Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 23, 2010

Business != eternal friendship

Another screenshot from the ganking project, connecting to my solo post. The conversation started after the group successfully finished some group quests:

Another great example why its damn hard to cooperate with socials. After you've done business with them, they somehow consider you their "friend" and therefore feel entitled to your help.

I'm sure the specimen is pretty upset and believe that the others were evil and mean for not helping him after he helped them. For a goblin it's obvious that he did not help them, as he also completed the quests, it was mutually profitable business. This concept is alien to the socials, or at least considered "cold", "heartless". If he does something good to someone - even if he did for payment or wanted to do it anyway - he expected his "help" to be recognized and his kindness returned.

Keep in your mind that it is not the reality. You owe him nothing! Your business was completed, and you can go your merry way. He is entitled to nothing. Just because you killed 10 wolves together, he is not entitled to your time to grind 10 worg pelts for him, despite he absolutely and honestly feels so.

As always: socials are not "evil". They don't want to abuse you or leech on you. They honestly believe that such behavior is "right" as the "lucky" must help the "unlucky". This ape-subroutine is a remnant of the age when the difference between haves and have-nots was really luck. The monkey with the juicy pack of bananas was not better or harder working, just lucky enough to stumble upon the bananas, unlike the other one who climbed on the other tree.

In our current world, the people are very different in skill, and having something or not is the product of this skill, not luck. The ape-subroutine is no longer valid. If you have quest, gear, gold or whatever in this game, you earned it and have no reason to give it to others or help them get the same. So after your mutually beneficial business is complete, just leave. If he annoys you with requests, tell them that you owe him nothing.


Kro said...

Gevlon said : They honestly believe that such behavior is "right" as the "lucky" must help the "unlucky".

I don't quite agree with this. I think those players asking for help are just selfish and short-minded. I think they just don't give any thought about the player granting/refusing help, and that themselves wouldn't help anyone, even if they were the "lucky" ones, having plenty of gold or plenty of gear.

Archi said...


Haha, yeah. The answer "Why should i help a stranger?" is a polite form of "fuck off". You either get an insult or dissapointed reaction into your face. But the point is that you turn around "evil" definition - it's up to you conversation partner to show if he is evil or not.

About ape-subroutings: Gevlon, you exaggerate it a bit. It's not any different in real life (why a hell should i give money to a stranger? =/= giving charity). Imo it's just -18 spoiled teenagers that are used to get everything from their parents and just leech from society even in WOW.

altaholicsdiary said...

Did it not cross your mind that helping him do something may have been to your benefit? If these socials feel obligated to help those that help them then it IS mutually beneficial to make "friends" with them as they will continue to help you after you help them. It is still a mutually beneficial relationship. That, I believe, is the entire point of "friendship". Sure you may spend some time now helping him but then he will likely help you later when you want to group quest etc. It pays itself back.

Alrenous said...

Even the banana situation should be handled like a business.

So I'm sharing my bananas with you, because I got lucky and you didn't. Why should I do that? The only good reason is that you've agreed (contracts!) to give me something in return; either your bananas when you get lucky, or else a military alliance (questing).

At best, the social system is a hack for actual apes who can't properly form contracts.

Nees said...

If there's one thing that will kill modern society, it's these kind of idiots who demand your politeness (or "respect"), and will turn to aggression if you don't give it to them. Well, it's not exactly them killing it, it's the even bigger idiots who give it to them.
You can see this happen everywhere in Europe. At least in WoW you can /ignore them, but in real life they'll take your stuff through tax and real, physical aggression. That's not something you are able to ignore even if you want to.

Bobbins said...

I'm puzzled Glotan asked if he had any more group quests. He then told the other guy sod off you may help us do our quests but if its not convient for us to help you then go away.

Why did Glotan waffle on it would have been best to say bye and gl when then business was concluded first time? Perhaps Glotan thought he could benefit himself by getting some quick quests :).


If Glotan was honest and fair from the start then I apologise it hard to judge too much from a small piece of text.

Fumanchu said...

