One thing I always admired about pirates was the pirate code. The part I care about the most is how booty is shared. For example: "The Captain and Quartermaster to receive two shares of a prize: the master, boatswain, and gunner, one share and a half, and other officers one and quarter." ☠️ Just think about this! What if a CEO only ever got twice as much as everybody else? Twice as much was good enough for Captain Bartholomew Roberts!

@kensanata Well, admire goes a bit far for something including cutting off someones ears and nose, but I see what you're getting at.

Also one of the codes apparently put the death sentence on rape – comparing that to "my" country where rape in marriage was legal until the 80s or something makes it seem quite progressive in places.

@kensanata CEOs are not pirates. In general they lack the honor code. 😄

@kensanata I fished as a kid, so I'm familiar with a similar tradition of pay that still exists, although it varies from country to country, the catch target and the size of the fish boat. Crew shares are still a thing.

@gemlog And yet, what a difference to pirates! " Usually the captain takes his share (typically 35-40 percent) and the remainder is divided among the rest of the crew after the cost of fuel, food, and other expenses are deducted."

@kensanata Yeah, that was the alaska version I think. Canada crew share was up to 20% vs 10. Still, I take your point. It's just similar, not exactly the same.

@kensanata and they were supposed to be cutthroats. My god it really puts it in perspective.

@kensanata also having the quartermaster as an impartial equal to the captain and him being the go between for the captain to his crew helped keep things *mostly* unmutinous. This is why stories of mutinies spread with whispers of fear- they were rare events.

@Pyretta I really don't know what to believe. But I do think that maintaining discipline was difficult because there's no external state to enforce the rules. So it has to be balanced carefully. Not sure whether that automatically means draconian discipline. Perhaps not. I was surprised to hear in Sydney that the Hyde Park Barracks where at some point run by a single man! It must have been 💯 percent Machiavelli style power play!

@TheGibson Yeah, I remember her from the Chinese History Podcast. 😃

@TheGibson I read it. "The original seizer received 20% and the rest was placed into the public fund" doesn't sound as cool, to be honest. It leaves me with more questions. Compare this to "No man to talk of breaking up their way of living, till each had shared one thousand pounds. If in order to this, any man should lose a limb, or become a cripple in their service, he was to have eight hundred dollars, out of the public stock, and for lesser hurts, proportionately." Much better!


I agree... I get the feeling that Ching-Shih was a cruel mistress.

@kensanata @thegibson You all need to watch some captain blood, I shall add it to otv queue...

@kensanata @thegibson How it's not public domain yet, I'm uncertain of, but perhaps because of Goonies... Like that's actually a problem... :/

@kensanata 18th century whaling expeditions from Europe were setup as profit sharing agreements with no wages. The whole idea of profit would have been blasphemous not too long ago. I guess we have the Quakers to thank.

Also all my knowledge of 19th century whaling comes from reading Moby Dick. If it were written today, the subtitle could be: "A lean startup guide for whaling"

@alephnull I recently listened to the podcast episode on In Our Time were they talked about this innovation! Sadly, my listening to the big read is still stuck somewhere...

Thanks for showing me Big Read. I'm finding it rather hard to read fiction these days and I hope that audio books might help.

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