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Watch what people do, not what they say

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    This is very interesting to think about.

    If I steal 1 penny from everyone on Earth, I will have $70 million dollars.
    No one will come after me. :)


    More seriously though:
    If I steal a credit card, forge a check, and then cash a check without doing the work for a grand total of $250, that is 3 strikes in many states and 25 years to life in prison.

    That Fyre Festival guy is doing 6 years in prison and his victims lost millions.
    The documentary on Netflix is great.


    Bottom line is fraud surrounded by lies just doesn't get punished as hard as naked theft.
    The reason is that overpromising and underdelivering can't be criminalized without blowing up the economy.

    Not sure where gross negligence fits in.
    What should be the penalty be for the Quadriga crypto currency people whose CEO died and left no decryption key behind?
    $145 million and no one can ever get it.


    Anyway, white collar crime costs the US $500 billion per year.
    What cops seize in civil asset forfeiture passed burglar yearly totals back in 2014.
    Blue collar criminals are firmly in 3rd place.
     
    Estebonrober likes this.
  2. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    You've never met a Scotsman. Don't you know how they invented copper wire?
     
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  3. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    White-collar criminals get off lightly because of bugs in the human operating system.

    We can mentally picture and fear a guy with a gun and a mask holding us up. It's harder, and less scary, to picture someone gradually stealing tens of millions and ruining many lives through fraud and embezzlement.

    On top of that, the human mind simply can't handle things on a large scale. We can imagine a person being wronged in minute detail. We can imagine a dozen people going through hardships, but in less detail and with more difficulty, and may be willing to punish someone more harshly for hurting a dozen people than one person--but we probably won't punish them twelve times harder. We simply can't comprehend what it means for thousands, or millions, of people to suffer. These numbers are beyond understanding. Yes, we can count to those numbers, but we can't really comprehend them, or imagine ten thousand of anything unless it's very abstracted. So the punishment for harming that many people is not commensurate with the number.

    In other words, go big or go home.
     
    dusters likes this.
  4. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Explanation for the culturally-ignorant?
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Scots are reputed to be very tight-fisted. Copper wire, the joke goes, was invented by two Scots fighting over a penny.
     
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  6. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Oh man that is a good one!! I knew about the tight-fisted part. That's why 3M cello is called Scotch Tape. Classy, right?
     
  7. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    Sure, but in practice, the enforcers aren't fair, so the letter of the law means only so as much as their integrity in enforcing it. Or completely jack squat, in other words. Oust them and another group with a different idea of "fair" comes in and things are no better overall, though the favor for this faction or ideology may have shuffled a bit. Bias is an inherent part of "fairness" as contradictory as that sounds
    .
     
  8. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    You may be startled to learn that others have foreseen this problem, which is why most modern judicial systems have various levels of oversight built-in. If these oversight are effectively applied, the biases that emerge therefore tend to be structural rather than personal, to represent the assumed common sense of an institution or a system or a whole society, rather than expressing a lack of personal integrity on the part of those filling a certain office.

    It's unlikely that humans will ever develop a perfectly fair set of rules and laws, but that's because "fairness" is a human invention, that the standards of fairness therefore express the assumptions of a given culture, rather than simply because "people suck lmao".
     
  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    A bit less than that. Canadians don't use pennies anymore.
     
  10. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    No way, fairness is universal!





    We still don't use metric.
    Pennies forever!
     
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