False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:54 pm

For both law schools and law firms, we live in an age where market disruption and technological innovation will drive changes. It’s not clear – or at least not clear to me – how much of the change that results will be sustaining, entrenching the existing leaders, and how much will be disruptive, allowing new entrants to displace existing champions.

Both in law firms and law schools, many people seem to be pondering these sorts of questions. If you want to think about why a school or a legal services institution isn’t changing as fast as it might, Christensen’s insights are extremely helpful. Not much progress comes from accusing the players of being selfish or clueless. Getting a handle on what actually impedes change comes a little faster when you break an institution down into resources, processes and values and think about what kinds of change those might embrace or block.

http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2014/10 ... hange.html

I don't know that I have any more specificity than this Faculty Lounge post, and vice versa. I've certainly had less charity for abstracted power ITT. I think "applicants" are a fundamental part of the equation, though, and really getting a better handle on proxies for optionality would be interesting - maybe "don't go" is the answer for optionality, maybe not for a certain segment of the population because of privilege and/or scholarship/IBR risk-reward calculations, but this doesn't seem like a good aggregate computation in light of the information asymmetries that inform the transparency movement to start with. I do think on the highest level it's kind of complacent to treat schools as interviewer delivery services. Maybe that's a functional proxy for the the softer factors of the degree ("prestige"/hiring as an indicator of not just one-time signaling value at OCI and future optionality, but also e.g. a faith that management incentives are aligned with what students seem to want).

On the other hand, it doesn't seem to serve people *coming in* with optionality well at all, maybe or maybe not to society's detriment (I think so), and it seems institutions should at least in a handful of ways try to own their cultural capital as a locus of power if not incommensurable then of higher value than it's currently treated with respect to markets. (I guess that probably takes fat endowments and will from broader university systems and in many cases state budgets.) Anyway, people who "could do anything" do other things. I think it's becoming increasingly clear that to get more of the actual best and brightest into the game at all, you have to tell them a better story and give them a better agon. That Columbia thing sounds cool. It is something I would like to know. It tells me about the place-in-itself. If I were in a relatively strong position of bargaining power, it could be decisive.

* I still think the huge scholarship to waive OCI is a good idea, not least as a price discovery mechanism for the rest of the experience and maybe even giving prospective students some leverage on associate pay (work it out, it might be true). Maybe tie it to placement to keep firms hiring so everyone can get theirs, I have no idea on the details and do not feel like doing the market structure game theory at all right now.

* RTK looks cool AF, but let's maybe be real about how not-as-elite nonprofits work in lots of non-legal sectors - in a big way, it's a vector of redistribution. On one level it's fucked up to have that downward pressure on wages (as seen in glamour industries like fashion and media) for people who want to do that kind of work, grind and then see brats fuck off on the job. On another, aren't there still private firms and regional offices that take referrals from the elite public interest organizations?

-Anyway, this is cursory analysis, but it seems a little backward to cast this in terms of the "jobs available," because 1) there's an assumption of inelasticity that doesn't necessarily hold up, and 2) not all the resources funding the work are coming from the organizations, in a manner of speaking, cough cough. There's nothing besides the incentive to staff more cheaply keeping the orgs from continuing to hire on a meritocratic basis, right? Not to diminish that - that's huge - but it seems this is already kind of the deal maybe even in legal services; I would be interested to read worldtraveler on the subject (link?).

-I'm interested in the burns on "school-funded jobs" too from this perspective. Is there a critique apart from that they're not reported in qualitative detail and shoved into the overall figure? Nobody wants to go to law school and wind up unemployed after a few years, but how does it look on net to society to have grads who didn't get firm work doing stuff like clinics for people who couldn't otherwise afford them, or adminstrative work from the perspective of someone who has spent 3 years in the machine as a student and may even be especially sympathetic to the underserved? Seems like a risk question.

-Interest is a huge motherfucker and grad school is way too expensive but I'm not sure enough attention in relative terms is given to ex post facto price discrimination like loan repayment, or externalities in the already-perverse system that may or may not amount to a form of redistribution of wealth (but in the aggregate, certainly could).

