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Josh Tenenbaum Errant ramblings

I read Joel's latest posting about bribes. I can't disagree with him more.

Though, I believe he already realizes his stance is tainted. Pure altruism if alive and well, but is not nearly as much of a motivator as an expectation of reciprocation. What do I mean by that?

People everywhere are happy to help a stranger, a friend, a relative, or a family member and have no expectation that person will ever do something in return. That is definitely true. But, there are a number of times when people not as much expect—more hope—for a quid pro quo. For instance, I have endorsed a number of colleagues on LinkedIn hoping to have the effort returned with an endorsement of my work. Or, I given a gift for a birthday or Christmas or Hanukah and not received one in return? How did I feel deep down inside (though I would never admit to it)?

Moving to my point, I remember listening to a George Carlin performance: He talked about people with "Baby on Board" stickers on their car. He said that instead of being careful, he wanted to let them grow up with a sense of reality and he would slam his car into theirs. While joking, the point is this…

We cannot shield people from marketing

For instance, my daughter came home from school with those idiotic coupon books talking about only having to sell two and she would get a glow in the dark bracelet: And, she wanted that bracelet. I was discussing this with my mother who took the stance that I should not try and shield her because it is everywhere. Even PBS and NPR are accepting significantly more commercials while having claimed to be member supported. My kids can't watch PBS without being exposed to Danimals and Chucky Cheese.

I'm sorry but caveat emptor is alive and well. You do people a favor by being honest in accepting the laptop, reviewing it honestly and most importantly telling people it was free. At least you give people the choice to decide whether to believe you or not given a fair picture of your possible motivations. Even if you don't blog about it, you can give it to a charity. Otherwise, you leave it up to somebody who has no compunction about just blogging dishonestly and not disclosing the bias.

Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:48 PM | Back to top


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