Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Creative Systems Theory and Creative Lawyering

For my Legal Analysis and Writing course I am reading about "Developing a Persuasive Theory" through the "six stages of the creative process". (Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing: Structure, Strategy, and Style by Richard K Neumann, Jr. Chapter 24 on pages 302 & 303).

I cannot help but notice the striking similarity between these six stages: Problem-identification, Gathering and evaluating information and raw materials, Solution-generation, Solution-evaluation, Decision, and Action, with the stages of the Creative Systems Theory: Pre-Axis, Early Axis, Middle Axis, Late Axis, and Integration. (See Charles M. Johnston MD work on the Creative Systems Theory).

The two are not completely analogous; there are not even the same number of steps/stages, but I find the underlying process compatible. In fact, the separation of Early Axis into two steps, Gathering and Solution-generation, is used as an example in the text (Neumann, pg 303) of how stages can overlap.

The biggest departure in my mind is the difference between Integration and Action. Action implies a destination, while Integration suggests the spiraling of previous stages into a better future. The production of a Memorandum or appellate brief seems so terminal, while Integration lasts a lifetime. And yet, the process of appellate advocacy can span a career (or more). Perhaps I am taking this microscopic example, the process of creating an appellate brief as the singular application of what should be a larger framework.

I will try to see this lesson as an inroad to a larger understanding, using these two creative processes to generate well reasoned thought on all levels. Creative Systems Theory is extremely relevant to every creative process. The wisdom of these truths transcends the language that is used to name and describe them.

So now I had better shut up and do it!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Not Mobile like phone, not Stable like horses

The other theme (besides Function - Expression) that has been burbling in my thoughts recently is Mobility - Stability. If you don't know what that is, the simplest example is walking down the street, you plant one leg (Stability) to move the other forward (Mobility).

But like all of the other themes, Mobility & Stability not only apply to micro application, but also to macro application. Right now I am very aware of the flip-flop of our usual family dynamic. For almost ten years my occupation was very stable, dependable income and pretty set hours. Now I've tossed out all those rules. My income is not enough to support my family as I venture to create my new career in law. My schedule is variable by semester and at odds with a lot of the needs of my family. I'm as stable as it gets.

In response Andrea has felt the pressure to be te stabilizing force. She has put her continuing education on hold while I get underway, she's very aware of how many clients she carries and the income associated with that. For someone who was always the psychic stability in our relationship, I feel like I've put a huge burden on her. But she has been so amazing and supportive, through the transition period of figuring out what I wanted to do and now through the struggle of trying to establish myself in school. I am so grateful to her and hope that when I come out the other side of this, we will be able to strike a flexible balance of Mobility & Stability, flowing together or in balancing opposites as needed.

Monday, June 02, 2008

iPhone != i + Phone

I thought iPhone hit critical mass when my Sensei bought one (he is a car head, not a tech head), but his impresion so far is "It's OK".

But then he said "I heard the new one is coming out soon". He wants to buy that one and give this one to his youngest instructor.

So maybe the iPhone has hit a type of critical mass where the experience itself is irrelevant.