OUTLINE & SYLLABUS FOR ORIGINAL THINKING

I. FUNDAMENTALS OF ORIGINAL THINKING

1. Originality is Possible
• AlphabetThere are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, but an infinite combination of those 26 letters creates tens of thousands of words and concepts as well as a growing, living language that generates new words, concepts and phrases each year.
• Music Scale
There are only 13 different sounds in our music octave laid out on a piano in eight white keys and five black keys (sharps and flats), yet the infinite combinations of those thirteen sounds has created tens of thousands of melodies over the last thousand years, and continues to create new, original melodies every day.
2. Analysis and Deliberation

Since the Lauck Constitutional Law Seminar requires analysis and deliberation, it should not be done over a one-day time period. Read, write and think through it, and then do the same thing over again… over a period of a couple days.

3. The role of Memory… only the first step

It is crucial to remember that remembering (i.e. memory) is very helpful and important, but that it is only the first step toward analysis, deliberation and original thinking. What you do with memorized data, facts and details is much more important, and what you do???… is… expose those memorized data, facts and details to repeated intellectual analysis and deliberation which will, hopefully, progress to some form of original thinking.The purpose of reading and memorizing vast amounts of material is to simply put you in the “on deck” circle in the game of life i.e. to put you in a position where you can then strive toward original thinking via analysis and deliberation so that, one day, you can, hopefully, become a major leaguer in the game of life… an authentic and original major leaguer who can pick up a bat that suits your game, step into the batter’s box, up to the plate and hit the ball hard, somewhere—maybe even knock it out of the park. But, as I say, the (muscle) memory in your (baseball) “swing” is only step one in the process that, eventually, allows you to hit a home run.

4. Power of Intellect to Communicate fluidly
See attached copyrighted materials from Lauck’s book “Children of the Greatest Generation” re: the command of language and the Socratic method. Get the gist of the attached pages. Those pages will serve you now in this seminar and for a lifetime thereafter.
6. The GIFT… being your own “original” person
When I open the door for “original thinking” and invite you in, I give you the gift (the permission and encouragement, if you will) to start to become your own person with your own original thoughts… although I fully understand that, in the pursuit of “originality,” we are all “standing on the shoulders of giants” who came before us (Newton, Einstein, Khalil Gibran, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Martin Luther King etc.), or as some would say: “There is nothing new under the sun.” But, “you” are a unique spirit by virtue of your birth, so “you” are “new under the sun” because nobody exactly like you has ever lived before… so seek out, find, discover and nurture your “original” self.

II. COMMAND OF THE SUBJECT

1. Know what you’re talking about
• in writing,
• and verbally
2. Verbal command… through writing, rewriting, etc.
Verbal command comes from writing out or (better yet) outlining your thoughts (and re-writing, re-outlining, re-structuring, re-deliberating and then re-re-writing, re-re-outlining, re-re-structuring and re-re-deliberating some more, and then again) until your intellect fully processes and takes full command and control of the subject matter. It is then that your verbalized thoughts will roll right off your tongue without any effort… noticeable to your listeners. And, it is then that your listeners will think of you as “genius”… although you will know better, as you will know first hand the overwhelming dedication, hard work and sacrifice that went into creating the “appearance” or“perception” of genius:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than Unsuccessful men and women with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

III. CLARITY

1. In writing
2. And verbally

Both written and verbal clarity come from the arduous and repetitive process mentioned above… writing, rewriting, outlining re-outlining, deliberating, re- deliberating, structuring, restructuring… again and again.

3. What clarity is…
If you can explain a difficult subject to the man or woman on the street (not just your peers or experts in the field), then you will have obtained clarity. But, clarity starts with the command of the basics, the fundamentals of any given subject and then progresses to the more difficult and challenging concepts of the subject– filled (as they are) with subtlety and with nuance. But, unless you command the basics and fundamentals of any given subject first, your journey toward written or verbal clarity will “hit the wall” and come to a grinding, unceremonious halt.
4. Absolute clarity not always possible…
But, you must also recognize that life has its unresolvable and irreconcilable conflicts, contradictions and dilemmas. For example, the competing ideals of the right of a free press to publish news details of a crime vs. the right of the (President Calvin Coolidge) Defendant to a fair trial unprejudiced by a preexisting, public opinion regarding those (often “reported” out of context) details.Also recognize, appreciate and make allowances for the unavoidable, inherent ambiguity and contradiction that is often found in use of language itself and in the pursuit of human endeavors in general… areas where certitude, mathematical precision and predictability do not always exist.

IV. CONVICTION OF YOUR POSITION

  1. Present your opinion/position with conviction
  2. Don’t apologize for your opinion/position

But, be ready to acknowledge the strength or the allure of contrary opinions/ positions, IF such exist. And (repeating), always be ready to acknowledge and accept (sometimes without solution) the unresolvable and irreconcilable conflicts, contradictions and dilemmas mentioned above. For (another) example, consider the competing ideals of the right of religious freedom to wear a burka while testifying in Court vs. the right of a Defendant in a criminal case to fullyconfront his accusers and see the faces of those who accuse.And (repeating), always recognize, appreciate and make allowances for the unavoidable, inherent ambiguity and contradiction often found in the use of language itself and in the pursuit of human endeavors in general… inherent ambiguity that describes my own father’s persona: “a walking contradiction, party truth, partly fiction.”