Why is it that you think people's resources in the current world are less dependant on luck than in the past? Surely the smartest ape should have been able to find more bananas? Also what would be the evolutionary justification for such a banana-sharing subroutine to emerge in the first place. Would the banana-sharing apes be more likely to survive? Somehow that seems counterintuitive.

Chelm said...

He offered to pay you. As a goblin, couldn't you at least have queried an amount? What if he was willing to pay you an amount surpassing what you perceive your personal time is worth? It seems un-goblinish to refuse to help on principle.

Gevlon said...

@Bobbins: I think he wanted to know if the guy have group quests that all of them want

Christian said...

I think you shouldn't underestimate the "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" principle.

I've helped people quite a few times, and I've received help at least as often. Of course, this is all within reason, but I have a simple policy - treat people as you wish to be treated.

So if someone asks me for my help, and it's not too much of a burden on me, I help. For guildies, I do a little more (and get a little more back in return.)

The strange thing is that I don't count favors. I'll help a complete stranger without expecting anything back from him, and I've received help from complete strangers who didn't want anything in return.
The breaking point is what I consider a reasonable effort. If I happen to be in the area, and someone asks me to help on a quest, there's a good chance I'll help. If I'm at the other side of the world, I probably won't help. I've met friends this way, and I consider a single friend to be worth helping a few dozen people, so in the end I believe it's worth the effort.

Of course, if you demand my help, you can forget about it.

Dunwich said...

@chelm: goblins and "help" dont fit together. goblin and "help4gold" maybe.
i dont think that someone would pay me enough for some quests... may time is much more worth then 10g for 15minutes of travel and some quest that i did 30minutes ago.
when lvling i have my route to wich i stick... nice if there is someone to chat and do some quests but i will not change the path that i am following.
on the otherside... if he was entertainig enough so that i want to chat some more with him maybe i will help... but for gold? sry... goblin yes... whore no ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe I understand the point of trying to maximize experience gain while grouping and not wanting to help someone complete their quests if you had already completed it. The problem for the "social" is that he probably was viewing the grouping as more of a socializing aspect of the game for him. Where much of his time is spent helping other people. When he realized that was not the point of the group - he offered to pay = make it a business transaction. Because you were not interested in a business transaction (don't know why) - but the comment I have gold - indicating I don't need your help. Seems as though the person viewed the whole interaction as they were superior than the "social" because they didn't need help. Needing help = being weak. This person made me feel bad about myself (ape subroutine) I must attack him for being social.

Or am I completely taking this out of context? Just trying to play devils advocate because there seems to be a lot of guessing about the other person's motives were here.


Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: Why do you care about evil? When you think of profit, you're already seeing beyond good and evil. Exploiting socials/farmers is just another way making some nice profit. Pushing a social in making work for you(e.g. smelting/DEing) for free cause of "good ol' times" or saying a nice clear "NO" to friendly ppl asking for help on Qs may be evil,

but why the hell should you care about good&evil?

These words are the tools of social behaviour.
Goblins are not good neither evil. Rationality and emotional distinctions are two different worlds with a huge damn wall in between them.

Spaceman said...

Your judgement of this guy is biased and unfair. What I gathered from the snippet of the conversation is that
(1) He was questing solo (not in a large social group) before joining this group.
(2) He was invited into the party (that's how it works), in order to either 'help the stranger', or because the needed help from the stranger.
(3) They probably completed a couple of quests prior to the conversation shown.
(4) He was given the opportunity to name group quests he still had.
(5) The [My Enemy] quest is rather hard at that level, impossible to solo given the number of mobs, health and abilities of the boss, and respawn rates of the adds.
(6) Glotan must've known this, since he was not solo questing himself (he himself was getting help, albeit not from a stranger, but from other 'friednly heplfull ppl' aka friend(s)).
(7) He was willing to enter into a 'business' transaction by offering an option of two things in return for the help provided: gold or help in return.

Glotan's response of 'why would I want to help a stranger?' is a poor and irrelevant attempt at justification for his disinterest. When the existing party entered into a relationship with Chino (by inviting him into the group), expectations were implicitly created. If Chino hadn't helped during the first couple of quests, he would undoubtedly have been booted from the group, so he must've kept his end of the unspoken deal. To then label him a 'stranger, unworthy of help' is a simply childish retort.

