Friday, August 19, 2005

Richard Posner

I found this interesting article about Judge Richard Posner, one of history's most prolific judges. I can't say I agree with his legal theories, or at least what I know about them, but I do like some of the things he says in the article, especially this:

Half a dozen times a year, Posner and Charlene will have people over for dinner - often the Chicago economist William Landes, Posner's best friend, and his wife - but, on the whole, Posner prefers to avoid social life. "People don't say interesting things," he says. 'A lot of socializing is just dull - I'd rather read a book. I have a friend, an economist who's Swedish, and he told me that Sweden has terrible television, so people there spend their time visiting each other. But that's worse, because when you watch television you get some information, you even get some moral instruction, you learn to be nice to single mothers or what have you, but socializing, particularly family - well, that is deadly. When you're just talking with your friends about trivia, what's the point?"


MrOrange said...

Very interesing, "socialising with you friends and family is point less". In my opinion socialising with our family does teach us a lot. What about children that learn how to behave around older people, e.g. their grand parents, or families that take care of each other. From my point of view there is no such thing as a winner when you have to choose between socialising and TV. It merely depends on the settings, do not you think?

Elaine said...

Hi Norman, Yeah I agree...I think the article kind of reflects on Posner though because he often comes off as someone who doesn't have much use for the experiences of other people. I think what he is saying though is that he personally doesn't get a lot out of socializing, and I agree with him at some level. I am not always crazy about big social situations unless I'm with a bunch of people who all click. Otherwise, it seems like the topics of conversation are just "trivia" as Posner puts it. I also am not wild about social situations that are mainly concerned with people "catching up." So I think Posner isn't necessarily saying that spending time with people is worthless but that he'd rather not do it when he doesn't have to.