*There's also a lot to be said for training within the machine of a large firm or bank and transporting those skills elsewhere. On another level, 2200 hours just seems like a shitty and avoidable equilibrium and I'm not convinced the institutions themselves can't do more to address it. (If I knew exactly how, I'd hope someone would be paying me to tell them, so I'm not particularly amenable to "where's the solution?" But yes, wave a wand.)

*A broader kind of transparency (for price discovery, social justice, or just straight up more efficient transmission of expertise / better information for decisionmaking purposes) has to start by having qualitatively superior information shared openly in the marketplace - which comprises this website, not just faculty blogs, so xoxo x10000 to Campos and others for showing up and discussing it. Buyers and sellers don't imagine each other as faceless fungible masses except in commodity markets, and despite the undeniable utility of doing so when appropriate, this is something experiential that maybe shouldn't always - especially at the "top," which is diverse by definition in a properly functioning specialized economy - be so crudely commoditized.

*I really hope we can parse out being "willing" to have one's time bought and sold from having it constructively extorted, as a society.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby twenty » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:47 pm

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

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:59 pm

1.

Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law professor, former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs:
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http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files ... ormity.pdf

Clothes and fashion and the literal marketplace are the greatest lens. Go to a department store, pay a calculated amount of currency from a negotiated wage for sweatshop goods with a name brand, think about what's priced into what, take into account what people think of you, what you need to signal to someone to trust you to be "professional," what you're compelled to compete for in order to pay rent or buy food or get healthcare, and then wonder whether there aren't kids hiding in the clothing racks who see the world a shitload more clearly than you do.

That sounds really crazy or romantic or delusional or immature. It's not. It's what people tell you when they're old and dying. It's the substance of every cliché about spending more time at the office. It's at the heart of everyone's collective failure to take a step back and try and solve problems collaboratively in real time. I'm in my 20s and I'm never gonna die.

I don't understand how in 2014 the parallel-computation model of private goods and mercenary scribes should be hijacking the academic pipeline into the administrative state. It fucks the meritocracy. It keeps the economically disadvantaged and the necessary dirty punk kid or two out of the process. It takes the fun out of solving problems and dreaming about a society we want to live in and thinking about the rules that actually make sense.

Why did statist Marxism actually suck/fail? Maybe because history-as-science is not a way people should rule over other people so rigidly, through conservative jurisprudence or otherwise, and it turns out fear of starvation or imprisonment is actually a shitty organizing principle at scale compared to letting people do things for other people that they want and need. But whatever reifying ideology you use to take decisionmaking out of the hands of literal judges in the name of rulemaking, the categorical imperative breaks down when the wealth distribution is skewed to the point of undermining democracy itself. It's wasteful. It's dystopian.

Learned helplessness is such, such, shit and it sucks when it's reinforced because different people straight up inherit different futures. Some kids make the clothes American kids hide in on the racks. I feel sick faulting anyone for wanting to grow up have a chance to shop, but I just can't help but feel like the application process itself, however it shakes out for people, should be the start of fighting through a perverse logic of heuristic human sorting and vested power and arbitrary rules and bad inductive logic and information asymmetry and divide-and-conquer tactics and harmful life commodification.

2.

Image

Oversterilize a tier of law schools, get sociopolitical MRSA.

Applicants, whatever they end up doing, hopefully won't forget what institutionalized capital and vested power put them through with this whole process, how it made them think about the future, how this is the same unfortunate logic of people in their "professional" capacities just doing their jobs shaking others down through golden handcuffs, and can maybe start thinking now what they can to do or how they'd design things not to have to fuck over the next kid if and when they get theirs instead of citing to shitty precedent as a lifestyle.

Like, do you even game theory? Preemptively commoditizing an entire future doesn't seem like a good strat. Markets should function to match preferences as best as possible, not to standardize them and pretend sterility is objective perfection because it's efficient in the short term. Like, another thing about markets is that you have to treat them like markets, which means trying not to be a price-taker. Also, identifying particular nodes that could and should and probably even want to be working to your and society's advantage.



1) Assuming the will to do so, *could* elite law schools, or certain pockets of elite law schools, ban >1800-hour firms from OCI the way U Chicago locks kids out of the library on Friday nights or certain schools ban Army recruiters? (no "that would never happen" and all the reasons why it *wouldn't* or "people would just do mass mail" - don't fuck with the "assuming the will" part of the hypo)
2) If they could, how low do you think they could go below 1800?
3) Can treating made-up things like the above as realistic possibilities regardless of their likelihood be even a little bit self-fulfilling in terms of market expectations? Show your work.

