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Whatever works

Whatever works

In my high school years there was a direct path from the parking facility for the students/parents to enter the main school building. The shortest walking distance did not lead along a paved path around the building but right through a school lawn, which suffered since the overwhelming majority of students simply took the shortest route to class. Briefly this grass killing crowd got diminished since the school board established rules that this behavior would be unacceptable. Quickly the enforcement of such rules got eroded and a brown path through the green was once more visible which caused the schools headmaster financing a one and a half feet tall concrete poured wall around all greeneries surrounding the school property. This was costly and certainly did not enhance esthetics of the school facilities.

All to no avail. Even with this hurdle established the shortest way had by now not just the lure of quickest route but simply had established itself throughout time (years had passed). As a partial surrender to such behavior eventually a pathway made out of brick and stone was laid that shortened distance substantially to the main entrance and was in accordance to architectural guidelines of the building. Three more summers passed since finally a second pathway was established right along the brown trotted path since none of the prior remedies sufficed the principle of the power of the factual.

Georg Jellinek describes this applied to the law questioning

  1. Is an existing rule in effect if no one follows it?

  2. Is through a certain behavior of the majority a rule to be established that applies to everybody

Obviously, a possible dilemma when applied to complex situations, but in my school example it seems to me intuitive to be followed rather than wasting years, time and resources

Why not following the shortest route with everyone’s desire to reach the entrance efficiently?

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