LS Re: Four levels of being

Magnus Berg (
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 18:34:48 +0100

Hi Squad

Did you know that tomorrow Aug. 20 is Lila Squad's first birthday.
I'll be in Finland over the weekend so I won't be here tomorrow.
Hip, hip hooray! I think I'll have a cake.

Diana began:
>Dear All
>First I want to thank you for subscribing to this list. There are seven
>members which I think is a pretty good start.

Thank you Diana for this first year, you've done a great job. Nobody
could have done it better.

Jonathan wrote:
> Magus continues:
> >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 are based on a life chauvinistic split between the first
> >and the second level. It's dependent on the "fact" that everyone can
> >recognize life when they see it. What kind of a metaphysical
> >definition is that? To be frank, I'd put it close to ridiculous.
> >
> Well, that's basically how Pirsig defined Quality! People have no
> problem in identifying a platypus as being alive.

People have no problem in identifying a telephone either, that doesn't
mean it's a good metaphysical distinction. And I bet that if you showed
a nice screen saver to a bush man he would think that the computer was

However, I think I see your point. When I say that the level divisions
are crystal clear you might read that as if it's always objectively
clear whether a thing belongs to a level or not. That is not the
case though. If I laid my pen on my chair leaving work today, it might
remind me that I should check in some code first thing on monday. To
me, that pen is an intellectual pattern representing a reminder that
I should do a certain thing. To anybody else, it means nothing, it's
just a pen lying on my chair.

What I'm getting at is that patterns are contextual. The book Lila
is a wonderful source of intellectual patterns to humans. But to Ken's
dog it's just nice to chew on.


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

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