GaTor on October 22, 2010, 01:19:47 pm
What I want to know is, why are all the men referred to as "Sov. So-and-So" while the woman lawyer is "Merry"?

Sv. is short for 'Sovereign" aka Sov... I think.  It's a unisex term applied to both males and fems.  Like sir or ma'am, lady etc.   as for Merry, well thats her name.  Kinda informal procedings. 
Go forth and do good.

quadibloc on October 22, 2010, 02:57:49 pm
but you're right: having publicly agreed to eat the loss, she has no claim
I wouldn't go that far. Her agreement is to eat the loss if they run and can't be found. Her claim against them is in no way waived, as they would quickly find out if they ran but were caught.

I may feel that the political setup on Ceres might not be applicable to all situations, but I definitely don't claim that the people on Ceres are stupid, or would tolerate a legal system that was.

I'd be concerned for Merry, though. If she's so nice to them, one or more of them might get the impression she's doing it because she thinks they're hot. They don't seem particularly perceptive just yet, and might be slow to understand her concept of rape.
In the real world, I'd be concerned for Merry for that reason as well.

However, this is not the real world, it's a comic strip. And it's not its PG-13 rating that is protecting Merry from this.

It's the fact that it's being written by an advocate of AnCap or a similar philosophy... rather than an advocate of the "Guantanamo keeps your children safe at night and the police are always right" philosophy. Admittedly, the Death Wish series of movies did illustrate self-defense instead of state power in action... but, in general, rage and paranoid fear of crime lead to acceptance of statist remedies rather than confidence that self-defense is adequate.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 03:04:53 pm by quadibloc »

sams on October 22, 2010, 03:26:42 pm
What I want to know is, why are all the men referred to as "Sov. So-and-So" while the woman lawyer is "Merry"?

Sov stands for Sovereign, in the sense that each Individual is Sovereign over his own person and liberty ;)

SandySandfort on October 22, 2010, 09:13:16 pm
In my reading, the Guzman brothers are uncomfortable with the moral question it poses (note they've been brought up in a religious household as established VERY early in the original strip)...

Are you sure about that? The only hint of religious opinion that I can recall was an ambiguous, probably factious, exclamation from Ernie when he and Bert arrived at The Little Prince and were met by former jet jockey, Commander Drenkowski (page 200):

“Whoa there, cowboy! You just scared the bejesus out of this old agnostic.”

I don't know what I might have written that gave the impression of a religious household. I'd appreciate it if you could quote me... uh... "chapter and verse."

SandySandfort on October 22, 2010, 09:27:32 pm
What I want to know is, why are all the men referred to as "Sov. So-and-So" while the woman lawyer is "Merry"?

Sv. is short for 'Sovereign" aka Sov... I think.  It's a unisex term applied to both males and fems.  Like sir or ma'am, lady etc.   as for Merry, well thats her name.  Kinda informal procedings. 

Go to the head of the class! "Sv" is like "Mr." or "Ms." "Sov" is like "Mister" or "Miz." Early on, Pedro tells Merry to call him "Pedro" or "Sv Rosenberg." Most Belters eschew honorifics except in situations where they wish to show respect or be more formal. So Pedro gave Merry a choice between informal or formal.

SandySandfort on October 22, 2010, 09:33:26 pm
I'd be concerned for Merry, though. If she's so nice to them, one or more of them might get the impression she's doing it because she thinks they're hot. They don't seem particularly perceptive just yet, and might be slow to understand her concept of rape.
In the real world, I'd be concerned for Merry for that reason as well.

However, this is not the real world, it's a comic strip. And it's not its PG-13 rating that is protecting Merry from this.

No, she could be in danger from these guys. But Merry is a big girl and decided to take her chances. It's called "assumption if risk." And a negative outcome for Merry is one of several scenarios I considered. You'll just have to keep reading to see which way it goes.

J Thomas on October 22, 2010, 10:24:42 pm
Paying off a debt is all well and good, however there is also the matter of protection of the citizenry.   Is Mary responsible for any crimes committed by these three if released into her custody?

