LS Re: Four levels of being

Magnus Berg (
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 17:48:07 +0100

Hi Donny and Squad

You wrote:
> I didn't say I gave up on them, I said I have some problems w/
> them and if it were my book I might not include them -- or not in the same
> way.
> But i don't see how you can assert that all 4 levels are present
> in everything and always have been and think that you're also in-line w/
> what pirsig wrote. In LILA he uses the word 'evolution' all the time,
> clearly implying that the levels developed in a succesive cronological
> order, and he even gives at least two exact dates (399 BCE and November
> 11, 1918). you may say pirsig is being too human-centric or
> life-chovanistic, but he seems clear that BIOpoVs are something that life
> has (or 'has life') and Soc and Int poVs are something that people have
> (or 'have people'). When he talks about IntpoVs he talks about profesors,
> achademics and intellectuals -- not rocks. And when he talks about
> SocpoVs he talks about NewYork, the Victorians and the Roman Empire -- not
> a fish.

Yes, Pirsig talks about different things as examples of typical patterns
of the levels. He only uses positive examples but he never? restrict any
level by the use of negative examples, things that aren't patterns of a
particular level. I'm not very sure about this though, it's just a general
feeling. Feel free to find some counter examples.

I agree with Bo about the exact dates.

The evolution thing... The first time a certain pattern is created, it is
always the result of DQ. DQ is the answer to the question: "How can anything
become?". DQ is what guides evolution. However, mediation is another thing
altogether. Mediation is a pattern of a higher level manipulating patterns of
a lower level for its own purposes. For example, us building computers to be
a part of our society. Computers are definitely a part of our society because
it wouldn't be our society without them, it would be a completely different

> No, I said 'alive the same way you and I' = Social entity (I
> didn't even mention IntpoVs!). My cat is alive, but not the same way we
> are. She is alive as a cat. We are alive as homo-sapians... but we are
> also alive as social entities. Before an AI could get to the Intellectual
> level it'd have to go through this stage, the social. (The same is true
> for cats.)

Tell me where you disagree in this chain of thought.

Our society is a SocPoV.
SocPoVs consists of BioPoVs.
Computers are parts of our society.
Computers are BioPoVs of our society.

> > Now suddenly, life is a BioPoV?
> Not sure how sudden that is.

It's just that in one sentence you could have said that a cell is alive and
in the next you have to specify that you mean alive 'like you and I'. Then
there's another kind of liveness of cats. You seem to be talking about a
metaphysics of life. The MoQ is about DQ/SQ, then SQ is divided into four
smaller compartments. To use a metaphysics is, to me, to use this division
to explain complicated things like life, not to add other divisions as soon
as there's a problem.

> No, I see rhythm as a synonym for pattern (and a more discriptive
> one). I think SQ = a moral rhythm; DQ = what might suddenly interupt or
> change that rhythm.>BANG!<

I agree completely about the DQ part. But if you see time as a static pattern
also there's no problem to begin with, there's no need to replace static.

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

> That doesn't answer your question at all does it?

The question was actually rhetorical but thanks for the elaboration. It was
meant to make you see that your statement:

> > > Any other time and any other place is only an abstract projection.
> > > The only time that exists is the present.

is not exactly something we live by. We're not convinced, so we prepare ourselves
for the next time we'll get hungry by buying food.

I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself here but I think you're trying to explain
something with 'rhythms' that is already explainable with the MoQ as it is.
Rhythms does not add any explanatory power, it's redundant. So is life.


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