False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:06 pm

Oh, fucking hell. This is what happens when I only read Wikipedia. But that's the future. I'm a digital strategist

e: Damn, this article is good

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:09 pm

yea you might have missed your calling

http://www.pitt.edu/~gordonm/JPubs/Mitchell2010b.pdf

In a critical discussion, interlocutors can strategically maneuver by
shading their expressed degree of standpoint commitment for rhetorical effect.
When is such strategic shading reasonable, and when does it cross the line and risk
fallacious derailment of the discussion? Analysis of President George W. Bush’s
2002–2003 prewar commentary on Iraq provides an occasion to explore this
question and revisit Douglas Ehninger’s distinction between argumentation as
‘‘coercive correction’’ and argumentation as a ‘‘person-risking enterprise.’’ Points of
overlap between Ehninger’s account and pragma-dialectical argumentation theory
suggest avenues for harmonization of rhetorical and dialectical perspectives on
argumentation. Out of this conceptual convergence comes theoretical resources for
understanding strategic maneuvering, by accounting for ways that discussants
exploit gaps between their externalized and actual ‘‘discussion attitude.’’ As such
higher-order strategic maneuvering played a major role in the 2003 Iraq prewar
‘‘discourse failure,’’ perspicacious understanding of this particular argumentative
maneuver carries practical, as well as theoretical import.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:15 pm

becoming-Seinfeld

"What's the deal with Isaiah Berlin's value pluralism?"

No, like, literally, what's the deal? Am I just a spineless neomoderate? Are law students to engineering students what people who walked in off the street without a background in political philosophy are to math students?

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby twenty » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:20 pm

BL as an NPDA/CEDA coach would be truly GOAT.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:23 pm

srsly i just kind of always assumed ratfukr was an ex-CEDA debater. you would wreck house. modern policy debate is all about rapidly and strategically deploying superficial readings of complex critical theory and (lately) hard science.

User avatar
UnicornHunter
Posts: 13413
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:27 pm

fats provolone wrote:srsly i just kind of always assumed ratfukr was an ex-CEDA debater. you would wreck house. modern policy debate is all about rapidly and strategically deploying superficial readings of complex critical theory and (lately) hard science.


The mystery of ratlady may be the most interesting question raised on TLS.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:31 pm

Lol I was in high school debate for one day and quit

becoming-Leiter

Image
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=2524180

e: I'm down with this. Rules are lame
e2: I've decided I'm not deterritorialized but interdisciplinary if any law faculties are hiring digital strategists

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:48 pm

I'm going to do a law school ranking based on facial symmetry of profile pictures of Facebook Class Of members
e: Because quantitative methods

User avatar
Nightrunner
Posts: 5345
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 1:14 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Nightrunner » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:50 pm

Finally, a ranking where Yale isn't top 50.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:55 pm

"Yes, Robert Morse, please. Hello. I'd like to know why you don't include how much recent grads squat in your survey"

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:33 pm

utahraptor wrote:let's just heads on pikes

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


Lol so r>g and every WSJ op-ed ever sucks basically? Real shocker there

"I'D LIKE TO SEE THE NUMBERS"

e: On the other hand utility arguments make a lot of sense because money is speech in a democracy *gets points*
Last edited by Businesslady on Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:59 pm

"Do you even Deleuze, bro?"

Image

Image

#NotAllSpeculativeRealists

e: The answer is "to get points" by the way
e2: Leiter is growing on me. I like the idea of law professors as minibosses to train SJWs for the Deleuzian agon

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:39 am

I'll tell you what law schools need

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

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:13 am

Paul Campos wrote:(3)

HAMM:
Is it not time for my pain-killer?
CLOV:
Yes.
HAMM:
Ah! At last! Give it to me! Quick!
(Pause.)
CLOV:
There's no more pain-killer.
(Pause.)
HAMM (appalled):
Good...!
(Pause.)
No more pain-killer!
CLOV:
No more pain-killer. You'll never get any more pain-killer.
(Pause.)
HAMM:
But the little round box. It was full!
CLOV:
Yes. But now it's empty.
(Pause. Clov starts to move about the room. He is looking for a place to put down the alarm-clock.)
HAMM (soft):
What'll I do?
(Pause. In a scream.)
What'll I do?
(Clov sees the picture, takes it down, stands it on the floor with its face to the wall, hangs up the alarm-clock in its place.)
What are you doing?
CLOV:
Winding up.
HAMM:
Look at the earth.
CLOV:
Again!
HAMM:
Since it's calling to you.


