Xwunda give their mother-in-law three cows every monsoon season, then pluck out their own eyes as a sacrifice to Humunga, the Volcano God. This originally sounds unpromising, but it turns out that people really dont want their family members murdered. Plea bargains which are easier for prosecutors, easier for defendants, and easier for taxpayers seem like a good example of cultural evolution in action; once someone thought them up, there was no way they werent going to take over everything despite their very serious costs. Suppose Warren Buffett cuts off my arm. Three other things worth noting about Legal Systems Very Different From Ours. Scott dubs this metis, an evolved intuitive sense of practical wisdom that often outperforms seemingly more scientific solutions. But if you and your whole community dont like the government, you can organize your own internal relations however you want. And while compounding might save the criminal from the noose, he did not get off scott free.
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18th century English justice replaced fines with criminals bribing prosecutors to drop cases. It follows that they are all polluted, unclean, carriers of a contagious disease, people whom no Rom in his right mind would willingly choose to associate with; when and if such association is unavoidable it must be taken with great care. I cant disagree with its evidence from within its narrative, but I still wonder how much to worry about this alternate way of looking at things. Apply the court made of town elders plus at least three different religious leaders plus to Baltimore, and the Field Of Meeting is going to get pretty crowded. Social entrepreneurs come up with some new system that solves a need, and it catches on by raising the utility of everyone involved. The Gypsies and Amish will ostracize members who defy the court but since everyone lives in fear of ostracization, in real life theyll just pay the fine or make their public confession or whatever. But police would hesitate to arrest a fellow officer, plus weve already established that they can be deflected with bribes. The police can physically drag you to jail, kicking and screaming. Legal Systems Very Different From Ours hints that we could build something like Archipelago gradually, without anybody noticing. Its easy to see how something like this can turn into a perfectly respectable legal system where people totally forget that killing each others family members is even an option. Of course, you can still leave the Amish community and go join broader American society. Third, in all of the fretting about how terrible our government is, and trying to change our government to be less terrible, and trying to convince other people to go along with our terribleness-decreasing government change proposals its important to keep on remembering the degree.