The objective quadrant, like the other quadrants, is divided into slots according to the model outlined in this Venn diagram. The inorganic slot is the "ideal", "minimalistic" or "essential" manifestation of inorganic quality. It contains patterns whose essence, at least within their context, is inorganic and nothing else. These patterns are characterized by having an equal amount of romantic and classical quality. In this context, however, I would prefer to use the concepts of actual and romantic quality. The inorganic slot contains physical objects that are apparent to the senses and that have no qualities that would place them to another slot. As such, defining them any further would make little sense. Instead, it would make more sense to define the other slots in order to implicate what kind of patterns do not belong to the inorganic slot but to some other slot.
- Also known as NEED
The sustaining slot contains patterns that have two units of potential quality and one unit of actual quality. These include physical objects that have nutritional value. That is, food. Food has the potential to be biological both because it used to be biological and because, upon consumption, it will largely become biological in the sense of materially forming a biological organism. However, most human food isn't inherently biological in the sense of being alive upon consumption. Sustaining patterns also include warm clothing, air and such.
- Also known as TOOL
The infrastructural slot contains patterns that have three units of potential quality and one unit of actual quality. These patterns are inorganic but maintain the infrastructure of a society. They include public transport, the power grid, the sewage system and such. Unlike sustenance patterns, their value doesn't manifest in their consumption. Infrastructural patterns aren't consumed but maintained.
- Also known as HOW?
The media slot contains inorganic patterns that can be used for storing or communicating intellectual patterns. It includes hard disks, parchment, pens, computers, video tapes and such. These have four units of potential quality and one unit of actual quality. Paper and ink do not "own" or "contain" the intellectual patterns that can be conveyed via them any more than a sausage owns someone who eats it, but they are necessary for the survival of the intellectual pattern.
- Also known as FEAR
The weak slot contains patterns that have two units of actual quality but only one unit of potential quality. These patterns are actually biological but potentially only inorganic. This means that the patterns indicate a potential for biological failure. Such patterns include illnesses, starvation, dehydration and injuries. They are something that at least theoretically threaten biological patterns. Said biological patterns are essentially biological, not essentially social or intellectual. This means weak patterns represent the notion of ultimate badness for most animals which, unlike humans, are not considered capable of producing anything of social or intellectual value. At least that's how Pirsig sees it - I find it possible that some of the more intelligent animals are capable of processing social patterns.
The biological slot contains life in general, with the actuality and potentiality of life, no more, no less. Plants, micro-organisms and unintelligent, undomesticated animals belong to this slot but the slot also includes anything biological that's not necessary for sustenance but might provide some unspecific advantage over those who merely sustain their life. For example, sensual pleasures aren't necessary for sustenance in the immediate sense but are desirable, and the happiness they cause might bestow an evolutionary advantage even if it's transient or uncouth.
- Also known as BELONG
The working slot contains biological patterns that have a potential for performing a socially useful function. It includes domesticated animals that are capable of working, such as horses or dogs, but also humans in any context in which their work, for some reason, has no potential for producing intellectual value. Although it's civil and proper to expect all humans to be theoretically capable of intellectual achievement some humans have a greater chance of actually doing so.
Soldiers, for example, have been conditioned in their training to not think autonomously but to simply obey orders. Therefore soldiers are less likely to produce intellectual patterns than scientists. Waging war may of course be subject to intellectual inquiry but a part of that activity is that soldiers die - therefore the soldier isn't the one expected to produce this inquiry. Of course there are exceptions such as Clausewicz. In any case many people themselves believe that they're incapable of producing intellectual patterns. They may still be capable of working. Working patterns include plumbing, truck driving, farming and other activities that sustain society, most of which are typically already associated with the word "work". But it doesn't include the types of work that are inherently social, such as management or psychotherapy, or inherently intellectual such as scientific work.
- Also known as SHOULD
The cognitive slot contains biological patterns that have a potential for creating something of intellectual value. All humans, unless markedly deprived of this ability, are entitled to membership of this slot. It should be noted that even though a human is, at least by default, a cognitive pattern, a human may engage in work that has practically no potential for producing intellectual value. This doesn't mean the human doing the work is not a cognitive pattern. The worker is separate from the work he is doing.
- Also known as SHAME
The disruptive slot contains social patterns whose potential quality is only inorganic. The existence of such patterns implicates that a social pattern is unable to actualize its value beyond the inorganic level. This is a serious problem that not only threatens the society but also the biological integrity of its members. Disruptive patterns include the Spartan's failure to make enough children which led to the decline of Spartan family lines and the Spartan society. Disruptive patterns also include other societies that are threats. From the viewpoint of the disrupted social pattern the threatening society is a disruptive pattern. It may, for example, wage war against the disrupted society.
- Also known as POVERTY
The feral slot is less immoral than the disruptive slot. It contains patterns that threaten social patterns but not their biological members. Such patterns include adolescent rebellion, slacking, irresponsible partying and pointless vandalism. Since the potential quality of feral patterns is only biological, feral patterns may not be motivated by any intellectual value. Feral patterns also include an absence of social motivators. Feral patterns could be utilized to bring forth a social or intellectual change but in this case the people who'd manifest ferality wouldn't be aware of what they're doing. Someone else would be pulling the strings at the end of the day.
The social slot is the ideal or standard manifestation of social quality. It includes societies, organizations, coalitions and such.
- Also known as RIGHT
The research slot includes patterns whose actual value is social but potential value intellectual. As such, it includes universities, libraries, peer-reviewed journals and research institutions which are social constructs intended for the creation and propagation of intellectual value.
- Also known as DEATH
The disastrous slot includes patterns whose actual value is intellectual but whose potential value is inorganic. In other words, it includes patterns that threaten ideas and knowledge - patterns that could regress intellect all the way to annihilation. The annihilation would be total in the sense that not only intellect would be destroyed but anything that can be used for sustaining it is also destroyed. Such patterns tend to be cataclysmic events, natural disasters, end-of-the-world scenarios and such. The death of an individual human being arguably also belongs to this slot although it's of lesser magnitude than the death of a culture or the entire planet.
- Also known as DISGUST
The failing slot includes patterns that threaten to deteriorate intellectual patterns into biological ones. Such patterns would involve brain damage, coma or any severe psychological disturbance that renders a biological pattern devoid of social or intellectual potential. Sexual harrassment may also qualify as failing as the object of harrassment is coerced into perceiving himself or herself from a biological viewpoint even though he or she mightn't have otherwise done so.
- Also known as SLAVERY
The oppressive slot includes patterns that threaten to deteriorate intellectual patterns into social ones. For example, if a scientist is forced to work in slavery, or encouraged to forge, plagiarize or exaggerate results for the sake of career advancement, the criteria of oppression are met.
The intellectual slot is the ideal manifestation of intellectual quality.