[extropy-chat] When Did (or Do) People Start Locking Doors?

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 23:12:39 UTC 2006

On 12/15/06, Anders Sandberg <asa at nada.kth.se> wrote:
> One approach is of course transparency - if anything is stolen or broken
> you and everybody else who cares will know who did it. We will be there
> soon. But I doubt that adds much to a sense of trust and security, which
> is what this thread really is about. Knowing that the police can catch the
> wrongdoers doesn't lessen the fear of being attacked by them.

Indeed. I think it would be more effective (as well as safer and more
ethical) to attack the root cause of the problem, rather than merely the

There are always going to be a few sadistic sociopaths who were just plain
born with their brains wired up the wrong way, but they're a small minority.
The difference in violent crime rate between a modern city and a traditional
small town is accounted for by people who in a better environment would have
lived better lives [1].

A big part of the problem is that as the web of laws and regulations grows
thicker, the barriers to earning an honest living grow higher. To make
matters worse, the planning and rent laws restrict the supply of housing to
the point that it's very hard to pay rent on a low wage; there's a strong
incentive to go on social security and let the government provide you with
housing. Young men in a lot of poor areas end up correctly perceiving that
the opportunity to be a full member of society, supporting a family by
honest work, is something society is _forcibly denying_ them for no good
reason; they turn to crime out of boredom, frustration and anger.

Combine that with the laws against drugs and prostitution that provide a
market with high risk but much higher reward than most legal jobs, and it's
a wonder the crime rate is as low as it is.

Even leaving aside ethical considerations, the _effective_ solution to the
crime problem is fewer laws.

[1] I will emphasize that I am _not_ suggesting this is a moral excuse for
violent crime. I am only discussing cause in order to arrive at an effective
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20061215/f91951f2/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list