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Current Law Students / Re: The Sexual Commune
« on: February 05, 2008, 11:04:20 AM »

Hierarchical, authoritarian institutions tend to be self-perpetuating, because growing up under their influence creates submissive/authoritarian personalities -- people who both "respect" authority (based on fear of punishment) and desire to exercise it themselves on subordinates. Individuals with such a character structure do not really want to dismantle hierarchies, because they are afraid of the responsibility entailed by genuine freedom. It seems "natural" and "right" to them that society's institutions, from the authoritarian factory to the patriarchal family, should be pyramidal, with an elite at the top giving orders while those below them merely obey. Thus we have the spectacle of so called "Libertarians" and "anarcho" capitalists bleating about "liberty" while at the same time advocating factory fascism and privatised states. In short, authoritarian civilisation reproduces itself with each generation because, through an intricate system of conditioning that permeates every aspect of society, it creates masses of people who support the status quo.

So basically the nuclear family, as the base unit of consensus society, with its attendant "oedipal miseries," a response to the "agricultural revolution" with its imposed scarcity and its imposed hierarchy has to be abolished? I've read some authors advocate the more primal and more radical model -- the band.

The typical hunter/gatherer nomadic or semi-nomadic band consists of about 50 people. Within larger tribal societies the band-structure is fulfilled by clans within the tribe, or by sodalities such as initiatic or secret societies, hunt or war societies, gender societies, "children's republics," and so on. If the nuclear family is produced by scarcity (and results in miserliness), the band is produced by abundance -- and results in prodigality. The family is closed, by genetics, by the male's possession of women and children, by the hierarchic totality of agricultural/industrial society. The band is open -- not to everyone, of course, but to the affinity group, the initiates sworn to a bond of love. The band is not part of a larger hierarchy, but rather part of a horizontal pattern of custom, extended kinship, contract and alliance, spiritual affinities, etc.

In fact in our society many forces are working -- largely invisibly -- to phase out the nuclear family and bring back the band. Breakdowns in the structure of Work resonate in the shattered "stability" of the unit-home and unit-family. One's "band" nowadays includes friends, ex-spouses and lovers, people met at different jobs and pow-wows, affinity groups, special interest networks, mail networks, etc. The nuclear family becomes more and more obviously a trap, a cultural sinkhole, a neurotic secret implosion of split atoms -- and the obvious counter-strategy emerges spontaneously in the almost unconscious rediscovery of the more archaic and yet more post-industrial possibility of the band.

The very fluidity and temporality of networks created proves to be one of the fortes, instead of a downside, of the arrangement indeed.

Current Law Students / Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« on: February 05, 2008, 10:54:37 AM »

In Europe, the state pays for the institutional costs of instruction; students pay little or no tuition, but are responsible for living costs; and most universities are public.

In the US, by contrast, student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, oppressive, and predatory type of debt of any in the nation. This has occurred due to legislation that was largely paid for by the the lobbying machine of Sallie Mae, the largest student loan company in America. Vast personal fortunes are being made by both Sallie Mae executives, and others who paid for this legislation, at the expense of decent citizens who were not able to capitalize on their education. This has effectively crippled MILLIONS of decent citizens who want to repay their original debt, but are prevented from doing so by staggeringly higher amounts being demanded from them by both non-profit, and for-profit student loan companies.

That is the reason why many medical students enroll in a foreign school -- the Caribbean Medical Schools are usually less expensive and much more affordable compared to US medical schools. Often the education is a bargain even when extra costs, such as traveling abroad, health insurance and other miscellaneous costs, are included.

The downside is that not all of these schools are accredited. They must make sure their MD degree will be accepted in the US, though. Four states (California, Florida, New Jersey, and New York) evaluate foreign medical schools individually, with most Caribbean medical schools not being accredited in all four of these states. Schools like Ross School of Medicine, Saba School of Medicine, and St. George University (SGU) have the best reputations among Caribbean schools.

What this means is that students completing their studies in such schools might be at a disadvantage when competing for strong residencies. However, the USMLE scores are an important determinant of the residency match, so strong USMLE scores make up for a lot and can be a great equalizer. Another disadvantage is that often the clinical rotations are done in US medical schools. Many Caribbean Medical Schools have arrangements with US hospitals, but the students options in rotations might be limited compared to the options available to a student in a US medical school.