I don't know what the story's culture says, but I can make an argument that she is not.

There is currently no charge against them for attempted murder etc. They only have to pay for damages. The pig farm is a preferred way for them to do it because it's easy there to keep them from running, and the arbitrator doesn't trust them not to run. If Merry pays the money without asking them to pay her back, then they could be free. If she wants them to pay her back and they agree, then they owe her money that they ought to pay. If they don't pay on schedule and she calls for arbitration, then they could wind up on the pig form as before. If they commit further crimes, they are responsible for those crimes.

I can imagine it the other way round. They get loose and they try to kill some random stranger who appears to give them a chance to profit, and they fail again. The stranger sues Merry for letting them loose when she should have kept them locked up until she could be sure they were no longer dangerous. I can imagine that. I can even imagine an arbitrator ruling in the stranger's favor. But it doesn't seem real plausible to me. How would she know they weren't dangerous until they were dead or at least real old and decrepit? And this first arbitrator only wants to keep them until they have paid off their debts. Would they be dangerous then? I can imagine it. She makes an error of judgement that endangers someone else. I could see it even better if it was a piloting judgement error.


quadibloc on October 23, 2010, 02:12:59 am
They get loose and they try to kill some random stranger who appears to give them a chance to profit, and they fail again. The stranger sues Merry for letting them loose when she should have kept them locked up until she could be sure they were no longer dangerous. I can imagine that. I can even imagine an arbitrator ruling in the stranger's favor. But it doesn't seem real plausible to me.
It doesn't to me either. Instead, I would think that the person liable wouldn't be Merry, but the previous arbitrator who ruled that Merry's proposed solution was acceptable!

What seems strange, essentially, is that the arbitrator in the current comic is deciding a matter that is purely between individuals - i.e., civil law - when it's clear that the three people from whom a settlement is sought are dangerous people, so one expects to see a proceeding of criminal law. Some people are too dangerous to have running around loose, and those three seem to be such people.

Perhaps with an armed populace able to take care of themselves, this just isn't an issue. I can't see it working - so far, this sequence seems to illustrate AnCap failing more dramatically than I, a critic of the idea, would have expected. I presume though, that's only to lead into a triumphant conclusion which will show how it really does work, and work well.

dough560 on October 23, 2010, 05:15:47 am
It's the middle of the night.  The following takes the long way around and is not as concise as I would like.

Merry posts a bond for the adjudicated damages.  The smart perp(s) seek employment to support themselves and retire their adjudicated debt.  They are accepted back into society, having proven their worth.  The stupid perp(s) evade their responsibilities and Merry forfeits the bond to  to the Guzmans.  The perps are responsible for their behavior and remain "outlaws".  Those outside the law.  Merry has no responsibility for the perps actions/behavior.  Her risk at this point in the story, is financial.  I would consider the possibility one or more perps, skipping out quite high.  The perps could perceive  Merry as a sucker who they could turn into a victim.  Not a good result for Merry.  She will suffer at least a financial loss if all the Perps skip.  Those who don't skip, will be responsible for the debt.  The skipping Perp(s) will find themselves "Posted as Outlaw(s)" as someone, not to do business with.  Result.  No one will accord them trust to honor their debts or give them the benefit of doubt.

J Thomas:  There is no state to impose a "Legal Fiction" where the "State" is the victim in any criminal proceeding.  Result: there is only a civil proceeding where restitution is the goal.  There is no state enforced "Punishment or Rehabilitation".  The Perps agreed to arbitration in this case and arranged for legal counsel.  Failure to do so would have found them "Posted as Outlaw(s)" who do not honor their responsibilities.  For who would sell air, ammunition, food, fuel, habitation, health care, transportation, water or weapons to someone who will not face their responsibilities.  A business, aware of their "outlaw" status who does business with them would be running a significant risk.  For who would want to do business with those who support "outlaws".  When the Perps initiate force as they try to gain their necessities, sooner or later, they would be delt with, by their intended victim.  The only "mercy" they could then expect, is a quick death.  Their other option would be to return to a statist failed legal system we all know and love.  In short the professional criminal class.

