There have been a parade of angry emails and comments sent my way by people upset that I support Darbi Boddy, the newest Lakota school board member, so emphatically. They say about her that she is evil, unprofessional, reckless, disruptive, and diabolically a menace to our community. And to those comments I must laugh. Evil to evil of course is evil, and I can live with that. But to the rest of the assessments, those are all values that I have which are essential to keep the Static Quality of society in its proper balance. Darbi Boddy should be hated by the static order of a corrupt orthodox, and that was always the point. And obviously, we need a lot more disruption of that condition to get a properly functioning government school, if there could ever be such a thing. But more broadly considered, this is exactly why Steve Bannon is so hated in society, and President Trump. I am quite used to this reaction because I spend most of my time dealing with it, in all aspects of life. I see great value in what disrupters to a static order provide in keeping corruption in check, but unfortunately many don’t understand why its so necessary. They enjoy what a Static Quality provides to their life and once they know the rules of that static order, they are comfortable to find their place in it. But the values I’m speaking of come from outside that order. I use a number of business techniques from well written books over the years, and I’ve incorporated my own version of my experience into my Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, to make it easier for people to bring some of these positive elements into their own process improvements. But personally, I have some special weapons that I draw on often that have been with me for many decades and one of those is the work of Robert Pirsig and his Metaphysics of Quality as outlined in two books, the first, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and the second, the sequel to the first, Lila. Understanding those books will explain why people like Darbi Boddy and Steve Bannon are necessary in the world, and why they are so hated by all static orders.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author Robert Pirsig defines what the meaning of quality is. His problem as a teacher which instigated this question and answer was why do we give kids good grades? Is it to evaluate their knowledge, or reward them for a standard correct answer, even if that answer was constructed to protect insane notions of reality. Looked at another way, when a psycho analyzer might ask a patient what an inkblot means to them, do we get a correct answer as to the condition of the mind being asked, or do they select their answer based on a socially acceptable criterion. Robert Pirsig found himself to identify most with the philosopher William James who had an IQ of 250 to 300. I too find William James books enjoyable, but like the work of Robert Pirsig, they are mostly rejected by static order society because they are out of reach for common experience, which cares very much what their peers think of them, which keeps them chained to static order thinking. Pirsig took his quality concept from Zen and further broke down the concepts into two primary categories, Static Quality and Dynamic Quality. I for my own use rename these terms Static Intellectualism and Dynamic Intellectualism because people find the word “intellectualism” more accommodating than “quality” which requires some baseline understanding of measure which many people lack. What is good quality, telling society what they want to hear, or understanding the contents of a problem and reporting it without fear of what that definition causes. Both could be true depending on the value system of the culture.
Static Intellectualism are the rules of society, and its value system. In the movie the Matrix, this is referred to as a “blue pill” existence. Its football on weekends, good restaurants to eat at. Saving up money to send your kids to college. Mowing your grass once a week. Things that society values and lives to. Dynamic Intellectualism are influences that might be called a “red pill” existence by the Matrix, they are influences outside the static order which challenge the assumptions of value. In the magnificent book Lila, Pirsig’s characters find themselves on a round the world sailboat trip. The owner of the boat picks up a crazy woman on his way down the Hudson River to pick up royalty checks in New York before heading out into the open sea for a trip around the world. The boat captain is a particular man, highly organized and methodical. But when he picks up a middle-aged woman to go with him on part of the journey, he finds her to be radically different than he is. She has a very promiscuous life, she’s very random and challenging about everything and it drives him crazy as he’s locked on a small boat with her for several days. This is where he tries to apply his Metaphysics of Quality on her and finds he must provide more detailed answers to these kinds of questions. He determines that even though the woman drives him crazy, her challenging of his static order has provided valuable insight into his own state of quality, and his life is therefor much better off. And generally, it is always determined in any culture that the relationship between corruption in a culture is its lack of Dynamic Intellectualism to test the Static Intellectualism of a culture. Because without challenges, there are also going to be elements of that society that will seek to leverage conditions to their desire to cheat the system by rigging it in their favor. Dynamic Intellectualism prevents this from happening by providing a measure that reveals corruption where it otherwise wouldn’t be seen.
When looking at an inkblot poured onto a piece of paper and folded over once, what does it mean? Well, to the progressive psychoanalysis investigator asking a patient wanting very much to get a good grade and provide a compliant answer might say that it looks like a heart and that it reminds them that the world should be full of love. That would make the institutionalist and protector of that static order very happy, and they would record the answer with great enthusiasm. But if one were to ask William James, or Robert Pirsig that same question, they would say, “it’s an inkblot folded over where the ink smeared.” To the Static Intellectualism of that culture that would be the wrong answer and that would inspire the analyzer to give the patient a bad grade, and maybe even to declare the test taker, “insane.” This is exactly what happened when the governments of the world tried to shut down our lives with Covid or told us that there was no election fraud. It was the inkblot test, and the Static Intellectualism of the current order wanted an unchallenged answer to the question, what is a threat and who decides it is. By experience, the Static Quality of something cannot measure itself. It must be challenged by Dynamic Intellectualism in order to determine its “quality.” And that is in essence the Metaphysics of Quality as defined by Robert Pirsig. A lot of people have trouble with Pirsig’s books. But they are worth reading and I can promise positive results if you do read them, even if it’s after 20 times. It is because of Dynamic Intellectualism that I value Darbi Boddy at Lakota schools. Why I value President Trump in the White House. And why people like Steve Bannon are so important to keeping checks on the media. Without Dynamic Quality, static systems quickly become corrupted and out of control. And without a measure, you can never know if something is good or not. Which is exactly why the world needs more Darbi Boddys.