False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

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Businesslady
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False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:18 am

I guess I will speak to the on-topics. I do not know how I feel about going in with an assumption of law school as a game of roulette. I find the percentage-type analyses to be weird. I find the default presumption of "not a special snowflake" to be self-defeating. I wonder if there are better question-answer protocols than "what do you want to do" where people have no fucking idea and then get regurgitated information from people who also have no idea. It's good to be conscious of debt and economic value but I wonder if reifying that doesn't make the hivemind complicit in a different way. People have a sense of the universe of possibilities as derived almost wholly from fifthhand received accounts of life that doesn't really lead to the sort of introspection that befits a lib arts major in a liminal stage. I think it's probably worth assuming more heterogeneity of values, outcomes, and interests in general. I don't know. I don't read those boards much.

The point in a life where a person seriously considers law school seems like a particularly vulnerable point for indenture and rudderlessness of the sort that can turn a small quarter-life crisis into a devastating mid-life one. I do not propose a full-blown liberation theology of higher education just yet but being more precise with the terminology of the context surrounding the social forces at work is probably in order.

I hope it will be useful. It seems more properly on topic than any other discussion item so I have put it in the general section.
Mods please feel free to add scamblog links that do not operate under an assumption of mediocrity or petty bourgeois ambition

1. Rip it up
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consciousness essential
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx%27s_t ... alienation essential

2. Start again
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/#JudVitAct
https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... ociety.htm

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratio_decidendi

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a later career attorney (about 7-8 years out of school) that started "on track" and veered off. I went to T-14 on a scholarship. Afterwards, I went to BigLaw. I went because I thought the people were smart and I found the opportunity to get an understanding of the internal workings of companies pretty compelling. I also like high stakes situations -- it's just more interesting when the outcome has the potential for great victory or miserable failure.

My firm loved me (I built a decent book of business from well regarded companies as a junior associate) and they let me know that they would be willing to drop a few years off the partner track if I kept going. Making partner didn't seem particularly interesting intellectually or challenging beyond the time commitment, so I left as a midlevel for a non-legal position. People thought I was insane.

I found it very hard to explain to people why leaving was the right decision for me, particularly since I was actually reasonably happy as a lawyer. I basically told people I liked being a lawyer but didn't love it, so I didn't see much point in continuing. Millenial stuff.

This is a very roundabout way of saying that BigLaw is the easy choice but it is rarely the right one. Spending some time to ask why you're going to BigLaw over other alternatives seems like a good place to start. Most people go for money or prestige. They're both pretty terrible reasons since they essentially operate as crappy proxies for actual personal satisfaction. Chasing money and prestige is rough because you're always measuring yourself relative to other people and you're always going to be on the losing end of that comparison. It was easy for me to leave law because I never particularly cared about anything other than working with smart people and learning new things. Once I stopped learning things I valued, I left.

After law, I went into startups. Eventually ran one. Sold the company. Now I'm pretty senior at a company in the middle of massive growth. People seem to think I made the right decision now, but it's largely because I've stumbled back in to money and prestige, which has very little to do with why I'm doing what I'm doing. I enjoy my work because it is complex, varied and skill determinant (rather than time being the primary factor). I'd quit tomorrow if it became something I liked but didn't love.


Lounge threads

Casual Marxism:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=238118

universal basic income actually makes sense (Posters: please don't shit this up. Mods: please save from autoprune)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=238099

"You need to be productive" *destroys wealth* Libs explain
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=238188

ITT: justify your existence
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=218686

it's friday *cracks knuckles* time to post about libs all n
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=234230

Businesslady wrote:
twenty wrote:As a side note, have caught a couple people in class reading this thread. Doing good things here, fukr of rats.

I meant to say thanks and maybe if anyone is reading this and wants to pass it along to their liminal friends please do now that I have a more concrete concept of what the hell I wanted to talk about. I hope there can be a special case added to "Unless" that makes people "with the numbers" want to go because I saw the best posters of my generation say "fuck this, I have better things to do with my life" and that's what the LSAC data shows too, right?

