Thursday, January 07, 2010

Trial by Ordeal

Via a suggestion on Marginal Revolution that Trial by Ordeal be used to replace peer review, the linked paper by Peter Leeson is one of the most interesting things I have read in a long time. Trial by Ordeal is basically the practice of "testing"  someone's innocence by subjecting them to a lethal action such as burning or drowning on the assumption that if they were truly innocent they would survive or remain unharmed with God's will. It is often used in literature and film as a joke about medieval superstition. The author uses a economic-theoretic analysis to demonstrate why trial by ordeal is more rational than the absurd relic of the past that it appears. Link here

No comments: