Ming the Mechanic:
The desire to give

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The desire to give2004-11-16 22:37
13 comments
by Flemming Funch

Via SmartMobs. In a research paper published in the December issue of FirstMonday.org, Kevin McGee and Jörgen Skågeby attempt to answer the question "Could the ability to give be one of the central features that determines the popularity and success of computer–mediated "sharing" activities, communities, applications, and services?"
...there is another dimension to the sharing phenomenon that is not as widely discussed — and which suggests an unexplored opportunity for developers, providers, and consumers of digital media: the strong human desire to give, whether it is advice/assistance (newsgroups), digital goods (music, literature, software), or other resources (bandwidth, processing cycles). Much sharing is almost certainly motivated by reciprocity in one form or another; many times people clearly do "give in order to receive." But there are significant indications that some acts of sharing are difficult to explain easily in terms of reciprocity: it seems that some people simply enjoy non–reciprocal giving.

Should that really be so shocking? The joys of giving are of course not entirely one-sided. It is fun to give when one notices that it has a beneficial effect. Those effects are often bigger when one gives to do good as opposed to when one only gives to instantly get something else back.


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13 comments

16 Nov 2004 @ 23:22 by Jon Husband @154.20.219.20 : Nice Find ...
thanks for your role in the giving of it to us.  


16 Nov 2004 @ 23:26 by hgoodgame : I like this kind of thinking.
:)  


17 Nov 2004 @ 06:03 by FreedomBuilder @68.3.7.187 : So what about...
Flemming,
Where's C.H.A.L.I.C.E.?  



17 Nov 2004 @ 12:41 by lugon @80.58.19.44 : giving joy
I read a description of (the) two kinds of power:

- coercitive power (maybe archetypal father)

- generative power (maybe archetypal mother)

I know which one gives me the most fun, joy, etc!

So I too am not surprised. What suprises me is that it's not like that for other (crippled?) people. Is some basic self-esteem a requirement? I don't think so, as I've seen a few "mothers" who feel weak and yet give-give-give.  



17 Nov 2004 @ 12:44 by lugon @80.58.19.44 : money
btw, this may be the clearest proposal for a "negative interest" money - turning things upside down (in our minds at first) may be beneficial.

http://www.margritkennedy.de/english/M.Kennedy-English.pdf
http://www.margritkennedy.de/english/news/REGIO-COMPLEMENTS-EURO.pdf  



17 Nov 2004 @ 20:54 by Chris Hagglund @24.141.159.103 : my use of BitTorrent comes to mind
This made me think of file sharing right away. BitTorrent is my client of choice and I always get a good feeling by making sure I give back everything I take -- the bitTorrent client I use tells me my ratio, and I religeously (unless the file sucks) wait until I've uploaded as much as I've downloaded before I "finish" the transfer process. And even though I'm downloading copyrighted material, I feel good for giving back as much as I'm taking. Now, if only there was a way for me to give some money directly to the people that make the films and cut out all those middlemen I bypassed by downloading the movie. (Of course I'd only give money to the people that made non-shit)  


17 Nov 2004 @ 20:58 by ming : BitTorrent
That's a good example. I do that too. I don't feel ok about it before at least as much has been uploaded as has been downloaded. And, yes, it is a little silly that there's no way of giving to the people who made good stuff, like a movie. I mean, if I sent them 2 dollars, I'd probably get back a letter from a lawyer.  


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