Tuesday, May 09, 2017

What is Quality?

"Quality . . . you know what it is, yet you don't know what it is. But that's self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There's nothing to talk about. But if you can't say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn't exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist."

- Robert M. Pirsig, 'Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,' 1974.
  Mr. Pirsig died in April of 2017, age 88.  Obituary


  1. Soon as I read your Title in my feed, I immediately thought of Pirsig!

  2. I drove a motorcycle to work for 10 years. However, my five cross country adventures were done in a Volkswagen bug. Mr. Piersig's two books did explore our relationship with technology, quality in our work and culture, zen and the arts. I reflect on the quality of Chado artifacts and ritual, or Ikebana or Bonsai.

  3. After 40 years of selling and 20 years of Tao, I am beginning to realize that "quality" is defined by the individual in terms of his reality. Thus, "quality" and "value" are characteristics that do not have a universal definition. A "quality" qigong session for a beginner is not the same as a "quality" qigong session for a seasoned practioner (in all aspects of the performance). Make sense?