Friday, June 24, 2016

what's the status, cincinnatus?

Given the lads' apparent intemperance on the subject of religio/ethno identity narcissism, perhaps it falls upon me as Chief Steward to ensure the Mess Hall is suitably ship-shape.

What, exactly, has been the point of this seemingly schizophrenic blog?

You want to know, don't you?

You wonder why the blog seems to consistently target Jews lately, gays previously, and Marxists eternally.

You want to ask a question similar to one of these:

"Chet, what's wrong with Marxism?"

"Mr Redweld, why are you a homophobe?"

"Sleazy lawyer Cheat Rotwood, shouldn't we execute you for your anti-Semitism?"


Because reading comprehension is a long-lost talent in American culture, and because 98% of you did not attend a good elementary school and therefore did not, when sponge-minded, learn to appreciate critical thinking and healthy self-doubt (as contrasted against self-as-victim), you have missed the very consistent theme of this blog:  values.

"Value," in this sense, is not about getting a great deal on a new car or McMansion.

It's also not about taking your own personal prejudices and calling them "values."

The view of "values" communicated here is much more holistic, and probably a lot more tree-tops in perspective, rather than bipedal humanoid in view.

This blog is about consistent themes, cohesion in an argument advanced in favor of a particular perspective.

So what, exactly, is that perspective?


When you choose to act on anything or toward anyone, what are you choosing?

What sits beneath that choice?

What drove it?


If you are other-driven, externally oriented, tribalist in nature, you start from a flawed perspective.

What is the flaw?

You don't see the flaw.  You're extraverted, you want to be popular, you want adulation for your in-crowd status.  You seek celebrity.

But the flaw is glaring to introverts.

And the flaw is simply stated.

The flaw is in the "wisdom" of the masses.


Your parents probably tried to teach you this lesson the first time you got caught doing something they didn't like, especially if it seemed to them as if you did this unlikeable thing because of peer pressure.

"If Johnny jumped off a 12 story building, does that mean you should do it too?"

"If Mary lit her cat's hair on fire to see what happens, does that mean you should do it too?"


Instead of thinking about this, you're now going to argue with me.  "The Mary example is stupid.  Girls don't behave cruelly toward animals.  You're a sexist, a misogynist.  Only boys do such life-destroying things!"

There's your blind spot, Mr Magoo.  And you're not as funny as Jim Backus, so don't try to play it off as a "joke," please.

You've adopted The Masses View on gender, misogyny, the patriarchy.

You never bothered to examine it.  You just adopted it.

To fit in.

To be "popular."

Or, in really sad cases, to seem "progressive" and "intellectual."

But what you're really trying to do is divide, while claiming a unifying perspective as your own.


If you say you want "social justice" but you try always to label and divide through category-demonization, you're not working toward social justice.  You're trying to make your personal prejudices into The Rule.

You're assuming everyone thinks exactly as you do, holds the same blind spots, harbors the same delusions, suffers from an identical illogic.

If you want social justice, then be honest about your own views, desires, wants, and alleged needs.

Let others be honest about theirs.

And then let's work together from a point of commonality to arrive at something much more negotiated, and much less forced upon others.


It's the point of commonality that is your own personal hurdle, tumbleweed.

Let me give you a big fat example.

Over the past year, anyone paying the mildest attention to the 2016 POTUS "race" has been able to see that the Same Old Same Old is not holding sway any longer.

On the R side, classic Party Faithfuls have shifted to supporting Trump.

On the D side, lifelong Sincere Team Players shuffled over to endorsing Sanders.

This says there's a lot of commonality at one obvious level:  the duopolistic monopoly is a failure.

And I bet if you dug deeper, without any partisan agenda in play, you'd find that the Trumpists and Sandernistas agree that FedGov is corrupt beyond repair.

Where they disagree is on who gets blamed for the irreparable status.


Perhaps, at this point in the analysis, you might see the value in putting aside your impulse to category-blame.

While Trumpists say the problem is we need to close the borders, Sandernistas say the problem is bigotry against immigrants.

What's the real problem they're not discussing while pretending to analyze it?

Loss of jobs.  Inability to support one's self and family.

But don't stop there.


In the new Big Data economy, people are getting paid massive sums for non-work pseudo-productivity.

Do you really think that more data is the solution?

Waiting for more data, wanting more data -- that's about putting off the act of getting at the core of the problem and doing something about it.

The problem is rooted in value choices, not insufficient data.

Why don't you chew on that for a while, see what sort of cud it makes for you, and see if you find yourself being led to the abbatoir where you'll be transformed from This Life as a Cow, to The Next Life as Fresh Meat?

-- Chet Redweld, who enjoys detached analysis more than most, and who never lets another's mistaken conclusions about his supposed prejudices stop the process.


Chet Redweld said...

Chet Redweld said...

A person lucky enough to work as a judge's law clerk after finishing law school is a person who has the chance to see how the legal system works from the inside.

It takes awareness, skill and an open eager-to-learn mind for maximum advantage-taking when you're so lucky.

If you clerk for a judge who gives more than two lumps of doo-doo about helping his/her law clerk learn the most during that one-(in some cases, two-)year** role, you're doubly lucky. Especially if the judge is a good person, was when practicing and still is a great lawyer, and is a respected honest judge. Then you're trebly lucky. Your padawan slot machine just hit 3 TNT icons, the machine's paying out big!

I had such triple luck.