J Thomas:  Its not that you don't get it.  It's that you refuse to get it.  No one is so blind or ignorant as those who refuse to learn.  In spite of your obvious intelligence and education, you still refuse to learn and thereby, think. 

Apollo-Soyuz on October 23, 2010, 06:27:35 am
So I suppose I ought to post my interpretation

Quote from: Apollo-Soyuz


Thought experiment: Two outta three flee Ceres. One stays to pay off his debt.

1. Can Merry put a bounty on the other two's head? Is a broken "gentleman's agreement" enforceable in arbitration?

It seems that anyone with a justifiable reason may imprison and transport another person, if they're willing to face the music afterwards. So I'd guess that she could put a price on someones head. There might not be anyone willing to take on the liability though.

Quote from: Apollo-Soyuz

2. Let's say that the remaining one not only pays off his debt, but as a gesture to be made publicly known also works to pay off the remaining two's debt. Are the two absolved completely, or does Merry still have a claim against them for jumping  Ceres?

I'd say breach of contract was an offense you could drag someone into court for. Since the 3rd perp wanted the world to know he was paying off everyones debt (to enhance his reputation as a trustworthy individual), I'd say that Merry no longer had a claim for anything that wasn't paid for.

Quote from: Apollo-Soyuz

3. Would you be more inclined to barter, trade, or employ the remaining one knowing that he worked extra so that Merry would not suffer a loss?

I might be willing to hire for small onetime jobs, where the chance of loss was low. I'd also talk up his reputation afterworlds if he indeed did a fine job. It would take more than that one gesture to convince me he was a changed man, but that would be a start.

Quote from: Apollo-Soyuz

4. Does it matter if Merry is paid off for the two that are AWOL if the payment is said to be a "gift" rather than "repayment"?

Depends on the details. Did Merry state she had the right to resell the debt when her verbal agreement? This is the kind of messy stuff that would go to arbitration.

Quote from: Apollo-Soyuz

5. If the remaining one pays off the other two's debt, does he automatically have a claim against the other two?

Again, depends on the details. He may have made it known that he was paying for the debt, but failed to say if it was a gift or that he was assuming the debt. If I was Mary and I somehow perp 1&2 paid her back, I'd certainly try to refund #3.



J Thomas on October 23, 2010, 07:38:10 am

J Thomas:  There is no state to impose a "Legal Fiction" where the "State" is the victim in any criminal proceeding.  Result: there is only a civil proceeding where restitution is the goal.

Is the goal restitution, or is the goal satisfaction for the victims? B&E chose to ask only for restitution. If they had said, "We don't want these guys living in the same universe as us, do we have the right to kill them?" and the arbitrator said yes, then would they have gotten much blame? We've seen a previous example where the victim shot both known criminals on the spot. Perhaps she could have said, "I want them to work on the pig farm until they each have paid me a million grams of gold.". That wasn't what she chose.

Quote
There is no state enforced "Punishment or Rehabilitation".  The Perps agreed to arbitration in this case and arranged for legal counsel.  Failure to do so would have found them "Posted as Outlaw(s)" who do not honor their responsibilities.  For who would sell air, ammunition, food, fuel, habitation, health care, transportation, water or weapons to someone who will not face their responsibilities.  A business, aware of their "outlaw" status who does business with them would be running a significant risk.  For who would want to do business with those who support "outlaws".

Some might be happy selling to them if they can pay cash. Particularly if no one finds out. That leaves them with the problem of getting cash, though.

Perhaps they could be street musicians. Nobody has to trust a street musician, you listen to the music and you tip them or not. Do well enough as street musicians and somebody might trust them to show up at a gig.

