LS Re: Patterns, maps, levels and spectra

Magnus Berg (
Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:04:54 +0100

Hi Jonathan and Squad

(Sorry about the number of posts today, but I prefer
answering one thread at a time.)

You wrote:
> On fuzziness and complexity:-
> Magnus wrote:-
> >Jonathan, the four levels have nothing whatsoever to do with
> >complexity theory. If you reduce them to that, they lose all of their
> >explanatory power.
> Why the word "reduce"? I'm not an expert on complexity, but I always
> thought that an important feature of a complex system was that its
> properties were GREATER than the sum of its components. I think that
> Pirsig himself has opened the door to complexity theory, though he only
> developed the idea very slightly. Magnus, if you remove complexity from
> the MoQ, that's when it loses any explanatory power.

Complexity theory in my book is to have different abstraction levels
with air tight transformations between them. The four levels have no
transformations because they're othogonal so transformations are

> On the issue of fuzziness, it seems that the levels are part of a
> spectrum. Everyone in our culture (except babies and the colour blind)
> can distinguish absolutely between green and yellow. Yet, you cannot
> exactly say at which point in the visual spectrum green becomes yellow.
> Similarly, Pirsig's levels may each be distinct, but the boundaries
> between them may be fuzzy.

To me, such a rainbow view of the levels is not valuable. It leads to


"I'm so full of what is right, I can't see what is good"
				N. Peart - Rush

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