Zen and the Art of Copying

How un-zen is copying somebody else’s zen? Today I got an email invite to download a white paper titled "Zen and the Art of Disaster Recovery." What? Oh, it’s just a joke. I think. Here’s more:

What’s Zen got to do with Disaster Recovery? Actual Zen Masters probably don’t have the answer to that, but there are eight steps to data enlightenment that will help you shrink the burdens and costs of disaster recovery, and increase the accessibility, integrity and security of your data. Now that’s peace of mind.

Is it just me, or is enough just plain enough with this. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig, is a milestone book, first published way back in 1974 (with several new editions since). I’m sorry, I think Zen in general, and this book in particular deserve more respect than cute titles. We’ve established now that you can name anything "Zen and the art of …" I did the Amazon.com search and came up with the art of happiness, the art of archery, and, my personal favorite (which doesn’t mean I’ve read it), Zen and the Art of Faking It.

And I have to admit, I’m influenced, in this complaining post, by having spent several years now trying to figure out how to integrate Zen and business planning. Zen seems like the opposite of planning. Lately, however, having put a lot of thought to it, I think I’ve come up with the integration.  But that’s for a different post. 

And I have a rant coming on the art of copying. Also for a different post, but, jeez, copying isn’t art. How do people who copy other people’s stuff find a way to feel proud of themselves? Books, movies, television shows, and — here’s where I’ve spent a lot of time — software products. There can be Zen to a lot of things, but there’s no art to copying.

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