Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tried and true

Why do smart people stick to outmoded ideas? Why do creative scientists or business people lose their ingenuity when it comes to their own business models? Pondering these questions, a reader pointed me to this classic essay in the National Geographic Adventure Blog.

In the essay, best-selling author Laurence Gonzales discusses epic failures. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), for example, grew from an 1850s Manhattan storefront to the world's largest retailer. In the United States, it dominated retail food sales for sixty years, from 1915 through 1975. If you're a boomer, there's a good chance that your mother dragged you to A&P for the weekly shopping.

But no more. A&P continues to operate a modest number of stores in the Northeast, but only after years of decline, bankruptcy, and restructuring. Stores continue to close, and the company's future is uncertain. What happened to A&P?

According to Gonzales, the company was too cloistered to keep up with changing times. A&P developed an unbeatable marketing strategy to serve customers during two world wars and a depression. But the 1950's brought new economic conditions and changed customer demand. Why couldn't A&P recognize the changes and adapt? The company's post-WWII leader, Ralph Burger, lived by the motto "You can't argue with a hundred years of success." A&P's executives were so sure of their own strategy that they ignored the company's own marketing tests.

Unfortunately, what worked for the first hundred years didn't pan out for the next fifty. Other organizations--Kroger, Wal-Mart, Amazon--stole away A&P's customer base. In retrospect, it seems obvious that the 1950's and 2000's were different economic eras than the 1870's or 1930's. Why couldn't savvy business professionals see the obvious?

A key reason, Gonzales suggests, was "groupness." A&P's executives spoke mostly to one another. They bonded over the company's longstanding success and reinforced their pride in proven methods. Group identity naturally produces hostility to those outside the group. A&P's leaders identified innovative thinkers as outsiders and treated them with disdain. As their leader frequently said, you couldn't argue with the company's century-long success.

Smart, talented, and conscientious people are particularly prone to groupness. That's because, according to Gonzales: "If a group invests a lot of effort in a goal and succeeds, its boundaries become stronger, and it tends to become even more hostile to outside influences. This may not be overt hostility. It may simply be a subtle and unconscious tendency to reject anything from another group." Smart, talented, and conscientious people are exactly the type to invest a lot of effort in their projects. When they do, and when the projects succeed, they face the danger of unconsciously adopting group resistance to any change.

The dangers deepen the longer a group has shared success. Members of new groups (rebels and innovators) continue communicating with people outside their immediate circle. More established organizations lose their communication with others; they become insular and dysfunctional.

How bad can it get? How about using a doomed vehicle to blast humans into space? Gonzales revisits NASA's infamous failures to correct obvious flaws in its shuttle equipment. What were they thinking? "The astounding effort and success of the Apollo program," Gonzales observes:
had created a culture like that at A&P. NASA defined itself as technically excellent—"the perfect place," as one researcher called it. They put a man on the moon, and it was hard to argue with success. The insidious message was: We know what we’re doing. The corollary to that is: You can’t tell me anything I don’t already know.
The final report on Columbia's crash noted that "[e]xternal criticism and doubt" only "reinforced the will to ‘impose the party line vision on the environment, not to reconsider it.'" NASA's executives, in other words, responded with perfect groupness: Bonded by their past success, they rejected any criticisms with hostility.

Legal education, unfortunately, shows all of the signs of groupness. How many times have you heard a law professor say: "We've been using the case method for more than a century. You can't argue with a hundred years of success!" How often have you heard administrators and faculty revel in the excellence of their schools and programs? How often does your law school, as described internally, sound like the "perfect place"? How often do you hear faculty attacking the "naive" suggestions of practitioners, students, alumni, and other outsiders?

It's important to be proud of our accomplishments; but it's vital to avoid groupness. During the last year, I've seen many welcome signs of law schools waking to the need for serious change. But I've also seen signs of resistance, of increased chest thumping and declarations of excellence. As we welcome the new year, let's embrace the lesson that A&P never learned: After a hundred years, times change.

Update [LP]:  See also.

99 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Serious question.
      Do you think it witty or clever to do this?

      Delete
    2. Tradition fool.

      Delete
    3. At least you understand that it's neither witty nor clever.
      You moron.

      Delete
    4. I hate the person who always writes "first". Why do they do that?

