I want resources to go to those who need them. This only happens when our approach to sharing resources helps everyone.
I see two approaches to sharing resources:
- Trading, where you lose something that I gain and you gain something that I lose. Mostly used in large scale environments like big cities.
- Giving, where you lose something that I gain and you gain reputation. Mostly used in small scale environments like families or small villages.
Now that we’ve defined the two, let’s compare them:
- When a trade occurs between two people they get rewarded for not helping one another; when one gets a better deal, the other gets a worse deal.
- In contrast, when a gift occurs between two people they get rewarded for helping one another; when one gets a better gift, the other gets a better reputation.
After this comparison, it seems clear that giving does a better job of helping those involved. Families use it so ubiquitously for this reason.
In my next article I’ll explain why it has trouble in cities. Part two will come out soon.