Thursday, February 10, 2011


I wrote this self-congratulatory paragraph once.  I received an A for a graduate class in political theory.  The class was reading and writing heavy, and the first draft of the paper I turned in was returned to me, with a "see me" note--turned out that I couldn't do what I wanted, and had to rewrite the entire thing.  Damn.  I chose the hardest option afterward that the professor offered me, and she really liked it.  Now, I'll confess that most of that stuff is kind of like high level posturing, with very little substance.  It seems that most of what we do in life is posturing, until we get into a position that we like enough to actually work on substantive stuff.  There's a real divorce between doing things on the ground--the fruits--and the setup, and an awful lot of life is consumed by the setup, and not the execution.  I think that's a mistake, both in the professional and personal world, but I do allow that we need to do some brainstorming when we start from scratch.  But, and I ask this seriously, who is really concerned with exclusive legal positivism?  Don't know what it is?  Well I don't anymore either (and it wasn't the subject of the paper mind you), but it has something to do with establishing validity of legal norms--not why do people follow laws, but: what makes this law legitimate so that we should follow it?

That's a central question, actually, in the personally realm.  Why follow a rule that you tell yourself to follow?  Should other people follow it too?  See, my education is already helping me in non-monetary ways! 

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