Having Been Human
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Mon Nov 26 15:22:14 2012
Discipline and Incentive

Left a meetup group yesterday; it's a group that has a policy of fining you (through a return-pay mechanism) if you show up late, and I was going to be late. Some time ago, I promised myself never to return to a meetup group if I paid a penalty of any kind; I don't mind paying small amounts for showing up, as I know Meetup itself charges and sometimes hosting is itself expensive, but being paid a fine isn't acceptable because Meetup groups are ultimately social groups. People getting together. Punishment, in my mind, has no place in that.

I recognise that there is a legitimate concern that people won't show up or will show up late and not contribute to the discussion that much. That might not be so bad a concern except that any given meetup on an intellectual topic can only be so big if it's to be an open discussion. Meaning slots are valuable. Still, the best one can expect is a good-faith effort to be on time. I made it, was going to be punished anyhow, and so I'm done with the group.

Unfortunate though, because I did like the group. It was well-run, spicy, with neat topics.

Maybe part of this is that as I'm still unemployed, I don't have an income and I am being more careful with funds than usual. Hard to say whether it's principle or practical when both align against my accepting this though.