Part I of this essay explains the Pilluri, a method of punishing criminals that relies on the difference between the objective harm done by direct applications of urine to the miscreant, none to even the level of cattle in feedlots, vs people’s innate distaste of excreta, especially human excreta, combined with the powerful control of individual behavior that is exerted by social disapproval.
In addition to the great interest of readers in Part I (227 readers in 2 weeks!), I received critiques from family members dealt with below.* Considering these and other objections and also having had more time to reflect, I see even more enhancements to our civilization from the adoption of the Pilluri’s ritual shaming as punishment for crimes.
I believe the Pilluri to be a civilization-changing social invention. Once adopted and combined with changes in laws and institutions described here, our civilization will become greater than even a Trump can imagine.
A fundamental requirement in any system of justice, so singularly lacking in current state justice systems, is to provide for compassion and continuously changing evaluations of the guilt and proportional punishment of the convicted. The Pilluri-based system of justice enables those at every level, as I discuss below. Additionally, the Pilluri is culturally entirely neutral, fitting into social gatherings from Kinkfest through church social to solemn civic and religious occasions — you know that, both the symbolism and need transcend cultures. I believe this will move our society toward thinking more about justice in individual cases and incorporating aspects of the administration of justice throughout our institutions. Some religions may require doctrinal changes.
Consider some further implications of a justice system based on the Pilluri. Once the idea has been accepted that the justice system determines guilt, but citizens determine punishment, as the Pilluri allows, there need be only one punishment. That is sentencing to the Pilluri until income from renting the prisoner for ritual dissing no longer pays for supporting the prisoner and transport to the community Pilluri venues. This promotes sincerity and penalizes deceptive virtue signalling, gratuitous pissdissing, because it puts a monetary cost to these public displays of disrespect for an individual and their crimes.
I anticipate objections to allowing the injured community to control punishment, e.g. rich people could prolong someone’s punishment forever, just pay enough for every visit to keep the Pilluri Prisoner (PP) a Profit Making PP (PMPP). And, also, that a rich person could be spared punishment because they could buy off everyone wanting to display their disdain for their crimes and them. Either of these would produce a different punishment, rich vs poor, which we believe to be uncivilized.
Yes, ‘believe’. Be serious. How would you produce a system that behaved otherwise? It is fantasy to believe people will treat rich and poor equally, they never have. Certainly no existing system of justice in modern government does. There is bias favoring the wealthy in arrest rates, rates of charging individuals for crimes, interpretation of the evidence, rates of conviction, lengths of sentences. No country has avoided this bias, there are endless papers in journals of law, criminology, social work and sociology documenting it every year.
Given the long co-evolution of criminals, systems of justice and laws, crime is a profit-making enterprise in all countries of the world. It is the result of the nature of human beings, the difficulty of prevention, the greater difficulty of detection and the still greater difficulty of determining guilt in a fair and equitable manner, all elements run by fallible humans. From the system designers pov, these are just constraints to be satisfied in the design and operation of a system.
As no civilization has managed any ideal of equitable justice, there is no known way to fix that problem. All a designer of social systems can do is grasp the fact of different mental, physical, social and economic resources strongly affecting the outcomes of everything social, then design a system from which everyone benefits enough that all can live with it, a system as positive-sum as possible. In this case, one to deal with the very negative-sum fact of crime committed by individuals.
Such a mechanism has long been used in traditional societies. Blutgeld, blood money, diya are among the many names for the idea that human lives can be measured in economic worth, and that the family is victim and entitled to compensation. In traditional societies, clan elders and religious leaders are mediators helping injured family and offender to reach an agreement that avoids retaliation of family against offender.
If an agreement cannot be reached, vengeance is the alternative standard punishment mechanism in pre-state societies. Vengeance is a large part of political thinking in societies where victims and families must prosecute crimes.
