Robert M. Pirsig on organizational culture and software design

Speech bubble

On organizational culture:

No-one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically devoted to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.

It’s not the “nice” guy who brings about real social change. “Nice” guys look nice because they’re conforming. It’s the “bad” guys, who only look nice a hundred years later, that are the real dynamic force in social evolution.

There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology—the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn’t any good.

Rules of Order state that … No minority has a right to block a majority from conducting the legal business of the organisation …. but … No majority has a right to prevent a minority from peacefully attempting to become the majority.

I’m not sure of much of anything these days. Maybe that’s why I talk so much.

On evolutionary software design:

We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on “good” rather than “time” and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes.

The solutions all are simple—after you have arrived at them. But they’re simple only when you know already what they are.

That’s all the motor cycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.

On big bang software design:

It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.