Agreed-upon processes and rules are important in regulating human behavior. In the absence of a “process,” when an unexpected event occurs among members of a group or enterprise, chaos wjll often ensue. However, if there is an agreed-upon process for dealing with unexpected events, members of the group almost invariably follow the agreed-upon process and work responsibly together to solve the problem, even though they may not be required to do so.
To my mind, an “ideal” dispute prevention technique would be one that, once agreed upon by participants in an endeavor, would be so unquestionably reasonable and fair that none of the participants in the endeavor would dare to question the process, and the process would in effect be self-enforcing.
I think I have found one process for regulating human behavior that’s about as close to “perfect” as you can get:
It’s “The pie cutting rule,” that applies whenever it’s necessary for one person in a family, or in a group of diners, to cut a pie in equal portions. The rule is simply: “The person who cuts the pie gets last choice.”
What rule could be more simple, unquestionably fair, universally respected, and self-enforcing?