Aaron Swartz wrote:When you first begin to exercise, it’s somewhat painful. Not wildly painful, like touching a hot stove, but enough that if your only goal was to avoid pain, you certainly would stop doing it. But if you keep exercising… well, it just keeps getting more painful. When you’re done, if you’ve really pushed yourself, you often feel exhausted and sore. And the next morning it’s even worse.

If that was all that happened, you’d probably never do it. It’s not that much fun being sore. Yet we do it anyway — because we know that, in the long run, the pain will make us stronger. Next time we’ll be able to run harder and lift more before the pain starts.

And knowing this makes all the difference. Indeed, we come to see the pain as a sort of pleasure — it feels good to really push yourself, to fight through the pain and make yourself stronger. Feel the burn! It’s fun to wake up sore the next morning, because you know that’s just a sign that you’re getting stronger.

Few people realize it, but psychological pain works the same way. Most people treat psychological pain like the hot stove — if starting to think about something scares them or stresses them out, they quickly stop thinking about it and change the subject.

The problem is that the topics that are most painful also tend to be the topics that are most important for us: they’re the projects we most want to do, the relationships we care most about, the decisions that have the biggest consequences for our future, the most dangerous risks that we run. We’re scared of them because we know the stakes are so high. But if we never think about them, then we can never do anything about them.

Ray Dalio wrote: It is a fundamental law of nature that to evolve one has to push one’s limits, which is painful, in order to gain strength—whether it’s in the form of lifting weights, facing problems head-on, or in any other way. Nature gave us pain as a messaging device to tell us that we are approaching, or that we have exceeded, our limits in some way. At the same time, nature made the process of getting stronger require us to push our limits. Gaining strength is the adaptation process of the body and the mind to encountering one’s limits, which is painful. In other words, both pain and strength typically result from encountering one’s barriers. When we encounter pain, we are at an important juncture in our decision-making process.


Yes it’s painful, but the trick is to make that mental shift. To realize that the pain isn’t something awful to be postponed and avoided, but a signal that you’re getting stronger — something to savor and enjoy. It’s what makes you better.

Pretty soon, when you start noticing something that causes you psychic pain, you’ll get excited about it, not afraid. Ooh, another chance to get stronger. You’ll seek out things you’re scared of and intentionally confront them, because it’s an easy way to get the great rewards of self-improvement. Dalio suggests thinking of each one as a puzzle, inside of which is embedded a beautiful gem. If you fight through the pain to solve the puzzle, you unlock it and get to keep the gem.

The trick is: when you start feeling that psychological pain coming on, don’t draw back from it and cower — lean into it. Lean into the pain.

In agile software development, there’s a phrase: If it hurts, do it more often.

For example, imagine Jane and Joan are working on a software project together. They both have a copy of the code; Jane is making the error messages friendlier while Joan is adding a new feature. They both work on their task for days and days until it’s finally done. Now they face a problem: they need to merge their different changes back together.

Maybe you’ve had this problem, either with code or with text documents: you send a draft of a report to two friends, both suggest different changes, and you have to merge all their changes back into the original document. It’s incredibly annoying — and doing it with software is way worse. So people put it off. Jane thinks “you know, let me just make the thank you messages a little nicer before we merge” and Joan thinks “you know, let me add just one more feature before we merge”.

They keep putting the merge off, and every time they do the task gets bigger and more painful. But they have to do it eventually. By then, the merge is so big that it takes days of painstaking work just to piece together the already-written code. It’s an arduous, painful process — which makes Joan and Jane just want to put it off even longer next time.

The agile approach, however, is to do the opposite: merging hurts, so we’ll do it more often. Instead of merging every couple weeks, or every couple months, we’ll merge every single day, or every couple hours. Even if Jane and Joan aren’t even close to finished with their work, they’ll check in what they have so far (maybe with some special code deactivating it until it’s finished) so they don’t end up in merge hell later on. These very small merges tend not to be painful at all, they’re so easy that you hardly even notice.

The same principle shows up all across software development: from testing to releasing, your natural inclination is to put off painful things, when doing them more often actually is much easier.

And I don’t think it’s limited to software. I think the same principle would work even if, for some odd reason, you were required to touch a hot stove for an hour. Procrastinating and putting it off until you had no choice but to hold your hand to the stove for a full hour would end up being very painful. But if you did it in small frequent bits, just quick taps of the stove with your finger that eventually added up to an hour, it wouldn’t be so bad at all. Again, the trick is not to run from the pain.

