What Is Quality?

Given The Knot Garden’s interest in quality, it may seem surprising that after an entire year of writing this blog, the subject has hardly been touched – the post High Quality Income being an exception. Perhaps, as 2017 draws to a close, I should set the record straight on the reasons behind this apparent neglect.

A number of years ago, in common with Robert Pirsig and countless others before me, I asked the question “What is quality?”. In order to find the answer I started writing a blog, which I maintained for a little more than three years. After publishing one hundred and seventy two posts, I suddenly stopped writing for Quality Blog in August 2015. I did so because, ironically, I failed to meet one of my quality criteria – to always publish on time by midnight on every Sunday of the year.

You might think that stopping the blog altogether on account of such an infraction was an overly drastic measure. But certain principles should be held inviolate. There was no adequate excuse for failing to meet the deadline and so the price had to be paid. After all, if we do not have principles that we are prepared to back up with action, what do we have?

Does this mean that Quality Blog cannot be resumed? No – that really would be taking things too far. But if I restart it, I must first determine its precise relationship to The Knot Garden. The goal is to build on integrity, not to erode it. The two writing projects would need to reinforce each other. And my feeling is that if I am to get Quality Blog going again, I must start on the first Sunday in the new year. I believe this is my last opportunity to resurrect the project.

Quality is a subject of such critical importance to me, and of such a wide scope, that it merits its own website. My original idea was to gain worthwhile insights into the true nature of quality by publishing one thousand posts over a period of twenty years. I see no reason to change that goal.

I am not really one for new year resolutions. Why should we delay until the beginning of January the business of improving our lives? My impatient nature implores me to go ahead and implement changes immediately rather than waiting for some arbitrary date to arrive. However, we naturally approach the new year with ideas about how we can live better lives. I am no exception to this, although I do try to look beyond fad diets towards sustainable themes.

I need to do more writing. And, while I have in mind some more ambitious projects, I feel compelled to crank up the stalled engine of Quality Blog once more. I will start in a week’s time with an explanation of why I brought it to such an abrupt halt. And I will set out my stall afresh, reiterating my reasons and my goals. I am resolved to it.

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