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Offline starspirit

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Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:34:30 PM »

The concept of coordinated shunning, as a means of treating those that break agreements, is discussed in this post, https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=12696.0, based on this BM blogpost, http://bytemaster.bitshares.org/article/2014/12/27/The-Benefits-of-A-Contract-Free-Society/.

I feel this concept needs to be applied very carefully due to its moral implications for all parties involved. Its not clear to me at all that there is an objective answer, though I do have some views. Perhaps people may feel that the circumstances or implementation make all the difference? Views?

[Edit: Originally I had some references for thought, but as I'm not advocating any particular source I removed them. Rationalise on whatever grounds you please.]
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 09:57:49 PM by starspirit »

Offline davidpbrown

Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 10:44:38 PM »
I haven't time to read depth atm but the notion of "coordinated shunning" seems a bit odd, as it suggests some authority coordinating; which then likely will be rough justice encouraged by those who feel most strongly. Strong feelings perhaps do not relate well to good justice.

Better than egos competing for visibility, would be that the evidence is laid bare and is available for all sides to consider, in as much depth as others wish to see it. The same then as is expected of democratic votes.. there will be a spread of effort and influence; overall the belief is that will work in the medium and long term, even if the output is not ideal.


In that vein then, I would like to see 100% delegates evidence that they are delivering. Complaining that burning evidence to their delegate's wall, seem lame. Given that 100% earns so much, I wonder that we should be more demanding that delegates do deliver value for money - literally. The market for BTS might suffer if any or all start looking to spend their BTS. Obviously, there is benefits in turnover of BTS but we are paying them with what otherwise would be burned.

At the moment, we are liable to badly coordinated voting and potentially shunning.. because the value of delegates is obscured from the majority. That said, I wonder that there are whales who choose who they want and get their way, so it's a little off putting when your vote perhaps doesn't affect much change. If in doubt of whether your vote makes a difference, you could of course vote for me! ;D
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Offline bitAndy

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Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 04:37:09 AM »
I can imagine in a stateless society coordinated shunning - otherwise known as social ostracism - would be the go-to choice for private defense agencies dealing with criminals and other distasteful behavior. There's nothing immoral with socially ostracizing others - your just denying them access to your property. It's by far the most efficient way at curbing behaviors - from both an economical point of view & from a punishment point of view; we're social animals, we can't survive without the tribe.

If a person doesn't uphold a contract, or commits a petty crime, I would imagine their name would be placed on a database (maybe a blockchain) which would be sent out to all businesses in a local or national area.  These businesses would have an incentive not to do businesses with this person as if they are caught they would likewise be shunned. This would mean the criminal would have no access to private roads or be served by businesses. Very quickly the criminal is going to realize he is going to have to offer restitution for his behaviors unless he wants to live the rest of his life isolated from civilization.

Offline BunkerChain Labs

Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 04:47:01 AM »
I can imagine in a stateless society coordinated shunning - otherwise known as social ostracism - would be the go-to choice for private defense agencies dealing with criminals and other distasteful behavior. There's nothing immoral with socially ostracizing others - your just denying them access to your property. It's by far the most efficient way at curbing behaviors - from both an economical point of view & from a punishment point of view; we're social animals, we can't survive without the tribe.

If a person doesn't uphold a contract, or commits a petty crime, I would imagine their name would be placed on a database (maybe a blockchain) which would be sent out to all businesses in a local or national area.  These businesses would have an incentive not to do businesses with this person as if they are caught they would likewise be shunned. This would mean the criminal would have no access to private roads or be served by businesses. Very quickly the criminal is going to realize he is going to have to offer restitution for his behaviors unless he wants to live the rest of his life isolated from civilization.

