Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Yesterday I’ve finished reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsing. It’s and old philosophical book about life and work.

Author is trying to answer on the questions how to life without screwing yourself up and how to perform your job correct. Correct not in the sense “to satisfy your boss”, but objectively, philosophically “correct”. He’s trying to create his own system of values, based on so called “Quality” and describe the world on the basis of these values.

Normally I don’t enjoy such books much, but this one was written by a technical man to a technical readers. Except for the last 10%, where he’s comparing his values to rhetoric and dialectic, I was able to follow his line of thoughts without any problems. The books is talking a log about interaction of modern technology and man. Even though it was written in 1974, long before information age and the Internet, nothing changed much. The problems with the man-machine interactions are basically the same. And the solutions, the author is giving, may even work today.

Fortunately it’s not a motivation book or psychological manual, it doesn’t have “10 steps to improve your life” and the end. The book is asking you to think and may be, if you feel like it, to change something in your life.

There is actually surprisingly little in the book about motorcycles or zen, which is also good. Both subjects could be quite boring.

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