I want to hear more about how debt itself and not the learned helplessness of underemployment fucks people up before I violate the categorical imperative and start wondering out loud and ignorantly here if "15% of discretionary income over the poverty line, three more years of relative autonomy inside of the liminal comfort of a law school in direct contact with people who know people who make laws for a living, then 20 years and a law degree to figure out how to fix the tax bomb yourself and make other shit better with hundreds of thousands of your dollars at stake" makes debt something to look at from a stock/flow perspective.

If you have grades/scores it feels like now might be a great time to go to law school. Some boomers are and were pretty cool and probably have ideas they always wanted to make happen and some of them probably went into the institutions. Which and where? Like, I mean, that's what "the transparency movement" could maybe help determine next?

Retake as praxis if USNWR is really all that powerful and make schools compete on something other than "jobs." Like, "a future"


Port Huron Statement wrote:As a social system we seek the establishment of a democracy of individual participation, governed by two central aims: that the individual share in those social decisions determining the quality and direction of his life; that society be organized to encourage independence in men and provide the media for their common participation.

In a participatory democracy, the political life would be based in several root principles:

that decision-making of basic social consequence be carried on by public groupings;
that politics be seen positively, as the art of collectively creating an acceptable pattern of social relations;
that politics has the function of bringing people out of isolation and into community, thus being a necessary, though not sufficient, means of finding meaning in personal life;
that the political order should serve to clarify problems in a way instrumental to their solution; it should provide outlets for the expression of personal grievance and aspiration; opposing views should be organized so as to illuminate choices and facilities the attainment of goals; channels should be commonly available to related men to knowledge and to power so that private problems -- from bad recreation facilities to personal alienation -- are formulated as general issues.

The economic sphere would have as its basis the principles:

that work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival. It should be educative, not stultifying; creative, not mechanical; selfdirect, not manipulated, encouraging independence; a respect for others, a sense of dignity and a willingness to accept social responsibility, since it is this experience that has crucial influence on habits, perceptions and individual ethics;
that the economic experience is so personally decisive that the individual must share in its full determination;
that the economy itself is of such social importance that its major resources and means of production should be open to democratic participation and subject to democratic social regulation.

Like the political and economic ones, major social institutions -- cultural, education, rehabilitative, and others -- should be generally organized with the well-being and dignity of man as the essential measure of success.

...

If student movements for change are rarities still on the campus scene, what is commonplace there? The real campus, the familiar campus, is a place of private people, engaged in their notorious "inner emigration." It is a place of commitment to business-as-usual, getting ahead, playing it cool. It is a place of mass affirmation of the Twist, but mass reluctance toward the controversial public stance. Rules are accepted as "inevitable", bureaucracy as "just circumstances", irrelevance as "scholarship", selflessness as "martyrdom", politics as "just another way to make people, and an unprofitable one, too."

Almost no students value activity as a citizen. Passive in public, they are hardly more idealistic in arranging their private lives: Gallup concludes they will settle for "low success, and won't risk high failure." There is not much willingness to take risks (not even in business), no setting of dangerous goals, no real conception of personal identity except one manufactured in the image of others, no real urge for personal fulfillment except to be almost as successful as the very successful people. Attention is being paid to social status (the quality of shirt collars, meeting people, getting wives or husbands, making solid contacts for later on); much too, is paid to academic status (grades, honors, the med school rat-race). But neglected generally is real intellectual status, the personal cultivation of the mind.

"Students don't even give a damn about the apathy," one has said. Apathy toward apathy begets a privately-constructed universe, a place of systematic study schedules, two nights each week for beer, a girl or two, and early marriage; a framework infused with personality, warmth, and under control, no matter how unsatisfying otherwise.

Under these conditions university life loses all relevance to some. Four hundred thousand of our classmates leave college every year.

But apathy is not simply an attitude; it is a product of social institutions, and of the structure and organization of higher education itself. The extracurricular life is ordered according to in loco parentis theory, which ratifies the Administration as the moral guardian of the young. The accompanying "let's pretend" theory of student extracurricular affairs validates student government as a training center for those who want to spend their lives in political pretense, and discourages initiative from more articulate, honest, and sensitive students. The bounds and style of controversy are delimited before controversy begins. The university "prepares" the student for "citizenship" through perpetual rehearsals and, usually, through emasculation of what creative spirit there is in the individual.

