Sunday, April 04, 2010


What is Quality, How is it Quality and Why?

Today I find myself inspired by the day that it is and also by some things I’ve come to read as of late that further have served to have brought together my thoughts of what currently separates those that attempt to primarily have answered the questions of the how and what, in respect to those concerned only with the why. It all came about when one of the authors of my favourite blog wrote some pieces as to explore how it is that science might be measured to be improved through the refinement of its method (s) and also what might even exceed them. It was realized by many in the end that what this comes down to is to be found in the understanding and the recognition of what quality is, as to how it can be recognized and then be so assured.

So not being a scientist or a philospher by way of vocation I can only offer opinion from the perspective I’m most familiar and that being resultantly involved in the manufacturing industry. Here I would make note that both in industry itself and more so in the public’s general perception that quality control and quality assurance are often confused as being one in the same. That being quality control is something that can be given metrics (ways of measuring), as in the end be able to only know what the instance of failure should be, relative to the degree of inspection and the technical method(s) of assembly used.

However, quality assurance in the end can only be accomplished by all those involved in the process, as relating to how much they care about the quality of what they produce, as to having it only to be assured by them; rather than by anything before or after applied to measure success or failure. Now it’s true caring can be at times be encouraged by means of positive or negative motivation, yet unless one considers people being the same as donkeys, as only responding to the carrot and stick, who other then the individuals themselves can have quality assured. So my more general thoughts rest in how to increase the quality of individuals being more fundamental then considering how to measure the quality of what it is we would like them to do or produce.

In understanding this I’m brought to consider how religion or more generally philosophy is considered in such respect, with this being the day that many of a particular one is observing perhaps its most important. That is to question whether it be considered as a methodology of quality control or rather that of quality assurance? One could say for example that the Ten Commandments are metrics of quality control within the philosophy and yet only with the understanding and practice of the golden rule (central to this and many philosophies) can quality be assurred. Then we can look around as to discover who are those that find it simply enough to be able to measure and be measured by the metrics applied to what’s considered as being good as opposed to who and how many understand what’s truly required to have recognized when quality resides and why; not just in others, yet more importantly in themselves. So what I’m suggesting is there is a link between motivators of passion and those of compassion and that it is only when they can coexist that quality can be assured or even have it recognized.

So to conclude I would argue that whether it be science or philosophy, that the quality of each can only be realized as to be assured by in first finding reason to care, which begins in understanding as to find true two things first given attention by Socrates having one as “to know thyself” and the other to understand “the unexamined life is not worth living”, which if reasonably considered inescapably leads one to the golden rule. The question of course that stiil stands to be answered being, are we by our very nature creatures of reason or not.

“The difference between a good mechanic and a bad one, like the difference between a good mathematician and a bad one, is precisely this ability to select the good facts from the bad ones on the basis of quality. He has to care! This is an ability about which normal traditional scientific method has nothing to say. It's long pasttime to take a closer look at this qualitative preselection of facts which has seemed so scrupulously ignored by those who make so much of these facts after they are "observed." I think that it will be found that a formal acknowledgment of the role of Quality in the scientific process doesn't destroy the empirical vision at all. It expands it, strengthens it and brings it far closer to actual scientific practice.”

-Robert M. Pirsig- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - page 253

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