Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Drop and Gimme Twenti

August 18th, 2011 · No Comments

An otherwise innocuous story about Fiji’s efforts to combat littering reveals this golden information nugget about law enforcement in Papua New Guinea:

“We did some relative studies and found that in Papua New Guinea if you are found littering – you are asked by the authority to do push-ups. For us here we tell them to pick their rubbish up immediately and also clean the surrounding environment,” Mrs Tagicakibau said.

I haven’t been able to confirm this factoid, but if it’s true, it represents a lot that ails Papua New Guinea. For starters, there is no mention of push-ups in the nation’s criminal code, meaning that the cops just made this punishment up on their own—a hint that there’s a serious break down in the rule of law. Second, has anyone in Port Moresby bothered to study the Stanford Prison Experiment? I thought that provided fairly good evidence that using push-ups as punishment was a recipe for disaster.

(N.b., the italicized word in this post’s title is Tok Pisin for “twenty.” Full dictionary of the language here.)

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