I like doing favors because I don’t care for being overly transactional. I’d rather cultivate something over time to build trust than put a firm price and set of boundaries on what I’ll deliver up front.
And I’d prefer a similar stance from you. Intangibles are hard to price and I’d usually prefer a little time before I settle on them. It’s a trust thing. Everyone gets a fairer deal that way and I only do business if I think it’s win-win.
But once I trust you I generally assume that you won’t fuck me over because I’ve shown that I won’t fuck you over. I’ll value your resources as my own. And I expect you to value my resources similarly.
It sounds a bit old school but I believe we should respect people’s unique styles and contributions. Doing so requires trust and delicacy. We must believe others use us well and we shall use them well.
I find this trust necessary because if I do business with you I’ll use my social capital. Because spending social capital is what gets things done. You make think it’s money, but I can assure you fiat is just a convenience.
Capitalism’s wheels are greased by social capital. If there is too much tension in the system you will never achieve the necessary momentum with only one type of capital. The money is just a stand in for trust. It’s one reason some parties yearn for trustless systems. Because everyone is setting different prices for different currencies and no one likes getting scalped on a forex favor trade. It’s a dick move to undercut social capital.
I’ve found crypto people are some of the worst at understanding this basic social rule as they are the ones most desperate to make all markets legible. The indignation you see across much of technical cultures in general is dismissal of forms of capital that are harder to make legible.
I recently felt ripped off by a transaction I thought I’d priced appropriately to an incentive alignment. It turned out the other side of the deal didn’t have the same understanding of the intangibles. It made me feel like they don’t value my time and work. They’d asked for something, I trusted someone, and then another actor they had vetted spent it in such a careless way I was briefly incensed.
Now you can argue it’s my problem. I priced it wrong. And I had pricing signals coming in negatively from everywhere. I told my counter part this and they took it in stride. And then they went and demonstrated to me exactly why I was getting negative signaling. So I know it’s a risky use of social capital.
Now I’m not sure if it’s a bad trade yet. Maybe I have the tolerance for the volatility. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t look at what the numbers were telling me. Someone ripped me off. Reality says it’s probably just as much me as it was them. Which is, I believe, what you call a lose lose. And that means I’ve got to change the odds if I want to run the trade. But it’s hard to justify it to yourself after you feel like you got ripped off.