One could have exciting opportunities to contribute to medical science without having necessarily to suffer through a few years of 80- or 100-hour sleepless clinical training.

Current Law Students / Re: Spread The Word Before Tuesday
« on: February 05, 2008, 10:36:06 AM »

"No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States."

Art. II, Sec. 1, Paragraph 4, Qualifications for President.

The "age of thirty-five years" requirement is ridiculous!

Current Law Students / Re: Legal Reasoning
« on: February 05, 2008, 10:24:58 AM »

According to Gurdjieff the enneagram figure is a symbol that represents the "law of seven" and the "law of three" (the two fundamental universal laws) and, therefore, the figure can be used to describe any natural whole phenomenon, cosmos, process in life or any other piece of knowledge. The basic use of the enneagram is to explain why nothing in nature and in life constantly occurs in a straight line, that is to say that there are always ups and downs in life which occur lawfully. Easier examples of this can be noticed in athletic performances, where a high ranked athlete always has periodic downfalls, as well as in nearly all graphs that plot topics that occur over time, such as the economic graphs, population graphs, death-rate graphs and so on. All show parabolic periods that keep rising and falling. Gurdjieff claimed that since these periods occur lawfully based on the Enneagram that it is possible to keep a process in a straight line if the necessary shocks were introduced at the right time.

The principal enneagram figure used by the Fourth Way and Gurdjieff is a circle with nine points. Within the circle is a triangle connecting points 9, 3 and 6. The inscribed figure resembling a web connects the other six points in a cyclic figure 1-4-2-8-5-7. This enneagram's construction is based on the laws of octaves. The enneagram's construction is also constructed lawfully on the same laws as the decimal system. If the enneagram is used to represent a whole octave of notes and the number 1, then by dividing 1 into seven different notes...

7/7=.999999... can be noticed that all of these fractions, except in the case of the last one, are made up of the same numbers running in a definite sequence, and by joining those numbers on the figure the given web-like shape is obtained. Also, if the web is used in an explanation, by knowing the initial number of the period it is possible to immediately re-establish the whole period in full.

On the enneagram most processes are represented through octaves where the points serve as the notes; a concept which is derived from Gurdjieff’s idea of the law of seven. In an octave the developing process comes to a critical point (one of the triangle points) at which help from outside is needed for it to rightly continue. This concept is best illustrated on the keys of the piano where every white key would represent an enneagram point. The adjacent white keys which are missing a black key (half note) in between represent the enneagram web points which have a triangle point in between. In order that this point would pass onto the next, an external push is required.

Using the enneagram a process is depicted as going right around the circle beginning at point 9 (the ending point of a previous process). The process can continue until it reaches point 3. At this point an external aid is needed in order that the process continues. If it doesn't receive the 'help' the process will stop evolving and will devolve back into the form from which it evolved. The process continues until point 6 and later 9, where a similar "push" is needed. If the process passes point 9 the initial process will end while giving birth to a new one.

This external "push" thing appears to be very interesting..


Excuse me, aren't these type of things exactly the ones for which one becomes a senator/congressman/elected official? I mean, that's what having power means, to be able to do things for which "simple" people go to jail if they do them -- go with children, kill, whatever!

I am assuming you're being sarcastic; if not, it's a shame you go to law school (if you really do)!

I wouldn't really say it's a shame s/he goes to law school (if s/he really does) -- while there are many people in law school who would cleverly get that message through by means of sarcasm, the majority of law students wouldn't even bother to apply any sarcasm at all when stating that idea.

Trying to be funny, resume? Sarcastically funny?

Current Law Students / Re: IT'S A DRAW!!!
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:39:06 AM »

Noting that former President Bill Clinton is often called the "first black president," Obama was asked if he shared that opinion.

First, said Obama, he would have to investigate Bill Clinton's "dance abilities" to more accurately judge "if he is a brother." Clinton said that could be arranged.


[...] Indeed there should be no "conflict" in being a gay man and an American soldier, and at the same time.

As a matter of fact, soldier, there should be no conflict in a being a gay man and an American citizen, at the same time...

Cafe Cargo, is there anything I am missing? :)

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