In this chapter they are driving into the grassland, and getting closer to
the Dakotas. It describes the afternoon of the first day. He thinks about
how they are going to travel at least four days trought the prairies.
John was worried . . .
How you precieve a place depends stongly on how you arrived there.
Some people believe they can understand the culture of a country
through a 7-day organized trip seeing all the famous spots.
There is no easy road to acquire knowledge.
In my mind, . . .
Talks about a thing for which he has no name, that sometimes comes
when monotony and boredom are accepted. He refers to the boredom
of daily life. This made me think
about what it says in Ecclesiastes chapter 5, verse 18:
Now on the horizon . . .
Here is what I have seen to be good and beautiful: to eat, to drink
and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the
sun during the few days of his life which God has given him; for
this is his reward.
He sees a cold front coming from the southwest, bringing a lot of
rain. This makes him remind another trip, a few years ago to
Canada where they were caught in a warm front.
We were on a little six-and-one-half-horsepower cycle, . . .
He recount the story of how they got in this terrible rain storm,
when their engine stopped, thinking it had broke down, going home
only to find out he had run out of petrol.
All of a sudden . . .
He had wrongly assumed that the rain had caused the engine failure,
so he never had checked whether he had ran out of gas. He had heared
some gas, but this was in the reserve tank which he had never
Over the years I have noticed that the biggest trap in debugging
programs are assumptions you make about what might cause the bug.
Programming is an good way to learn not to make any assumptions
while solving bugs. In this sense programming is an excellent
method to excercise logical thinking.
John passes him to tell that they missed a turn. They decided to
continue, and the writer realises he forgot to tell them about
the up-coming storm. He also noticed that it is coming in slower
than he thought.
I remove a glove . . .
He tells the story of the ``seizures'' of the machine they are riding
on. Then he brought it to a repair-shop, but they failed to repair it,
but only made things worse. Only much later he found the cause of the
problem: a sheared pin. From this experience he noticed that even the
technologists themselves seem not to care about technology.
The question why comes . . .
Not only did these mechanics not find that sheared pin, but it was
clearly a mechanic who had sheared it in the first place, by assembling
the side cover plate improperly. . . .
While at work . . .
Here Pirsig comes to his final conclusion, namely, that many people
do not care about technology. They do not show any personal involvement
in technology. I wonder whether the issue is that simple. Personally,
I think that to realy enjoy technology (and thus care about it), you
need to have a certain personality trait, which not everybody has.
I would not directly say that it is a matter of intelligence.
I know that I myself always have liked to watch how construction work
is done. Not so long ago, on our trip to China, I have spend several
hours watching how a road was constructed.
The true technologists are usually more interested in things than
in people. For this reason, they will not find them often in
leadership positions, and they are also under represented in the