This episode and blog post is reminiscent of the Cold War era when every stranger was a Communist. Today we know that not everyone is a Communist, and not everyone displaying social skills is a 'Social'.

Syto said...

It seems a perfectly reasonable thing to ask. Considering most of the cost (in time) for doing a group quest consist in actually finding group members once one is already in a a group requesting aid makes sense. You have no reason or obligation to help him but the fact of the matter is that at least on my server most people would help you to do the same. Given this, even as a goblin, it seems to make sense to perpetuate the social norm of helping each other because it increases the overall efficiency of society.

Just because its an ape subroutine doesn't mean its evil. Collective holdings and social connections can be even more efficient then capitalist contracts because they remove a lot of the communication costs. If your interested at all in the idea you can look up some of the work of Elinor Ostrom, who just won a Nobel for her work on such ideas.

Eaten by a Grue said...


I think you confuse "social" with "childish."

You play a game with 13 year olds, and you wonder why some of the people you encounter do not behave in a mature manner.

Tonus said...

Kro said... "I don't quite agree with this. I think those players asking for help are just selfish and short-minded."

I think this is the most likely explanation. This player was not concerned with whether you are a nice person or not. He wanted help for his quest and if help was not provided then you are a "!@#" otherwise if you help him he will say "ty" and forget you the moment he drops from the group.

His offers of gold and help sound like he is saying anything to get help with the quest, at which point his mother would suddenly need him to do some chores and he has to log.

Sjonnar said...

Again, it all comes down to a sense of entitlement. Not evil, or percieved social obligation, or politeness, just personal entitlement. Somehow, in their selfish little minds, you -owe- them your assistance with their quests, same as how you -owe- them purples from a heroic they can't (or won't) even conribute to, or how you -owe- them 100g just because they said 'plz'.

I recently got into a long discussion with a guy who was a strong supporter of big-government socialism. He was very confused as to why I would refuse to allow people to hit the DE button in instances. My argument was that they could greed or need to get the item, but if they used the DE option, i would need on the item to prevent them from using my enchanting skill for free. Eventually, the conversation got around to why he would support socialism, and redistributive processes like the DE button. One of his arguments was that if we do not give the beggars and welfare leeches part of our earnings, they would become thieves and muggers and take it from us instead.

I just about puked when i heard this argument. This guy actually supported paying the useless portions of society a -tribute- for not being criminals. I think this thought process is a big part of the problem with today's society: people would honestly and truly rather pay danegeld than punish criminal activity and force the couch potatoes and baby factories to go get a job. Makes me sick.

Brian said...

I don't see anything wrong with asking for help from someone, even if that person wouldn't benefit. After all, maybe they DO honestly enjoy helping others. And on the other side, I don't really see a problem with helping someone just to help them if you actually want to do that.

The problem is that often the person asking for help feels entitled to receive it, and the person being asked feels obligated to help even if he doesn't really want to. THAT is a social issue.

techninja said...

"That, I believe, is the entire point of "friendship". "

Some people make good friends and some don't. People with the potential to be good friends don't ask you do so unreasonable stuff of no benefit to you. And They can take a hint when you say 'I already did that.' People that can't take that hint are probably leeches. Leeches make very very bad friends. They think "friends help each other" but strangely, when it is your turn to get helped, they suddenly have to take out the trash or something.
I don't ask people to do unreasonable things. Because I never do that I will only be on equal 'favor' footing with someone that also does not ask unreasonable things. If I am buddy-buddy with someone that DOES ask unreasonable things then I end up in a one-sided relationship. Since I am not going to me increase my unreasonability then I will continue asking realistic favors and he will ask unrealistic ones and hence I am being taken advantage of. Instead I chose to associate with people that have the same expectations as I do. They ask me for 'favors' that are mutually beneficial or at least of no real hardship and I, in return, stick to the same sort of requests.

People with the potential to be good friends don't ask strangers for acts of 'charity'.

Kaaterina said...

