Ryan Adler

33Joined May 2022


Utilitarian, nihilish, Superforecaster, dog lover, trivia junkie, Chiefs fan, philosophy-chatting extraordinaire


I'll push back a bit on your point of dissent. I started reading Supreme Court opinions in middle school and haven't stopped since. While that may have been useful for me when I eventually attended law school, I think it's also a great way to wrap your head around how the law functions. It also gives a glimpse into how the judiciary actually operates versus what people read in the news. I start to twitch every June because I know the press is going to butcher whatever comes out of the Court. It seems even worse with Circuit Courts of Appeals decisions. From a general public policy perspective, being able to differentiate between what a judge actually wrote versus what a journalist cut and paste from a partisan group's press release is essential, in my opinion, for anyone to be a conscientious person in the US and elsewhere (and that cuts in every direction as far as political leanings go). 

Back to the practical side, the habit is also an opportunity to get insights into particular fields of legal practice that may interest someone considering law school (or annihilate any interest therein). Finally, depending on the area of law under review, appellate decisions can also make it clear to prospective law students and lawyers how procedure inundates every facet of legal practice. 

You're absolutely correct. Time, fuel, and back pain are all required inputs in my case. However, I look at it at the margin. In my case, while I would have put in less time, fuel, and back pain using the same amount of money to acquire relevant goods, I treat those as akin to fixed costs. There's more time going from store to store, a bit more gas than I would have used with less cargo, and my back was going to hurt anyway. But since I had already made the decision that I was going to continue to do this, the real additional costs are only the marginal differences from what I was going to do in the first place. What I collected for 2022 already, just for the paper alone, would sell at retail for about $2,600 (paid about $400). So, even if I "paid" myself $150/hr, the retail value conveyed would have been greater than my expenses, including labor.

Thanks, Owen. I agree that this approach lends itself to a lot of experimentation. While the "usual" approach (often) doesn't lend itself to a final consensus at the end of a session, I think doing this with a more defined purpose for EA participants would be relatively straightforward. I have some thoughts on how to best execute it, perhaps including a survey element for participants before and after a session or sessions. If you're interested in more particulars and nuances, I would be happy to share thoughts and ideas on a call or other correspondence.

Forgive me if what I'm about to suggest is implicit elsewhere, but let's look at what I see as a key premise: humans "being" is a good thing. It's easy to go from there to look instead why humans being may not be a good thing, but why not go the other direction? What if there is A) the being of something else, another form of life/consciousness/whatever, that is a "better being" than "humans being," and 2) the existence of humans is somehow prejudicial or detrimental to the existence and prosperity of that "better being?" This may be something already in existence or expected to be in existence, but with that premise, couldn't you argue that human extinction would itself be a good by perpetuating a better "being?" 

More succinctly put, what if getting humans out of the way gives rise to something better than humans? This can easily devolve into claims of racial superiority within humanity and other assorted BS, but I'm thinking of homo sapiens versus something different (maybe call them neo sapiens, borrowing from what I recall was a mediocre cartoon called Exosquad), either another step on the evolutionary ladder, Skynet, etc.).

Originally, the idea was to do it to raise money for local food banks, but this could be adapted for most any charitable purpose. In theory, this could be for one particular charity (e.g., Feeding America), but my preference (in a magical world where I get everything I want) currently sits with a stand-alone organization or as a project/subsidiary of a larger foundation. This separate entity would set standards, collect and catalog all of the artwork, and possibly host the online auction. I'm thinking a base fee + a small percentage of the auctions would go to operating this entity, and the rest would go to the eligible charity of the artist's choice. 

However, that would take a good deal of start-up investment and some rock-solid marketing capital. Sticking in the sports realm, if the MLBPA/NFLPA/etc. wanted to do this, we could utilize their existing infrastructure for the auctions (thinking "My Cleats, My Cause"-type operations).