Most conflicts are caused by the division of property. Although it may seem surprising, people believe a decision to be fair is not made when it is objectively fair. Instead, it is when one party believes it has a better share or at least equal shares. In a conflict situation, it is hard to convince both sides of the truthfulness and objectivity of the results. It is well-known that any attempt at quick and easy property division can lead to an underlying sense of injustice. This is a new type of conflict.
Is it possible to split the cake in two and not offend anyone while doing so? Yes. This simple method is well-known since the beginning of time. The rule of thumb is that one person can cut a cake and the other person has the right to pick a portion. This approach will ensure that the person who cuts the cake will be most objective in dividing it into two equal portions. Otherwise, he will insult and deprive his loved one.
This method is not for everyone. This is especially true in situations where the value of different portions of the divisible between them is determined in different ways.
Imagine a square cake with one half covered in cream and the other not. When dividing the cake, one half is covered with cream and the other half is not. For another, both halves are equal in value. In such circumstances, one would think that they were made good or poor choices, regardless of who cut the cake.
In 1998, mathematicians from America discovered a fair method of dividing a cake. According to them, the miracle method they created does not cause envy in recipients. It is possible to split cakes and other items in court disputes with the help of this method. Stephen Brahms, a New York University political scientist, argues that a method for division is only ideal if it works (that’s, it doesn’t make any difference for any party), impartial, (when each side evaluates their share the same way as the other), and not causing envy. This is when each party believes it gets the highest share, or at least one equal share.
This is a method that Brahms and a group mathematicians have proposed. After each party has told the third person how they rated each part of the cake, he then makes two vertical cuts which split the cake in half according to the preferences of each applicant. If the cuts match, the problem is solved automatically and everyone gets a piece of cake for themselves. It will make matters worse if one of the partners lies about her preferred preferences.
Incisions are not always made in the same place. The incisions will not coincide and either party will get the rest. Either way, the other party will have to pay the cost of the piece to the other party or the referee will determine how to split the balance to both sides’ satisfaction. Brahms claims that this procedure “imposes” honesty. Calculations have shown that if one party lies about the importance of different parts of a cake and tries to get more, it will only be for him.
This method is not ideal for all people. Scientists have yet to find a better way. Scientists say that most disputes over property or real estate only involve two or three people. They admit that cakes are not the same as real estate.
As you can see, an intermediary was needed when the cake was being divided. His role is not the only one. He does not take a decision for either party, just as a mediator. Mediation is an art form. Mediation negotiations are an art form in which the participants create a dialogue that is based on their interests and not those of others. Isn’t this true freedom?