Whatever you think the answer is, and whatever you want out of life, I think the advantages of a fuller sense of transparency, and richer conversations about incentive structures and individual actors' leverage / group dynamics, are at the very, very least almost certainly more fun than refreshing status checkers. I'm just asking questions.

PS
"Don't check your status. Make your status. Bootstraps" -Boomers
"Sous les pavés, la plage" -French boomers in 1968

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

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:05 pm

Aaron Swartz wrote:The General Motors plant in Fremont was a disaster. “Everything was a fight,” the head of the union admits. “They spent more time on grievances and on things like that than they did on producing cars. They had strikes all the time. It was just chaos constantly. … It was considered the worst workforce in the automobile industry in the United States.”

“One of the expressions was, you can buy anything you want in the GM plant in Fremont,” adds Jeffrey Liker, a professor who studied the plant. “If you want sex, if you want drugs, if you want alcohol, it’s there. During breaks, during lunch time, if you want to gamble illegally—any illegal activity was available for the asking within that plant.” Absenteeism was so bad that some mornings they didn’t have enough employees to start the assembly line; they had to go across the street and drag people out of the bar.

When management tried to punish workers, workers tried to punish them right back: scratching cars, loosening parts in hard-to-reach places, filing union grievances, sometimes even building cars unsafely. It was war.

In 1982, GM finally closed the plant. But the very next year, when Toyota was planning to start its first plant in the US, it decided to partner with GM to reopen it, hiring back the same old disastrous workers into the very same jobs. And so began the most fascinating experiment in management history.

Toyota flew this rowdy crew to Japan, to see an entirely different way of working: The Toyota Way. At Toyota, labor and management considered themselves on the same team; when workers got stuck, managers didn’t yell at them, but asked how they could help and solicited suggestions. It was a revelation. “You had union workers—grizzled old folks that had worked on the plant floor for 30 years, and they were hugging their Japanese counterparts, just absolutely in tears,” recalls their Toyota trainer. “And it might sound flowery to say 25 years later, but they had had such a powerful emotional experience of learning a new way of working, a way that people could actually work together collaboratively—as a team.”

Three months after they got back to the US and reopened the plant, everything had changed. Grievances and absenteeism fell away and workers started saying they actually enjoyed coming to work. The Fremont factory, once one of the worst in the US, had skyrocketed to become the best. The cars they made got near-perfect quality ratings. And the cost to make them had plummeted. It wasn’t the workers who were the problem; it was the system.



An organization is not just a pile of people, it’s also a set of structures. It’s almost like a machine made of men and women. Think of an assembly line. If you just took a bunch of people and threw them in a warehouse with a bunch of car parts and a manual, it’d probably be a disaster. Instead, a careful structure has been built: car parts roll down on a conveyor belt, each worker does one step of the process, everything is carefully designed and routinized. Order out of chaos.

And when the system isn’t working, it doesn’t make sense to just yell at the people in it — any more than you’d try to fix a machine by yelling at the gears. True, sometimes you have the wrong gears and need to replace them, but more often you’re just using them in the wrong way. When there’s a problem, you shouldn’t get angry with the gears — you should fix the machine.

If you have goals in life, you’re probably going to need some sort of organization. Even if it’s an organization of just you, it’s still helpful to think of it as a kind of machine. You don’t need to do every part of the process yourself — you just need to set up the machine so that the right outcomes happen.

For example, let’s say you want to build a treehouse in the backyard. You’re great at sawing and hammering, but architecture is not your forte. You build and build, but the treehouses keep falling down. Sure, you can try to get better at architecture, develop a better design, but you can also step back, look at the machine as a whole, and decide to fire yourself as the architect. Instead, you find a friend who loves that sort of thing to design the treehouse for you and you stick to actually building it. After all, your goal was to build a treehouse whose design you like — does it really matter whether you’re the one who actually designed it?

Or let’s say you really want to get in shape, but never remember to exercise. You can keep beating yourself up for your forgetfulness, or you can put a system in place. Maybe you have your roommate check to see that you exercise before you leave your house in the morning or you set a regular time to consistently go to the gym together. Life isn’t a high school exam; you don’t have to solve your problems on your own.



