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Messages - Figaro

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Current Law Students / Re: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
« on: January 09, 2012, 05:16:12 PM »

[...] People have no rights and he, the psychopath, has no obligations that derive from the "social contract." The psychopath holds himself to be above conventional morality and the law. The psychopath cannot delay gratification. He wants everything and wants it now. His whims, urges, catering to his needs, and the satisfaction of his drives take precedence over the needs, preferences, and emotions of even his nearest and dearest.

Consequently, psychopaths feel no remorse when they hurt or defraud others. They don't possess even the most rudimentary conscience. They rationalize their (often criminal) behavior and intellectualize it. Psychopaths fall prey to their own primitive defense mechanisms (such as narcissism, splitting, and projection). [...] The psychopath projects his own vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and shortcomings unto others and force them to behave the way he expects them to (this defense mechanism is known as "projective identification") [...]

As to the mechanism you mention - I have read about a similar concept in social psychology - that of self-fulfilling prophecy, a process in which we find confirmation and proof for our stereotypes by creating stereotypical behavior in out-group members through our treatment of them. Word, Zanna & Cooper in 1974 conducted a set of experiments that shows such. In the first study, they asked white students to interview job applicants who were either white or black. The students tended to display discomfort when interviewing the blacks; for instance, they sat further away, stammered, and ended the interview earlier. In a second study, the researchers varied the behavior of the student interviewers so that the latter acted towards a job applicant either the way that the interviewers had acted towards whites or the way they had acted towards blacks in the first study. They found that those applicants who had been interviewed in the way that blacks had been interviewed were judged to be more nervous and less effective than the others.

Great post, Violet Bear!


[...] Formerly, they could eat, dress, wear shoes, be educated, travel, and hear Beethoven; while millions did not eat, had no clothes or shoes, neither studied nor traveled, much less listened to Beethoven. Any restriction on this way of life, in the name of the rights of the community, appears to the former oppressors as a profound violation of their individual rights -- although they had no respect for the millions who suffered and died of hunger, pain, sorrow, and despair. For the oppressors, "human beings" refers only to themselves; other people are "things." For the oppressors, there exists only one right: their right to live in peace, over against the right, not always even recognized, but simply conceded, of the oppressed to survival. And they make this concession only because the existence of the oppressed is necessary to their own existence.

This behavior, this way of understanding the world and people (which necessarily makes the oppressors resist the installation of a new regime) is explained by their experience as a dominant class. Once a situation of violence and oppression has been established, it engenders an entire way of life and behavior for those caught up in it -- oppressors and oppressed alike. Both are submerged in this situation, and both bear the marks of oppression. Analysis of existential situations of oppression reveals that their inception lay in an act of violence -- initiated by those with power. This violence, as a process, is perpetuated from generation to generation of oppressors, who become its heirs and are shaped in its climate. This climate creates in the oppressor a strongly possessive consciousness -- possessive of the world and of men and women. Apart from direct, concrete, material possession of the world and people, the oppressor consciousness could not understand itself -- could not even exist. Fromm said of this consciousness that, without such possession, "it would lose contact with the world." The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into an object of its domination. The earth, property, production, the creations of people, people themselves, time -- everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal.

In their unrestrained eagerness to possess, the oppressors develop the conviction that it is possible for them to transform everything into objects of their purchasing power; hence their strictly materialistic concept of existence. Money is the measure of all things, and profit the primary goal. For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more -- always more -- even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have and to be the class of the "haves." As beneficiaries of a situation of oppression, the oppressors cannot perceive that if having is a condition of being, it is a necessary condition for all women and men. This is why their generosity is false. Humanity is a "thing," and they possess it as an exclusive right, as inherited property. To the oppressor consciousness, the humanization of the "others," of the people, appears not as the pursuit of full humanity, but as subversion.

The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have. For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they acquired through their own "effort," with their "courage to take risks." If others do not have more, it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is their unjustifiable ingratitude towards the "generous gestures" of the dominant class. Precisely because they are "ungrateful" and "envious," the oppressed are regarded as potential enemies who must be watched.

It could not be otherwise. If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the oppressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate "things." This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to "in-animate" everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism. Fromm maintained that,

The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control the living loses one essential quality of life -- freedom

Sadistic love is a perverted love -- a love of death, not of life. One of the characteristics of the oppressor consciousness and its necrophilic view of the world is thus sadism. As the oppressor consciousness, in order to dominate, tries to deter to search, the restlessness, and the creative power which characterize life, it kills life. More and more, the oppressors are using science and technology as unquestionably powerful instruments for their purpose: the maintenance of the oppressive order through manipulation and repression. The oppressed, as objects, as "things," have no purposes except those their oppressors prescribe for them.