Vengeance can lead to feuds. Feuds are not good for the larger group, so blood money has long been the solution to resolving disputes about death and injury because it accommodates the rich-poor, and powerful-weak divisions of society with low-enough conflict. Rich and powerful lives are indeed worth more, all that can be expected is that the rich pay more when they offend and that judging guilt is blind enough to prevent the widespread need for vengeance. The poor and weak take what they must in all times and places.
I contend that, far from being a primitive concept, given careful attention to fair trials with fully-informed juries, Blutgeld is at least as Just as modern forms, forms that primarily benefit judges, attorneys, police, jailers and parole officers, along with the social workers necessary to support the family while someone is in jail and the tax collectors necessary to support them all. In the best case outcome, the prisoner wastes their life in a prison cell, while the offended party and tax payers bear the costs of a system of punishment ineffective in either reforming the prisoner or deterring others from the crime.
This allocation of the benefits and costs of crime makes no sense at all, and only persists because lawyers are allowed to become legislators, where they feather their own nests. Blutgeld and the Pilluri take power from these groups and give it to the rest of us, any individual can participate in judging, sentencing and punishing any crime.
Once the law accepts the injured citizens’ sincere, Pay for Pilluri opinions wrt the appropriate punishment for all crimes, many more opportunities for social evolution will arise. **
Further devolution of state power will result from eBay-style auctions and futures markets for positions in the dissing line for particular criminals in each locale used to fund open investigations and open prosecutions. This also would enhance private civic institutions as they collectively decided how to spend the year’s budget, pursuing new criminals vs punishment of the convicted vs good works in the local community vs compensation to victims of the crime. In this, the Pilluri is a non-lethal version of the Kickender, another budget item.
Those revenues can fund open prosecutions, and the futures markets in different locales will reflect probable guilt. Futures markets will feed back into prosecutorial decisions as evidence is accumulated. This constitutes a prediction market.
Out of many long discussions and local decisions as to their priorities, the evidence and prosecutors they support would flow a higher level of Justice than ever in human history. That must be true, because the process would enlist more minds making judgments about individual crimes than ever before in history, and never before has evaluation of guilt been so closely connected to profit and loss of so many people.***
Nevertheless, no matter how profoundly this system’s superior administration and higher level of achieved justice will appeal to all political positions from anarchist and libertarian through neoliberal through communitarian, the most powerful argument for the Pilluri will be revenue, public and private, and the way local operators with profit motives and individuals with revenge and virtue signalling motives guarantee the rich pay more for their crimes.
Suppose a notorious, very powerful and megawealthy individual were found guilty of a serious crime. and sentenced to indefinite PP. Being averse to being pissdissed for 8 hours a day for their rest of their life, they resolve to have a friendly group out-bid the operators and individuals who wish to personally register their disapproval.
There are a number of problems such friends would need to handle. Simple equity among the citizens harmed by the crime and the indivisibility of the prisoner require allocating a PP’s presence via random assignment to locales within the territory of conviction. The requirement of continuing opportunities for compassion and forgiveness is satisfied by a daily auction for the right to feature a PP by Pilluri operator.
This auction is a penalty discovery mechanism that sets the Blutgeld price for the offence by the particular offender in the light of all information known to that point. The proceeds of the auctions will be split among the locales hurt by the offender. Those are known, as they are the other operators who have signed up to bid for an offender, each thinking to profit from their rental, and therefore hoping to represent individuals who were hurt enough to pay for the opportunity to express their censure in this very benign, but symbolically powerful, way.
The total of those auctions is the Blutgeld the PP would need to pay to avoid any punishment. It is the assessment of all of the individuals who expressed considered opinions via futures markets, and the amount they are willing to pay for symbolic retribution if they are not compensated for their loss. The injured can collude, the PP has no one to collude with.
