Understanding vs Acceptance, Law Student’s Lesson

When we started jurisdiction in Procedure, Nicky Morris made what seemed an important comment. “About now,” he said, “law school begins to become more than just learning a language. You also have to start learning rules and you’ll find pretty quickly that there’s quite a premium placed on mastering the rules and knowing how to apply them. “But in learning rules, don’t feel as if you’ve got to forsake a sense of moral scrutiny. The law in almost all its phases is a reflection of competing value systems. Don’t get your heads turned around to the point that you feel because you’re learning a rule, you’ve necessarily taken on the values that produced the rule in the first place.

Turow, Scott. One L

Personality/Temperament, Situation and Mind

SPIEGEL: On the board, Mischel drew three circles. The first represented personality – your traits, your temperament. Then he drew a second circle.

MISCHEL: Here are the situations, OK?

SPIEGEL: But in between the two, Mischel drew a third circle. This, he said, poking the board, is your mind – that wonderful, curious thing that houses all kinds of invisible stuff.

MISCHEL: Like your expectations, your stable expectations about what happens if you do certain things. It has entered your way of construing or seeing or framing or depicting different situations. So when I’m in a large group, do I feel terrified because it’s a scary situation? Or when I’m in a large group, do I see it as a challenge because here’s an opportunity to really reach a lot of people?

SPIEGEL: All this stuff in your mind – these beliefs, assumptions, expectations that you’ve gotten from your friends, your family, your culture – those things, Mischel explained, are the filter through which you see the world. Your mind stands between who you are, your personality and whatever situation you’re in and profoundly influences how your brain interprets the world around it. Those beliefs, expectations, assumptions – they direct what your mind pays attention to quite literally – even what it physically sees in a situation and how it feels about what it sees.

And so when the stuff inside the mind changes, people change. They begin to interpret their situations differently or themselves differently, and so situations act on them differently.

MISCHEL: People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations, to reframe them, to reconstrue them, to even reconstrue themselves.

SPIEGEL: This is why Mischel sees people as fundamentally flexible. He tells me that is the single most important thing that he has stood for in his whole professional life.

MISCHEL: What my life has been about is in showing the potential for human beings to not be the victims of their biographies – not their biological biographies, not their social biographies – and to show, in great detail, the many ways in which people can change what they become and how they think.

The Personality Myth, Invisibilia

Village Voice – Photo Archive

VillagePhotosArchives

35/48
Madonna, 1983 “The only direction I was given was to photograph anyone that made me turn my head,” Amy Arbus told the Voice in 2015 of her popular “On the Street” feature, which ran from 1980 to 1990. “The theory behind the whole ‘On the Street’ page for ten years was that these kids were inventing the styles that then were going to be borrowed by [designers such as] Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui.”

https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/09/22/the-village-in-41-photos/

4 Songs I found via Shazam and then bought from iTunes.

Shazam

“Our mission is to help people recognize and engage with the world around them”
Shazam is a mobile app that recognises music and TV around you. It is the best way to discover, explore and share the music and TV you love. Shazam connects more than 1 billion people. It took us 10 years to reach 1 billion tags, 10 months to reach 2 billion, 3 months to go from 10 to 12 billion… It’s an amazing app, available now in the Apple and Android stores. And we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to delight our users.

High Concept Movies – Defined, Examples of

The “high concept” movie (a much-abused term) is one whose premise can be summed up in a sentence, if not within the title itself — for instance, what happens when a bored married couple’s “Date Night” goes wrong? Wacky fun!

The ideas is that the easy hook goes over well with your stereotypical movie executive — it becomes the selling point rather than the actors or characters. If it sounds irresistible (and/or ridiculous), people will show up hoping to see exactly what they were promised (a premise “Snakes On A Plane” took to its logical conclusion)…

Se7en (1995)
High concept premise: A serial killer takes down his victims based on their violations of the seven deadly sins.

Bio-Dome (1996)
High concept premise: Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin get trapped in, yes, a biodome.

IFC

Emerson on Prayer

“Prayer that craves a particular commodity, any thing less than all good, is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action. The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends.”

