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The Copycats

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Frank and Ellen the Copycats

This story is one of several examples in the framework for thinking about rewards at PPs & Rewards.


Frank and Ellen are moderate users of the site resources, and have reaped user rewards of their own enough to smell an opportunity. Although they have the means to reward back, and are aware of the RelatePoint (r], they are believers in competition, not rewards. They figure they can copy and profit from the resource, but change it enough so they won't get caught or can't be punished.


Where are the ProxPatterns here, you might ask?

People intent on copying something can rarely be stopped entirely or for very long. You may prevent them from copying in the short term, only to make the long term situation worse. Making it easy to copy may take some of the fun out of it, but maybe not the profit.

But speaking of profit, in many current systems, it is exceedingly difficult to reward someone you have copied from, to reward the contribution they made to your success. Because if you do, they may find out you copied from them.

By allowing the uncertainty that people might copy you, but also offering the ability for them to reward you, you pave the way for them to honor your integrity with some rewards, or even many or large rewards.

Further, by suggesting that people reward you using ProxRewards and ProxPatterns, you are not letting people walk all over you. Rather, you are setting up a kind of permeable boundary. You are honoring your integrity by standing up for yourself, but also allowing some of the likely uncertainty of life by relating to a variety of people and proximities, since you can't know everything about other people's situations, or how their perspectives may differ (Rank Depends).

Additionally, most of the arguments from the Tim or Beth the Freeloader example hold here as well, in the case of copycats.

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