## Thursday, May 8, 2008

### quality and art 2: hype, fiction, pirsig & page rank continued

(ok where was i. my problem with a blog like this one is that i cannot begin to write as fast as what my thoughts should like for speed, and also i cannot write for any spells due to rsi. so i have to cut it up in pieces, but then the train of thought becomes one of those public transportation misadventures...)

so if i cannot determine quality (even restricted to art) consistently even for myself, how should i be able to communicate to others what i mean by it? does it even have some sort of meaning or ... are we all just fooling ourselves and each other? is quality just fiction? [just justifying the mystifying title of these blogposts explicitly]

i can however look at the mechanisms which cause some science, art, music, cars, bridges, food,... to be given the predicate quality' by ... experts' - and from the experts the general public soon follows / or by the general public - and from the general public the experts' soon follow...

in the end what it boils down to, in my not so humble opinion (imnsho), is that we humans have not got a better objective' concept of quality than what i would call generalized page rank. consider each human to be like a web page, having some page rank. consider some humans to be expert, these get a high generalized page rank (gpr). then see what kind of buzz (=gpr) a certain subject (for instance an art work, or an artist) generates to determine its `objective' quality.

[i apologize to those readers who do not know how google calculates page rank, but the web overflows with info on this]

obviously, there are many snags behind this way of determining quality. it yet is the current practice in almost all disciplines i know of. one obvious snag is that this gpr-business leads to hypes: things that create a buzz because they create a buzz because everyone is busy buzzing about it...until the hype moves on and people wonder: why was anybody ever truly interested in this for longer than five days?

and this is where i believe pirsigs approach is valuable, on the personal level. because if i drop the prerequisite that i should be able to communicate objectively what quality is, then i can explore quality on the personal, probably non-verbal level.

as an artist, i feel this is what i should do - disregarding gpr- mechanisms and especially hype-like buzzing. to be continued.