The quest for defining Quality, can and has led many minds down a path of questioning one’s own values.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on my own project from scratch, the catch being that it must remain low-cost because I simply don’t have the resources to go fancy. My motivation primarily comes from combining my strong interests in electronics and gardening and my desire to seek out quality solutions for relevant issues. When I care about the work I am doing, I’m more inclined to feel passionate for the work I am doing and ultimately more inclined to produce quality work. I gradually developed an automated system capable of maintaining and monitoring any garden using microcontrollers, sensors, and wireless controlled outlets.
We tend to have a false assumption that if something comes in a fancy package, it must be good and therefore, of high quality. Robert Pirsig provides his perspective of 1960’s America:
“The result is rather typical of modern technology, an overall dullness of appearance so depressing that it must be overlaid with a veneer of “style” to make it acceptable. And that, to anyone who is sensitive to romantic Quality, just makes it all the worse. Now it’s not just depressingly dull, it’s also phony. Put the two together and you get a pretty accurate basic description of modern American technology: stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized homes. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start because no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style. Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values