      Delete
    5. I think it is more than one person. It happens way too much for it to be just one person.

      Delete
    6. I can't stand it either. The person that does this is like the guy that keeps reciting the same old tired joke thinking it's still funny. It adds absolutely nothing to the conversation other than being a distraction from the issues central to the blog. Hmmmm ... that sounds like a description of that idiot Painter. The person or persons who do this need to grow up.

      Delete
    7. "I hate the person who always writes 'first'. Why do they do that?"

      Because if they write second, that would upset the order of things.

      Delete
    8. Question for that idiot Painter. Do you enjoy annoying others? Ya know, there's such a thing as negative attention and being annoying for the fun of it would fall in that category. I used to act this way when I was 13. Apparently, you never grew out of adolescence. Now for the love of God (again I capitalized it for you bible thumper), please leave.

      Delete
    9. I wrote first the other day because I thought it was tradition- but I did have something a little more substantial than just writing first.

      Doesn't bother me though - it is a harmless tradition and kindof fun if you actually ever manage to be first.

      We have bigger issues to stress over . :)

      Delete
    10. Please delete every message that says merely "First!", "Third!", or similar.

      Delete
    11. I think the above is likely just a list of people who are mad because they never manage to get here foist.

      Delete
  2. Hey 431. Fuck off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good response. I guess I have to take back calling you (or your similarly developmentally disadvantaged colleague) a moron.

      Delete
    2. Wow, you're really witty 4:43.

      Delete
  3. This is exactly what happened to china when the european powers started rising. Instead of adopting, they looked at the portugese, spanish and others as barbarians. Japan did this too, but several centuries later reversed course as they dramatically industrialized and become one of the worlds foremost powers pre ww2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't Japan and china have to adopt after being forced into trade agreements at gun point? Japan was humiliated and determined to learn how it's enemies worked so it would never be humiliated again.

      Don't leave out the part where changed is adopted only at gunpoint. Declining admissions is the economic gunpoint facing schools.

      Delete
    2. "Declining admissions is the economic gunpoint facing schools."

      Exactly - given half a chance, the law schools will build up a self-serving mythos that reform came from inside, due to their tortured moral conscience.

      With a small, small handful of exceptions among *individual* (highly berated) professors, the law schools have habitually displayed much more of a moral vacuum than a moral (or ethical, or legal) conscience.

      Don't let them rewrite the history of the revolution they have done everything in their corrupt power to suppress.

      Delete
  4. My god, DJM, is there an original, exciting thought in your head? Or is it all just regurgitated articles?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, if your "discovery" surprises you, this would tend to suggest you aren't familiar with legal "scholarship" generally.

      Delete
  5. I think DJM hit on a point here. Students have changed from 100 years ago. They are a whole lot dumber now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Enjoyed the post. Tired of the "first" thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this is a solid post. There seem to be many people in the law school scam who resist change. Lawprof linked to an article by dean Rodriguez about innovation in law school. One thing he mentioned which I didn't understand, was that innovation is expensive.

    His ideas for innovation were basically just massaging the status quo. I think he still doesn't grasp the extent of the changes transparency has brought to the law school scam.

    I think biglaw partners are perfect examples of the same group thinking. They are willing to make changes but only when money from their pocket is involved. Maybe if law deans had to earn their salaries by bringing in business and keeping clients happy they would a t more quickly.

    Right now the deans are fiddling as Rome burns - as my grandmother yes to say.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Meow Meow says: A&P learned to outsource though when they terminated their accountants in the corporate headquarters of Montvale, New Jersey and moved those positions to India.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm. You know the only other person I know who refers to himself in the third person?

      Elmo, everyone's favorite furry sexual predator.

      Delete
  9. A & P analogy is spot on. I do remember clearly when it was successful and well placed in every town in America. This kind of change can happen in a few decades.

    I also remember when lawyers were generally held in high esteem and law was viewed as a highly prestigious --and lucrative--way to make a living. That is increasingly no more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In part due to Third Tier Reality's destructive mission, intent on smashing the profession to pieces in a tantrum of failure.

      Not sure that the pictures of toilets are something that we need to be associated with at this point. But god forbid anyone mention that fact and risk being ripped to pieces by Nando's little group.

      How much longer do we have to be held hostage by Nando?

