virus: quality

Eric Boyd (
Mon, 17 May 1999 19:31:34 -0400


Wade T.Smith <> writes: <<
>>One creates demand by providing quality.

Pretty much a maxim already. Or is demand an achievement of quality? And
what _is_ quality?

What is quality? (uh oh... I'll probably lose half my audience in the next sentence) My theory is that quality is a measure of the "goodness of fit" between a problem and a proposed solution. For instance, the quality of an essay is dependent on how well the essay answers the question it (supposedly) addresses. The quality of a television is dependent on how well it performs (proposed solution) the tasks required of it (the problem) -- and since these tasks can vary, the same 12" television may be of low quality for one gal in one place (who needs a large screen in her entertainment room), but of high quality for another guy in a different place (who wants a little TV in his bedroom).

I admit that this theory is a bit 'rough and ready', but that is almost to be expected -- quality is a *fundamental* aspect of our interaction with reality, so anything less /basic/ would fail to capture it's essence. (see: Persig, Robert M. _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence_, 1974)

What can we provide that is of high quality here?

That depends on what you view the "problem" of Virus as. I think that a high quality post to virus is defined by

(1) the clarity with which it's ideas are expressed (2) the truth or usefulness of it's message to Virians.

You're free to hold up a different standard for measure; in which case your assessment of quality will differ from mine.

I spent about two hundred hours ranking the virus achives according to a similar (but more broad and less explicit) criteria -- I would like to think that there is general agreement that such a standard defines "quality"