The academic life contains reinforcing counterparts to the way in which extracurricular life is organized. The academic world is founded in a teacher-student relation analogous to the parent-child relation which characterizes in loco parentis. Further, academia includes a radical separation of student from the material of study. That which is studied, the social reality, is "objectified" to sterility, dividing the student from life -- just as he is restrained in active involvement by the deans controlling student government. The specialization of function and knowledge, admittedly necessary to our complex technological and social structure, has produced and exaggerated compartmentalization of study and understanding. This has contributed to: an overly parochial view, by faculty, of the role of its research and scholarship; a discontinuous and truncated understanding, by students, of the surrounding social order; a loss of personal attachment, by nearly all, to the worth of study as a humanistic enterprise.

There is, finally, the cumbersome academic bureaucracy extending throughout the academic as well as extracurricular structures, contributing to the sense of outer complexity and inner powerlessness that transforms so many students from honest searching to ratification of convention and, worse, to a numbness of present and future catastrophes. The size and financing systems of the university enhance the permanent trusteeship of the administrative bureaucracy, their power leading to a shift to the value standards of business and administrative mentality within the university. Huge foundations and other private financial interests shape under-financed colleges and universities, not only making them more commercial, but less disposed to diagnose society critically, less open to dissent. Many social and physical scientists, neglecting the liberating heritage of higher learning, develop "human relations" or morale-producing" techniques for the corporate economy, while others exercise their intellectual skills to accelerate the arms race.

Tragically, the university could serve as a significant source of social criticism and an initiator of new modes and molders of attitudes. But the actual intellectual effect of the college experience is hardly distinguishable from that of any other communications channel -- say, a television set -- passing on the stock truths of the day. Students leave college somewhat more "tolerant" than when they arrived, but basically unchallenged in their values and political orientations. With administrators ordering the institutions, and faculty the curriculum, the student learns by his isolation to accept elite rule within the university, which prepares him to accept later forms of minority control. The real function of the educational system -- as opposed to its more rhetorical function of "searching for truth" -- is to impart the key information and styles that will help the student get by, modestly but comfortably, in the big society beyond.


I added 2.0 after Transparency in the title because it sounds like startup marketingspeak stuff and people eat that shit up. You can probably come up with better ideas yourselves I bet. Also, I feel weird co-opting something I never really cared about so I can change it later, or mods can if you are someone who feels like transparency is your thing and not mine. Or you can just change the discussion to be about what you think Transparency 2.0 is because all I'm doing is posting drivel and antagonizing posters. I know it is kind of a douchebag move so LMK. Here is Larry Lessig's Code in PDF form which is a cool book and better to read than refreshing status checkers.

http://codev2.cc/download+remix/Lessig-Codev2.pdf
Last edited by Businesslady on Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:34 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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whitespider
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby whitespider » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:21 am

Huh?

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fats provolone
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby fats provolone » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:27 am

whitespider wrote:Huh?

they're books. excerpted. it doesn't get much easier.

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Businesslady
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:28 am

whitespider wrote:Huh?

Don't go


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Businesslady
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:37 am

fats provolone wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=239787

Damn. There should be a funny yet poignant meme reserved for examples of intense false consciousness

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:13 am

What is going on here

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:40 am

Glad you're back BL. The lounge has been a little dull in your absence, and more than a little unbalanced re: shotgun threading.

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Businesslady
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:22 am

james.bungles wrote:What is going on here

Have fun in looking-at-blocks-of-dense-text-and-figuring-out-what's-going-on school!

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chup
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby chup » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:30 pm

Dear trepidatious on-topic posters and 0Ls: there actually is a conversation to be had here. Do not be intimidated by citations to Theory. Try to actually read and understand what is being said, and ask questions if you don't.

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bjsesq
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby bjsesq » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:57 pm

Ordinarily I'd be going apeshit about false departures followed by immediate return, but this is so quality that my usual stance is taking a break.

