Juries: The Original Fairness Calculator

A survey of your peers.

I had the fascinating experience of attending my first jury summons yesterday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or relieved when they dismissed me from the courthouse after 7 hours of waiting for my voir dire.

A randomly selected jury pool jury is in some ways the original, single-use fairness calculator. When confronted with a dispute, one presents the case to a representative sample of your peers. They vote for the result they think matches their common sense notions of what is relevant and who is right. If Splitwise didn’t do surveys to test our fairness calculators, it would be a bit like the government having a trial without a jury (maybe a stretch, but I think it’s a stimulating thought).
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