Talk:Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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"Sources needed"[edit]

There's nothing worse than some asshole who tags an article, then gives no explanation as to why. By all means apply a tag, but have the decency to explain what is bothering you. Otherwise it's little more than wandalism. VOXHUMANA 05:22, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

There are no external links. I thought why a "sources needed" template was put up would have been pretty self-explanatory. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 01:01, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

All of the things you tagged as needing a "fact" tag were snarky. Since when does snark need external referencing? VOXHUMANA 01:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

As far as the rest of it, the synopsis is largely based on my own reading, although I'll note that my synopsis is basically identical to the the one at Wikipedia. As far as it being associated with the New Age movement, it is referred to as such in our own Human_Potential_Movement article. I drew more emphasis to Pirsig's definition of "the irrational" than the WP article does, because most new-agers tend to interpret "irrational" as something mystical and woo-ish, whereas Pirsig simply meant "creativity", "unstructured decision making" and similar things. I think that distinction is important from an RW view of the world. Are there any actual issues with the content of this article apart from the lack of sources? VOXHUMANA 01:38, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
A lot of it is bold-faced assertions, including stating that it's popular/unpopular with certain people. It's worth at least being specific about who says this sort of thing. There is literally nothing linking out of this article to provide external references and further reading. Nothing. This is not a Good Thing, snarky or otherwise. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 01:47, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Really? I'll note that the article on Australia is also loaded with bold-faced assertions about "What people think" and contains only one external link (to a "slacktivist" blog). So this article isn't exactly out of keeping with the general RW ethos. There is extremely little to link to, other than the Wikipedia article - it's not like there are millions of websites providing objective analysis about this book from the 1970s... that's kind of why RW exists, to separate the woo from the rational.
As far as who thinks those things - *I* think those things. However if you disagree with me on any of my points, then by all means, let's discuss them. VOXHUMANA 01:59, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry I don't personally monitor each and every single fucking one of our 4000+ articles simultaneously at all times of the day with constant talk page updates for a lack of citations. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 02:01, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Well there is extremely little to link to out there - it's not like this book is a "current hot topic" with loads of web debate. Even the WP article is very thin on references. So I wrote the best article I could, drawing on my own knowledge of the book and the circumstances around it. If you have a problem with any of the content from a RW perpective, I am more than happy to discuss it. But I can't fabricate refs that aren't there. The alternative is we trash the article. VOXHUMANA 02:28, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The article on Australia is not the gold standard for articles here. Come on, man, you know better than that. You are a veteran Wikipedian. The article has no citations. Not a ref tag to be seen. Unfounded claims are made on RationalWiki but they aren't appreciated. Maybe you can go back to the book, and include some citations from it.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:02, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

I've now removed everything I was unable to reference. Which was most of it. VOXHUMANA 02:36, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Be creative. For example, This book makes X claim, (MLA citation of book here) which is untrue (other source, not specifically contradicting the book, but still relevant to the question). If all else fails, you can always rely on those douchy cynical new atheist philosophers like Daniel Denett to poke at the subject matter.--"Shut up, Brx." 03:34, 8 October 2012 (UTC)


Chance of being made to fit the mission is slim leaning strongly to nil. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:45, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

It seems like the closest the article comes to missional is when talking about the author and statements he made about his sons... I'm inclined to agree with you. - GrantC (talk) 00:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
It's just a summary anyway. No clear mission relevance. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:52, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Fucking read the book you ignorant peasants. The entire book is about rationailty and Greek philosophy. VOXHUMANA 12:48, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Why it belongs: we have a Logic portal - and the majority of this book analyses Aristolian philosophy. HOW the fuck is that off-mission? Could the article be improved? Sure, it was once much longer but some dickwad wanted everything referenced, and that is hard to do for literature (as valid refs are hard to find online). VOXHUMANA 12:56, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I've been thinking for a while that should have room for book reviews. Perhaps a portal, uniting essays, articles and user reviews in one category? SophieWilderModerator 13:14, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
A good idea - there are a great number of fascinating books that address the topic of rationality. I don't agree with much of this book, but it got me thinking so that made it worthwhile. As per my earlier comments - applying the same standards to books as to factual matters makes reviews almost impossible, as there are very few online refs. I wrote a book review for this one (on my userpage). VOXHUMANA 13:20, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Vox, do you think you could maybe make your case without being so insulting? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:21, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Weaseloid - in my two years here you have consistently been rude and insulting to me, and you have belittled every comment or suggestion I have ever made. So no, you are not a person I feel overly inclined to be civil to in any way. I generally maintain high levels of civility otherwise. VOXHUMANA 13:25, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I've no idea what that's about but I've had nothing to do with this page at all & you seem to be firing off insults in a lot of directions here. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:31, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
If Grant or Sprocket take any offence, I'll gladly retract and apologise. However YOU can go fuck yourself. I have limited time to visit RW, and when I am here I like to do useful things, not deal with pathetic, bitchy timewasters such as yourself. VOXHUMANA 13:37, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Okay then. Have a nice day. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:38, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

"The entire book is about rationailty and Greek philosophy." But does it really address said topics in a way that makes it on-mission? There are shelves full of texts about rationality and Greek philosophy; we wouldn't have articles on all, or many, of them. Vox, without calling people "ignorant peasants" because they have not read all of the same books as you, can you make an argument as to why THIS book? TeenageWasteland (talk) 14:45, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

No worries, Vox, I haven't got a hair across my ass about what you've said— that is, for one reason or another I harbor enough good will in your general direction that outbursts such as "ignorant peasant" don't ruffle my feathers. Truth be told, I strive more for the "simpleton" or "ne'er-do-well" persona, without so much of the "sturdy son of the soil" that "peasant" implies, but never mind.
I did read the book in the middle seventies, and perhaps once again since then. What I took away from it was less about Greek philosophy and more about Pirsig's "classical vs. romantic" world views and how they lead to different people interacting with what we may presume to be the same world— and a snippet about limitations fostering creativity (e.g. "write an essay about a single brick in that building over there.") The whole business about "quality" left me puzzled. In cases like that I never know if it's me being dim, or the author failing to expose things clearly. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:25, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I also take no offence. I do not have the experience with you that Sprocket has, but I'm also not generally offended by insults. That said, I'm in agreement with Sophie that a portal for book reviews would be a good idea. I can't remember whether my comment on this article was posted before or after Sophie mentioned that suggestion in the first place. As to whether this article used to be more fleshed-out, I can't say anything on that, as I generally base my comments on what the article is now, as opposed to what it may have been a while back. If there's concern that you can't really reference literature (I agree; much of it is subjective, after all), and this article is mostly not missional in its current state because of that situation, then I think this is even better support for having a book review portal. - Grant (Talk) 16:01, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Grant - couldn't agree more. Sprocket - nice to see you again you sophisticated, knowledgeable peasant. :) VOXHUMANA 21:39, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Highly missional article[edit]

But it lacks sources, since 2012! This is a problem. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:42, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

"rhetoric" concept?[edit]

I have not read the book since a long time ago but I remember the main character was teaching a course in Rhetoric and he used the concept of Quality in the process of judging student papers, where the students found they usually agreed on the quality of a student paper. (Also, he called himself Phaedrus, the Wolf).

I remember it was important for the main character's philosophy to argue against Aristotle's division of thought into Truth and Beauty I think it was? Quality was the synthesis. (I think in psychosis his mind gets so taken by the idea that he can't live normally any more.)— Unsigned, by: Thinkadoodle / talk / contribs