« on: April 08, 2011, 12:02:24 AM »
In any event, it's an orchestrated marketing ploy.
Aloha, Hamilton -
At the risk of jumping into something, well, risky, a comment from a colleague struck me some years ago. He was commenting on the shock of a junior associate at the realization that what was done in a firm was commercial. Just about anyone in a firm would have commented along the lines of "Well, duh." Yet it seems the antipathy towards commercialism results in the worst of both worlds. I am both self-interested in this (of course) and also fascinated as this is one of the subjects I occasionally teach (Foundations of Free-Market Economics).
We are inundated by commercial messages, and for some this is deeply troubling. Fair enough. Yet what is unseen is that most of our choices are made for us, commercial and otherwise, long before we ever get to make those decisions. Often, the pre-decision is not one to our benefit, and paradoxically, raw commercialism is about the only force for self-selection there is. In traditional publishing, for example, a buyer (usually, a single person) decides which books will be on the shelves, period, often after a ten-second review. This is not necessarily wrong, as most buyers were and are fairly adept at determining quality. Yet as brands built, the cozy relationships meant that whatever the organization produced . . . would receive shelf space. Something similar is operating on grocery shelves, which is one of the impetuses for oligopolies. The advent of desktop publishing and Amazon has widely opened the field, to mixed but generally better results.
It seems to me that what is objectionable is not what a free-spirit anti-commercial internet soul would think, but rather an attempt to manipulate subversively. With the advent of anonymous postings, this of course lends a new dimension to the potential for mischief. But we shouldn't be deluded about how the world works. In any event, I would suggest only that those who are going to the active practice of law prepare themselves for a barrage of commercial messages. Orchestrated or not, it's the interpretation, not the existence, that's problematic.