Silicon, Circuits, and the Digital Revolution

Some Thoughts on Grading

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. What else are the grades based on? Why else would people pay fortunes for some things and throw others in the trash pile? Obviously some things are better than others . . . but what's the "betterness"? . . . So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell is Quality? What is it?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert M. Pirsig


SCEN103 Comments, suggestions, or requests to ghw@udel.edu.
"http://www.physics.udel.edu/~watson/scen103/colloq2000/grading.html"
Last updated Feb. 7, 2000.