November 27, 2005

That's some thinking, there

I love counterintuitive thinking, almost for its own sake--I think it provokes serious questioning and thought much better than even the most lucid and intelligent explications of conventional wisdom.

So here are three articles that proceed from rather counterintuitive premises:
  • The purpose of intellectual property law is not to prevent copyright infringement.
  • Not having a singular, focal/vocal leader is helping (or could help) Dems.
  • Bob Woodward was right in not snitching on his sources.

One caveat about that last article: The article doesn't even attempt to touch the troubling detail that Woodward didn't just keep his mouth shut about his knowledge but took proactive steps to mislead the public about matters relevant to the investigation.


  1. Anonymous9:10 PM

    On the IP issue, the counterintuitive proposition is actually written into the Constitution. IP is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts." Basically more stuff.

  2. Counterintuitive means running in a direction opposite to conventional (in the sense of common) wisdom, not opposite to the way it actually is.

    Actually, Atrios makes the very point that the Constitution is actually on Yglesias's side.

  3. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Good point.

    I just meant that the utilitarian purpose of IP law is taught to law students in the first 10 minutes of any course, and it seems clear enough to the public that I'd hesitate to call it counterintuitive.

    But you're right, I think. My earlier comment was a bit picky and nasty.

    The second article is very interesting, and I expect that the Republicans will absorb the lesson quickly, though it will slow their reaction time in the future.