July 20, 2019

Archives for March 22, 2018

On the Third Hand…

Will the machines take over the jobs? Ask a bunch of economists, and you’ll get opinions organized around competing ideologies, reflecting individual cognitive, emotional, and political biases. That’s been the experience of Martin Fordentrepreneur, TED talker, and New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future:

In the field of economics the opinions all too often break cleanly along predefined political lines. Knowing the ideological predisposition of a particular economist is often a better predictor of what that individual is likely to say than anything contained in the data under examination. In other words, if you’re waiting for the economists to deliver some sort of definitive verdict on the impact that advancing technology is having on the economy, you may have a very long wait.[1]

In this Psychology Today article, Dr. Karl Albrecht[2] offers a neurological explanation for polarized thinking:

Recent research suggests that our brains may be pre-wired for dichotomized thinking. That’s a fancy name for thinking and perceiving in terms of two — and only two — opposing possibilities.

These research findings might help explain how and why the public discourse of our culture has become so polarized and rancorous, and how we might be able to replace it with a more intelligent conversation.

[O]ur brains can keep tabs on two tasks at a time, by sending each one to a different side of the brain. Apparently, we toggle back and forth, with one task being primary and the other on standby.

Add a third task, however, and one of the others has to drop off the to-do list.

Scans of brain activity during this task switching have led to the hypothesis that the brain actually likes handling things in pairs. Indeed, the brain itself is subdivided into two distinct half-brains, or hemispheres.

Curiously, part of our cranial craving for two-ness might be related to our own physiology: the human body is bilaterally symmetrical. Draw an imaginary center line down through the front of a person and you see a lot of parts (not all, of course), that come in pairs: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, matching teeth on left and right sides, two shoulders, two arms, two hands, two nipples, two legs, two knees, and two feet. Inside you’ll find two of some things and one of others.

Some researchers are now extending this reasoning to suggest that the brain has a built-in tendency, when confronted by complex propositions, to selfishly reduce the set of choices to just two. Apparently it doesn’t like to work hard.

Considering how quickly we make our choices and set our opinions, it’s unlikely that all of the options will even be identified, never mind carefully considered.

“On the one hand this, on the other hand that,” we like to say. Lawyers perfect the art. Politics and the press also thrive on dichotomy:

Again, our common language encodes the effect of this anatomical self reference. “On the one hand, there is X. But on the other hand, we have Y.” Many people describe political views as being either “left” or “right.”

The popular press routinely constructs “news” stories around conflicts and differences between pairs of opposing people, factions, and ideologies. Bipolar conflict is the very essence of most of the news.

So, are robots and artificially intelligence going to trash the working world, or not?

Hmmm, there might be another option — several, actually. Dr. Albrecht urges us to find them:

Seek the “third hand” — and any other “hands” you can discover. Ask yourself, and others, “Are there other options to be considered?”

We’ll consider some third hand perspectives about the rise of the robots in the coming weeks.

[1] Martin Ford is also the consulting expert for Societe Generale’s new “Rise of the Robots” investment index, which focuses on companies that are “significant participants in the artificial intelligence and robotics revolution.”

[2] According to his website, Karl Albrecht is “is an executive management consultant, futurist, lecturer, and author of more than 20 books on professional achievement, organizational performance, and business strategy. He is also a leading authority on cognitive styles and the development of advanced thinking skills. The Mensa Society honored him with its lifetime achievement award, for significant contributions by a member to the understanding of intelligence. Originally a physicist, and having served as a military intelligence officer and business executive, he now consults, lectures, and writes about whatever he thinks would be fun.”


Kevin Rhodes writes about individual growth and cultural change, drawing on insights from science, technology, disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, neuroscience, psychology, and personal experience, including his own unique journey to wellness — dealing with primary progressive MS through an aggressive regime of exercise, diet, and mental conditioning.

Check out Kevin’s latest LinkedIn Pulse article: When We Move, We Can Achieve the Impossible.”

Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Updated Regarding Legal and Judicial Education

On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch released Rule Change 2018(04), adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court on March 15, 2018, and effective on July 1, 2018. The rule change adds C.R.C.P. 250 and amends C.R.C.P. 260, both rule sets titled “Mandatory Continuing Legal and Judicial Eduction.”

The new Rules 250.1 through 250.10 comprehensively define the continuing education requirements of lawyers and judges. The new rules make some changes from the previously enacted rules. Specifically, the definition of which activities will be accredited has been expanded, and now activities related to wellness, diversity, law practice management, leadership, professionalism, and more may qualify for accreditation.

Another major change enacted with the new rules is that lawyers are required to track compliance with CLE requirements until age 72. Lawyers who had previously aged out under the former limit of age 65 will now be required to continue tracking credits until they reach age 72, beginning with the effective date of the new rules (July 1, 2018).

The new rules also clarify that lawyers may receive CLE credit for certain pro bono activities, participation in the CAMP program, and mentoring. Attorneys who mentor can receive CLE credit for mentoring each year, while mentees can only receive CLE credit one time.

The former rules, codified at C.R.C.P. 260 through 260.8, were amended to reference the new rules, as appropriate.

For a redline of the rule change, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Governor Signs Bill to Modernize “Mental Retardation” Terminology

Photo courtesy of DJ Shoaf, posted on the Next with Kyle Clark Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Nexton9NEWS/).

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the governor signed into law SB 18-096, “Concerning Modernizing Statutory Provisions that Refer to Terms Related to “Mental Retardation,” sponsored by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Dan Thurlow. The governor signed the bill on World Down Syndrome Day, a day on which people around the world people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.

SB 18-096 is a Statutory Revisions Committee bill that modernizes and makes nonsubstantive changes to provisions of statute that use terms like ‘mental retardation’ or ‘mentally retarded’ by replacing the terms with more appropriate ‘intellectual and developmental disability’ language.

For a list of all of the governor’s 2018 legislative actions, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/21/2018

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

United States v. Ford

United States v. Grigsby

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.