The issue of friendship is a thorny one. And there's no definite answer to it because feelings are inherently subjective and can't be objectively assessed.

That said, help does not benefit from the social norms of friendship, at least for me.

When I make friends with someone, I make sure that they're at least halfway competent before engaging in social banter.

(As opposed to Gevlon, I don't believe that being social is so bad and horrible.)

I like to be friends with smart, competent people who are as self-reliant because when they need help, I know they need help. And I know that when I help them, I'm essentially bartering favours. I know, it's un-goblinish to barter, (currency has better liquidity) but society is what it is, and it's considered a faux pas to demand money from friends for help. (Even though, that money could be considered a currency equivalent for the favour barter).

I have, on occasion refused to boost friends in low level instances. They offered me a boost in return at which point I pointed out that I've only had one level 80 and I wasn't planning on leveling an alt any time soon. Alts bore me and I find them extremely unfun.

Anyway, what I wanted to say, when bartering favours with friends, make sure you actually NEED those favours in return.

Another thing I wanted to say. There is no karma. There is no cosmic balance that tracks your balance of help given and help received. If you do it out the goodness of your heart and then expect random strangers to help you're deluding yourself.

While the idea of a global socialist state is a lofty one it fails for a very simple reason. It is NOT a Nash equilibrium. Keeping non-Nash results stable is very hard and can only be done for a limited time. I am not familiar with the work of Elinor Ostrom but what social(ist) systems don't lose in communication costs and what they gain in optimizing, they SPEND by enforcing an anti-Nash equilibrium and in patching the cracks resulted from tension.

Klepsacovic said...

You're greatly underestimating the role of luck in the modern world. And overestimating the role of luck in the monkey world.

@Alrenous: Perhaps contracts are just hacks for people who can't form friendships. There's nothing objectively better about one or the other, they all work only when people know and follow the rules.

Bristal said...

I don't get what the harm is in asking. Maybe he is a new player, maybe he's just young, and maybe he was just asking because that quest is on his list and he hasn't been able to do it.

Perhaps "sorry, don't have time now, but look me up another time if you need help" would have avoided the whole back and forth which we are now deconstructing and making broad sociologic generalizations about.

His response "to be polite" may not have been what he really thought, it was just his reaction to a fairly rude response to his request for help.

Chelm said...

All I'm saying is that a true goblin in the definitive sense would have asked how much gold the kid was offering. I work for a minimum of 1000g/hour, so if it was over 250g for 15 a minute and I had the time I'd consider that the threshold for consideration, maybe a bit less because I'd earn experience as well.

However, questing in leveling scenarios I periodically help free of charge in situations like this one. I usually receive more help than I provide in these ways.

For all we know, the "kid" could be a goblin himself attempting to manipulate socials to help him quest.

Christian said...

Believing in some sort of cosmic balance doesn't factor into it, since it's probably not there, and even if it is, it probably won't care about a silly game.

There are two things that play into it that do have an effect, though. One thing is the fact that you can change the way people behave by setting the right example. So if you behave like an ass, and people follow your example, the world will have more asses in it, and you'll be treated more poorly in result.
The other thing is that people may catch on - they'll notice that you in particular are an ass, ninja, greedy bastard, selfish bastard or whatever, and they'll treat you with contempt over it.

True, neither of these effects are absolute or will effect everyone equally, but they [i]do[/i] have an effect. "Social" people are often quite effective at what they do in real life.

Ilikegold said...

I understand you don't want to be social and are just looking out for yourself. I don't understand why you have to be such a dick about it.

You can say you don't want to help with the quest, but why criticize them for asking? Normal people would ask for help with a more difficult quest (granted I don't know if the quest in this example is "difficult") to speed up the process.

Just say that you don't feel like helping out as the guy said. Common courtesy is to help out someone who just helped you.

Posts like this just make me wonder why I even read this blog anymore, not that you care.

Kaaterina said...


Sorry, the world doesn't work that way, and it's naive to think so, and if you do, you'll end up very very hurt.