 +5%

This is an adaptation of an ideal that is used in some religions. It is often referred to or known as being 'ex-communicated'. When an individual doesn't yield to counsel and continues to persist in their bad behaviour they could be ex-communicated until they have taken corrective action. The idea being similar to what you illustrated.. they would be on the outside of the community. I believe your thoughts on this are spot on in how they maybe applied.
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Offline luckybit

Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2015, 05:02:58 AM »
The concept of coordinated shunning, as a means of treating those that break agreements, is discussed in this post, https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=12696.0, based on this BM blogpost, http://bytemaster.bitshares.org/article/2014/12/27/The-Benefits-of-A-Contract-Free-Society/.

I feel this concept needs to be applied very carefully due to its moral implications for all parties involved. Its not clear to me at all that there is an objective answer, though I do have some views. Perhaps people may feel that the circumstances or implementation make all the difference? Views?

[Edit: Originally I had some references for thought, but as I'm not advocating any particular source I removed them. Rationalise on whatever grounds you please.]

There is no objective morality. Coordinated shunning is Bytemaster's subjective morality.
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Offline luckybit

Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 05:05:31 AM »
I can imagine in a stateless society coordinated shunning - otherwise known as social ostracism - would be the go-to choice for private defense agencies dealing with criminals and other distasteful behavior. There's nothing immoral with socially ostracizing others - your just denying them access to your property. It's by far the most efficient way at curbing behaviors - from both an economical point of view & from a punishment point of view; we're social animals, we can't survive without the tribe.

If a person doesn't uphold a contract, or commits a petty crime, I would imagine their name would be placed on a database (maybe a blockchain) which would be sent out to all businesses in a local or national area.  These businesses would have an incentive not to do businesses with this person as if they are caught they would likewise be shunned. This would mean the criminal would have no access to private roads or be served by businesses. Very quickly the criminal is going to realize he is going to have to offer restitution for his behaviors unless he wants to live the rest of his life isolated from civilization.

It depends. If most of the shareholders think something is moral then it is public opinion which makes it moral enforced by coordinated shunning. Nothing is inherently moral or immoral. All of us abide by the social consensus and public opinion or we risk getting shunned. Shunning is also something which can scale with technology.

If there is an axiom it is that public opinion is the ultimate constraint on human behavior. If you want to remain part of the group then you have to accept the public opinion of the group.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 05:10:09 AM by luckybit »
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Offline arhag

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Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 05:30:57 AM »
I can imagine in a stateless society coordinated shunning - otherwise known as social ostracism - would be the go-to choice for private defense agencies dealing with criminals and other distasteful behavior. There's nothing immoral with socially ostracizing others - your just denying them access to your property. It's by far the most efficient way at curbing behaviors - from both an economical point of view & from a punishment point of view; we're social animals, we can't survive without the tribe.

If a person doesn't uphold a contract, or commits a petty crime, I would imagine their name would be placed on a database (maybe a blockchain) which would be sent out to all businesses in a local or national area.  These businesses would have an incentive not to do businesses with this person as if they are caught they would likewise be shunned. This would mean the criminal would have no access to private roads or be served by businesses. Very quickly the criminal is going to realize he is going to have to offer restitution for his behaviors unless he wants to live the rest of his life isolated from civilization.

Let's pretend there is a community that has a reached a consensus that they will demand that every person, on the day of their 18th birthday, sign a particular contract or be shunned out of their community. The contract requires the signer to honestly provide an established organization with their income and business expenses throughout the year and then by a certain date the next year pay a certain fee to the organization that is calculated uniquely for them based on the information they provided. If they do not pay this fee by a certain time or they falsely report their income and expenses, the contract stipulates that the signer gives the organization the right to seize and sell their property to cover the expenses + additional penalty for going through the hassle. And if even after this process there is excess money owed by the signer that the contract signer cannot pay back with interest over the course of the next year, then the contract signer agrees that they will leave the community and never come back unless they pay restitution to the organization (amount they owed + penalties + interest accumulated over the length of time they had been gone). If the contract signer refuses to follow any of the rules of the contract they signed, the community will be forced to shun them.

Is everything fine so far or is this crossing a line?

Okay, now what if the size of this community in consensus with the terms above has grown to encompass a typical metropolitan area? The area of a typical state/nation? An entire continent? All habitable land on Earth?