      Delete
  10. Can 2013 be the year that the scamblog grows up and dumps Nando instead of worshipping that pathetic little blog? He was useful once, long ago. Now he's the only scamblog left standing (for good reason - it's about as feeble as a Westboro Baptist Church member holding up a "God Hates Fags" banner at a funeral). Everyone else has gone. Moved on. Grown up. Look at the graveyard of his blog roll. No scamblog has posted anything in months, if not years.

    He's like diapers. We needed them in our first year or two, but now, it's kind of embarrassing that we're still wearing them.

    Dare anyone stand up to that bearded plumper? Must he continue to drive people away from this reform movement during 2013?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...and dumps Nando "

      Delete
  11. "Group identity naturally produces hostility to those outside the group. A&P's leaders identified innovative thinkers as outsiders and treated them with disdain."

    I think this, along with DJM's final paragraph, are her way of hinting that it's time to drop the habits of old (Third Tier Reality) and move forward with new ideas, new tactics, and new voices. To stop this debate being dominated by one particularly disgusting, loud voice, the one with the penchant for insulting anything he disagrees with. The one that tries his hardest to silence all but his own voice. (Witness his latest efforts to shut down the Epic Fail blog that decided to move in a different direction.)

    It's a post about >>us<<, not about law firms or law schools.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is the internet, if you think that Nardo's tactics bring the law school scam movement into dispute, don't visit there.

    Similarly while Nardo posts here, Campos and DJM have not endorsed him, or otherwise tied their critique of law schools to his, beyond acknowledging his earlier contributions to the movement.

    At this point the movement will be influenced by economic realities far more then the existence of a particular blog. Similarly attempts to enforce respectibility upon the movement are counterproductive and a waste of time. Some people respond to Nardo's methods, many more to Campos's blog, but if you dislike Nardo, create your own alternative that is better then his work, rather then try to tell people we would be more "respected" if Nardo just went away.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't think anyone felt the movement for transparency ws in Nando's hands alone. I'm not sure why anyone would think that.

    Anyway, DJM is referring to legal education which is clearly passed its sell-by date. Very few people have real ideas on reform and no changes have been made (or are on the horizon.). I think it will take another year of drastically decreasing applicants to cause reform.

    Me- my idea is that the tuition needs to be drastically reduced. It is simple and direct.

    I also want to start getting the idea into applicants heads that there is absolutely no advantage to going to school this year. Every single person should work on finding alternatives for at least a year. Law school isn't going anywhere. With dwindling applications, in a year or two, it might be better to wait and see what the next two years will bring.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The main problem is that law schools are churning out too many graduates for too few jobs and new law schools are being proposed with little or no opposition.

    BigLaw and BigFed in major urban cities are mostly going to hire from T14's cream of the crop with the occasional regional genius or "special circumstances" candidate. The rest are in for a rude awakening. The lucky ones will have a secure job working for a reputable small firm or have a state or local government job. The rest will work in solo or small firms - which for the most part is looking for temporary help. The rest will be working in document review dungeons, collecting unemployment checks or leave the legal profession altogether. Don't even get me started on the "mills" whose operations may jeopardize some young lawyers' careers before they begin.

    DJM, your posts mainly focus on reforming the law school curriculum. That's wonderful but no reform is going to change the fact that there are 40,000 law school grads for less than 20,000 open entry level positions. In my opinion - which is shared by many others - is that law schools will have to admit less people and tuition has to be reduced for those who matriculate. And if that means some schools have to close, then so be it. And for obvious reasons, this will happen with the lower tier status quo kicking and screaming and doing everything they can to protect themselves: cries of elitism/racism, antitrust lawsuits and maybe some level of institutional blackmail.

    I'm sure you heard this point countless times but that is the reality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my favorite posts by Lawprof was simply that there aren't enough jobs.

      This point needs to be hammered home to the people who are still applying to schools.

      Rank of school doesn't matter, job placement doesn't matter- what they have to understand is that there simply are not enough jobs. The lack of jobs is the crucial point: not whether you should go to Michigan State or Georgia, not whether you should go to Penn or Virginia.

      There just are not enough jobs. It puzzles me how undergrads can understand thy there are no jobs in other fields, but somehow believe that law is different.