Sure, it's easy to think that if 'everyone' was nice, there would be no more asses. Nah-uh. If everyone was nice, asses would have an easier time since it's easier for an ass to take advantage of 'nice ppl'. It's a self correcting balance.

Being a 'rebel' and standing up against all the 'mean ppl' is not only an exercise in futility, it also does not do you personally any favours.

As for the other point. Obviously, you should never do something if you're certain that it would negatively impact your future self. The problem is here in recognizing the momentum that your action has against your future self.

An example. I was running the 100 arrow gig for a bit, and I caught a guild member in it. He wanted his money back. I accepted because he was higher ranked than me in the guild, the guild is #2 on my realm when it comes to PvE progress, and I am a casual member. So naturally I calculated that 50 gold profit is not enough of an incentive to lose my lofty position of a privileged casual raider in a highly progress guild. Gave him his money back and told him to be careful because not only I was running it.

On the other hand, when doing random PvE heroics, I needed on everything from the last boss if I felt like I was carrying the group (as a tank). Not only do I don't give a damn if baddies put me on ignore (the instant queues are still there), I didn't have to use my own ignore list.

Anonymous said...

One thing that a social like that needs to realize is if you are tagging along then do so without making demands. He was driven by greed and ruined a perfect compact to down several quests that would equate to progression in a common goal - Leveling. If you are going to follow then don't think you can switch roles in the middle, that is a deal breaker.

Eaten by a Grue said...


I think you have been drinking too much Gevlon cool-aid.

"You should never do something if it would negatively impact your future self." Sorry, but how often in rl are people genuinely nice to you? Lots. Chances are, in NYC, if I were to ask a random stranger for directions, he would be glad to help. What, if instead of telling me where a particular museum was a few blocks away, he asked me, "why should I spend an extra second to help a stranger?"

Sorry, but if everyone was like you, this would would be a sad, sad place and frankly we would not be where we are as a society. We as humans are mostly hard wired to help each other, and it is a big reason why we are where we are today.

Sure, there are those whose attitude is "take what you can, give nothing back", and they benefit from this, sometimes only in the short term, sometimes long term (though sometimes they just get labeled an ass and don't get any benefit).

And do not confuse this with good business. True, in business you have to be shrewd and cannot afford to be kind to your competition, etc. But this is where alot of you get confused as to what Gevlon says. Many of the things he says are true when you apply it to the business setting. Unfortunately, they are completely inapplicable to social settings.

As I see it, this is Gevlon's whole world view, that cutthroat business strategies need to be applied to every aspect of your life, and those who do not apply them are "dumb socials." He has a long way to prove his point, all he has done is assert it.

Anonymous said...

@ eaten by a grue

Bravo I wish I could have stated the point that clearly and simply. I whole heartly agree and from a readers perspective would wish to read less of gevlon being a knob to strangers (you got any quests you need help with? oh you do? well why would I want to help you? err dude cos you fking asked me?) and far more about his worthwhile ganking and undergeared projects.

See this blog is a gold mine for newish players frustrated with a web full of obsolete infomation, but determined to improve and not be an M&s themselves. I wont allow my dismay at the perverted world view of the author to deprive myself of the lessons he (and his posting commentors) are providing me. Oh and Gevlon? Your a dick, but thank you for your blog and for helping me be less of a huntard.

Kaaterina said...


Congratulations on your strawman argumentation. Real pro there, refuting something I never claimed and then pretending everything I said was refuted. Go run for a political office, you'll do well.

I presented two examples and yet you didn't touch them and went off a tangent and rambled against something I never said.

But ok, I'll dismantle your argument since if far from being goblin-proof.

Obviously, all other things being equal, and the outcome of your choice being indifferent to you, you should chose the path that is socially acceptable. (ie. telling that person where the museum is.)

However... Let's raise the stakes a bit.

What if the person would go "Plz nice person plz plz, will you personally show me where the museum is? I need an escort, plz, plz!!!"

Well? What would you do? Would you drop your schedule to help a random stranger on the street? Ok, so maybe you would if your time is worth nothing (so you lose nothing, the outcome of being 'nice' being indifferent to you as per the above point.) What if you were on your way to meet your wife or GF or whatever? (See, purely social setting.)

