Fuzzy Standards: An Incomplete Exploration of Quality

I wanted to start this essay with a reasonably brief and straight-forward definition of the word “quality”. As it turns out, I couldn’t find a practical definition that I was satisfied with. It may be a peculiar trait of mine that I prefer a word’s or concept’s definition not to contain words or concepts that merely point straight back to place I started. Like some … Continue reading Fuzzy Standards: An Incomplete Exploration of Quality

Footnotes to Minimalism: A Grey and Colourless Philosophy

Let me start by asking whether you have ever gone through a period of your life when ‘minimalism’ seemed to have been not only a good idea, but something that you absolutely needed to act on as quickly and thoroughly as possible? This essay is about that type of experience – and also about some implications of the contemporary minimalism which I have had occasion … Continue reading Footnotes to Minimalism: A Grey and Colourless Philosophy

On Shadetrees

During the course of reading and considering Plato’s Phaedrus dialogue, I had occasion to reflect that the act of sitting under a shady tree, both literally and metaphorically, is a fundamental human experience that very nearly every human being has access to. This notion seems to offer an interesting place to explore what exactly all of that means. It seems like intriguing new Zensylvania territory. … Continue reading On Shadetrees

Footnotes to Phaedrus…and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good – Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? The Phaedrus dialogue doesn’t seem to be one of Plato’s most popular nor one of his most-frequently examined dialogues. Those who study Plato seem to focus far more attention on The Republic, Phaedo, Crito and The Apology of Socrates (which I have also written about … Continue reading Footnotes to Phaedrus…and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

On the interior panel of the dust jacket cover of On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence, there is a brief proclamation attributed to Robert M. Pirsig that “The ultimate goal in the pursuit of excellence is enlightenment.” This was, apparently, Pirsig’s opinion in 1962 – well before either of Pirsig’s more famous books Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or Lila, were published. On … Continue reading Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

You may have noticed that this essay (or episode if you’re listening) is titled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Part Five. It’s part of an as-yet-indeterminate series of examinations of Robert Pirsig’s books. You may wish to go back to earlier parts of the series before taking this one in, but it isn’t obligatory in any way. You may also want to listen … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

Living Fuzzy: An Incomplete Exploration of Fuzzy Logic

In the summer of 2006, my wife and I purchased a brand new Mitsubishi Outlander SUV as our new family vehicle. That particular Mitsubishi Outlander was a first generation of the nameplate and it was built in Okazaki, Japan in July of 2005; but, it was sold to me about a year later in Thunder Bay, Ontario as a 2006 model. After fifteen years of … Continue reading Living Fuzzy: An Incomplete Exploration of Fuzzy Logic

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Three)

The main skill is to keep from getting lost. Since the roads are used only by local people who know them by sight nobody complains if the junctions aren’t posted. And often they aren’t. When they are it’s usually a small sign hiding unobtrusively in the weeds and that’s all. Country road-sign makers seldom tell you twice. If you miss that sign in the weeds … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Three)

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on “good” rather than “time”….and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. –  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Chapter 1 I’d like to begin by commenting that my Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance essays are probably best appreciated by … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

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Welcome To Zensylvania

Welcome to Zensylvania. My name is Eric Adriaans and I’ll be your host, tour-guide or master of ceremonies. You decide which. In Zensylvania, I explore motorcycle zen, literature, philosophy, and a variety of other obsessions which provide me with meaningful and sometimes unexpected insights into living the kind of life I want to live and being the kind of person I want to be. I’m … Continue reading Welcome To Zensylvania