightly
    overextending his use of it.

    I'm glad you now agree with Platt and me that 'one would be going too far to
    say that conservatives are ALWAYS defending social level values or to say
    that liberal are ALWAYS defending intellectual values'.

    Not being American I'm not competent to discuss exactly WHERE (American)
    conservatives do and don't defend social patterns of value. Neither do I
    know TO WHAT EXTENT (American) liberals are really proponents of
    intellectual patterns of value (and a few social patterns of value). They
    could occasionally just be ruining valuable and needed social patterns of
    value without offering good alternatives (in other words: they could value
    degeneration instead of progress).
    So I leave that discussion to you Americans, hoping that the agreement you
    now found with Platt will enable you to be 'nice and polite' to him. (-:

    You also wrote:
    'The problem is that you're using Pirsig's terms to refer to your own

    I'll think of better terms to refer to my definitions of the 3rd and 4th

    You continued:
    'Its just that is about Pirsig's MOQ.'

    I don't agree and have argued that on the MF list. What do you think Horse?
    Should we take a vote?

    You propose to:
    'present ideas that help to explain or expand upon Pirsig's ideas and the
    issues he treats'.

    That's exactly what I would describe as 'philosophologizing'.

    You write that my alternative understanding of mainly the 3rd and 4th levels
    doesn't work for you. Neither does yours for me. So be it. We will have
    plenty of occasions in the future to try to understand each others
    understandings better, to see how they can be applied to the same situation
    and to re-evaluate their value. I hope to do so in a constructive way.

    With friendly greetings,


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