Author Topic: Zen and the art of ....  (Read 569 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kerry

  • Mesozoic relic
  • Seagull
  • Posts: 11653
  • class keyThumper<T>:ILazy<T>
Zen and the art of ....
« on: November 05, 2015, 07:54:42 pm »
From  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/zen-motorcycle.pdf

Quote from: Robert M. Pirsig Page 48
Solution of problems too complicated for common sense to solve is achieved by long strings of mixed inductive and deductive
inferences that weave back and forth between the observed machine and the mental hierarchy of the machine found in the manuals. The
correct program for this interweaving is formalized as scientific method.

Actually I’ve never seen a cycle-maintenance problem complex enough really to require full-scale formal scientific method. Repair
problems are not that hard. When I think of formal scientific method an image sometimes comes to mind of an enormous juggernaut, a
huge bulldozer...slow, tedious lumbering, laborious, but invincible. It takes twice as long, five times as long, maybe a dozen times as
long as informal mechanic’s techniques, but you know in the end you’re going to get it. There’s no fault isolation problem in
motorcycle maintenance that can stand up to it. When you’ve hit a really tough one, tried everything, racked your brain and nothing
works, and you know that this time Nature has really decided to be difficult, you say, "Okay, Nature, that’s the end of the nice guy,"
and you crank up the formal scientific method.

For this you keep a lab notebook. Everything gets written down, formally, so that you know at all times where you are, where you’ve
been, where you’re going and where you want to get. In scientific work and electronics technology this is necessary because otherwise
the problems get so complex you get lost in them and confused and forget what you know and what you don’t know and have to give
up. In cycle maintenance things are not that involved, but when confusion starts it’s a good idea to hold it down by making everything
formal and exact.

Sometimes just the act of writing down the problems straightens out your head as to what they really are.
The logical statements entered into the notebook are broken down into six categories:
 (1) statement of the problem,
 (2) hypotheses as to the cause of the problem,
 (3) experiments designed to test each hypothesis,
 (4) predicted results of the experiments,
 (5) observed results of the experiments and
 (6) conclusions from the results of the experiments.

This is not different from the formal arrangement of many college and high-school lab notebooks but the purpose here is no longer just busywork.
The purpose now is precise guidance of thoughts that will fail if they are not accurate.

Perfection is not optional.
Everything will work just as you expect it to, unless your expectations are incorrect.
Discipline: None at all.

--> Donate to theSwamp<--

CADbloke

  • Bull Frog
  • Posts: 281
  • Crash Test Dummy
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 06:52:09 am »
Yah, that's quite a book, quite a trip.

Quote
The mythos-over-logos argument points to the fact that each child is born as ignorant as any caveman. What keeps the world from reverting to the Neanderthal with each generation is the continuing, ongoing mythos, transformed into logos but still mythos, the huge body of common knowledge that unites our minds as cells are united in the body of man. To feel that one is not so united, that one can accept or discard this mythos as one pleases, is not to understand what the mythos is.

There is only one kind of person, Phædrus said, who accepts or rejects the mythos in which he lives. And the definition of that person, when he has rejected the mythos, Phædrus said, is "insane." To go outside the mythos is to become insane.

He wrote a "sequel" called "Lila".

MickD

  • Gator
  • Posts: 2970
  • I don't need a job, I need Money!!
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 07:35:00 pm »
I'm just reading this now after picking it up a few times over the years and put it down as I don't like reading books like this as pdf's or web pages etc.
I still wanted to read it so I finally bought the analog version and I'm most of the way through and it's a great read!

I've studied a few of the topics mentioned throughout the book and it's great to have them all together in one place as a refresher and to deepen my understanding given the authors take on them.

One of the best takeaways is the discussion on Quality. My take so far is that Quality is not the finished product (although we just 'know' quality when we see it) but in the actual doing of the tasks to produce the object. Yes, quality is in the result but without putting it in during the process of creating it won't appear.

You can argue that it's machines that make quality products these days, yes they do but if the Quality wasn't there during the design and building of these machines the output would be inferior.

As an example, the Japanese made great motorcycles that almost wiped out the British and American bikes of the time but it wasn't that they were better bikes (they weren't in many ways) but with their understanding of Quality (Zen/Awareness/Focus?) they took existing principles and built production lines that made them better.
American bikes and cars of the time (and today) no doubt had Quality in design and performance but it was in the manufacturing where they lacked this Qualtiy.

Programming is no different...:)
"A language that doesn’t have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do."

        — Dennis M. Ritchie

kdub

  • SuperMod
  • Swamp Rat
  • Posts: 994
  • class keyThumper<T>:ILazy<T>
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 08:17:04 pm »
To paraphrase Mr. Miyagi  in The Karate Kid
 
when the kid says that he's worried about the tournament:
 
“Daniel-san, trust quality of what you know, not quantity.”

Related to knowledge;
I think it's not necessary to know everything, just to know what is important, and know it very well.

Your post makes me want to read the book again Mick ... unfortunately all my books are boxed up and on a boat to New Zealand, so I'll forgo that pleasure for a month or so.


called Kerry in my other life

Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.

MickD

  • Gator
  • Posts: 2970
  • I don't need a job, I need Money!!
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 08:41:09 pm »
...

Your post makes me want to read the book again Mick ... unfortunately all my books are boxed up and on a boat to New Zealand, so I'll forgo that pleasure for a month or so.

Jumping ship Kerry?
Can't say I blame you :D Will be a bit cooler though!
"A language that doesn’t have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do."

        — Dennis M. Ritchie

kdub

  • SuperMod
  • Swamp Rat
  • Posts: 994
  • class keyThumper<T>:ILazy<T>
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 08:53:06 pm »
Going over to help look after Lorraine's folks.

Colder ; Yes. I've been researching thermal underwear. All my time in Queensland has ruined me for anything under about 7 Deg C .. weird since I lived in Orange for a while and it does get a little colder out there :)  admittedly I was about 24 at the time and my blood is a bit different now.

Moving to Pukekohe, south of Auckland ... wonderful country. Looking forward to growing veggies in some decent soil :)


called Kerry in my other life

Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.

MickD

  • Gator
  • Posts: 2970
  • I don't need a job, I need Money!!
Re: Zen and the art of ....
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 09:11:14 pm »
Cool, not too far south then :)
"A language that doesn’t have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do."

        — Dennis M. Ritchie