LS Re: The Intellect from Society "Theorem".

Diana McPartlin (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 07:35:57 +0100

Magnus Berg wrote:
> Surprise, surprise... I have some comments on Diana's post.

Oh goody!

> 1. Don't you say two different things here? First you said that the
> chair is
> social patterns although it's being *used*, then you say the internet is
> social patterns and suddenly the *user*, (in this case the internet that
> uses computers), becomes the social patterns.

Whether something is being used or is a user is of no relevance in my
definition of the levels. The Internet is primarily social patterns of
communication. These patterns are being used by intellectual patterns
(our discussion), these patterns also in their turn use inorganic
patterns (the hardware) and biological patterns (maintenance).

I'd say that the chair is
> a part of a social pattern, and since social patterns are built on "the
> second
> level", the chair is of that level, not social.

Hmm. We're really stuck here you know. So if the chair is part of a
society called a restaurant it is also an "organ" of the restaurant no?
And if the restaurant is part of a society called hotel it is an organ
of that hotel. It seems that the way you analyse it everything is going
to be organic value.

It bothers me that you use the social level as part of your definition
of the biological level. If biological patterns are only identifiable as
organs of social patterns then if we have no social patterns how can we
have biological patterns? As the biological patterns came first you must
be able to identify them without social ones.

In Lila, Pirsig gave us three human examples of the top three levels.
Lila is ruled by Biological, Phaedrus is ruled by Intelletual and Rigel
is ruled by Social. (All of them have all three running through them but
in each character one level was dominant.) Lila was dominated by
Biological value because, well, she was a hot chick wasn't she (at least
when she was younger). She was good for bearing children. Reproduction
is what biological value is all about.

Can you explain why Lila is representative of Biological value, in terms
of your organic theories?

Having gone through the book again it's clear to me that biological
patterns are about biology and social patterns are about society. Pirsig
even admits that the classification "isn't very original". I think he
means that we should use these words pretty much as we usually do. In
all his examples it's clear that that is the way he is using them. Maybe
I'm exaggerating our differences, but if you don't accept that
biological value is biology then it throws the whole MoQ out of sync.

> 3. Societies do not work against biology. If they were, they would
> destroy every society ever formed by destroying its building blocks,
> since social patterns are more powerful than patterns of "the second
> level".

I was making the point (or trying to anyway) that societies/communities
propagate social value. That is their fundamental purpose. I did also
say that societies work against biology. But what I mean is that they
*can* work against it. I don't mean to suggest that the purpose of
societies is to destroy biology, only that it is not their purpose to
propagate it. As an example take a country with high social value, say
Sweden with high taxes and efficient public schools/hospitals/nurseries.
Then take, say, Zimbabwe (or any chaotic African state) and, I don't
have figures here but, isn't it true that the population of Zimbabwe is
growing at a faster rate than that of Sweden?

Have to go. I'll get back to them pesky robots later:-)


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