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The Freeloader

This page is part of the Proximity of our Proxri Deal.

Tim or Beth the Freeloader

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


Beth helps companies develop innovative products and services. She is a heavy user of the site resources, and has reaped many user rewards in the form of large payments from her clients. She believes that since the site resources are relatively "free" to her, she doesn't owe anything, even though she knows about the RelatePoint (r] and rewards. She figures someone else will reward it.


Where are the ProxPatterns here, you might ask?

Beth has helped others by aiding in the creation of innovative products and services that embody some of the ProxThink ideas, including ProxPatterns. This helped them and Beth manage change, and spread some notions and patterns about ways to relate elements in the proximity of situations, even if only implicitly.

One of the PPs is the Value of Some, so some people need to reward a resource, not all people. And thanks to the limits of one, if Beth keeps using this one technique (freeloading) in many areas of her life, probably sooner or later she'll discover it can't work all the time.

Some of us go through phases like this. She may eventually find out more about the value of teamwork, or rewarding others, or cultivating resources like she cultivates her financial investments. Then, she may come back and reward the site resources in a huge way. Or, she may not.

Allowing uncertainty keeps life interesting. We never know all the ways we help each other. Helping Beth may keep her from doing something destructive. Or since she thinks of the site resources as free, she may tell a lot of other people about it. This may generate rewards.

You can say what if everyone is like Beth, but again thanks to the limits of one, there are limits to how many people can be like Beth. You can also say why should some people have to pay for all the freeloading Beths in the world, even if there are only some of them. Well, since Rank Depends, most of us are probably freeloading in some way, in someone's eyes.

Further, we may never know how some innovation Beth helped develop comes back around and helps us directly or indirectly. It might lower our costs or risks because some aspect of health or homelessness or energy use or something else has been changed.

Or, it might not. It might create problems. You might want to watch out for the Beths in your proximity. Make sure they behave some of the time! We'll watch for heavy use too! Who knows what we might do! And don't forget about our Hex. (A little serious humor there.)

A final thought: There are limits to any one form of relationship, which includes fixed relationships and rigid prices. But the same could be said for the limits of a system of voluntary rewards, which is why we may have some advertising, some products for sale, and possibly some areas open to people who have made a voluntary reward or even paid some fixed amount.

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