VI. HUMILITY and INTELLECTUAL HONESTY

1. You are only one voice
2. IF, after consideration, another voice is more persuasive, don’t be afraid to be “intellectually honest” and review your opinion/position, rework it, refine it or, in some cases, change it.
3. But, after listening to the voices of others and reviewing your opinion/ position and subjecting it to “intellectual honesty” and after going through the process of re-determining, refining or re-defining your opinion/position, regain conviction.
And (repeating for the third time) always be ready to acknowledge and accept (sometimes without solution) the unresolvable and irreconcilable conflicts, contradictions and dilemmas mentioned above. For (yet another example) consider the competing ideals of individual freedom on the one hand vs. collective security and safety of the masses on the other. Reasonable minds can differ on where to draw the line between the two concepts of freedom and security.And (repeating for the third time), always make allowances for the unavoidable inherent ambiguity and contradiction often found in the use of language and in the pursuit of human endeavors… areas where certitude, mathematical precision and predictability do not always exist.

VII. LIMITED PRESENTATION

1. Baby steps
Initially, take baby steps. Do not take on too much as you start the search for you’re your own voice and as you begin the process of “original” thinking and “command” of language.
2. Limited subject
Stay with a limited subject or issue. In law school (or as a political science major in undergrad school), students spend weeks and even months on a larger development and understanding of legal or governmental issues. But, for now, limit yourself to a very specific issue. Just take a single, manageable “bite” of available material, but analyze and deliberate on that bite thoroughly— even if it means you will know “more and more about less and less.” (What?…What did Lauck say?), or, as some would say in defining an “expert” in his field… “someone who knows more and more about less and less, until, finally, he knows everything about nothing.” WOW!!! What an elusive concept!!!
3. Suggestion
You are going to read and learn about various subjects/issues. You might consider reading an important court opinion (majority opinion and dissent) or a legal article from a Bar Journal, but don’t take on more than a single, limited issue. That will be challenge enough.

VIII. SUBJECTS FOR CONSIDERATION

1. Jury Trial in America
• Pros
• Cons
• Your opinion/position
» Do we need trial by jury?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant or withhold the right tojury trial today (civil or criminal), or define the parameters of it, today in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
• History
We don’t need a history of the right to jury trial—unless, of course, the historical perspective of a right to jury trial supports your pros, your cons or your opinion/position.
• Assume right to jury trial
Even though jury trials don’t exist in some instances (which the law calls “equitable” matters), don’t get bogged down. Just assume the right to jury trial.
2. Separation of Church and State
• Pros
• Cons
• Your opinion/position
» Do we need separation of Church and State? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to establish, withhold or definethe parameters of “separation of Church and State” today, in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
• History
History may have a bigger impact on separation of church and state and, if so, take a limited historical perspective and run with it.
3. Religious Tolerance
• Pros
• Cons
• Your opinion/position
» Do we need religious tolerance? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant, withhold or define theparameters of “religious tolerance” today, in the 21st century, what would you do and why?
• History
History may also have a bigger impact on this subject of “religious tolerance.” If so, run with a little bit of historical perspective.
4. Freedom of Speech
• Pros
• Cons
• Your opinion/position
» Do we need freedom of speech? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant, withhold or define theparameters of “freedom of speech/expression” today, in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
• History
Again, history may have a bigger impact on freedom of speech.

IX. EDUCATION… ??? BURDEN OR JOY???

1. Enjoy…
It’s all about the “perspective” you bring to bear on the subjects you study, analyze and deliberate on. Bring the perspective of “joy” and enjoy learning.
2. GROW, GROW AND GROW…
Lauck is freeing you up and turning you loose on this project so you can grow, and obtain the goal of all education… grow in memory, grow in knowledge, grow in analytical ability, grow in deliberation ability, grow in insight, grow in
original thinking, grow in command of language (written and verbal), grow in confidence, grow in ability to present your voice (written and verbal). Then, one day, who knows, maybe you will grow in wisdom and see new possibilities for mankind on your horizon.

X. REUSABLE FORMAT

The outline format set forth in these pages is an “education strategy” that will serve you for a lifetime whether you are studying math, computer graphics, science, political science, law, philosophy, theology, medicine, music, dance, fine arts, accounting, anthropology, etc.

XI. THANKSGIVING… FOR THE STRUGGLE

Remember… while you are making the necessary sacrifices, denying the pleasure of social pursuits and living a life of discipline and trying to find your own (original) voice through memorization, analysis and deliberation and fighting through overwhelming challenges of stress and exhaustion, other students at other schools are doing a lot less, taking an easier road and memorizing the presidents of the United States.But, don’t be an elitist. Recognize your good fortune, and just keep plugging along. Embrace your academic struggle, and one day it will (all) be worth it as you will, eventually, realize the pleasure, the joy and the empowerment of finding your own voice… your own original voice.Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the wealth of “opportunities” given to you, and just accept the overwhelming sacrifices of time, denial of social pleasure, stress and exhaustion that come with those opportunities.Life is a struggle for all of us… for those who have it all (or seem to have it all, like Richard Corey who “one fine night, went home and firmly, but politely” put a bullet through his head), and life is certainly a struggle for those who don’t have it all. And, never forget that you are the one “to whom much was given.” And so, “much is expected.”

XII. REREAD

If you don’t reread the missive at least three times and get the gist of it, you are striking out before you even get up to bat. You must crawl before you take baby steps and take baby steps before you walk, and walk before you run with fluid motion at full throttle speed.That’s what education, deliberation, analysis, original thinking and finding your own voice are all about. Get the basics and fundamentals down first so that, later on, you can graciously “slip the surly bonds of earth” (“Highflight.”) and fly into life’s stratosphere with strong, reliable, original and graceful wings.
Frederick W. Lauckflauck@comcast.net
http://www.fredlauck.com Copyright 2016

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