Is the criticism with the current system simply that violence should never be used (except perhaps as self-defense in situations of immediate danger) but this sort of coercion is just fine? Or is it that people believe this sort of nearly unanimous coordinated shunning on a massive scale would never actually be successful in practice and so there will always be pockets of society that someone can flee to that is more aligned with their morals? 

If the coordinate shunning can be nearly unanimous over the medium scale, is that any different than having a global civilization composed of small nation-states but without imperialistic tendencies? And then what happens when some of them do decide they want to be an empire? The neighboring nation-states would need sufficient defense to protect themselves from losing their sovereignty/identity (and perhaps their lives).

On the other hand, if the coordinated shunning can only exist in the small scale, perhaps is it sufficiently different that one should make a qualitative distinction between that organization of society and one consisting of multiple states. But then I worry that with coordinated shunning that is only effective at such a small scale, there would be no real deterrent against power-hungry actors trying to organize a sufficiently well-armed group willing to use violence to exploit and take advantage of everyone else. Everyone would be forced to defend themselves and their families from this powerful group. Even if successful at thwarting this attack (perhaps at great cost), I would imagine that without changing the organization structure of the society it would only be a matter of time before another power-hungry group decided to fill that power vacuum.

Offline bitAndy

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Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2015, 06:50:17 AM »
I can imagine in a stateless society coordinated shunning - otherwise known as social ostracism - would be the go-to choice for private defense agencies dealing with criminals and other distasteful behavior. There's nothing immoral with socially ostracizing others - your just denying them access to your property. It's by far the most efficient way at curbing behaviors - from both an economical point of view & from a punishment point of view; we're social animals, we can't survive without the tribe.

If a person doesn't uphold a contract, or commits a petty crime, I would imagine their name would be placed on a database (maybe a blockchain) which would be sent out to all businesses in a local or national area.  These businesses would have an incentive not to do businesses with this person as if they are caught they would likewise be shunned. This would mean the criminal would have no access to private roads or be served by businesses. Very quickly the criminal is going to realize he is going to have to offer restitution for his behaviors unless he wants to live the rest of his life isolated from civilization.

Let's pretend there is a community that has a reached a consensus that they will demand that every person, on the day of their 18th birthday, sign a particular contract or be shunned out of their community. The contract requires the signer to honestly provide an established organization with their income and business expenses throughout the year and then by a certain date the next year pay a certain fee to the organization that is calculated uniquely for them based on the information they provided. If they do not pay this fee by a certain time or they falsely report their income and expenses, the contract stipulates that the signer gives the organization the right to seize and sell their property to cover the expenses + additional penalty for going through the hassle. And if even after this process there is excess money owed by the signer that the contract signer cannot pay back with interest over the course of the next year, then the contract signer agrees that they will leave the community and never come back unless they pay restitution to the organization (amount they owed + penalties + interest accumulated over the length of time they had been gone). If the contract signer refuses to follow any of the rules of the contract they signed, the community will be forced to shun them.

Is everything fine so far or is this crossing a line?

Okay, now what if the size of this community in consensus with the terms above has grown to encompass a typical metropolitan area? The area of a typical state/nation? An entire continent? All habitable land on Earth?

Is the criticism with the current system simply that violence should never be used (except perhaps as self-defense in situations of immediate danger) but this sort of coercion is just fine? Or is it that people believe this sort of nearly unanimous coordinated shunning on a massive scale would never actually be successful in practice and so there will always be pockets of society that someone can flee to that is more aligned with their morals? 

If the coordinate shunning can be nearly unanimous over the medium scale, is that any different than having a global civilization composed of small nation-states but without imperialistic tendencies? And then what happens when some of them do decide they want to be an empire? The neighboring nation-states would need sufficient defense to protect themselves from losing their sovereignty/identity (and perhaps their lives).