      Delete
    2. 9:29,

      Exactly. I remember that post and that is pretty much the main point of this blog. The rest are mostly Lawprof's entertaining posts showing how desperate law schools are pulling every salesmanship trick in the book to hook in students.

      The undergrads who applied after 2008 either thought that the recession would end in 2012 or had the same "I'll take my chances! I can do it and no one can stop me! attitude. And I'm betting most of them were wrong.

      Delete
    3. A lot of law school professors and staff fret and worry about how to make their curricula more "industry relevent". But unlike LawProf, they hardly mention there is a far more pressing problem. The number of new lawyers being trained each year needs to be slashed, by at least a half. Then you start worrying about curricula.

      But they don't want to even acknowledge that the law school industry is bloated beyond all reality, because it means acknowledging their jobs are probably unnecessary too.

      Delete
    4. To be fair, those schools that are implementing "ready to practice" programs are trying to make their graduates more marketable. It may take some time to see if it will improve employment rates.

      The problem is that most employers who hire already have a successful practice model and need someone who is trainable. Other than that, they need someone who will bring them business.

      Delete
  15. Sure, A&P had a great business model. It pays its workers dirt poor wages, drives the prices down on everything it buys so that manufacturers could not make a living wage. Buys a lot of stuff from China killing American jobs. So Walmart does well but it really does a lot to destroy the economy of much of the country.

    If WalMart were a law school it would be Cooley. Cooley has done pretty well for itself financially, and it is innovative and expanding -- what other law school has its own minor league baseball team -- but not all innovation is an improvement for society. One needs to be discerning when choosing which innovations to adopt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct previous post to say: Walmart, which succeded A&P, had a great business model ...

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. huge scambusting reddit thread:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/15ofwm/first_job_outa_law_school/

    ReplyDelete
  18. You could also say that in the late 1990s, when internet companies were being created, innovative accountants thought that we did not need the basics like "a business plan" or "profits" to show a worthwhile investment. There was a bubble because people forgot the fundamentals.

    The same thing happened a few years later when innovative bond salesman came up with innovative debt instruments to package mortgages. The old rules did not apply anymore, people thought, because the market would always go up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just like the value of a college education!

      Delete
  19. You are saying that A&P was replaced by Amazon? A&P was a grocery store -- How much of the grocery market does Amazon have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More and more. With prime free two day shipping - I get some groceries like soup, etc from amazon. They sell many more groceries than you might think. For many items you can even have them delivered sutomatically on a regular basis.

      I bought most of my Christmas presents from amazon because iit is so easy.

      Delete
    2. I always head to Amazon for things I can't easily find in the local grocery store, like almond flour or avocado oil. I also use Amazon to buy bulk toilet paper. It's so convenient.

      Delete
  20. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgrocery&field-keywords=

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jul/07/amazon-online-grocery-market

    http://mashable.com/2011/01/24/amazon-to-roll-out-grocery-delivery-service/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well, you can accuse me of groupthink, but I suspect, no matter which schools innovate by adopting something other than the case method, and which don't, the Top 14 or so law schools will more or less be the Top 14 or so schools 20 years from now and will have plenty of students eager to fill their seats, and a bunch of the fourth tier schools, particularly in saturated markets, will shrink dramatically or close.

    ReplyDelete
  22. People only want T14 because of jobs. When people truly understand facts like Virginia hiring 20% of its class, people won't be clamouring for spots. Or, if they are, they will be dropping out after the first year if they are below grade cutoffs.

    Applicants with the highest scores are realizing there are much better careers. The T14 is not safe from economic pressure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not think Virginia hiring 20% of its class is going to scare everyone from going to Virginia. Most people assume they will be among the top 80% rather than the bottom 20%. And of course, they turn down a lot of people now, so that pool camn shrink a lot and the top of the class can go away just fine as long as it also goes away from their competitor schools.

      Delete
    2. Wow. I hope most 0Ls understand more about admissions and jobs than your post indicates. If you posted that on TLS, the flaws would be pointed out to you very quickly.

      Here is a short version: do not make the assumption that the 20% who were hired by the school were the bottom
      20%. There are plenty of people from the top of the class at top schools who don't have jobs. Class rank does not mean you get a job!!

      The decrease in high scoring applicants who attend law school is going to hit the medians of these schools. That is a huge problem for them in terms of reputation, and in terms of hiring, because firms can revise their opinions of a school at any time. Schools are already shrinking class sizes ( but some compensate by taking large numbers of transfers) to try to maintain medians. They can't do that forever.

