LS Re: Four levels of being

Magnus Berg (
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 18:30:54 +0100

Hi Donny and Squad

You wrote:
> > > I think there is a lot of bending and twisting of pirsig's ideas
> > > going unrecognized around here. My favorite definitions of the 4 levels
> > > is where he goes:
> > > The laws of nature (physics)
> > > The law of the jungle
> > > The law (as in: judiciary law)
> > > The rules of logic and scientific method
> > >
> >
> > Don't be so single minded.
> Well, at least in this instance it's pirsig being narow-minded amd
> not me.

It wasn't the definitions I commented, it was your question about the law
being involved in the development of the chlorophyll molecule.

> > It's not that particular instance of a social
> > pattern that is involved in the chlorophyl molecule, it's another instance
> > of social patterns. It's a META-physics, remember?
> >
> I don't know what that's supposed to mean. The prefix 'meta' means
> 'after' and it came about very arbitrarily.

After? Well, I use meta as it is used in computer science. There, it has
a very specific meaning so when the meta prefix is applied to the word
language, forming metalanguage, it means grammar. The term metadata
is often used in database lingo and means data about data, i.e. the tables
of the database. Applied to physics, forming metaphysics, it would mean
something like "the language and underlying assumptions used when talking
about physics".

> When Aristotle's works were
> posthumusly assemboled, his notes on what he called 'theology' or 'First
> philosophy' were placed on the shelf after his notes on physics, and so
> they came to be called the 'metaphysics' -- 'after the physics.'

You can't be serious? Sounds like someone trying to undermine the need
for a metaphysics. That's way too common I noticed.

> > And don't think for one moment that I have no cause for stretching
> > the levels as far as I've done. Yours and many other's definition of
> > the levels--
> 'My and other's *interpritation* of how pirsig uses the levels,'
> you mean? If it were my system, I'm not sure I'd use the 4 levels at all.

I actually think that my stretched levels are within the limits set by
the examples in Lila. My version of the difference between our
interpretations is that I didn't give up on the levels when I saw some
problems with them, you did.

> > What are you gonna do the day computers get so smart that you have
> > no choice but to call them intelligent, will they become biological
> > that same day also? Will they be alive?
> Remind yourself, first, that I don't believe that INTpoVs =
> awarness.

Neither do I.

> An AI would not nessecarily 'have' INTpoVs (or they have it, I
> should say).
> First it would have to have person-hood. It would have to be
> 'alive just like you and I' (ie. a *social* entity).

Now you're confusing life with intellectual patterns. See my post to
Bo today.

> Further, does being alive (a BiopoV)

Now suddenly, life is a BioPoV? Don't you see the red line of life
here? Life is not patterns of a particular level, it's a SQ/DQ mix.

> > If you don't stretch the levels as I've done, they become life
> > chauvinistic, short sighted and emotivistic. If you do stretch the
> > levels, they become metaphysically useful.
> I don't agree w/ either statment.

Actually, it won't suffice to just stretch the levels. You have to
separate SQ and DQ first, otherwise the levels collapse to a mess anyway.

> Anyway, when I say the paterns are 'alive' I mean they are
> concrete (temporal) rhythms -- not abstract (atemporal) laws or thoughts
> or entities or what-have-you.

And I think your "rhythms" that you want to replace static patterns with
are actually this living mix of SQ and DQ. You say yourself that they
aren't static and I agree, but why mix up SQ and DQ after they're nicely

> > Well, today and on this planet that's a perfectly functional division.
> > It demands fuzziness but nobody but me seems to mind. But apply it to
> > any other place or any other time and it will probably become utterly
> > meaningless. On the other hand, I guess that doesn't bother you either.
> Any other time and any other place is only an abstract projection.
> The only time that exists is the present. Remember, this is META-physics.

So why do you bother about anything that doesn't feel good exactly right now?
Why do you get up each morning?


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

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