ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷
pjammer

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Human Nature is Strange

If human nature doesn't puzzle you from time to time, mayhaps you aren't paying attention.

Case in point.

As the date for TEDx Berkeley fast approaches, suddenly everyone I've ever traded business cards within the past four years at conferences seem to be under the impression that I
[a] Have hundreds of of free tickets I am in the position to personally hand out, to barely-acquaintences who want to jump the line in front of the 500+ people (many of whom have amazing biographies) who are patiently waiting their turn in line to be invited for a chance to pay the full fare.

[b] Have tons of spare time to entertain entreaties from people about discounts/special access passes. Do these people also email Bill Gates every time Microsoft Office updates, asking him for an employee-discount copy? (Please note: I am not so insanely megalomaniacal that I am equating organizing a tiny 700-person conference with founding/leading a multibillion-dollar software colossus - I am deliberately being somewhat silly to make a serious point)

But here's the really puzzling and heartbreaking thing.

We were GIVING AWAY two tickets to the sold-out TEDx Berkeley (Instructions: http://bit.ly/TEDxReddit ). FREE.

All you had to do was donate a minimum of $5 to Room to Read (an amazing nonprofit that fights illiteracy in the developing world by building libraries for children in the bottom quartile of income) to take part in a game we designed to give away these tickets - and I put in $5 of my own to get the thing started. We put a link of the rules on the main TEDxBerkeley blog, posted it on Twitter, and had hundreds of thousands of folks on Reddit view the promotion.

Did you know how many people donated $5 to Room to Read to take part in this?

Zero.

In other words, if just one of these people trying to ply me for a free/discounted ticket kicked in $5 to Room to Read, that individual would have won the game by default, and gotten a free admission.

This makes me sad.

Back to work.
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