Technology 3

They have taken the art out of technology now. It seems to me that part of Pirsig is consigned to history. I’d love to be wrong. They want to take humans out of the equation. You buy a car. They have maintenance. Japanese guys or whoever sit in offices and work out what needs to be done when. You have your maintenance book, you have the showrooms, you have mechanics who are trained as the office guys tell them to be, they have a schedule, 30,000 km change this, loop this, jump this, hop on this, squirt this - no art. On one level it works for me but I would love to have the art of the bush mechanics. Those were the guys. I first drove a car when I was 43, before that drink had led me to cycling. You couldn’t cycle in Africa it was so big and wonderful. A girlfriend had found me and mugged me into buying an old banger – I had no money. She needed a car for her mo-kweri-kweri, the old man she couldn’t make her mind up as to whether she could live off him. Mo is a prefix that means people in Setswana, the language of the Tswana people, and kweri-kweri means the tribe that moves on. White people are the tribe of people who live in Botswana and then move on. I loved it, and resented it. I was mo-kweri-kweri in the school I taught, and I taught in that school for just over 6 years. By that time maybe only 10 staff hadn’t moved on. I lived in Francistown for 6 years before I moved on, and Francistown probably hasn’t changed much either.

I have just saved this as “Pirsig Platform”, much more comfortable with that as a title.

These bush mechanics have probably disappeared – maybe not. Loved them. They were all over. They pulled things apart, found the part that didn’t work, called you in because they had no capital to afford this part, and the old banger was fixed. At least for a while. This was not Pirsig’s art but it was more like it than the antiseptic showrooms with their shallow facades. Here’s a facade. My place has beauties – suais – who sell the cars, a common approach in Thailand. It doesn’t matter what is being sold, a suai sells it. Does that matter in sales? Perhaps not but it brings with it the problems of women and image. I have never subscribed to all that that implies because when western women are demanding that beauty excludes women who are overweight they are forgetting that there is a natural body weight - exceeding that natural weight can bring with it health problems especially when older.

I much prefer the bush guy but I used to sit around his place for hours, mind you I sit in the showroom for hours.

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