      In a current thread on TLS it is pretty clear that possibly the top third at Virginia has a shot at biglaw - not sure of the actual cutoff and I don't care- the point is that lots of people are graduating from Virginia , a T14 school, without jobs. This will impact demand from qualified students to attend.

      Delete
    3. If this keeps up, it is only a matter of time before Virginia 2L or T14Prof appears.

      Delete
  23. @ Dec. 30, 7:32PM

    Nope, was not me. This is my first visit on this piost. And how odd to call me a Bible thumper.

    But if everyone wants to read some real treacherous and devious stuff, go here:

    http://www.lawschoolfail.com/#.dpuf

    Basically Epic Fail (Alias) Terrified Law Student is bragging about how he fooled the scambloggers by pretending to be one of them, and was also the anti TTR Troll that used to be called World Traveling Law Student (Another Alias)

    This person cannot be Anon forever, and my guess is that it is Mr. Infinity as well.

    If so, he should not pass Character and Fitness and be admitted to any Bar.

    For the record and once more, some of the content of Mr. Infinity's posts are threatening and mentally sick, and given that he is Anon, it should be discovered who he is.

    I know for a fact that the FBI and the DOJ read these blogs and I hope at least they can pinpoint Mr. Infinity in case he ever does go off the deep end harm someone.

    As for me, whatever off topic goofing around I have done it is no more off topic than posts such as this, which stray from the real problems, such as the class of people that have been financially ruined by SL debt or the LS scam, if you will.

    I am up at 2:34 in the morning with asthma. I am out meds and have a chest cold. I have not had health Insurance for a year.

    I have 340K of SL debt and I will be 48 years old soon, and it is all very depressing and I fear my old age.

    And you can't blame me for that.

    I want to get away from all of this and get on with my life, but I am obligated to check the comments here because, as I say, there is a blogger or two that wants to bring me up anyway and I am very worried, since the nature of the comments is sometimes sexual and mentally sick and somewhat threatening.

    I do not understand why posts such as the ones made by Infinity and/or WTLS/Epic Fail/Terrified Law Student/ Hopeful Law Student in regard to me are allowed to remain up, and yet when I talk about a movie plot summary, which is as off the main issues and pain caused by the scam as this sterile post by DJM about the A&P , my comments get deleted.

    Painter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it's scary to think about the thousands of drug traffickers and child pornographers who are still at large, just because of all the time the FBI wastes analyzing the scamblogs.The FBI is not your personal army.

      If you fear YOUR old age, just think how those parents of yours must feel. You are bleeding them dry, dude. Dry. At least nobody is mooching off of YOU.

      Now keep your promise and stop posting here. You can have Nan-Doo-Doo's tiny blog. If he's going to plop his poo-stained thumb on the scale every time someone criticizes you, then good for him. One failure knows another, I guess.

      Delete
    2. Eat a bullet, Mr. Infinity.

      Delete
    3. Get a job, JD Painterguy.

      Delete
    4. Both of you are complete wastes of space and should drop dead.

      Delete
    5. 453,

      Hellllp! FBI!!!

      JD Painterguy is trying to get someone to KILL HIMSELF!

      Helllllpp!!!

      Delete
  24. Mr. Infinity, alias Epic Fail, Law School Disaster?

    The guy threatened to "Destroy" the scamblogs.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Last summer, Mr. Infinity wrote that he wants to drive me to suicide.

    If Infinity and Epic Fail and World Travelling Law Student are one and the same that would be really psycho.

    But why can't he just have the guts to own up to his really horrible words and say who he is?

    BTW, Jack Marshall seems to protest a bit too much when someone asks him for his true identity, although he will reluctantly give it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e02ST2hSl7A

    I knew that being anon would be futile, and so I put myself out there on TV and Radio, and got my head chopped off and have received some revolting abuse on this blog.

    Campos quickly said who he was early on into his blogging, and DJM is not anon.

    Or Joan King, who proudly beamed at Epic Fail and patted him on the back on Dec. 26th, 5:19PM, and, with a wink and a nod, told him to "Network".