Of all the self-improvement tricks I’ve learned, this one was by far the most surprising — and by far the most impactful. I spent most of my life hemmed in by my talents. I knew I had strengths and weaknesses and it just seemed obvious I should find jobs that fit my strengths. It seemed crazy to take a job that probed my weaknesses.

Sure, there were somethings, over there, that I wished I was better at, but they seemed so far away. Meanwhile, there were lots of things over here that I was good at. Why not just keep doing them? Sure, I realized intellectually that I could get better at the other stuff, but it hardly seemed worth the pain of trying.

I’d learned not to shrink from hard truths, so I’d literally have this conversation with myself: “Yes, I know: if I got better at selling things to people [or whatever it was], I’d be much better off. But look at how painful I find selling: just thinking about it makes me want to run and hide! Sure, it’d be great if I could do it, but is it really worth all that pain?”

Now I realize this is a bogus argument: it’s not that the pain is so bad that it makes me flee, it’s that the importance of the topic triggers a fight-or-flight reaction deep in my reptile brain. If instead of thinking of it as a scary subject to avoid, I think of it as an exciting opportunity to get better, then it’s no longer a cost-benefit tradeoff at all: both sides are a benefit — I get the benefits of being good at selling and the fun of getting better at something.

Do this enough times and your whole outlook on life begins to change. It’s no longer a scary world, hemming you in, but an exciting one full of exciting adventures to pursue.

Tackling something big like this is terrifying; it’s far too much to start with. It’s always better to start small. What’s something you’ve been avoiding thinking about? It can be anything — a relationship difficulty, a problem at work, something on your todo list you’ve been avoiding. Call it to mind — despite the pain it brings — and just sort of let it sit there. Acknowledge that thinking about it is painful and feel good about yourself for being able to do it anyway. Feel it becoming less painful as you force yourself to keep thinking about it. See, you’re getting stronger!

OK, take a break. But when you’re ready, come back to it, and start thinking of concrete things you can do about it. See how it’s not as scary as you thought? See how good it feels to actually do something about it?

Next time you start feeling that feeling, that sense of pain from deep in your head that tells you to avoid a subject — ignore it. Lean into the pain instead. You’ll be glad you did.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:25 am

:(

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:38 am

I want to start to talk about "law school and economics" from the perspective of Jean Tirole, institutional power vis-à-vis the T14/ABA/NLJ (I don't know what the last two even do) from the perspective of Marcuse/"transparency", and think about what it would mean to break the link between elite legal education and rent-seeking prestige-to-dollars conversion associate-churning from a game-theoretical perspective. Is there any way to reintroduce the <1800-hour model through administrative channels and get the scribe class's soul back into the social fabric? I mean, gunners gonna gun, but like, this is a market power question. Surely there's some systems framework to think about rehumanizing associate work through the institutions - and designing, not capitulating to markets, actual markets - that doesn't break everything straight away. Is demand coming back for real? Is the job already "overpaid?" Can the institutions themselves shift power? Is there granular, high-level analysis on how the biglaw work allocation model actually works? Are the rumours of the death of a generation's soul greatly exaggerated? This is literally an organized labor / Drew Faust universities-as-socially-responsible thing.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:34 am

I can't believe I didn't just paste this instead of writing all those posts out myself. This is such obvious precedent I can't even.

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.


"The conventional wisdom" is powerful as hell

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:42 am

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 like we do with the national debt. Just generational.

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"

I know that the thread title change is an asshole move and I say so in the OP so if you actually have a personal / professional stake in transparency go ahead and let mods or me know and they can strike that sucker or change it to whatever if you have a better paradigm

User avatar
banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby banjo » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:09 pm

Businesslady wrote:Is there any way to reintroduce the <1800-hour model through administrative channels and get the scribe class's soul back into the social fabric? I mean, gunners gonna gun, but like, this is a market power question. Surely there's some systems framework to think about rehumanizing associate work through the institutions - and designing, not capitulating to markets, actual markets - that doesn't break everything straight away. Is demand coming back for real? Is the job already "overpaid?" Can the institutions themselves shift power? Is there granular, high-level analysis on how the biglaw work allocation model actually works? Are the rumours of the death of a generation's soul greatly exaggerated? This is literally an organized labor / Drew Faust universities-as-socially-responsible thing.


