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In a way, the entire book is about debugging, but the target is the author's thought process rather than code. While Robert Pirsig fictionalizes the story, in fact it's closely based on his own life, in which he sought understanding of values (via zen and academics) but somehow went wrong and ended up catatonic and in shock therapy. The plot is a revisit of the mind trek he was on then and a quest to see where he went wrong. Pirsig approaches this not as a psychologist, but as a reductionist philosopher/scientist, trying to identify what troubled him and caused him to fail -- a debugging of the mind.

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