These mechanisms in combination prevent the rich from buying their way out of punishment because the friends would need to win every daily auction. As the random order of the locale’s can be fixed as cases are charged, as each auction price and the resulting revenues will be known, as futures prices in each locale will be known, groups can cooperate to push the required winning bid as high as they wish. For major crimes with many victims, cooperating in bids will rapidly drain even the largest fortunes into local hands. If, having lost an auction, the rich and famous PP decides to buy out individuals in line, many of whom bought their ticket in a futures market, the same dynamic will drain the largest fortunes into individual hands.
The wealthy PP can accept their fate and wait for public passions to recede, sometimes bid, bid high for the Wednesday showing to get a mid-week break, run a parallel PR campaign, … Operators and individuals may subsidize money-losing PPs for a variety of reasons, including the possibility of hidden fortunes. Generally, a wealthy PP can expect longer sentences unless their fortune is exhausted. The PP negotiates their punishment in extended transactions with injured parties. The Pilluri provides the most benign coercion in human history for payment in recompense of crimes.
Otoh, for poor people and their local crimes and for formerly rich people, few Pilluri operators will be interested, and only local passion and local fortunes can extend their time in a Pilluri.
Thus does Blutgeld with distributed social-economic penalty discovery + peer-to-peer Pilluri punishment move benefits of crime away from criminals and state minions to localities and their civic institutions while it reduces government’s costs, deters crime, encourages the wealthy and powerful to kindness and charity, and builds civil society on a solid base of Justice.
Higher civilization via more perfect Justice integrated with vibrant community are easily possible, given your support for #PissOnThem.
*Criticisms were that they were not certain how serious #PissOnThem was meant to be, that it was a male’s view of a Pelluri design, and that nobody would pay to exact a symbolic retribution, however personally and viscerally expressed or directly received.
I am a serious person. I work at having balanced views based on careful consideration of a very wide range of science, technology and philosophical sources. As a result of long study and thought, I have made intellectual contributions in biology, economics, civic administration, and eCommerce. I have first recognized mental phenomena such as the Lebowski Enlightenment, so common in this early internet high corruption era. None who know me doubt my seriousness.
To the criticism of ‘male-oriented view’, I agree that women are not well equipped by nature for being so directedly expressive as the Pilluri encourages, and that the design needs corrected. A moment’s thought reveals the answer : funnels and hoses. This prompted the understanding that funnels are only a first means of indirect administration. Other indirect applications, available to all sexes, and their social consequences are considered below.
To the criticism that no one will pay : From the wide range of political opinion I have sampled, on all sides I have testimonials from people who promise to organize caravans of buses to travel across the continent to visit Pilluris featuring a variety of personages. Of course, for both, words are not acts. Would people pay for a PilluriCam screen saver? For daily highlights of the interactions of PP with patrons, the best quips and best facial expressions? Actual future behavior is an empirical question. The possibility that the many ways of generating revenues will fund local communities make this an experiment that needs done asap.
To the criticism that ‘it is uncivilized’, I ask “As compared to the many methods of execution used by civilized countries around the world? As compared to the actual conditions in prisons around the world?”. If a civilized country uses it, and after careful consideration over a long-enough period, decides that their civilization has improved as a result, it is civilized, attitudes adjust, academics and preachers can rationalize anything. This is an empirical question, potential revenues mean we need to do the experiment.
It is significant that a criticism that I have never heard is ‘this punishment will not deter crime, as it is too easy’. No, despite producing no physical harm and being carried out in physical comfort, all partisans to whom I have explained the Pilluri have considered it an especially degrading, horrendous torment specifically meant to be used against their noble and heroic leaders. Often they were also enthusiastic about an opportunity to apply it to their opposition’s demonic leaders. Again, an empirical question needing testing.
Another objection from a family member is that there is no possibility the laws could be passed because they take power from the system of justice AND expose elites directly to people’s laughter, scorn and social ostracism. Also the piss, of course. We can therefore expect fierce resistance to changes in our system of justice, there are rice bowls, social status and economic positions at risk. I agree. We need subtle strategy to sell #PissOnThem.
