Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Story from Old China
I once came across a 19th-century Chinese account of a goldsmith who challenged the powerful craft guilds by flouting their rules so he could boost production and gain market share. The other goldsmiths were outraged, so 123 of them banded together to punish him. One had the bright idea that if they bit him to death it would not be a crime, since no one bite could be shown to be the fatal one. Thus each goldsmith took a bite out of the entrepreneur, and none were allowed to leave without showing bloody gums.