Theoretically, lawyers can demand saner hours, better pay, and job security through the same channels as teachers and factory workers -- collective bargaining under the NLRA and related labor laws. A few ATL articles explore this:

http://abovethelaw.com/2013/09/a-contra ... ney-union/ (interesting memo on second page)
http://abovethelaw.com/2014/03/lawyers- ... mberg-law/

The NLRA tried to give workers a say in the rules that govern the workplace. The problem is that the NLRA has been totally gutted by courts and legislatures over the years, so it's not clear that lawyers, who may be considered managerial employees, would be protected even if they acted collectively. Unions have also gotten a bad rep over the years and union density has plummeted, so people have all but forgotten that "concerted action" for the purpose of "mutual aid and protection" (powerful words) was ever really a thing.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:03 pm

banjo wrote:
Businesslady wrote:Is there any way to reintroduce the <1800-hour model through administrative channels and get the scribe class's soul back into the social fabric? I mean, gunners gonna gun, but like, this is a market power question. Surely there's some systems framework to think about rehumanizing associate work through the institutions - and designing, not capitulating to markets, actual markets - that doesn't break everything straight away. Is demand coming back for real? Is the job already "overpaid?" Can the institutions themselves shift power? Is there granular, high-level analysis on how the biglaw work allocation model actually works? Are the rumours of the death of a generation's soul greatly exaggerated? This is literally an organized labor / Drew Faust universities-as-socially-responsible thing.


Theoretically, lawyers can demand saner hours, better pay, and job security through the same channels as teachers and factory workers -- collective bargaining under the NLRA and related labor laws. A few ATL articles explore this:

http://abovethelaw.com/2013/09/a-contra ... ney-union/ (interesting memo on second page)
http://abovethelaw.com/2014/03/lawyers- ... mberg-law/

The NLRA tried to give workers a say in the rules that govern the workplace. The problem is that the NLRA has been totally gutted by courts and legislatures over the years, so it's not clear that lawyers, who may be considered managerial employees, would be protected even if they acted collectively. Unions have also gotten a bad rep over the years and union density has plummeted, so people have all but forgotten that "concerted action" for the purpose of "mutual aid and protection" (powerful words) was ever really a thing.

I don't know if unionization in a literal way is how you'd structure it - it's a complex system with various loci of political economy. I'm thinking about structuring incentives of the future labor supply on the way in. This is really just administrative statecraft on a small scale. Universities are practically city-states and it seems like they could almost create their own decentralized civil service in miniature.

I mean, or, shit, suspend my pearlclutching about money and academia (lol anyway) and imagine a world where schools were permitted to let their grads, or associates coming back, just straight up practice law out of clinics for money under the supervision of clinical or (gasp) teaching faculty, and then took a more modest cut off the top of their competitive rates and let the attorneys set their hours and buy into university health plans. It's easier for lawyers to imagine a fantasy zero transactions cost world to rationalize capital's abuses than one in which a particular arbitrary rule that lawyers could change themselves collectively doesn't exist, but fuck it, let's try. I know partners do what partners do in terms of "business development," but it's just second-order corporatist rent-seeking, right? And CSOs are search costs too, while we're doing the math. It's not like total fucking rockstars aren't on the faculty at these places to legitimize a CYA F500 decision to "go with Harvard," or that it's inconceivable that GCs would want to kick work back to their schools instead of their former slavemasters. In the abstract the biglaw model looks like straight up prestige arbitrage and free-riding.

It is hard for me to believe that institutions of law charged with accumulating the best and brightest could not if motivated figure out a way to do indirectly what they can't do directly (improve the next generation's QoL and move money out of megafirm partners' pockets) because of a *regulation* they made themselves through a *professional organization,* but apparently the intentions of possibly dead people averaged to the point of a totally unsatisfying status quo "consensus" reflecting a world that doesn't exist anymore may as well be the word of God.

BUT YOU NEED TO STANDARDIZE EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE EFFICIENCY AND UNCERTAINTY IT'S PRECEDENT

User avatar
J3987
Posts: 1263
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:54 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby J3987 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:05 pm

If lawyers could do collective bargaining in some world, I think it would make more sense to negotiate for lower salary comp tied to more reasonable hours (20% paycut for 20% reduction in hours) and greater opportunity to gain valuable business experience early on. Among other things, the partnership model that encourages cutthroat competition among associate and "gunning" would make this hard to enforce.