In 1967, Edward Jones and Victor Harris gathered a group of college students and asked them to judge another student’s exam (the student was a fictional character, but let’s call him Jim). The exam always had one question, asking Jim to write an essay on Fidel Castro “as if [he] were giving the opening statement in a debate.” But what sort of essay Jim was supposed to write varied: some of them required Jim to write a defense of Castro, others required Jim to write a critique of Castro, the rest left the choice up to Jim. The kids in the experiment were asked to read Jim’s essay and then were asked whether they thought Jim himself was pro- or anti-Castro.

Jones and Harris weren’t expecting any shocking results here; their goal was just to show the obvious: that people would conclude Jim was pro-Castro when he voluntarily chose write to a pro-Castro essay, but not when he was forced to by the teacher. But what they found surprised them: even when the students could easily see the question required Jim to write a pro-Castro essay, they still rated Jim as significantly more pro-Castro. It seemed hard to believe. “Perhaps some of the subjects were inattentive and did not clearly understand the context,” they suspected.

So they tried again. This time they explained the essay was written for a debate tournament, where the student had been randomly assigned to either the for or against side of the debate. They wrote it in big letters on the blackboard, just to make this perfectly clear. But again they got the same results — even more clearly this time. They still couldn’t believe it. Maybe, they figured, students thought Jim’s arguments were so compelling he must really believe them to be able to come up with them.

So they tried a third time — this time recording Jim on tape along with the experimenter giving him the arguments to use. Surely no one would think Jim came up with them on his own now. Again, the same striking results: students were persuaded Jim believed the arguments he said, even when they knew he had no choice in making them.

This was an extreme case, but we make the same mistake all the time. We see a sloppily-parked car and we think “what a terrible driver,” not “he must have been in a real hurry.” Someone keeps bumping into you at a concert and you think “what a jerk,” not “poor guy, people must keep bumping into him.” A policeman beats up a protestor and we think “what an awful person,” not “what terrible training.” The mistake is so common that in 1977 Lee Ross decided to name it the “fundamental attribution error”: we attribute people’s behavior to their personality, not their situation.



Our natural reaction when someone screws up is to get mad at them. This is what happened at the old GM plant: workers would make a mistake and management would yell and scream. If asked to explain the yelling, they’d probably say that since people don’t like getting yelled at, it’d teach them be more careful next time.

But this explanation doesn’t really add up. Do you think the workers liked screwing up? Do you think they enjoyed making crappy cars? Well, we don’t have to speculate: we know the very same workers, when given the chance to do good work, took pride in it and started actually enjoying their jobs.

They’re just like you, when you’re trying to exercise but failing. Would it have helped to have your friend just yell and scream at you for being such a lazy loser? Probably not — it probably would have just made you feel worse. What worked wasn’t yelling, but changing the system around you so that it was easier to do what you already wanted to do.

The same is true for other people. Chances are, they don’t want to annoy you, they don’t like screwing up. So what’s going to work isn’t yelling at them, but figuring out how to change the situation. Sometimes that means changing how you behave. Sometimes that means bringing another person into the mix. And sometimes it just means simple stuff, like changing the way things are laid out or putting up reminders.

At the old GM plant, in Fremont, workers were constantly screwing things up: “cars with engines put in backwards, cars without steering wheels or brakes. Some were so messed up they wouldn’t start, and had to be towed off the line.” Management would yell at the workers, but what could you do? Things were moving so fast. “A car a minute don’t seem like it’s moving that fast,” noted one worker, “but when you don’t get it, you’re in the hole. There’s nobody to pull you out at General Motors, so you’re going to let something go.”

At the Toyota plant, they didn’t just let things go. There was a red cord running above the assembly line, known as an andon cord, and if you ever found yourself in the hole, all you had to do was pull it, and the whole line would stop. Management would come over and ask you how they could help, if there was a way they could fix the problem. And they’d actually listen — and do it!

You saw the results all over the factory: mats and cushions for the workers to kneel on; hanging shelves traveling along with the cars, carrying parts; special tools invented specifically to solve problems the workers had identified. Those little things added up to make a big difference.

