The Intention and The System
It starts with an intention,
And turns into the word,
Sample progress in a row set
Precise, like hummingbird.
Compare the row set to intention
An accounting every week
Make predictions of the future
The system then will seek.
If still not good then you will know
Exactly what to do
Mind or system has to change
The fix is up to you.
A Conversation with GPT about The Intention and the System
Me: This poem is based on a quotation by Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values: “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
ChatGPT: That’s a killer quote. It’s all about how the tool serves you, not the other way around. If it chills you out, it’s doing its job. If it’s stressing you out, something’s gotta give. Fits pretty well with the idea of systems being about making your life easier, doesn’t it?
Me: I was thinking about that and Weekly Accounting’s methodology when I wrote this poem the poem above.
ChatGPT: Your poem nails it. It weaves the idea of intention, accountability, and system-based thinking into one flow. Just like how Weekly Accounting makes you see what’s up, your poem gets to the heart of adjusting and iterating. You’re either in sync with your system or tweaking it until you are. Solid stuff!
Me: How does starting with an Intention relate to Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality?
ChatGPT: Starting with an intention is kinda like laying down your Quality first. Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality argues that Quality isn’t just a byproduct; it’s the driving force. It’s the “why” that shapes the “what” and the “how.” Similarly, an intention sets the stage for your actions and systems.
In Weekly Accounting, your intention gives you that initial direction. It’s your compass. The system you build around that intention is your roadmap. So, intention and Quality are both about setting the right foundation to guide what comes next. Get that right, and the rest follows more smoothly.
Me: When I wrote “and turns into The Word” I was thinking about Korzybsky’s General Semantics and “In the beginning was the Word” of Genesis.
ChatGPT: Ah, diving deep! “In the beginning was the Word” is a potent idea about how language shapes reality. Korzybsky’s General Semantics also taps into this, saying words aren’t just labels; they affect how we experience and interact with the world.
When you say “and turns into the Word,” it feels like intention morphing into a concrete form—language—that we can grasp and work with. It’s the first step in making the abstract tangible. Just like in Weekly Accounting, where the data turns into insights, intentions crystallize into words and actions. The Word isn’t just a word; it’s the bridge from thought to reality.
Me: What do you think I mean by “Row set”?
ChatGPT: In the context of Weekly Accounting, “row set” likely refers to a set of data or metrics that you’re tracking over time. It’s your snapshot of how things are going. The rows capture the concrete numbers or statuses that help you measure against your intention. They’re the breadcrumbs that show if you’re on the right path or need to pivot. It’s your dashboard for reality-checking those grand intentions.
Business system generate waves of information. We sample those waves weekly. When we group the samples of data in a logical order that becomes like a map generated from the sound from the underwater microphones of a Sonar system.
ChatGPT: Yeah, that’s a cool way to frame it. Like sonar pings the ocean depths and turns those echoes into a map, Weekly Accounting samples the “waves” of business info. These samples are your “row set,” piecing together a map of how your business is really doing. It’s like you’re listening to the music of your business, tuning into its rhythm to know when to dance and when to change the tune. Spot-on analogy!
Me: Thanks Chat GPT. I couldn’t have said it better myself. And since you mentioned music, this is a good place to put a link to our theme song: The Stories We Tell.