Play and Protest

Earlier this month I had a great time at the conference “The Internet as Playground and Factory.” I focused on the “factory” presentations, and I’ve had a bit of trouble digesting the “play” side of the conference (such as the Bureau of Workplace Interruptions). At first some of the interventions reminded me of the bizarre juxtaposition of activism, appropriationism, and absurdity in this Seether video:

But on the other hand, the same style works to brilliant effect on this ACLU “Demand Your Dot Rights” campaign. And I imagine it’s about the only way to get a larger number of people to think about topics like the ones Sheldon Wolin discusses in Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. As Mackenzie Wark puts it, “The real world appears as a video arcadia divided into many and varied games. Work is a rat race. Politics is a horse race. The economy is a casino. . . . Games are no longer a pastime, outside or alongside of life. They are now the very form of life.” When people no longer care much about privacy, they need to be shown how its lack can directly undermine their “reputation score” in the game of life.

a late post on legal education

Last week, I was busy and so I tried to follow the discussion; in fact, I had a few discussions in “real space” with colleagues about some of the posts. But I did not post anything; so here goes, a little late.

It’s been a fantastic discussion on a wide array of issues. Deven noted in his concluding post that the idea was “many people with many views would mix it up and push the limits of what we know and think about legal education.” Well, I think that was what we got. And that idea itself seems to capture my basic thought on the future of legal education: diversity in approaches. Continue reading

Mobblog Wrap-Up

The Madisionian Mobblog comes to a partial end today. The blog will now return to a mix of pieces on law, technology, and society. Nonetheless, there may be additonal posts on the topic so stay tuned for those.

In addition, I want to take a moment and thank all involved with this event. I had a simple goal: a round of intellectual rugby about the topic “What Kind of Institution Do We Want A Law School To Be?” The idea was that many people with many views would mix it up and push the limits of what we know and think about legal education. With the help of everyone who posted, commented, and came here to read that has been achieved. The folks here at Madisonian and I thank you for a fun and most satisfying event.

On a personal note, the generosity and commitment to our profession exhibited by all of you sets an example for me as I continue to develop. I offer my personal thanks for that. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not again thank Mike Madison for helping me shape my idea and offering the blog as a space to explore it. I give further thanks to all my Madisonian colleagues for their feedback and support for the event. So although it is not enough, I say thank you here.

Last, there is more to do. I think the mobblog shows that legal education has real challenges ahead, but it is in good hands; hands that want to identify real problems, to gather facts, to develop and apply theory, and to discuss and debate solutions so that we can improve the institution we call law school. I look forward to seeing how we meet the future and the possibility of helping shape it.

Best regards,

Deven Desai

Renaissance Education

In reading the posts in this mobblog one thing comes through: right now many factors push on law and legal education. One could say the game is over. One could say stay the course. One could say radical change is required. Whether such positions are accurate or apply to all depends on the facts. Nonetheless, it seems that an underlying theme emerges from these posts: law may be able to stake a claim as renaissance education or it may fall into disrepair or irrelevancy.
Continue reading