When you’re upset with someone, all you want to do is change the way they’re acting. But you can’t control what’s inside a person’s head. Yelling at them isn’t going to make them come around, it’s just going to make them more defiant, like the GM workers who keyed the cars they made.

No, you can’t force other people to change. You can, however, change just about everything else. And usually, that’s enough.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:20 pm

* I still think the huge scholarship to waive OCI is a good idea, not least as a price discovery mechanism for the rest of the experience and maybe even giving prospective students some leverage on associate pay (work it out, it might be true). Maybe tie it to placement to keep firms hiring so everyone can get theirs, I have no idea on the details and do not feel like doing the market structure game theory at all right now.


-Interest is a huge motherfucker and grad school is way too expensive but I'm not sure enough attention in relative terms is given to ex post facto price discrimination like loan repayment, or externalities in the already-perverse system that may or may not amount to a form of redistribution of wealth (but in the aggregate, certainly could).

*There's also a lot to be said for training within the machine of a large firm or bank and transporting those skills elsewhere. On another level, 2200 hours just seems like a shitty and avoidable equilibrium and I'm not convinced the institutions themselves can't do more to address it. (If I knew exactly how, I'd hope someone would be paying me to tell them, so I'm not particularly amenable to "where's the solution?" But yes, wave a wand.)


At the risk of sounding like a NEOLIBERAL, I think that examining some of the market forces that drive the legal employment situation, as opposed to emphasizing transparency and University admissions (which are also important) might be worth doing.

The most important biglaw clients are large corporations. These corporations (F500), due to the dynamics and competitive pressures in their industries, are much larger than the law firms that serve them. Often, they are one of just a handful of major global companies competing in their industry that require a certain type of legal expertise. Otoh, the legal market is scattered w/ very little concentration; it is made up of small firms that vigorously compete against each other. This creates an asymmetry of power b/w law firms & their clients who are in a far stronger bargaining position in most cases.

Legal services are often a non-revenue generating cost for corporations. In a corporate environment that strives toward maximizing efficiency and margins, the former especially during/after periods of financial distress, they will seek to prune costs, esp. these non-revenue generating costs. That might mean relocating HQ, outsourcing, redesigning HC plans, etc. and it certainly means reducing legal expenses. This movement toward consolidation and efficiency among corporations during weak economic times only increases their bargaining power. Corporations are constantly growing and adapting.

Then you have the legal market, which is extremely resistant to change. The partnership model makes consolidation impractical. They compete with each other not just for clients but also for labor-- mainly on salary, and largely in lock-step with competitors, so if one firm raises theirs then all respond by doing the same. This has resulted in a spike in associate salaries over time. It becomes very hard for a firm to step away from the herd and lower assoc. salaries while still attracting quality students. It is also a matter of prestige for a law firm to offer market salaries, and this is important to lawyers. To pay for these elevated salaries for assoc. and also partner profits in an increasing challenging environment, firms have to shift to a more highly leveraged business model and force associates and partners to work outrageous hours.

The higher salaries in biglaw enabled law schools to charge higher tuition while still attracting students. Over time, tuition increases ballooned out of control and have led to a situation resembling wage slavery for indebted students who are basically pushed into biglaw upon graduation. So a substantial portion of that rise in assoc. salaries is now lining the pockets of law professors and administrators.

In short, I think that law firms' collective inability or lack of desire to respond to a shifting competitive marketplace has led to the issues facing prospective law students today. In rare cases where firms have deviated from the partnership model, there have been great successes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slater_and_Gordon_Lawyers. Rent-driven University collusion and "scams" are also a major problem.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:09 pm

I think there's more optimism on the straight up university rent-seeking side. Some half-thoughts (I know fuck all)

* parent universities can allocate funds to law schools, and doing so is actually probably ultimately in their interests, systemically
* law schools can and do try to raise funds with varying and observable levels of success and effort from graduates and various philanthropists who are down with their visions

Then, even less thought-out:

* budgets are, you know, budgets; I feel like nonprofits are pretty open about these things
* on some level, you really are paying lots of money in part because really talented JDs cost lots of money (inb4 circular)
* trade schools subsidizing academics is not intrinsically problematic; their work should be highly socially desirable in theory
* the scamblog thing deals pretty explicitly with what it considers fraud; OTOH, it's like, this is just clearly a shitload of money so
* I do not know anything about higher education administration except that it seems less hands-on at scale anecdotally
* but just look all this stuff up too, right?

