LS Re: Senses

Gene Kofman (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 03:33:11 +0100

Jason wrote:
>(In fact, if we can't offer a definition of these terms, then perhaps we
shouldn't be using them in the first place. This seems to be the way ofthe
Zen masters.) If we are going to operate within the realm of logic and reason,
then shouldn't we must commit ourselves all the way?
We must realize that anything that we say regarding Quality is only an
approximation which is useful for our "finite minds." However, I don't see
how we can hope to improve our understanding of these ideas without positing
some working definitions. The illustrative examples that you and Pirsig himself

refer to are the first steps toward an "understanding" of the MoQ. Definitions
>are the next logical step in its evolution.

I'm afraid we got to the brink with our Intellectual definitions, we’ll never be
able to define crisp pattern level boundaries, they are constantly changing and are
very transparent allowing patterns of one level to change patterns of another. Pirsig
gave us ‘working definitions’ by examples, and we should have courage to continue
using them. Every definition is ‘approximation’ and is created for convenience only,
to go ‘all the way’ *is* to learn to speak like ‘Zen masters’ and accept the fact
that we can only use examples and hope for mutual understanding.
Every event is a special case of colliding patterns, we can only discuss specific
cases. The only practical thing to do, IMO, is to discuss what do those robots do
and how (if at all) should we react to their actions, otherwise just let them be
what they are: combination of inorganic, organic (we could cover them with real live
skin), social (of course we would program some ethical rules (see Asimov) into them),
and intellectual patterns.

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