    I guess, if a moderator was assigned to this blog, all the anonymity problems would disappear.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well JD Painterguy, I am sure that you must be pleased as punch that they are listening to you in China. China is forcing everybody there to register their real names in a free speech crackdown.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254142/China-forces-internet-browser-register-real-new-free-speech-crackdown.html

      Delete
  26. ^^^That was me. I don;t have a google account anymore and so I use anon and sometimes forget to sign it.

    Painter

    ReplyDelete
  27. @5:57 I think about debtor's suicide every single day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, yes, that's much more reasonable than simply getting a non-law job for the government.

      Work sucks! I'd rather die than do any!

      Delete
    2. You've been watching the movie "Lethal Weapon" I see.

      Martin Riggs: Well, what do you wanna hear, man? Do you wanna hear that sometimes I think about eatin' a bullet? Huh? Well, I do! I even got a special bullet for the occasion with a hollow point, look! Make sure it blows the back of my goddamned head out and do the job right! Every single day I wake up and I think of a reason not to do it! Every single day! You know why I don't do it? This is gonna make you laugh! You know why I don't do it? The job! Doin' the job! Now that's the reason!

      Delete
    3. Um, NO, you're threatening to kill yourself so you WON'T have to work. That's the opposite of the guy you quoted.

      Delete
  28. Here is a link to the thread on Biglaw on TLS. I mentioned this thread the other day but couldn't get the link to post.

    Of interest to me was the post about how you can manage on little sleep which was posted by a guy who Lawprof has quoted for reference in the past. This guy created great spreadsheets on law school employment that Lawprof used.

    Also of interest at the few posts from people who are getting burned out after a few months. Some of those people were "models and bottles" people who were calculating how to spend their paychecks even before they were hired.

    I wish more grads would post their experiences on TLS. It completely lacks the influence and perspective of employed and unemployed grads. If experienced posters would keep posting, they would be a valuable resource.

    Anyway, here is the thread:
    http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=186718&start=125

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TLS mods tend to ban posters who talk about their troubles finding employment.

      Delete
  29. If you really want to see the current 1Ls' sad disconnect from reality, check out this TLS thread:

    http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=200010

    Notice a particular poster who goes by the name "dietcoke0" predict his top 20% class rank (including a CALI award in Torts) after his own "self-assessment" and without having received any grades back after the first semester of exams. In my day, I went to law school with a bunch of douches but the students today are in a different douchetastic category altogether.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like the "first" comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we should mix things up and try different languages.

      Spanish: Primero
      Portuguese: Primeiro
      French: Premier
      German: Erste
      Swedish: Först
      Dutch: Eerste
      Estonian: Esimene
      Hungarian: Első
      Filipino: Muna
      Indonesian: Pertama
      Finnish: Ensimmäinen
      Greek: πρώτα
      Latvian: Pirmais
      Polish: Pierwszy
      Turkish: Ilk
      Swahili: Kwanza
      Ukrainain: перший
      Russian: первый
      Chinese: 第一
      Japanese: 最初の
      Korean: 처음으로
      Arabic: الأول
      Hebrew: ראשון

      Delete
    2. I am second to no one in my dislike of guys who like "first" comments.

      Delete
  31. Happy New Year Rutgers-Camden!!December 31, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Congrats to Law School Transparency - filed an official ABA complaint for R-C's misleading advertising (you may recall, this was the advertising directed at the completely uninformed - students who hadn't even taken the LSAT, which claimed (i.a.) "many top students accepting positions with firms paying in excess of $130,000").

    The complaint:
    http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/documents/509_Enforcement/Rutgers_Camden_Complaint_12-31-2012.pdf

    Brief write-up on the history of the deal and the process:
    http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. I basically agree with the idea. But i disagree with the "NASA Challenger" example. Why do i disagree? Because (1) those decisions are proven one time and one time only. It's not like the slow decline of a grocery store chain. So, the executives have hired brilliant scientists to figure out this one-time science project, and they have to trust them. Within a science environment, everyone with a bachelors degree in engineering and a subscription to "Popular Science" is going to second guess everything. When NASA succeeds, does anyone go and look at the ideas the always-disagreeing people said, and then scold the NASA executives for ignoring those comments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The O-Rings were a known condition. It happened so often they even had a term for it: blow-buy. The previous coldest launch of Columbia showed significant blow by and that was at 53F. Challenger was at 33F, and with winds blowing over the cryogenic tank, the temperature of the O-Rings dropped to 18F. According to design documents, the O-Rings were a level 1 critical component, failure of which could mean loss of vehicle, and some failure was actually already being tolerated as was reported in the Richard Feynman appendix to the Rogers Commission report on the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