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:10 pm

I wish I could poast this anon but fuck it anon prolly isn't necessary anyways.

I'm not sure how much I can add to this conversation because honestly I think I might be one of those people with a pretty high IQ who's alsopretty dumb.

But thanks for posting this bc I kind of needed it.

Mostly bc I think I was starting to think that I'm the problem - that somehow I'm being an ungrateful #1stworldproblems shithead for being unhappy with life because I've essentially been turned into a [well paid] doc review and mindless regulatory work drone over the last few weeks (which was not my understanding of the "deal" but I might just be naive).

Like I think I genuinely enjoy lit, but maybe I need to be doing it in a completely different environment. And I like money and money does buy happiness to an extent but at least I've already realized it's not a viable end for me in and of itself.

2 months into biglaw and I've realized that not only am I not partnership material (I just don't have the sales acumen or desire to schmooze), but also that I'd be fucking miserable as a partner because it's the ultimate rat race. Like I was sitting in on a meeting today with a bunch of partners and I thought "I'd be fucking miserable if at every waking moment I was thinking about BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT and where the next client/billable matter is going to come from and how I'm going to keep the income flow going."

And mind you, I'm not even at a megafirm. I'm at a pretty chill place, none of my partners appear to be sociopaths in the least, we can get by billing like 1700 hrs, and I'll get real experience long before most of my classmates will.

I'm not sure there's anything out there that I'll "love" doing short of being a pro athlete and that's obv not happening. But I think I could be pretty happy spending the rest of my life doing lit in some sort of impactful environment. I think I might know what that is, but whether I could ever get there is another matter entirely, and maybe I'm just fooling myself.
Last edited by los blancos on Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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utahraptor
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby utahraptor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:19 pm

I would respond more substantively if I had a real keyboard.

I'm not going to be so arrogant as to claim I fully get your point here, bl, but a couple of questions o have in response:

Isn't choosing big law in line with some worldviews? It's an absurd, meaningless thing to choose, but the leap to me isn't in people convincing themselves that there's meaning or fulfillment in biglaw, but rather in thinking that there's something better out there.

I'm not an artist. I never will be. I am not going to contribute to the good of society. I've tried my hand at doing good things, but I've realized that there are others who are better at it and who actually enjoy it.

Biglaw is a choice in spite of its shitty elements. I just don't know what the "good" option is. Another job in business? Poor attempts at art and philanthropy? For most people it's all absurd. The joke isn't in choosing the shit sandwich. The joke is thinking you had something better to eat in the first place.

I'm taking the option that lets me opt out of the whole shebang as early as possible. We will see if it works.

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby utahraptor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:32 pm

los blancos wrote:I'm not sure how much I can add to this conversation because honestly I think I might be one of those people with a pretty high IQ who's also pretty dumb.


LJFL

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:46 pm

utahraptor wrote:
los blancos wrote:I'm not sure how much I can add to this conversation because honestly I think I might be one of those people with a pretty high IQ who's also pretty dumb.


LJFL


I don't get it bro, would calling myself aspie be more accurate?

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utahraptor
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby utahraptor » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:47 pm

los blancos wrote:
utahraptor wrote:
los blancos wrote:I'm not sure how much I can add to this conversation because honestly I think I might be one of those people with a pretty high IQ who's also pretty dumb.


LJFL


I don't get it bro, would calling myself aspie be more accurate?


I'm gonna laugh at anyone who calls himself "high IQ."

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:50 pm

utahraptor wrote:
los blancos wrote:
utahraptor wrote:
los blancos wrote:I'm not sure how much I can add to this conversation because honestly I think I might be one of those people with a pretty high IQ who's also pretty dumb.


LJFL


I don't get it bro, would calling myself aspie be more accurate?


I'm gonna laugh at anyone who calls himself "high IQ."


You missed the "i think" part. Anyways I'd rather not shit up this thread so carry on.

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:07 pm

utahraptor wrote:I'm not an artist. I never will be. I am not going to contribute to the good of society. I've tried my hand at doing good things, but I've realized that there are others who are better at it and who actually enjoy it.