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Thomas:  Its not that you don't get it.  It's that you refuse to get it.  No one is so blind or ignorant as those who refuse to learn.  In spite of your obvious intelligence and education, you still refuse to learn and thereby, think. 

I think it was late at night and you didn't follow my reasoning carefully. An AnCap society can work however its members agree. And if its members vary, in ways that they can live with, it could be quite variable.

So I can imagine it could go multiple ways. B&E only want payment for damages. Merry pays them and they are satisfied, now it's entirely between Merry and the perps. Or I can imagine that later they hurt somebody else and the new victim blames Merry or the previous arbitrator and sues them. It might be hard to get a judgement against a member of the Arbitrator's Guild, or it might not. Maybe there isn't any arbitrator's club and arbitrators have no professional courtesy to each other. And maybe lawyers have no professional courtesy to each other either. Maybe there are no lawyers! (Then what is Merry?)

It could go every which way depending on the society and the particular arbitrators. I can imagine it.

I think your idea is the most obvious approach and I can easily imagine that one. But possibly there could be an AnCap society that didn't do it that way, or that allowed things to vary and not always go that way.

SandySandfort on October 23, 2010, 11:09:51 am
So I can imagine it could go multiple ways. B&E only want payment for damages. Merry pays them and they are satisfied, now it's entirely between Merry and the perps. Or I can imagine that later they hurt somebody else and the new victim blames Merry or the previous arbitrator and sues them. It might be hard to get a judgement against a member of the Arbitrator's Guild

I am fascinated that severally of you actually believe that Merry or the arbitrator could have any liability for what the defendants do. What is your theory of liability? What is your cause of action? Certainly, there is no proximate cause. Respondeat superior doesn't apply to the arbitrator nor to Merry. Negligence does not apply because there is no duty to protect others. If you kill somebody while you are hijacking their car, you are responsible for the consequences of your act; not your parents, teachers or minister; just you.

Arbitrators Guild? What possible legitimate purpose could such an attempt to restrain free trade, serve? In a free society, anyone can serve as an arbitrator if the parties agree. And since there is no government to enforce such a monopoly, a guild would provide no benefit to arbitrators or their clients. An aside. Even though lawyers are part of a government enforced cartel, they have no qualms about eating other lawyers alive in legal malpractice suits or other causes of action. You must be thinking of the government law enforcement guilds that close ranks to protect bad cops.
 
(Grammar gripe. The preferred spelling (i.e.,used by most educated users) is "judgment." I note that most of you get it right.)

EASTER EGG ALERT: Do the defendants ring a bell? (I didn't even let the EFT team in on it.) A big Attaboy/attagirl for the first person to figure it out.

J Thomas on October 23, 2010, 05:11:33 pm

I am fascinated that severally of you actually believe that Merry or the arbitrator could have any liability for what the defendants do. What is your theory of liability? What is your cause of action? Certainly, there is no proximate cause. Respondeat superior doesn't apply to the arbitrator nor to Merry. Negligence does not apply because there is no duty to protect others. If you kill somebody while you are hijacking their car, you are responsible for the consequences of your act; not your parents, teachers or minister; just you.

In terms of morality, I tend to agree with you. However, anyone can sue anyone else and the arbitrator decides. To say that neither Merry nor the current arbitrator would be sued on it implies a remarkable unanimous view among members of a particular AnCap society.

I imagine it as less likely the lawsuit would succeed than that it might be created. You make a good case that it is not their responsibility to protect anybody. But I am not certain that every arbitrator would agree with you.

Try a rather different example. You are in your ship heading directly toward Ceres at rather high relative velocity, and you throw out some junk you don't need. Later you decelerate and dock. Your fast-moving junk damages a docked ship and some machinery on the surface of Ceres etc. It's clear where it came from. Does anybody have a case against you? I would say yes. You are endangering people and their property. They have a right to expect you not to drop junk on them, when there was a reasonable chance it would hurt somebody. On the other hand, suppose you were in an orbit where you had no reason to think it would hurt anybody and 15 years later it did. In that case I'd say your liability is much less.