      Delete
    2. Now for Columbia, the exact same thing happened on the second launch after the Challenger disaster with Space Shuttle Atlantis, which you can read about here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-27

      A piece of ice hit the heat shield causing extensive damage. The only reason that the shuttle didn't disintegrate on reentry was that the damage was in an area that was stronger than the other areas due the fact that it had the antenna mounted there. In both cases, things that had not caused a problem were considered to be acceptable and management was overruling the engineers.

      Delete
    3. "In both cases, things that had not caused a problem were considered to be acceptable and management was overruling the engineers."

      You're right. But, management had overruled anal-retentive engineers on 57+ other items as well. Engineers are paid to be risk-averse. Managers are paid to complete the project. And astronauts are paid take giant risks.
      The Challenger & Columbia rockets are not mass-produced vehicles, like the Chevy Corvair.

      Your examples are cherry-picked examples to prove the point. But if you've ever been in a complicated engineering project, you'd know that their is NEVER agreement on all decisions. And, most important, there is ALWAYS risk for any new endeavor.

      Delete
    4. Yes I am engineer. If you read the Fenyman appendix to the Rogers Report, you will find that the engineers thought that the system had a 1 in 100 chance of failure. Management overruled them and said that it was a 1 in 100,000 chance of failure because that is what it had to be, not because that it what it was. So the safety was advertised as having the safety level of a Chevy Corvair (that is why to date it is the only manned spacecraft not to have a way to save the crew in case of catastrophe) After the Challenger disaster they did come up with a weak way of saving the crew. Interestingly enough, while it wasn't designed with a way to save the crew, the External Tank and both SRBs have explosive charges in case the vehicle veers off course and needs to be destroyed from the ground during launch.

      Delete
    5. "But, management had overruled anal-retentive engineers on 57+ other items as well."

      How many of those 57+ components were level 1 critical.

      Delete
    6. Well played son. The court rules for the defendant. You've changed my mind, the Challenger example was the perfect example to prove the point of declining market share and a failure to adapt to changing economic decisions.
      -
      I do want to take this time to wish Dr. Campos a Happy New Year. He continues to lead the charge in exposing a serious swindle in higher education. And I hope my weak criticism of one small example, which Dr. Campos made to support a much larger, 100% true idea, does not come across as criticism of any kind. Because Dr. Campos is a hero of mine; an employed law school professor who openly exposes this scam. I'm sure his ethical actions generates animosity towards him in his professional life. But he's a strong, ethical person, and one I deeply admire.

      Delete
  33. I don't know China from nothing. Never been there and never will.

    Whatever they do over there has nothing to do with me.

    Alls I amm saying is that if you are going to insult the crap out of someone and drag them through the dirt, you should at least say who you are.

    Especially if the person you are insulting is known to everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do your movies on TCM have anything to do with us?

      Keep your promise.

      Delete
    2. "Especially if the person you are insulting is known to everyone else."

      None of us knows if this JD Painterguy even exists. For all we know JD Painterguy could actually another alias for Epic Fail aka World Traveling Law Student.

      Delete
    3. How many personalities does this law school shilling freak have?

      Delete
    4. @6:24 PM

      Psychiatrists are probably writing a paper about him.

      Delete
  34. The A&P analogy is apt, but only to a point. The rise of the A&P, as I understand it from Marc Levinson's amazing book -- The Great A&P-- was precisely because the company built a new business model. It was the A&P that destroyed mom and pop stores. There was no shortage of creative imagination at the inception. The A&P embodies the rise of mass retailing.

    It was only with the rise of mass discounting that the A&P proved too intransigent to take on the Kmarts, etc. in yet another re-invention of American retail.

    The best analogy I can think of: how Barnes and Noble devastated indie bookstores and is now, in turn, being devastated by the mass discounting of books by Amazon and Costco who will, in turn, likely be devastated by e-books.

    Why does the different narrative matter? Because, it could be argued, legal education has passed from its mass marketing phase to its mass discounting phase. And those that master the new phase will live on.