On another note, I was talking to a very smart conservative friend of mine about UBI and he was very much into the theory behind it and a big supporter. I think this is an issue that could pull the rug out from under R-Ds stalwarts and flip the Left-Right paradigm on its head. It could also solve the problems discussed in this thread related to institutional risk-aversion and wage slavery.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:13 pm

There are obviously probably certain kinds of work where the school-as-firm model would not apply I guess; like, there are deals and lit stuff professors do not want to fucking do and that's why they are professors and not in a service industry working for the slavemasters whose power their students collectively enshrine generation after generation through the rule of law. But I mean it's a hypo and I'm kicking back typing it because I feel like it and plus YOLO

Also we want to reduce conflicts of interest which we do by totally disaligning incentives with this ridiculous model that is a mockery of consensusbuilding so let's keep doing that because it totally works and doesn't leave us wondering what the fuck is going on. But how did they do it in 17th century England is the real question

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby bk1 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:47 pm

Businesslady wrote: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 like we do with the national debt. Just generational.

You're asking whether treating debt as flow (i.e. the amount paid per year) loses something in translation from treating debt as stock (i.e. the total amount owed)? I think that financially (e.g. applying to get a mortgage), the debt itself isn't problematic, but that there are likely psychological impacts from the debt whether that be from uncertainty (e.g. someone not on PAYE worrying about losing their job and thus no longer being able to make payments, or someone on PAYE worrying that the gov is gonna gut the program and fuck them over) or from lack of control (e.g. someone on PAYE being reliant on an entity outside themselves, the government, to ensure that the debt eventually goes away).

Whether there are other issues may be hard to figure out and likely relegated to theoretical exploration since this kind of educational debt is much more massive than anything previous generations had (and with previous massive amounts of debt those generations at least had something tangible, e.g. a house).

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22779
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:33 pm

How is the school-as-firm model an improvement on the firm-as-firm model? Why is making academics the bosses a change in the problems being discussed here?

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

Postby Businesslady » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:15 pm

Because they are not the bosses in that counterfactual any more than they already are, they just capture the benefit of market-making and minting prestige more directly. They are just pure talent aggregators in the hypo, taking a lower cut of the gains and reducing inelasticity of labor supply. It's not a prescription, it's an illustration of how a collective action failure lets firms free-ride institutional legitimacy and filtering.

You could also imagine the whole licensing enterprise socialized and structured in a civil service model as a thought exercise: the difference in how the dollars circulate, the way signaling and search cost would differ under a centralized "merit" information sharing system (it's almost a logistics question), and the debt-rent relationship in that world (let's say "debt" is public). Then, imagine scribes' and everyone else in society's starvation/homelessness/illness risk properly pooled by the state, and you start to see where the "free" in "free market" came from and how far we are from that ideal.

From another perspective the current model may look like a subsidy to universities, where firms are their agents driving up the cost of associate labor and in doing so maximizing revenue to the colleges through the loans law students are willing to take. That is obviously even less sustainable and honestly more absurd in terms of percentage taken in economic rent (it is too damn high) but I very much doubt that it is the design.

Or, finally, and maybe this should have just been the first illustration, you could imagine what a legal education would cost if firms and agencies had to train associates in the law themselves, which, like, they kind of do anyway if we're being real, right? If you treat law school as just a credential farm then it seems like it defeats the entire purpose of law school and all that's left is the question of the licensing monopoly.

Businesslady wrote:I'm thinking about structuring incentives of the future labor supply on the way in. This is really just administrative statecraft on a small scale. Universities are practically city-states and it seems like they could almost create their own decentralized civil service in miniature.

...

In the abstract the biglaw model looks like straight up prestige arbitrage and free-riding.

It is hard for me to believe that institutions of law charged with accumulating the best and brightest could not if motivated figure out a way to do indirectly what they can't do directly (improve the next generation's QoL and move money out of megafirm partners' pockets)


Another half-idea is instead of slowly pushing "lower-ranked" law schools out of "business," slowly converting them into the next-generation equivalent of MPP/MPA-type programs for when the Schumpeter thing goes down? The prison-industrial complex is actually probably directly related to all this as well and I guess I should not be imagining this piecemeal but of course I'm not doing any real math right now so like

e: OTOH I saw a post on Faculty Lounge that was like "so & so from Berkeley to Apple University" and it was just like, Alphaville much?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], grandpapy360 and 3 guests