Late-night thoughts, random musings, unrelated contemplations:
Item. Lawsuits involve competing views attached to a set of facts. A rejoinder to another’s position assumes one will respond in a “proportionate” manner. But proportionality requires one to temper and moderate one’s level of response. Another approach is not initially to seek out proportionality, but to seek out its polar opposite, and then to work backward from an extreme position.
Item. Contrast between natural law and human law. One is based on reflex, adaptation, and instinct; the other, on practices, customs, and conventions. Both, however, rely on rules which in turn rely on how the world works and is perceived to work. Thus, the importance of awareness, insight, and clear-sightedness.
Item. Game theory invoked as a strategy––e.g., one’s task viewed as a competitive “game” somehow “played” against other “competitors”––is a bit too simplistic. Game theory works because every participant views what’s at stake as nothing more than a game. Once that assumption is dropped then other rules of greater generality come to assume priority.
Item. Assessing the probability of a future event occurring. “What will occur?” versus “What may or might occur?” First, to ask: what’s least likely, what’s most likely? Then, to ask: is there an evidence-based rule which somehow can explain both?
Item. Linear versus nonlinear legal thinking. For example, suppose you were asked to: “Examine the ways in which personality, appearance, and intellect might exert an influence upon each other.” One quickly realizes the depth and complexity of each category, and the large number of possible connections. What might work to explain complex relationships between such categories and concepts? And what if the categories and concepts change during the task itself? Math has variables, but here the trick is to identify and make sense of changing variables which exist within, and between, categories.
Item. Reading from the inside out. Most read from the outside in. Reading what the author has written in two dimensions and internalizing what’s expressed. But what if the reverse were used as well? One reads from the inside out. One reads as if standing on the other side of the page, as if taking a walk in three-dimensional space.
Item. Adaptive coloration is similar to flexible thinking strategies depending on the context and circumstance about to be encountered. One size does not fit all. To vary your thinking depending on what’s about to be undertaken––who’s present, the type of task involved, what’s expected, etc.
Item. Ideas as an aspect of personality. “Never present ideas except in terms of temperaments and characters. I should, by the way, have this expressed by one of my characters (the novelist) –– “Persuade yourself that opinions do not exist outside of individuals. The trouble with most people is that they think that have freely accepted or chosen the opinions they profess, which are actually as predetermined and ordained as the color of their hair or the odor of their breath…” Andre Gide, The Counterfeiters, Pg. 406 (Vintage, 1973). Thus, a skill to be developed, reading people from a distance, but with the goal of anticipating and understanding their ideas.
Item. Perfect proportion: the talent of incorporating what’s required, excluding what’s unnecessary, and including what’s not to be expected but, once included, becomes indispensable.
Item. Artificiality as a problem of technology. E.g., For professional photographers how to use post-production software (blemish correction, color enhancement, etc.) without actually showing its use. Capturing a natural look once taken for granted now has to be actively sought after and perfected.
Item. Primacy of noun-based language. To speak and write in physical sentences with nouns that have shape, size, texture, coarseness, heft, etc.
Item. Finally, silence as the most profound form of expression. “A meagre remnant of physical discharge is preserved even in our concerts. Clapping is offered as thanks to the performers: a brief, chaotic noise in exchange for a long, well-organized one. If applause is suppressed and people disperse as quietly as they have sat, it is because they feel that they are within the sphere of religious devotion.” Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, Pg. 37 (Continuum Publishing Company 1973) Thus, the reason for a moment of silence when remembering others––silence’s weight greater than all else. An insight to be pondered before standing to speak to others.