This gets at something that might out me as a borderline sociopath for even asking the question, but it occurred to me that while many of us have a [socialized?] view that leaving the world a better place than we found it or working for humanity is a worthwhile endeavor, why is it? Like if we're just a bunch of resource-sucking miscreants on a little ball in the vastness of space/the universe(s), then why does any of it matter? Why is serving humanity not merely just furthering our Earth parasitism, to the extent Earth has any value?

tl;dr and eta: this is a long-winded way of asking, why do you presume that making other peoples' lives better is a worthwhile pursuit? I mean that's what I believe, but I'm not sure why I believe that.

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:58 pm

These sound like personal questions that you have to even start to ask. I don't presume to know the answer for anyone but I think a familiarity with the concepts of alienation and false consciousness is healthy and can be really helpful, especially when people start to shit on themselves for socioeconomic fuckery that is not their fault. I made this thread to remind everyone that the boomers were not the first boomers and there is a long and rich history of exploring these ideas that people would do well to get into, especially before going into a protracted 3-year Socratic exercise where the actual answer is "because rentiers" but you don't get points for saying "because rentiers" and that's how they get you. Prestige is a sick fucking lie.

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:14 pm

Businesslady wrote: I made this thread to remind everyone that the boomers were not the first boomers and there is a long and rich history of exploring these ideas that people would do well to get into, especially before going into a protracted 3-year Socratic exercise where the actual answer is "because rentiers" but you don't get points for saying "because rentiers" and that's how they get you. Prestige is a sick fucking lie.


Yeah, and I mean if I'm understanding you right, I think that's one of the worst aspects of biglaw - you do start feeling like a well-positioned transaction cost, or at best just a tool for miscreants who can't admit they fucked up and own it.

As for the bolded... yeah. I mean I'm definitely guilty of it. Maybe I just think better of people than they are, but I'd like to think most people chase preftige because it gives them options, and not just because of the [perhaps evolutionarily ingrained] desire to show off.

I will readily admit that I'm not smart enough to have really understood & internalized like 40% of what I read in the OP the first pass through so I'll probably give it a few more shots and otherwise just keep reading what others have to say ITT.

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby That's correct » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:37 pm

Vicarious enlightenment is unreliable if not an arrant fallacy. Speculating the outcome of tulips infused with luciferase does not make you the brightest bulb.

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los blancos
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby los blancos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:47 pm

chup wrote: Try to actually read and understand what is being said, and ask questions if you don't.


Am I understanding alienation correctly if, dumbed down (esp. the "Gattungswesen" component), it's basically the idea that we can't really concentrate on thinking and understanding what makes us happy because we're too damn caught up with trying to "survive"?

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twenty
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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby twenty » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:55 pm

From the other thread:

Anon wrote:what stands out to me about your suggested experiences is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure."That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs [...] where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.


sort of mix-and-matching theory here, but the axiological issue between "higher" and "lower" (an especially unfortunate axis when most of what falls in "lower" is direct services [the only real opportunity to develop surface-level empathy], but that's also non-unique to the legal profession) seems more directly relevant. Why start at false consciousness, aside from (arguably) accessibility?

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby J3987 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:18 pm

los blancos wrote:
chup wrote: Try to actually read and understand what is being said, and ask questions if you don't.


Am I understanding alienation correctly if, dumbed down (esp. the "Gattungswesen" component), it's basically the idea that we can't really concentrate on thinking and understanding what makes us happy because we're too damn caught up with trying to "survive"?


Try harder.

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby J3987 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:20 pm

Basically the reason why I read this thread and still check tls

For Arendt the validity of political judgment depends on our ability to think “representatively,” that is, from the standpoint of everyone else, so that we are able to look at the world from a number of different perspectives. And this ability, in turn, can only be acquired and tested in a public forum where individuals have the opportunity to exchange their opinions on particular matters and see whether they accord with the opinions of others. In this respect the process of opinion formation is never a solitary activity; rather, it requires a genuine encounter with different opinions so that a particular issue may be examined from every possible standpoint until, as she puts it, “it is flooded and made transparent by the full light of human comprehension”




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