The market fuckery in rankings is just unreal to me for a profession that trains attorneys. Morse is, like, some guy who sends out surveys and sticks them in a spreadsheet with ABA data or something, I don't actually know or care that much what he does. I can't believe how fucking dumb and boomerish that thing is. What's the part that you can't get from LST and ABA again? Whether some old judge likes Michigan as much as last year? People are dying to crunch numbers all over this board and make spreadsheets and sites out of the same basic dataset. Meanwhile, for example, the EIC of the NU law review has this cool-ass website where you can check out co-authorship of law review articles and people can get their Erdõs number or whatever:

http://ryanwhalen.com/legal_coauthorship/index.html

and then there's that interactive NLJ site that breaks down firms by school hires, and professors everywhere post in the open all the stuff they do.

And it's just, like, some fucking guy. Is putting a list. In a boomer magazine.

Then that's what people negotiate on, right? And what admissions people supposedly can lose their jobs over. Here are some transparency questions I can think of offhand: what would happen staff-wise if your school dropped a rank in USNWR but placed better into things like public interest and jobs didn't take a hit straight away but everyone was happier and more productive together? What's the directive given to the staff? What's the macro view for the school and how does admissions fit into it? How do you make sure to keep from putting so much chlorine in the applicant pool that it's too sterile for human life? What hard data do you think tells your story or doesn't and how and why or why not?

Anyway STEM grading alone should be enough to throw GPA out the fucking window for USN so this is so obviously stupid and not worth banging on too much about here except to note:

* there are complex relationships and mechanisms between faculty, deans, and admissions offices
* there are variable levels of reliance on various metrics and less quantifiable indicators of success among institutions
* there are complex and variable relationships and levels of confidence between deans of law schools and of parent institutions
* there are variable levels of observable manifestations of these that may or may not help evaluate a long-term investment in a LS
* there are variable levels of cheerful transparency and explicit published research about the entire process by deans and faculty

Those are "transparency"/"market" issues. I don't think metrics fail per se but this site is often like the Yahoo Finance of law schools.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:14 am

A fun thing about art is that you get to call everything you don't like and pretty much all things involving money neoliberal

Image
http://occupymuseums.org/press/Andrea-F ... itique.pdf

But the thing is, like, relational aesthetics are kind of not bullshit in law, but useful descriptions of how power actually functions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational ... aesthetics

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:26 am

There is a strange phenomenon in society, maybe prestige in another form, where BFAs/MFAs are willing to hurl themselves into the art historical agon - some making "careers" of pure institutional critique of variable quality, working "jobs" that are not their identities at all, and going into the studio to bang out conceptual pieces about nothing less than power, sometimes very theoretically rigorous - all within the context of a strange religion that has complex relationships with money and power, but never really treating as fully "real" the ratio of their compensation to the levels of debt they carry.

It is a little wild to think about how much depth of analysis goes into discussing theory regarding auction-dealer-artist-institution-academic power structures - some very intelligent people graduate from "elite" programs and then dedicate their lives, or at least their youths, to this, cultishly, living in monastic conditions. There is a glamour to it in the art world, probably not least because it is tied up with a kind of money that doesn't talk about money, and people have a kind of maybe silly but still priestly reverence for it. In elite law schools, on the other hand, this sense of purpose and meaning in contempt of financial gain and with no regard for comfort or security might be regarded as a sickness - not civic engagement, not a noble pursuit, just a strange sickness of mind.

I don't have a truth here. Just anecdotal, casual sociology, understating a lot of pain and recontextualizing the art school scam.

Are conceptual artists fucked for life from youthful decisions of passion, or saved by never having expected a share of capital's spoils? Would we be better on net if at least some would-be MFAs looked at JD programs and pursued a secular form of institutional critique? Should I fuck right off with this line of thinking? It is admittedly a strange manifestation of originalism to still like to think of America as neoclassical in some ways. Who's the dude that lived in a box on the Athens street and shat himself in between speaking various truths to power? He'd definitely strike out. Unprofessional AF.

e: Diogenes of Sinope. Yeah, probably not great with clients
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope

Anyway I have to believe that there are at least some spheres of late capitalist life where commodification should be treated with deep suspicion as a default presumption, and always, always accepted where necessary as a functional concern, never reified as the goal of an enterprise. I probably don't know nearly enough about late capitalist life or law school to say conclusively whether law school is one. Maybe nobody does.

