Re: Filtered Extropians

Robin Hanson (hanson@econ.Berkeley.EDU)
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 10:40:22 -0800

Charlie Stross <> wrote:
>Firstly, deterrence. This is pretty much disproven as an approach to
>preventing crime; punishment doesn't deter criminals because criminals
>don't expect to be caught and punished.

Whoa. Let me get this straight. So you believe that if we eliminated
all punishments (i.e., costs imposed) on all law-breaking, including theft,
rape, assault, etc., (including costs like having to take time to defend
yourself in court) and we prevented private attempts to impose compensating
costs (such as via shunning, vigilantism, or better locks), that we would
NOT see an increase in crime rates? People could walk into a bank and walk
out with bags of cash, suffer nothing worse for this than a possibly guilty
conscious, and bank theft wouldn't be any worse than it is now?!

>... The point being that the punishment doesn't deter
>criminals; it's the certainly of capture that deters them.

What about capture deters them if not for the fear of being punished?

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614