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MoQ & Mu, an email from Renselle to The Lila Squad on January 23, 1998.

The acronyms in the letter:

DQ         Dynamic Quality
GUTs     Grand Unifying Theories
HTML   Hyper Text Meta Language
IMO       In My Opinion
MoQ      Metaphysics of Quality
Mtty       Many truths to you
SOM      Subject-Object Metaphysics
SPoVs   Static Patterns of Value
TLS       The Lila Squad
ToEs     Theories of Everything
ZMM     Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In this reproduced email, Renselle's words are verbatim.

Context: In a prior email Magnus Berg said,

"...I guess I've been talking about 'the results of DQ' without really stating this. DQ, as in 'the possibility of change,' is always moral. I guess this is what Diana means with DQ. The DQ as in 'the results of DQ' is sometimes considered moral and sometimes immoral. However, the results of DQ isn't actually DQ, it is latched SPoV.

"If the DQ in your question is "the possibility of change" then I'd say mu, that is always moral..."

As usual, Magnus' words are clear, concise and understandable. Maggie picked up on Magnus' cogent perception and...

Here's the email -

Maggie and Magnus,

GUT - Grand Unifying Theory
ToE - Theory of Everything

Magnus is on to something here, IMO. Maggie you picked up on it, but
took off on a DQ tangent (If you wish to persist on that thread, say so.
:). If its OK with you, could we focus on just 'mu' a little longer?

I went back and re-read some of ZMM on 'mu' and adapted some of it for
our recent dialogues. There is a lot of my spin on this, so keep that
in mind.

On ‘mu:’

=> Mu says, "Choose a context or be quiet." Once you choose a context,
if it is too small, some questions may have to be answered, "Mu." This
paraphrases Pirsig.

=> SOM says there is one truth and chooses a single context for
everything (i.e., SOM is 'reality circumscribed by the SOM single
context'), therefore SOM must be inconsistent. SOM-think leads to GUTs
and ToEs :) which are therefore doomed to inconsistency. (Forgive the
body parts. :)

=> MoQ says there are many truths, therefore there are many contexts
each with potential for local consistency (note: NOT completeness, but

=> Many truths (are disallowed, but if) practiced in SOM produce
relativism, paradice (paradoxes), dilemmas, and much confusion. SOM
tries to eliminate these problems via grand unifying-schemata and
-ontologies, to no avail.

=> Many truths are foundational in MoQ and subsume whole chunks of SOM
philosophy (e.g., ethics, aesthetics, etc.) plus, relativism, paradice,
dilemmas, and much confusion.

=> In SOM, the question whether, e.g., Islam is true versus whether
Catholicism is true provokes opposition because each attempts to become
"the one, true, encompassing truth." The goal is one truth. This is
the SOM stuff of conflict and war. Clearly, it is innately unethical.
Pretty unaesthetic, too.

=> In MoQ the same question may be answered, "Mu." They are each
consistent within their local, conventional contexts. They are both
true and not true simultaneously. Which to choose is both certain and
uncertain depending upon your repertoire and environment. Knowing how
to behave demands ability to move from one context to another.

=> Which is true? MoQ or SOM? The answer is, "Mu." (See the
uncertainty here?)

=> Which is better? MoQ or SOM? The answer is, "MoQ." (See the
certainty here?)

=> Mu is an interrelationship. Mu is one type of Quality
interrelationship. Mu offers high reasoning utility as an MoQ
Uncertainty Interrelationship.

=> MoQ admits Mu. SOM denies Mu. Pirsig says, "The [SOM] dualistic
mind tends to think of Mu occurrences in nature as a kind of contextual
cheating, or irrelevance...It's a great mistake, a kind of dishonesty,
to sweep nature's Mu answers under the [SOM] carpet."

I think that is fairly succinct.

The quantum world, Bohr's complementarity, Heisenberg's Uncertainty
Principle, and the wave-particle duality, just like MoQ, admit Mu, IMO.


Doug Renselle.

PS - Those of you who are using the ZMM link for the online HTML text
may discover that part 3 is incomplete. Beware.

"It is not the facts but the relation of things that results in the
universal harmony that is the sole objective reality."

Robert M. Pirsig, on Poincaré's assessment of classical reality, in
'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,' p. 241, Bantam
(paperback), 28th edition, 1982.
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