Are you honestly thinking that you would not at least CONSIDER the opportunity cost of helping that stranger just to be 'nice' and risking of angering your significant other?

Every choice has a cost. NO EXCEPTION. Maybe the cost cannot be evaluated in liquid currency, but it doesn't mean that there is no value.

If, however, you're so adamant on being 'nice' without regarding costs, I'm anxiously waiting for you to tell me what you're going to tell your gf when she finds out you stood her up just to be 'nice' to a stranger.

Really, such an excuse would be worth its weight in gold.

Eaten by a Grue said...


Kindness has limits, so while an escort of an able bodied stranger may be too much for me, I do not mind spending a few minutes helping.

But you spoke in absolutes. Never perform an action if it would impact you negatively. If you spend 2 minutes explaining directions to a person you will never see again, that is 2 minutes you are not getting back. So why would you do it? It seems you are changing positions.

I would spend more time if there was a lost child, probably doing whatever it takes to assist with getting the child to his parents. Would you? I suspect you would, but I would be interested in hearing you articulate a reason why, that is consistent with your and Gevlon's views (assuming you got zero long term life benefit from resucing the child, aside from the gratitude of the parents).

Lastly, I will touch on your example with the arrows. This is something you say you have done, so no strawman worries here.

The arrows trick is just that, a trick. You are hoping the buyer is not perceptive enough to notice what he is actually buying. You are not competing based on price or quality, but rather you are being deceptive.

In real life, this is called deceptive packaging, and there are laws against this for a reason. We do not want everyone to spend 10 minutes reading the fine print on milk cartons to make sure they are not "milk like" products or what have you.

So I would argue your arrows trick is immoral. Kant probably summed it up best with his concent of the "categorical imperative." ( The idea is that the morality of an action can be determined from the hypothetical scenario where that action was universally practiced. So, if everyone did the arrow trick, and if the arrow trick was possible to do with many other items, the AH would be a near useless mess of grifters, with few items of useful quanities on sale. If everyone lied, language would be useless. If no one helped lost children, then everyone's children are more at risk, and so forth.

So I hope I have answered your points.

Kaaterina said...

No, you didn't.

Firstly, I don't think you understand the concept of error. For low enough quantities of value, it's hard to estimate the net value loss or gain that you get from it.

While I could be pedantic and argue that helping stranger=happy tourist=word-of-mouth rep for the city=higher tourism=higher standard of living for everyone living in the city, including me, I won't do that, because I'd seem to be clutching at straws.

Therefore, much to your dismay, I'll reinforce my statement.
You should never do something when you're CERTAIN that it will negatively impact your future self.

For low enough variations of a variable (in this case, time), the outcome of your choice is low enough for the future impact to be indifferent to you. Unless you're smart enough to do the derivative for the value function of time in real life. In which case there's a Noble prize for economics awaiting you.

Obviously, the degree of tolerable error is something to keep in mind, though I assume everyone knows what tolerable error means for them.

Secondly, the lost child problem. No, I wouldn't help the child find his parents. I'd call the police, they'd be where I am in 3 mins and I'd let them handle it. I'm not a registered policemen, social assistant or babysitter. I pay the police from the taxes I pay, and I expect them to do their job. At least I can spare a few minutes to wait for the police. Secondly, I'd expect the same to happen to my child, should he get lost. I trust the police more than I trust some random stranger 'nice ppl' to take care of him.

Third. I don't care what Kant says about hypothetical extrapolations. You were accusing ME of speaking of absolutes when you're giving 'spherical cow' examples? (


If you want to argue facts, prove to me that if everyone did that, the AH would be useless.

Oh wait. The maximum stack size for arrows in TBC was 100. Arrows were sold by 100 then. EVERYONE sold arrows by 100 then. Was the AH useless then? Well, according to your little theory, it was.


Bare assertion fallacies aside (stop trying to fool me with informal fallacies, I'm not that unaccustomed with internet discussions), 'spherical cow' theorycrafting is silly. Rather than trying to convince me with 'herp derp it would be BAD if everyone did this just because I say wait, because KANT says so', I would rather you adressed the CURRENT state of affairs, because that is what matters.

