I think people who look at it as a litigious vs. non-litigious society are looking at the wrong scale. Litigation is a societal compromise to account for disputes where the scale is from well reasoned parties who are willing to discuss their points rationally and at the other end of the scale where one or both parties feel they have been wronged and has no recourse for justice, hence vigilantism occurs.
Since, in most cases of dispute, the parties are affronted and unwilling to resolve their conflict with unimpassioned debate and fall to the latter end of the scale, society has determined that it is in the best interest to keep the peace to have the conflict moderated and determined by an experienced disinterested third-party and end it there with the force of law.
Now say with two parties, A and B where d= diplomatic and u=undiplomatic, it charts as such:
A | B
d | d = probably no need for arbitrator
d | u = potential for vigilantism, need for arbitration
u | d = potential for vigilantism, need for arbitration
u | u = Hatfield vs. McCoys, need for arbitration
as you can see it takes two to tango and that is the more rare form, just because of human nature.
When I send a person to person/persons email, text, instant message or even a social network message, I see it no different than a phone call or postal letter and expect it to be considered as such.
When I post on a publicly viewable message board, forum, unsecured social network page or webpage, I see it no different than posting fliers on telephone poles, putting the info on a billboard, publishing in a book/magazine or shouting it from a soapbox in the town square and would expect to be held to similar public/governmental scrutiny as such.
It is all a question on who the recognized recipients for the message media type are. Internet or not, person to person communications and person to public communications seem pretty self-evident, the former should always fall under 4th amendment, wiretap and police access to postal mail and the latter should always be considered as part of the public discourse and public record.
To those who say that everything I do in public is valid for other parties or governmental record, I say: If I am running around naked and acting like a nut, I agree; but, if I have my hand in my pocket in public, it is no-ones right to know whether I am jingling my keys or my change and only if I am determined to be a threat/violator of some sort and have had proper due process does the government have the right to force me to show them.
It's not really an idiocy factor, it is all a greed factor.
All scams, whether they be Nigerian 401 scam, pyramid schemes or even the classic 3-card monty, all rely on the mark being greedy and wanting to get something by putting out little to no effort. The only real stupidity is when their greed overwhelms their common sense allowing them to trust someone claiming to be able to provide something for nothing, specifically the question: "If their method works so well, why are the telling ME about it?"
For example: the infomercials trying to sell you methods to make money buying/selling real estate or trade stocks (I've considered writing/selling a book that tells you how to get rich by writing/selling a book that tells you how to get rich a humorous concept.)
In real life, if you try to approach business owners in many niches (that you do not know personally) they are usually very reluctant to provide useful information on how to start and succeed at a similar business yourself (training their competition.)
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