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Self Reliance

Random Quiz

Someone who studies ants is a:
The original drummer for The Beatles was:
SQL stands for:
The author of the Foundation series:
Defenestrate means:

Heaven and Hell are Within You

An old monk on Mount Athos in Greece once told me that people rejoice in the thought of hell to the precise degree that they harbor hell within themselves. By which he meant, I believe, that heaven and hell alike are both within us all, in varying degrees, and that, for some, the idea of hell is the treasury of their most secret, most cherished hopes — the hope of being proved right when so many were wrong, of being admired when so many are despised, of being envied when so many have been scorned.

And as Jesus said (Matthew 6:21), “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

David Bentley Hart, NY Times

RIP – Neil Peart

I saw Rush on the Power Windows tour and the crowd threw glow sticks in the air when they heard the first note of Tom Sawyer. Thanks for the good times Neil!


Here’s a Rolling Stone profile of Rush from 2015 that I remember reading and enjoying: From Rush With Love

Neil Peart likes to ask himself a couple of key questions. One is “What is the most excellent thing I can do today?” The answers lead him to travel between Rush’s shows on a BMW motorcycle instead of a plane or bus (creating scheduling nightmares for the band’s management), and to embark upon extracurricular bicycle trips through West Africa and China and Europe. He aims to fill every minute of his life with as much much-ness as possible, which may also help explain all those 32nd notes.

Hamlet as improv part …

Hamlet is a tragedy where there is a part left open, as a part is left open for an improvisational actor in farce. But here the part is left open for a tragedian.

He is fundamentally bored, and for that reason he acts theatrically. The play is written entirely out of spite against actors, and by its nature the role of Hamlet cannot be done by an actor. An actor can act everything except an actor. Hamlet should be played by an actor brought in off the street, and the rest of the characters should be professional actors. The point about Hamlet is that he is an actor and you can’t act yourself. You can only be yourself.

W. H. Auden, Lectures on Shakespeare

Personal Identity, Quotes on

“Even though I was very shy, I found I could get onstage if I had a new identity.”
David Bowie

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.”
Madonna

“Who the fuck are you?”
The Who

“If you understood everything I said, you’d be me”
Miles Davis

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”
Alan Watts

RIP – Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose startling 1994 memoir, “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America,” won praise for opening a dialogue about clinical depression and helped introduce an unsparing style of confessional writing that remains influential, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 52.

NYTIMES

Three Cheers for Thrasybulus

So, if we look at Athens in 401, the democracy has been completely restored and I’d like to draw my comments about this to a close by focusing on Thrasybulus, a man, who I think probably none of you had ever heard his name when you came into this class. You had heard of Pericles, you may have heard of Themistocles, you heard lots of different Athenians, but you never heard of Thrasybulus. So, you might be surprised to hear the following. Cornelius Nepos, a Roman historian of the first century B.C., in writing lives of famous Greeks and Romans, wrote the following about Thrasybulus: “If excellence were to be weighed by itself, apart from luck, I believe I would rank this man first of all. This much is certain, I put no one ahead of him in sense of honor, steadfastness, greatness of soul, and love of country.” That isn’t bad but it’s not the end.

A few years before 180 A.D., Pausanias the great travel writer of antiquity, wrote his guide to the famous and historic places of ancient Greece. In the section on Athens, he described the graves of the heroes and men that lined the roads outside the city beginning with the one leading to the place known as The Academy. Here’s what Pausanias the travel writer says, “The first is that of Thrasybulus, son of Lycus, in every way the greatest of all famous Athenians, whether they lived before or after him.” Think of all the names that are involved in that and maybe the weight of Pausanias’ general comparison is intensified by something a little bit more specific, because the next words in Pausanias’ account are these: “His is the first grave and after it comes that of Pericles,” just in case you thought he missed Pericles by mistake.

Now, that’s extraordinary and there’s a great puzzle that I can’t solve and probably never can be solved. How could it be that these fellows who lived centuries afterwards said these things about Thrasybulus and we have never heard of him? I mean barely heard of him. I mean, the best answer I can give you is there must have been lost histories, and we know there are of the period, and they must have given Thrasybulus the kind of credit for his remarkable achievements that don’t show up in Xenophon and Diodorus and the orators. But we at last, and you have an obligation to future generations, must not let the name of Thrasybulus lie in obscurity again, and just so that you don’t forget him, remember he is the only Greek I know whose name fits a Yale fight song — Thrasybulus, Thrasybulus.

Robert Kagan, Lecture 21 – The Struggle for Hegemony in Fourth-Century Greece