Monday, June 15, 2009

Quality ... the name of the game

I was at a Japanese Steak House yesterday. I love good Teppanyaki. That's what they call the style of cooking and serving with the chef cooking your meal on a grill along with various performance elements like the smiley face in oil that is set on fire, or the flaming onion volcano. It is all great fun. It creates a convivial, highly social, and entertaining dining experience. In short: Quality.

Christopher Alexander discusses in his inspiring work "A Pattern Language" the idea of QWAN (the Quality Without a Name). This can be thought of, to some degree, as the Greek idea of arete which means excellence. But QWAN means more, at least to me, since it embraces the whole person and the idea of rightness and comfort zone and tranquility. When something has QWAN you know it because it is really and totally there and you're at peace with it all.

In conversation I do a schtick about the cocktail party that is going on at the gates of heaven. It's a reception where the new souls are welcomed and it is a very joyful party. You can only serve the best of the best at that party and I ask people what is being served? Whatever it is, it possesses for them QWAN.

I have a couple of candidates: 1) Horton's Raspberry Wine (don't worry, you don't have to agree. You may have your own choices.), and 2) Takara Plum Wine.

In whatever you do, you should seek always to achieve the QWAN.

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