Now one that's a big closer. A man is accused of shooting somebody at random. The wounded victim testifies what he says happened. The attacker says something incoherent, the jews and the muslims are after him, he has to wait until the mother ship beams him up, live free or die, he needs some drugs to stop the mind control rays. You are the arbitrator. The victim wants money, and the attacker has it. You let him go and give him back his guns. Right after he's free, right outside the door, he sees a woman wearing a star of david necklace and shoots her. She survives, but what with one thing and another he does not.

Do you have any liability in that case? It wasn't your responsibility to pay for his medical treatment, which might anyway be ineffective. It isn't your responsibility to lock him up, either at your own expense or to make him pay for it or work for it. You aren't your brother's keeper. Why should you do anything other than see that his fine is paid and give him back his gun? Well, I think you ought to try to do something more. Here's somebody who really can't take care of himself and who really isn't up to moral responsibility. I expect if the woman who has been shot would feel it would have been good if you had arranged some better result. But she might likely not sue you over it, and she might likely lose if she does sue. You might feel as I do that there is a moral responsibility, but that doesn't have to translate into an arbitrated penalty for failing to come up with a good solution.

Quote
Arbitrators Guild? What possible legitimate purpose could such an attempt to restrain free trade, serve? In a free society, anyone can serve as an arbitrator if the parties agree. And since there is no government to enforce such a monopoly, a guild would provide no benefit to arbitrators or their clients. An aside. Even though lawyers are part of a government enforced cartel, they have no qualms about eating other lawyers alive in legal malpractice suits or other causes of action. You must be thinking of the government law enforcement guilds that close ranks to protect bad cops.

These things happen. In a world where anybody has the legal right to be an arbitrator, there could still be people who get a reputation for being good, to the point that they can charge professional prices and perhaps specialize in doing arbitration for a living. They will pay attention to each other, because they will see a lot of each other etc. They might easily have an unofficial club that only successful arbitrators get invited to join.

My father was a dentist. He did very good work and kept his prices relatively low, and he built a thriving practice. Once he organized a meeting of all the dentists in a seven-county area, not through the ADA but just a social meeting. They discussed fixing prices and made some progress, but he said there was one dentist he needed to have there who just didn't show up. The man like him had a great reputation and kept his prices low, and they really wanted him to participate. This sort of thing would surely happen even if dentists were not licensed by the state. Of course it takes a government to enforce it if it's going to be perfectly enforced, or at least enforced as perfectly as government actually enforces things..


Quote
(Grammar gripe. The preferred spelling (i.e.,used by most educated users) is "judgment." I note that most of you get it right.)

I don't like that spelling. "Judgement" is an acceptable secondary spelling and the more it gets used the closer it will come to being declared the preferred spelling.

jamesd on October 23, 2010, 06:29:01 pm
What seems strange, essentially, is that the arbitrator in the current comic is deciding a matter that is purely between individuals - i.e., civil law - when it's clear that the three people from whom a settlement is sought are dangerous people, so one expects to see a proceeding of criminal law. Some people are too dangerous to have running around loose, and those three seem to be such people.

In anarchy, all law is civil law - albeit civil law that has the option of saying "it is OK to kill this guy", or "it was OK that you killed this guy.

In this case, due to Merry's intervention, the bad guys are getting off easy.  Without her do-gooding, they would have been enslaved, not running around.

But it is always civil law.  


jamesd on October 23, 2010, 06:37:13 pm
Is the goal restitution, or is the goal satisfaction for the victims? B&E chose to ask only for restitution. If they had said, "We don't want these guys living in the same universe as us, do we have the right to kill them?"

Historically, in such cases, the offended party just kills the offender, then reports what happened and faces the music, which is typically a small or large fine to paid to survivors of the dead.  The worst penalty an arbitrator usually gives is to declare the offender an outlaw and then give him a head start - possibly a rather short head start.  However, the society depicted in this comic does things a little differently.


 

anything