Eaten by a Grue said...

But the low quantities of value are enough for you to decline to help someone with a 10 minute quest? You seem to be able to do that in your head, what prevents you from calculating - let's see a few minutes talking to the police, 15 minutes staying with the kid waiting for them, another 10 minutes of giving information, gee thats a half hour of my life I am not getting back, so no thank you, let the next person worry about it.

And let me tell you, people are selling arrows in stacks of 1 on my server, and it can go one for 5 pages or more. So I have seen evidence of your world view personally, and it's crap.

If you want real world examples you can verify, try the Internet. It's full of people with your theory on morality. Take what you can, screw everyone else. That's what spammers think. That's what people who design those made-for-adsense websites that much up search engines (at least for a while, until the indexes get purged of the crap). I am sure you can think of many other examples. If you were to ask the spammers them why they spam, they would say (and have basically said this in interviews): they are just trying to make a living, and what's wrong with a little more email traffic and with people having to hit "delete" a few more times.

So let me ask you, if a friend offered you his spamming business, no cost to you, and you could remain anonymous (no real world repercussions) and you could do it from a location where spamming is not illegal, would you spam for a living? If not, why not?

You arrow scam is not much different from spamming, I think. If anything, it's probably worse. At least when you buy generic viagra or whatever, they send you the quantity you wanted.

Kaaterina said...

Yes, Yes I would. With the condition that it would pay more, and/or take less effort than my current qualification.

I don't like spam, that's why I installed adblocker and noscript. And use an e-mail client that has almost 100% block rate to crap.

If I can do it, why can't everyone? If everyone would do it, spamming would generate no revenue.

So, yes, I would. I'd either get paid for people's stupidity: "QQ spam bothers me, but I'm not going to do even the slightest effort to block it.", or everyone will use block techniques in the near future which means that I'd be dumb to not accept a job that pays me for doing something that has no effect.

The obvious catch is that it should not be illegal. I don't fancy fines or inprisonment.

Laws are there to protect EVERYONE from EVERYONE. Not only 'nice ppl' from 'mean ppl' as you seem to understand. No rational anti-social would ever accept living in lawlessness simply because the risk of losing is too great in absence of a legal framework.

Wyrm said...

"In our current world, the people are very different in skill, and having something or not is the product of this skill, not luck."

Well, I think it's obvious why this is wrong on so many levels...

I very much doubt, just to write in a way you can understand, that there is many successful WoW raiders in Djibouti... Could that be the case that all the people from Djibouti are less skilled that, say, you?

Also who is more skilled? The CEO's son who attended the best schools and was groomed from infancy to take over his pa's business of the man who was born in a trailer park but managed to create his own small business in spite of all the odds?

Merit or skill are very important. Luck is important as well and even more important is where were you born...

There are too many factors associated with success but any objectivist seem to think that even if he was born in new guinea tribe he would somehow manage to obtain the things he has.

Wyrm said...

"I just about puked when i heard this argument. This guy actually supported paying the useless portions of society a -tribute- for not being criminals. I think this thought process is a big part of the problem with today's society: people would honestly and truly rather pay danegeld than punish criminal activity and force the couch potatoes and baby factories to go get a job. Makes me sick."

Some prefer to pay taxes for a Social Safety Net.

Others prefer to pay taxes for prisons and a more pervasive law enforcement.

Not every poor person is a potential criminal but when a significative portion of your population lives in deep poverty you will see crime go up.

If you shed the ideological blinders and do the math, you would see that the social safety net is cheaper than the police state.

And I'm not a socialist. I simply try to look a bit further than my ape-subroutines who treat anything beyond my current understanding as a potential threat without trying to know something about it first.

Cayleb said...


"paying the useless portions of society"

Who exactly is "useless" and what would your preferred solution be?

Tread carefully here. "Useless" has been used to demonize all manner of people and ridding society of them has justified all maner of evil.

I would suggest you actually define "useless" and then go meet some of those you've demonized with this label before passing summary judgement upon them.