Mine was actually a squaring of a prior triple-luck situation as a law student who took two classes from a professor who served for 5 years as the law clerk to SCOTUS Justice Frank Murphy. That professor wasn't ever a judge himself, but he wrote the essential manual on practicing before the SCOTUS. He taught how to analyze issues holistically, how to advocate holistically while still effectively, and how to object/dissent in a holistic manner. And, he taught us how to write.

A lawyer, and especially a litigator, is no better than half as good as he/she could be if always locked into a biased perspective.


Another way of looking at this is through effects. For example, a mediated outcome for a dispute, in which 3 or more interests are in contest.

If the outcome results in all competing interests being satisfied, you probably didn't even get at the root of the problem.

If the outcome results in a disparity of satisfaction -- for example, A is well-pleased but B and C are disappointed -- then you did a poor job and your solution was biased in favor of A.

The optimal outcome is where each party feels pinched, and ideally but admittedly subjectively, each feels about equally pinched.

To discern parity in squeeze, you'll have to be a good judge of human nature and character, and know how to sift Adversarial Emotions from actual ramifications.

You can't do this fresh out of law school

You can't do this after 2 years of practice.

Unless, perhaps, those 2 years were spent as a Public Defender in a high-volume court.

Chet Redweld said...

** in the above comment:

Refers to rare exception of a 5 year clerkship for a SCOTUS Justice because of the era: WW2 and an ongoing drafting & call-up meant many candidates for Next Year's Clerk were going into some form of military service after finishing law school. In the case of Justice Frank Murphy, the solution was to hang onto an exemplary clerk rather than draw from a more limited pool and possibly get an inferior one, even if that one was Double Harvard.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Chet, do you have Ivy/Prestige School Jealousy?

Chet Redweld said...

That's not what I'd call it, Chuck.

I'd call it more a Burst Bubble.

K-12 my surrounding culture told me Harvard is King.

B.S. my surrounding culture told me M.I.T. is King.

J.D. my surrounding culture switched back to Harvard in the regal spot.

But in practice, I had no more difficulty doing better than a Prestige School graduate than I did being superior to a State School graduate.

I often learned more from people who went to State Schools.

Though I did work with one Harvard JD who taught me a few things. I think he would have been able to teach me valuable things even if he'd under-achieved and only gone to State Schools.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

So the quality of one's mind, one's thinking, one's intellect really doesn't get proved by the prestige of that person's degree-issuing institution?

Chet Redweld said...

No, only a lazy and careless person would assume without actual personal interview that, for example, an M.I.T. grad is superior to a Texas Tech grad.

A software program running Big Data through its code isn't going to prove anything about which candidate is worth your time.

But I'm sure the programmers' marketing staff have people who can persuade you it completely replaces that headache of needing to subjectively assess candidates for employment.

Execs must really hate dealing with HR people if they let the HR people convince them that such software filters will yield long-term durable quality employee talent.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

What about that conundrum in athletics, Chet?

There's people who say that great athletes can't be effectively coached by someone who never was a top-tier competitor himself.

Is there any truth in that?

Chet Redweld said...

The history of athletics is full of well-respected coaches and technical advisors who themselves weren't ever Top of the Heap in the sport.

The ability to understand, analyze, break-down and re-assemble constituent technical pieces, and communicate those ideas effectively for a range of athlete/student temperaments, personal blind spots, etc., is a far different ability than that which puts one at the Top of the Heap in that sport's competition.

There's a Top of the Heap for coaching too, and I'd wager that the vast majority of former Tops of the Heap in the sports themselves wouldn't even be very close to Middle of the Heap as coaches.

This may say more about natural gifts and the extent to which they were nurtured, though.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Hey Chet, did you have any other good professors?

Chet Redweld said...

Sure did. Several great ones in undergrad, several in law school. I made sure to make the most of those opportunities, unlike most people I knew, who zombie-walked through such chances seeking only a grade leading to a Nice Job.

Myopia. It's bad enough my eyes are afflicted with it. I don't want my mind or outlook similarly restricted.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Did you say "natural gifts" up there, Chet?

Are you suggesting it's possible some people earned a 4.0 or a Double Harvard through dogged monastic hard work and maybe cheating, while not having Top of the Heap brainpower or detached holistic perspective?

Is it possible that instead of reflecting actual knowledge and wisdom, a diploma is a Brand for a Brand-Directed Economy?

Is it possible that focusing on Brands is a big part of the problem in American society 2016?

Is it possible that people have been so influenced by such things as bacefook and instagag and shitter that they now believe themselves in the ultimate power of Personal Brand?

Is that why Donald Trump refers to his Personal Brand when campaigning? Is he serious, or is he mocking people for their confusion of values?

Chet Redweld said...

Anyone who takes Donald Trump's campaign statements since June 2015 as anything but a minimum-2-layers message is being led by a nose ring.

If Trump's mockery of everything superficial in American Culture 2016 isn't seen/felt at one person's end of things, that's probably because that person's view is wrapped up in the perspective being mocked.

Trump's popularity over the past year is attributable in large part to people who feel and get the mockery inherent in his sound bites. He's mocking the system.

Is he my choice?


Is he doing us a service through his mockery?


Bernie Sanders mocked the system in a different way. Cynically. By gathering the disaffected, and leading them to Hillary.

Just like Howard Dean/Markos Zuniga/MoveOn did.

What's that saying? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Maybe the Sting is that Hillary's going to be indicted between now and maybe September or mid-September, Bernie will step in, and it will be Bernie vs Trump in the November Super Bowl of Political Theater? So the Hillaryites that didn't Feel the Bern must become one of the Berned?

Meta, Loretta!

Bernie v Trump would be sure to cause a Kent State somewhere. Certain people want that. Maybe even are salivating over its possibility!