Opening Song: Pulp fiction Title track.
Opening Mood: Cool. Infact hangover from ZATAOMM.

The past few days of my life have revolved around only two things.
Locks ( all sorts of them ) and ZATAOMM. I wanted latter to be more of a way to relax so that I wouldn’t dream of the kernel-code.

But, it proved to be much more than that. It was as if you are groping for something in the dark and you find something, which you just keep for the sake that you have found it. But later when you shed light on that find of yours, you realize what wonderful a thing you’ve found.

ZATAOMM is *the* Elixer which has to be sipped slowly inorder to savour it. Gulping it down in one shot might leave you with a dizzy feeling.

Anyway, this post is about Quality. The subject that we’ve been discussing all through our seventh and eight semesters through Software Engineering and Software Quality Assurance. I wish I had read this book back then.

The excerpt below echoes most of my ideas, only that it presents these ideas in a manner that’s way more enjoyable.
So without much ado, I present before thee Phaedrus and his discovery of the qualities of Quality.

The world now, according to Phædrus, was composed of three things: mind, matter, and Quality. The fact that he had established no relationship between them didn’t bother him at first. If the relationship between mind and matter had been fought over for centuries and wasn’t yet resolved, why should he, in a matter of a few weeks, come up with something conclusive about Quality? So he let it go. He put it up on a kind of mental shelf where he put all kinds of questions he had no immediate answers for. He knew the metaphysical trinity of subject, object and Quality would sooner or later have to be interrelated but he was in no hurry about it. It was just so satisfying to be beyond the danger of those horns that he relaxed and enjoyed it as long as he could.

Eventually, however, he examined it more closely. Although there’s no logical objection to a metaphysical trinity, a three-headed reality, such trinities are not common or popular. The metaphysician normally seeks either a monism, such as God, which explains the nature of the world as a manifestation of one single thing, or he seeks a dualism, such as mind-matter, which explains it as two things, or he leaves it as a pluralism, which explains it as a manifestation of an indefinite number of things. But three is an awkward number. Right away you want to know, Why three? What’s the relationship among them? And as the need for relaxation diminished Phædrus became curious about this relationship too.

He noted that although normally you associate Quality with objects, feelings of Quality sometimes occur without any object at all. This is what led him at first to think that maybe Quality is all subjective. But subjective pleasure wasn’t what he meant by Quality either. Quality decreases subjectivity. Quality takes you out of yourself, makes you aware of the world around you. Quality is opposed to subjectivity.

I don’t know how much thought passed before he arrived at this, but eventually he saw that Quality couldn’t be independently related with either the subject or the object but could be found only in the relationship of the two with each other. It is the point at which subject and object meet.

That sounded warm.

Quality is not a thing. It is an event.


It is the event at which the subject becomes aware of the object.

And because without objects there can be no subject…because the objects create the subject’s awareness of himself…Quality is the event at which awareness of both subjects and objects is made possible.


Now he knew it was coming.

This means Quality is not just the result of a collision between subject and object. The very existence of subject and object themselves is deduced from the Quality event. The Quality event is the cause of the subjects and objects, which are then mistakenly presumed to be the cause of the Quality!

Now he had that whole damned evil dilemma by the throat. The dilemma all the time had this unseen vile presumption in it, for which there was no logical justification. that Quality was the effect of subjects and objects. It was not! He brought out his knife.

Those of you who are interested to read more, there’s an online version of the book which can be found here.

I am only half way through the book by the way!

Closing Mood: Calm.
Closing Song: IRIS ( Movie OST of City Of Angels).


About gautshen

A jack of many trades of which , Linux Kernel Programming puts food on the table. Also pursuing his PhD in the area Theoretical Computer Science at the Chennai Mathematical Institute. Is an avid reader interested in the Hindu traditions and philosophy. Loves Bicycling and Good Music. Name is Ranjal Gautham Shenoy.
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5 Responses to Quality

  1. Geniass says:

    LOL… Software Engineering and SQA seem like a zillion years ago man… Miss those days already… The “GD’s” with CR and you fighting it out, Sathya with his smartass comments… Good times. And do me a favour and finish the damn book, how long have you been at it, a year?

  2. Kripal Pais says:

    Nice. Like u said, one need to savour it closely. i read it in a hurry the first day u posted it. sounded all wierd and convoluted. Now that i read it again, makes me wanna scream “FINISH THE GOD DAMN BOOK AND GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!!!!!!” 😉

  3. sathya says:

    where are the new posts?

  4. randomwalker says:

    @geniassThose were definitely good times! Finished the damn book and it’s god-damn awesome. He should have been awarded the PhD in philosophy just for writing the book. It’s no less than a complete thesis.@kripalCome over to blore and collect it. But I suggest buy a copy for yourself, it’s totally worth it. @sathyaMachhi,I was busy for the past few days with resource management, power management and lock management. Also trips to college. Have stuff to post. Will do that soon.

  5. Jayanth Madhav Barki says:

    I l-o-o-o-v-e Iris. Both the song and the movie. Will write a detailed comment later.

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