To thine own self, etc. - is this just counterproductive bigdebt / privilege apologism in itself? Not sorry for my nationalism, even as I watch this place fuck over its dreamers like crazy.

Image

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minority_%28philosophy%29

Image

Even if you fail all your exams, you're still probably smart and capable and not totally fucked if you can still feel things. Good luck

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:35 am



Image

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby chup » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:41 pm

Your Marxism is at least business-casual at this point.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:56 pm


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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:13 pm

utahraptor wrote:let's just heads on pikes

http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7280309/t ... with-their



utahraptor wrote:"lol modern social movements, just lol."

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:15 pm

say what you will about the tenets of literal heads on pikes, j#, at least it's an ethos

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:16 pm

utahraptor wrote:say what you will about the tenets of literal heads on pikes, j#, at least it's an ethos


Yeah, you're just missing the logos part.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:18 pm

J3987 wrote:
utahraptor wrote:say what you will about the tenets of literal heads on pikes, j#, at least it's an ethos


Yeah, you're just missing the logos part.


yeah, that's pretty pathetic on my end

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby bjsesq » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:19 pm

I appreciated the reference, Smaug.

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J3987
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:21 pm

utahraptor wrote:
J3987 wrote:
utahraptor wrote:say what you will about the tenets of literal heads on pikes, j#, at least it's an ethos


Yeah, you're just missing the logos part.


yeah, that's pretty pathetic on my end


Touche

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby bk1 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:32 pm

A lot of the issues raised are systemic and I don't think all that important to the average applicant. An applicant can recognize the system is fucked, can even know what should be done to fix the system, yet not be in a position to apply that change. Consequently, if they truly want to be a lawyer, the best they can do is work with the system (which is especially true if they care more about their job outcome than any sort of institutional reform which, I believe, is true for most people).

Businesslady wrote:Then that's what people negotiate on, right? And what admissions people supposedly can lose their jobs over. Here are some transparency questions I can think of offhand: what would happen staff-wise if your school dropped a rank in USNWR but placed better into things like public interest and jobs didn't take a hit straight away but everyone was happier and more productive together? What's the directive given to the staff? What's the macro view for the school and how does admissions fit into it? How do you make sure to keep from putting so much chlorine in the applicant pool that it's too sterile for human life? What hard data do you think tells your story or doesn't and how and why or why not?


If this happened, I think you'd end up in a death spiral. Plummeting USNWR ranks would lead to fewer applicants as well as fewer matriculants. You'd either have to have a smaller class size which would lead to reduced funds which would impact the ability of the school to place people into public interest jobs. If you wanted to keep the same class size, you'd have to lower your standards to lower GPA/LSAT medians which would cause your ranking to fall even further. I'm just not convinced that places like TLS/LST/etc have had a big enough impact on the applicant pool to meaningfully save a school if they were to do the right things w/r/t employment yet still fall in USNWR. This sort of question feels similar to "why can't corps focus on long term goals rather than short term profits?"

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:58 pm

Businesslady wrote:* parent universities can allocate funds to law schools, and doing so is actually probably ultimately in their interests, systemically
* law schools can and do try to raise funds with varying and observable levels of success and effort from graduates and various philanthropists who are down with their visions.

Actually, a lot of universities take money from their law schools, because the law schools make more money and the universities need money. (more pertinent to public schools than private, but that includes UVA, Boalt, and Michigan).

And law schools already do try to raise funds from alums and philanthropists, basically any where they can. That's a huge part of academic funding already.

Also, going back to j#'s long post about corporations etc - I'm still curious about how this all applies/doesn't to the criminal justice system, which is a huge part of what lawyers do and thus part of the law school issue as well.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:00 pm

@Nony https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/04/agai ... for-order/

e: Unless you mean market incentives to go into certain things. ED with bidding on price/section/OCI waiver? #notallneoliberals
e2: Or a straight criminal RTK

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Re: Clippings / preliminary materials [False consciousness]

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:01 pm

twenty wrote: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?