    You see, I suspect law school administrators are students of the A&P story themselves. They have just extracted a different lesson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. possibly A&P was hurt by suburban expansion and flight of higher income consumers to those suburbs. Other chains were better situated to build new stores in the suburbs than A&P because the other chains were not tied to their old inner city locations.

      Delete
  35. Why in the hell do you keep saying the law school business model is outmoded?

    FYI it just RAPED you morons in court. In fact, since you lost that court victory you're libeling the schools by accusing them of being a scam!

    Dumbasses you got owned, and you have no where left to fight. They got IBR student loan money, tons of applications and huge salaries. Meanwhile you sit on your computers and switch between porn and delusion. OWNED. KNOW YOUR PLACE AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put a bullet in your head, Leiter.

      Delete
    2. The California cases are proceeding to discovery. The New York cases resulted in an opinion that the tactics of law school deans were unethical.

      I expect there will be follow up ethical investigations into the new york deans.

      You can't concievably claim this rate not results.

      Remember- this isn't over yet . It is just starting.

      Delete
  36. "Why do smart people stick to outmoded ideas?"

    Great question.
    And it's similar to my question, "Why don't people research more?"

    I read many articles about the highly educated who are unemployed, primarily lawyers and humanities professors, i.e., people who choose highly competitive labor markets, and then write how "they had no idea it would be this hard!".
    These people don't seek evidence about their future industry, and they don't seek evidence that disproves their theory about their future career. Instead, they label all information as "negative" that doesn't agree with their already determined conclusion.

    With tools like Google, US Labor Reports, and school guidance counselors, there is no excuse for saying "I had no idea what i was getting into." Yet they do.

    It just proves that many people never learn to think for themselves, never learn how to make decisions. They are just conformist sheep with an ego that tells them they are brilliant.
    http://unemployedphdforhire.blogspot.com/2012/02/oh-my-god-i-was-so-naiive.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until this year when ABA required the schools' 2011 data to be usefully parsed, you could google your brains out an only find (a) the very misleading employment "data" from the LS's themselves and (b) idiots like Fernando with his feces photog fetishes.

      US Labor reports? Not useful even today. They claim the "average" lawyer makes $129K and that, on average, only 2% of lawyers are unemployed. The problem with the BLS info is that it fails to account, in any way, meaningful or otherwise, all those who fail to ever get work as lawyers.

      Guidance counselors in large part until the more useful 2011 came out, only could rely on the bilgewater pumped out by the law schools. If you think guidance counselors before that had any clue at all, you are tremendously naive.


      As for the Ozzie you linked, well, sorry for her... ...but for crap sakes, no university in Oz in 2007 was ever claiming that PhD's in sociology were being employed at 95% rates, and all getting $100K jobs (the way US law schools have been doing).

      Delete
    2. OK, so you tried to refute all three of my examples. But to what end did you put forward your refutations? What is your position?
      I put forward the proposition "Why don't people research (their career choices) more?"
      And you refuted my examples. So are you saying that it was not obvious 5 years ago that lawyers & PhDs in humanities were in oversupply?

      The aggressive approach to refuting each point presented seems to imply to a young lawyer that they 'won' the argument, when all they did was discredit the examples. Is that the primary skill achieved after buying a 3 year law degree? That, and knowing where the legal databases can be found to provide 'proof' for your aggressive debating techniques?

      Delete
    3. Yes, people should do a little more research.

      No - they're not completely at fault, and

      No - just because they listened to authority figures (who should not have been lying to them like used car salesmen), it doesn't mean they're incapable of thinking for themselves.


      No - I didn't "tried to refute all three" of your examples. I provided moderation for what I took to be a relatively absolutist proposition from you.

      But hey - what's your story? You a special snowflake success saga?

      I guess that's what I am, but I don't cast absolutist blame at those who bought into a sales job from someone they should really have been able trust.

      As for "your aggressive debating techniques", I'm not really sure what you're talking about. Go back and re-read my original response dispassionately.

      Unless of course your own "aggressive" response is just because you feel some pathetic need to get into an anonymous internet fight, in which case you can go bugger yourself instead.

      Good day.

      Delete
    4. You're right. I read aggression into the post that you hadn't intended. My bad.

      Delete

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