LS the fab four models... (fwd)

Troy Becker (
Mon, 17 Aug 1998 10:46:41 +0100

i am "resending" this. i am not sure it went through when i first sent
it, a few days ago.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 08:10:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: Troy Becker <>
Cc: Multiple recipients of <>
Subject: the fab four models...

a few days ago i wrote how we are seeming to dilute Pirsigs four levels of
[static] quality by making our *models*...

i didn't mean to knock our models or examples--even i need to do some
static latching by bringing the abstract to my level of understanding. i
would say that analogous "models" of the four levels of quality usually
"dilute" our understanding. examples that dilute:


soc=NY fashion

these examples may help draw an understanding, and they are valuable of
course. even this morning, as i read about the *four* kingdoms of life, i
thought of another such analogy to Pirsig's fab four. i don't know my
astrology very well, but we might draw some parallels to the "qualities"
of earth, air, fire, and water (not in that order).

i advocate the use of these models; they are insightful and help to draw

there are other models that seem to be "less diluting" (of course, all
"models"--and [static] understanding in "how we think"--dilute "what we
really think". language, if nothing else, dilutes.). the wimple model
(yes, glove) is a good example :) of a good example, and here's why:

it starts with quality and explains the four levels of [static] quality
with regard to quality, and in terms of static/dynamic quality.

the objective of "the rock" piece was to explain how the fabulous levels
of [static] quality exist in the rock. this is opposed to "the rock"
existing in "the inorganic level," for example.

quality precedes existence of everything. anything we can call a thing is
a latching of "static quality." so, a rock is a thing. then, we can
evaluate what kind of thing is a rock, by evaluating it in terms of its
static quality. for Pirsig, static quality is (best?) broken down in
the four levels that is the topic of our August discussion. we rate the
rock ("understand" its value) by recognizing its static quality at four
different levels.

actions and behaviors are evaluative in the same manner.

Pirsig wrote Lila to inquire into morals, which is to say: "i know what
is value. i wrote a book on it. but what about my behavior, my ideas,
and the like. are certain behaviors or ideas better that others?"

a rock, and a spicy sexual rendevous, then, are firstly, the same. the
four levels of quality allow us to distinguish, and order, the morality of
the rock, and the morality of the sexual rendevous.

the behavior of the "witch" indian, like the rock, consisted of
intellectual quality. in the case of the indian's behavior, his
"thinking" was the intellectual quality of his behavior. the social
quality of his behavior was nearly nonexistent with respect to the static
quality of the status quo tribal society, although the social quality of
his behavior with respect to "the long run", or with respect to humanity,
or with respect to (here it is) Dynamic Quality) has much value. the
biologic quality of the indian's behavior, i believe, is found in his own
survival. he lived. inorganically, the indian's behavior moved the
collection of matter that is the indian through space and time (the LS
needs to talk about space and time--or email me personally to point me in
the direction of such discussion) in Tom Robbins' so called "undermind" of
the universe.

the indian's behavior. the rock. Pirsig laid the groundwork for
evaluating both of these "things" with regard to the same set of

to finalize, i'd like to thank those of you who have made it this far.
also, let me sum up:

models are good. the best models show the four levels of quality with
reagard to quality, st/dy q, or (like my rock) explain how a rock (as an
example of quality) contains the four levels of quality.

the four levels of quality provide a "process" of evaluating the morality
of anything you can call a thing.

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