On the other hand, if the coordinated shunning can only exist in the small scale, perhaps is it sufficiently different that one should make a qualitative distinction between that organization of society and one consisting of multiple states. But then I worry that with coordinated shunning that is only effective at such a small scale, there would be no real deterrent against power-hungry actors trying to organize a sufficiently well-armed group willing to use violence to exploit and take advantage of everyone else. Everyone would be forced to defend themselves and their families from this powerful group. Even if successful at thwarting this attack (perhaps at great cost), I would imagine that without changing the organization structure of the society it would only be a matter of time before another power-hungry group decided to fill that power vacuum.

As much as right wing libertarians believe in individualism, self ownership & respect for private property norms they are unfortunately at the whims of the community they live in. There is no tangible reality to private property ''rights'' or ownership of property. Ownership is a social construct, granted by the community that allow you to keep what you have. That doesn't make it completely subjective; we make strong philsophical arguments for self ownership, homesteading theories to justify private property norms & hope that the community is rational & accepts our arguments.

Regarding the ''okayness'' of an 18 year old having to sign a contract to give up income, which is referring to the State,  or have his resources stripped from him is going to depend on which philosophy you adhere to. To statists it's completely okay. What if there communists who adhere to socialist property norms? To libertarians, a contract is only valid when theres explicit consent & his property should thus be defended against the State. But again, it only works if the majority accept private property norms.

Once you get rid of the State, communities will self organise according to values. If those values were more consistently libertarian then theres less conflict. If communists want to set up areas that ostracise those who attempt to start capitalistic businesses, I don't really care since there will be enough land for everyone & they can just move.

I'm no saying shunning should be the only deterrent against criminals, of course private defence agencies would have sophisticated weapons & be able to carry out physical coercion in self defense but violence is expensive & theres no guarantee the good guy will win. In a free market for defense, they cheapest, most efficient method would win. Ostracism is far cheaper than pro-actively chasing down criminals & having to build expensive prisons to house them.

Offline starspirit

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Re: Coordinated Shunning - Is it Moral?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 12:38:16 PM »
There is no objective morality. Coordinated shunning is Bytemaster's subjective morality.
Given a difference of opinion on the existence or not of objective morality on another thread (IMO, an example of things that are subjectively objective - i.e. everyone has an unprovable opinion), I was giving an opportunity for an objective and irrefutable case to be made here.

However its clear that most respondents here believe shunning has a quite subjective morality. Going further, there appears to be a majority suggestion in this thread of what I might label "functional morality" (though there may be a better defined existing label), which I will define as "something is deemed moral if there is functionally no alternative in order to preserve that which must be preserved at all cost". So in this case, for society to function, some form of action is deemed to be required to preserve order in society (without which the society does not exist), and shunning is considered to be the least-cost least-violent form currently available. A similar moral argument would apply to self-defence of one's life, or those of loved ones. I lean toward this functional view myself, but it may not be the best approach to weigh morality. Clearly, what fits the category of functional morality would also change for society over time.

However I would feel more comfortable if "coordinated shunning" were replaced with "distributed disclosure", for lack of a more catchy phrase. This only obligates transparency, but not on others to interact with the person or not. For example, based on the evidence available, if somebody was known to have broken the terms of a partnership contract, I would not refrain from selling goods to them, but if they had a history of non-payment for goods, then clearly this would be a risk in this type of dealing with them. And if I chose to deal with that person, I would not expect to be judged (or worse, potentially shunned) by others. Choosing to deal with somebody would be voluntary and case-specific, and not coordinated by any sort of authoritative process. I do not feel it is moral to condone the shunning of someone in all dealings irrespective of what I thought of that evidence, its seriousness, and its relevance. This makes it more challenging for the transgressor to partake of that particular activity, without becoming an outcast in society, although it is not as forceful on them to make amends either.

There are other big-picture questions as to the effectiveness of such measures in a global community and whether violence between groups of differing values can ever be avoided anyway. But I agree with the intent of where this idea came from - it is definitely necessary to find alternatives to imprisonment and threatened violence.



 

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