Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Zen and the Art of Trial Servers

As Joel promotes Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in his book list, his test server missive seams strangely to promote lack of 'Quality' as a way forward. This seems somewhat perverse to me. The article though sound in a purely objective sense seems to ignore the consumers requirement to 'Dig it'.

Mark Sutton
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

This is way off-topic, but I've never understood why people like the book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".  I read the first half of it, and it all seemed like a bunch of pseudo-profound codswallop to me.  And lest you think I'm a total philistine, I enjoyed taking philosophy classes in college.  The difference is that Plato made sense to me (well, most of the time, anyway).

J. D. Trollinger
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I am shocked to hear "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" described as Psuedo anything.

Pretention is something I seem keenly aware of and the beauty of that particular book was that the author was not overtly giving lessons in the nature of life and living. 

He gave an almost dispassionate account of his journey.  It was the simplicity and detail of his desriptions that made them so moving. 

The title itself expresses it well, "Zen Buddhism and the art motor cycle maintenance ?,  how can something as mundane and dirty as motor cycle maintenance be compared to the mystical and awesome Zen ?".  Simply. 

The 'art' of motorcycle maintenance is not in the high minded abstractions of movement and combustion but in the simple details of making sure a nut is fasted to the correct tightness, and that a rod pushed to the right depth.

The 'art' of motor cycle maintenance is an abandonment of abstraction and the acceptence of the fact that a motor cycle is number of interacting parts, any attempt at claim any higher level understanding is a deception.

This is Zen talking about life. 

I have never had any interest in auto-mechanics but while reading the book I certainly could see the beauty and 'art' in motor cycle maintenance.  It enabled me to see how people can see the same beauty in motorcycle maintenance that I see in computer programs.

(Ok Ok I know I am now being pretentions myself, cut me some slack)

Thursday, November 14, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home