Law in Contemporary Society
I agree with Prof. Moglen that defining aims would help narrow our focus to manageable problems.

I'll tentatively propose that one should reconcile three kinds of signals: (1) one's skills, (2) one's sense of issues or people that are on the right track, and (3) one's sense of an ideal future world.

Our excerpt of "Something Split" shows "All Great Problems Come from the Streets" as the next chapter, which accords with Arnold's analysis of new organizations rising to fill unmet needs. I'd slot it in with the second signal – I agree it's crucial, but it may be incomplete and prone to overcorrection. (In the 1800s we had pro-business laws and "rugged individualism" because everyone was poor and we wanted to build an avenue to relief for some, rather than none. Now some people are rich and some people are poor, so we consider replacing the system with something geared toward equality. Sounds good, but I need to hear more. We shouldn't be oblivious to earlier problems and goals, lest we regress and repeat.)

I've yet to give up on the third signal as an instrument of perspective and calibration. I suspect there are big differences in what people have in mind (more or less consciously) that mostly go unrecognized. I wonder to what extent people think there's an important division of opinion between:

• We continue to live here on Earth in a broadly recognizable way, approaching ideals of fairness and sustainability, and

• We expand infinitely in capability and knowledge, conquering scarcity and death on our way to complete freedom.

I might attribute the first to Tharaud and more of the second to Cerriere. Views like these may underlie our perceptions more than we think and explain some failures to communicate. Interestingly, the notion of perpetual economic growth might rely on the feasibility of the second future. Is it useful to think about?

-- GregOrr - 09 Apr 2009


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r2 - 07 Jan 2010 - 21:35:30 - IanSullivan
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