The fundamental theme of our historical period, domination, readily implies that of liberation as the objective to be achieved (given the fact that themes of any era are always interacting dialectically with their opposites) It is by means of critical thinking that individuals will be able to understand the world in totality, not in fragments, achieving a clearer perception of the whole. To this end, a dialectical method of thought, exemplified in the analysis of a "coded" situation is presented. The "decoding" on the part of students/learners will guarantee moving from the part to the whole and then returning to the parts, so that the Subject recognizes oneself in the coded concrete situation and recognizes the latter as a situation in which he finds himself, as well as with the other people; accomplished as it should, this makes possible for the abstract to be "transported" to the concrete realm, by the critical perception of the subject himself. The task of the teacher becomes the "representing" of the universe of themes to the people from whom it was initially received -- presented to them as a "problem."

There is another post (by kaps) at the other thread recognizing such - I'm going there now.

Trying to connect the dots here ... basically what the quoted poster is saying is that the ruling class and their pals (corporate execs) expect total subjugation to their wishes from the oppressed - to each and every one of their wishes?!

Q/A, corporate guys (along with their accessories that help them maintain the facade of legality) indeed, share the mindset of the ruling class. As a matter of fact, it would be more appropriate to say that the ruling class rules in such a way that businesses will flourish and realize enormous profits from an enslaved and brainwashed population.

Well, I guess we can't do anything more than tell people this:



figurati - don't get me started with all the * & ^ % they call "science," and that they claim that it "works." Take a look at this other post - it talks about "conditioning," role models" and the like that they use in the military to train soldiers to kill in battle. Now, anyone with a brain can figure it out that those young, naive guys who enlist in the military know what they will be asked to do, and that they would do it, were these "techniques" used on them, or not!

Literally insane, decline!


So, My Bonnie, the magic formula is


Is it not so?

Hahaha Veronica - the complete formula would, naturally, be



Veronica, are you guys talking in code here? "Curve," "Adaptive," "FactorF*" - what the h e l l does that all mean?'

surepiro - I think 'Curve' refers to the grading curve law schools and standardized tests (such as LSAT, for instance) apply, 'Adaptive' is used to account for the fact that sometimes standardized tests may be adaptive - I don't know what they mean by 'FactorF'.


Zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participant(s). It is so named because when the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Chess and Go are examples of a zero-sum game - it is impossible for both players to win. Zero-sum is a special case of a more general constant sum where the benefits and losses to all players sum to the same value. Cutting a cake is zero- or constant-sum because taking a larger piece reduces the amount of cake available for others.

Situations where participants can all gain or suffer together, such as a country with an excess of bananas trading with another country for their excess of apples, where both benefit from the transaction, are referred to as non-zero-sum. Other non-zero-sum games are games in which the sum of gains and losses by the players are always more or less than what they began with. For example, a game of poker played in a casino is a zero-sum game unless the pleasure of gambling or the cost of operating a casino is taken into account, making it a non-zero-sum game.

It has been theorized by Robert Wright, among others, that society becomes increasingly non-zero-sum as it becomes more complex, specialized, and interdependent.

An example

A game's payoff matrix is a convenient way of representation. Consider for example the two-player zero-sum game pictured

The order of play proceeds as follows: The first player (red) chooses in secret one of the two actions 1 or 2; the second player (blue), unaware of the first player's choice, chooses in secret one of the three actions A, B or C. Then, the choices are revealed and each player's points total is affected according to the payoff for those choices.

Example: the first player chooses action 2 and the second player chose action B. When the payoff is allocated the first player gains 20 points and the second player loses 20 points.

Now, in this example game both players know the payoff matrix and attempt to maximize the number of their points. What should they do?

Player 1 could reason as follows: "with action 2, I could lose up to 20 points and can win only 20, while with action 1 I can lose only 10 but can win up to 30, so action 1 looks a lot better." With similar reasoning, player 2 would choose action C. If both players take these actions, the first player will win 20 points. But what happens if player 2 anticipates the first player's reasoning and choice of action 1, and deviously goes for action B, so as to win 10 points? Or if the first player in turn anticipates this devious trick and goes for action 2, so as to win 20 points after all?

John von Neumann had the fundamental and surprising insight that probability provides a way out of this conundrum. Instead of deciding on a definite action to take, the two players assign probabilities to their respective actions, and then use a random device which, according to these probabilities, chooses an action for them. Each player computes the probabilities so as to minimise the maximum expected point-loss independent of the opponent's strategy; this leads to a linear programming problem with a unique solution for each player. This minimax method can compute provably optimal strategies for all two-player zero-sum games.

For the example given above, it turns out that the first player should choose action 1 with probability 57% and action 2 with 43%, while the second player should assign the probabilities 0%, 57% and 43% to the three actions A, B and C. Player one will then win 2.85 points on average per game.

Thinking "like a lawyer" also means to define people according to their legal rights, trying to understand, prevent and "resolve" problems by applying legal rules to those rights, usually in a zero-sum manner. It is fundamentally negative, critical, pessimistic, and depersonalizing. This method of thinking is conveyed and understood in law schools as a new and superior way of thinking, not a strictly limited legal tool. These beliefs and thought processes have an atomistic worldview and a zero-sum message about life. Nothing much matters beyond winning or losing, and there is always a loser for each winner.

Not to mention that stupid m u t h a @ # ! * i n g grading curve that law schools have in place.

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