I think the Derrida thing kind of just scratches the surface, right? This whole post is terrible, just to warn you.

I read that recent Brian Leiter paper on the public intellectual and I think the way he conceives of a lawyer as a discourse-sanitizer is kind of an incomplete and maybe problematically Nietzchean epistemology (lol is that even right?). I wouldn't know. I took one non-required philosophy course in undergrad. It was the analytics. I liked Critique of Pure Reason OK but I kind of half-assed it. I'm feral as hell.

I need to reread Flatland. Leiter's paper made me think of the square (lol) conceiving of Lineland, except discussing the existence of various Linelands in parallel to one another. I have a Lineland / binary opposition of my own that I am struggling with. On one side is the decentralized structure of adversarial case law, ZTC Coasean logic, free-market capitalism - the parallel computation of bilateral transactions integrated to a global "efficiency" like a Riemann integral. On the other lies the idealized administrative state, aggregated perfect information Pareto-optimized, Lange-Lerner market socialism - concerned with Pareto efficiency in the aggregate like a Lesbegue integral. I think the Riemann-Stieltjes integral is maybe the most interesting to me and the best articulation of the way I struggle with the idea of "generic idiosyncrasy" in neoliberalism: it does not really describe power or incommensurability and it kind of has all the limitations of Enlightenment thought/Modernism.

If you cannot tell I am sort of obsessed with Arendt and Deleuze right now despite having read precious little of the latter. I have been thinking a lot about agonism and deterritorialization (or in binary terms - [[becoming-minor vs. becoming-fascist - the basic thing] vs. [becoming-minor vs. becoming-lawyer - vis-à-vis that Sunstein selection about Justice Marshall]] vs./= [becoming-lawyer vs. becoming-radical]) in the context of legal education.

What "I" "mean" "is" that I think maybe in that going to law school and entering the agon in the manner I describe maybe constitutes deterritorialization? I think of becoming-minor as a constant moral imperative in the Justice Marshall sense. It seems like an empathetic way of harmonizing liberalism and collectivism while still acknowledging a degree of fluidity of self and the importance of heterogeneity. Is Deleuze the sphere in Flatland? Does the agon transcend dimension? I think it's just Spaceland, and makes us human per Arendt. I really do derive a sense of meaning/purpose/whatever from interacting constructively with other people - that's the kind of striving I'm about, arete. I still haven't read Difference and Repetition. I like analogical thinking almost to the point of psychosis, probably.

Apologies for how feral and stoned-sounding this is. Everything is probably wrong. Tl;dr:

chup wrote:Your Marxism is at least business-casual at this point.


Basically this. It's also sort of Deleuzian Flatland (squares [lol] need to imagine Lineland to get to Spaceland: becoming-woman as "sometimes it's just as simple as capitalism vs. life itself").

Anyway, pretty good website you have here. What's the deal with Torts?

e: The context of the quoted text in this post and the doctrines in the OP should indicate how I feel about the "private intellectual"
e2: or, maybe Althusser's "Lenin and Philosophy", not sure
e3: People *should* be mixing-and-matching, I'm pretty sure? That's what makes it life, right?
e4: Maybe becoming-minor is an internal synthetic agon substitute in an age of alienation, but *Seinfeld voice* "What's the deal with agent-principal / collective action problems in republics / representative democracies?"
e5: Less rule synthesis, more holistic system synthesis?
e6: "capitalism vs life itself" is even more fun and feels even more righteous through the Situationist idea of Don't Commodify Me Bro (Society of the Spectacle) and I need to get more into that paper fats posted on Habermas and deliberation in late capitalism
Last edited by Businesslady on Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:49 pm

A law school should give me tenure to sit on this website and publish microscholarship. That's the future. I'll be like Shingy

e: I'm convinced that Shingy article is Stephen Glass flame under a pen name

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:52 pm

go be a debate coach somewhere. basically the same thing.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:57 pm

What do debate coaches do? I imagine the food provided at debate competitions is probably not as good as at law faculty functions

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:03 pm

Businesslady wrote:What do debate coaches do? I imagine the food provided at debate competitions is probably not as good as at law faculty functions

it's a mixed bag. some great spreads, some pizza and soda.

http://www.pitt.edu/~gordonm/JPubs/GRMHabermas.pdf




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