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Consider the "dangerous precedent" to be their first run-in with the realities of human society: We've long ago decided we did not want to be subjected to mindless, letter-of-the-law application of rules.

Substantial amounts of case law deals with exceptions and courts ruling on how to make things good in situations where there were disagreements between people over what the rules were meant to be, and most of them will not go away just because there's a computer program that can decisively tell us what the outcome of executing the rules exactly as written will be - a court can, and does, for example find that the rules contradict the law, or that the rules are so one sided that they imply there is no meeting of minds and therefore no valid contract.

Substantial amounts of literature lampoons the very idea of static rules to govern behaviour. E.g. Asimovs three laws of robotics represents not an ideal to strive to, but the backdrop that let him spend story after story showing how seemingly straight-forward rules and be circumvented, coopted, or hav unintentional side effects.

As societies we decide to make concessions and wave away rule breaches all the time when it seems like the right thing to do.

Systems that mindlessly apply rules in ways that are hard to reverse are going to have tough run-ins with societies where every enforcement mechanism includes expectations of being able to override rules.

This is my big problem with systems like Ethereum: Courts will eventually demand some transaction or other to be undone. If the other party can't be coerced into doing it, sooner or later they will issue decisions to e.g. some service provider or software developer to do it. When they can't do it, odds are bad decisions will get made. And eventually badly written contracts will create conditions where there is no way for contracts to get undone in ways that will satisfy the courts. It's going to take a long time to settle how to handle this in a sane way, and I'm willing to bet someone will eventually end up in prison in the meantime either because the courts fail to understand the technical limitations built into the system, or because they do understand them and decide someone is responsible for some transaction anyway if they chose to use such a system.

It's going to get messy.




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