Network Control

Chris at
Thu Jan 7 13:52:44 MST 2010

On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM, Robert Merrill <robertmerrill at>wrote:

> One way to enforce this may be to simply restrict
> EVERYONE's home network usage if one person proves to go outside
> prescribed and pre-agreed boundaries

That technique is used to great effect in military boot-camp-type training
scenarios.  When one grunt screws up, the entire squad/platoon suffers the
punishment.  The technique can be a powerful motivator as long as everyone
involved is a rational actor.

> For example, if it's discovered through logs or other means

Be careful that the detection mechanism is not reliant on snitching.  If
snitching is part of the equation, then you've inviting some combination of
intimidation/retaliation (against potential snitches) or collusion (among
potential snitches) to avoid detection in the first place.

> Afterall, is there ANYTHING in the world more persuasive to a 12
> year-old boy than his 10 and 14yr old brothers threatening to "punch
> you in the face" if they break the rules again?

Threats of retaliation from peers may be intimidating, but I suspect it's
not the primary reason why the "all will suffer" technique is so effective.
 It's probably more about the psychology of living up to expectations and
not wanting to make others suffer rather than fears of receiving personal
punishment or retaliation. (Also, I suspect that the 14-year-old would be
much less worried about threats of retaliatory violence from his younger


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