There are many things #PissOnThem supporters can do the increase public acceptance for each of the elements of this new way of thinking. The goal is to lower mental and emotional barriers to the elements and then to the combination. For example, many fund raising events still use a dunk tank with targets to dump the school principal. Better is a raffle for the next person seated on the dunk tank, where people pay to put a name into the fish bowl. That establishes voting unpopularity with money as a normal social act.****
For larger events, competing dunk tanks whose operators bid for names pulled from the fish bowl is a close analog to the operation of a Pilluri as a socially-profitable enterprise.
Increasing the acceptance of human excreta is a challenge, but there is a Green ecological preserve-the-environment meme we can misuse. That is using human urine separated from the waste stream to directly fertilize plants. Very ecological, sustainable, minimal use of new resources, best use of a waste material. Add a few billboards associating human urine with healthy plants being consumed by happy animals, bumper stickers, clever combinations with other trending ideas etc. and the #PissOnThem meme will have positive connotations when the Pilluri finally gains the acceptance to be discussed in the legislature or town council. Pilluris will facilitate this ecotrend, functioning as they do.
One last point. Use politically neutral examples in discussing this with people, eg Pedophile Republican House Majority Leader CIA-asset Dennis Hastert. People will substitute their own devil, and their passions and economic advantages will sell this, it is the standard SJW + economic interests combination that drives so much change, e.g. civil wars. Advocates are sure to be on the winning side with #PissOnThem.
**We can anticipate disability access activists requesting indirect administration of urine in a Pilluri. This would be necessary to accommodate the bedridden and other disabled people, who I am sure we all agree should be able to experience the personal satisfaction provided by vicarious participation in these social events. Services to transport and apply an individual’s urine will arise. Individuals who bought futures in a criminal’s punishment may die, their will requiring frozen or dried urine to be saved for posthumous applications. As non-disabled people will begin to utilize these services to express disfavor outside of their local communities, insurers for operators of Pilluris must enforce regulations wrt dilutions and rates of indirect administration from such sources to prevent drownings.
The Pilluri itself will spur social evolution. For example, we can expect people to excel in aspects of their public displays. Asparagus and garlic are just the beginning in enhancing Pilluri performance to maximize their message’s import. As a result of such memes and the turn to simple roots that will result from this end of consumerism’s gilded age, we can also expect a return of Elizabethan-era conversation as people reconnect to their bodies. The social mechanism proposed here is part of the developing Zeitgeist.
The nature of conversion experiences from a life of flaunting social order to enlightenment, given the frequent personal verbal and intimate expressions of disapproval by citizen to PP, will be entirely different than those arrived at in a deep dark solitary dungeon. Many forms of meditation will spread, new varieties will be developed.
I predict the widespread acceptance of the Pilluri will profoundly affect culture, a great improvement over the last few centuries of militarism and empire.
***A criticism that will be raised against this essay is that allowing people to assign themselves to both the sets of victims that are entitled to compensation and simultaneously to investigation, prosecution and punishment groups is a conflict of interest that will reduce the average level of Justice. But, futures markets work, and proper prosecutions and judgement puts the information out for the distributed jury to decide, so I believe decisions will be just. Given the number of people who plead guilty to crimes they did not commit, the current standard in our system of justice is low enough a new system will easily surpass it.
This is one of a class of critiques about how this new system of justice, no matter how carefully specified and adjusted, will develop emergent phenomena, including information flows and feedback loops we cannot anticipate ahead of time.
Of course, and so? Every minor change of laws does that. Every system of laws is changed continuously, patch after patch after patch, until nothing can be fixed without creating more bugs, real parasites in the case of these bureaucracies. The system we have is broken beyond repair. Time to try new concepts and then start patching that new system. No use to go on failing the same old way, there is no evolutionary virtue in that.
****something we now accomplish by paying gossip columnists and divorce lawyers or buying newspapers and networks.
The Generalissimo had nothing to do with this essay or the ideas in it, whatever he claims.