Thursday, October 27, 2011

LTW Journal 10/27(b)

(Part of an ongoing series detailing our Lost Tools of Writing adventures.  Previous posts here.)  

My exordium examples are done.  I enjoyed making these!  I suspect one cannot have too many examples of a writing "hook", so I am sharing mine here.  Also, here is a link to sample imperative sentences.  And a link to a hilarious joke that illustrates the vague nature of competition law.  It might be a bit long for an exordium, but I liked it.

My essay issue is whether the Supreme Court should have ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil.

(I don't know how to fix the weird bullet points. Apologies for the formatting.)

UPDATE:  Let me know which one is your favorite!

  • Where is the balance between liberty and justice?

  • Should a cartel be allowed to suppress trade?

  • If you build a better mousetrap, will the regulators beat a path to your door?

  • In 1890 the Sherman Anti-trust Act was passed. That year, Standard Oil possessed 90% of American refining capacity. In 1911 the Act was invoked against Standard Oil, but due to competition from other firms, Standard's refining capacity had already gone down to 65%. (Wikipedia.)

  • By 1890, the United States was transitioning from an agricultural to industrial society. In the midst of unprecedented growth, the Senate passed the Sherman Anti-trust Act, 51-1. The Act then unanimously cleared the House and became a law. (Wikipedia)

  • Label the good guys and bad guys in this story: In 1870, John D. Rockefeller started in the oil business. His shrewd success reduced kerosene prices for Americans, and also put many would-be oil magnates out of business. Rockefeller got rich. He and his cronies were condemned for suppressing the oil trade with their innovative business model.

  • You are a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The world is changing. New technology and production techniques have brought about new business models. Decide which are lawful and which are not.

  • In my twenties, I tried to sell Avon. Competition was fierce, and I never liked to persuade hesitant customers. I was terrible at it.

  • “If I never had a cent, I'd be rich as Rockefeller... Gold dust at my feet, on the sunny side of the street.” (old song) 

  • In 1952, a representative from the Rockefeller Foundation called leprosy specialist Dr. Paul Brand. “Your work with leprosy shows good potential. Why don't you travel around the world and get the best advice possible? See anyone you want-- surgeons, pathologists, leprologists-- and take whatever time you need. We'll foot the bill.” The trip gave Dr. Brand much-needed confirmation of his findings on the dread disease. (Brand/Yancy, The Gift of Pain)

  • "Nothing was left to chance, nothing was guessed at, nothing left uncounted and measured. Efficiencies down to the smallest detail of the business were the order of the day. Economy, precision, and foresight were the cornerstones of [Standard Oil's] success.” (Professor Keith Poole, The American Experience,
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