Is Charity Crowdfunding Just A Game of “Would You Rather?”

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CARS 110: Is Charity Crowdfunding Just A Game of "Would You Rather?"

Session 110

Does charity crowdfunding create similar choices to “Would You Rather?” That’s what Jack and I discuss in today’s thought-provoking MCAT CARS practice passage.

As always, I’m joined by Jack Westin from JackWestin.com. Check out all their amazing free resources including a free trial session of Jack’s full course to see how it’s like learning from Jack Westin himself.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

Link to the article:

https://reallifemag.com/mercy-markets/

One of the few universal features of most popular party games is the element of revelatory choice. We enjoy being scandalized and heartened in turn by learning about each other’s fears and values, the way their logic functions in extreme hypotheticals. “Fuck/Marry/Kill” or “Would You Rather?” can bring out the game-theory survivalist in us, often revealing deeper values than the superficial questions seem capable of. Declaring that you would rather save a kitten than an adult man with six months to live is a particular kind of choice. Barring interaction with a malevolent genie, there are few circumstances where anyone would have the power for it to matter.

In these games, what we choose is guided in part by the intimate and possibly even trusted group of peers we’re playing with. They give us reasons to highlight some values and downplay others. How they will judge us in that moment is the only real stake, and our choices about ultimately refer only to ourselves, regardless of who we say we’d kill.

But charity crowdfunding — on sites like GoFundMe, YouCaring, GiveForward, or Indiegogo’s Generosity vertical — stages a much different version of “Would You Rather?” Declaring that you would rather fund a beloved local library volunteer’s anti-convulsant medication than the transition surgery for a survival sex working trans woman is obviously a very different kind of choice than saving hypothetical kittens. Choosing not to choose anyone to fund at all is yet another kind. In place of the projected fantasy self you’d like to be, there is a very real other on the other end of these campaigns for whom our choices are not at all abstract.

The homepage of GoFundMe teems with funds worth funding. From chemotherapy treatments for uninsured Americans to funeral services for a famously curmudgeon cat murdered in cold blood by a neighborhood poisoner to reconstruction efforts for community buildings lost to arson, it is home to nearly every variety of calamity that can befall human, animal, structure, or landscape. That is, until you return the next day to find a scroll of fresh new calamities.

[03:55] Paragraph 1, Sentence 1

One of the few universal features of most popular party games is the element of revelatory choice.

Jack says:

If you think about a party game, you have a choice on what you present to people.

[05:05] Paragraph 1, Sentence 2

We enjoy being scandalized and heartened in turn by learning about each other’s fears and values, the way their logic functions in extreme hypotheticals.

Jack says:

So regulatory choice is about revealing what your choices may be in some of these extreme hypotheticals.

[05:37] Paragraph 1, Sentence 3

“Fuck/Marry/Kill” or “Would You Rather?” can bring out the game-theory survivalist in us, often revealing deeper values than the superficial questions seem capable of.

Jack says:

Two of these potential party games that the author hears is kind of posing what it does to us. It gives us a better idea of who we are. It reveals deeper values of us. So if you choose this or that, we can figure out who you are as a person.

[06:23] Paragraph 1, Sentence 4

Declaring that you would rather save a kitten than an adult man with six months to live is a particular kind of choice.

Jack says:

It’s just an example of a “Would You Rather type of question. This can be very confusing if you’re not sure what the game is. And you don’t have to play these games to understand this. So you’re not at a disadvantage at all.

[07:12] Paragraph 1, Sentence 5

Barring interaction with a malevolent genie, there are few circumstances where anyone would have the power for it to matter.

Jack says:

It’s saying as long as you don’t interact with this evil Genie, your decision won’t matter. Your decision doesn’t have power over anyone or anything. It’s just a game.

[08:22] Paragraph 2, Sentence 1

In these games, what we choose is guided in part by the intimate and possibly even trusted group of peers we’re playing with.

Jack says:

The author here is setting up the party game aspect of it. What we choose to play is a response to who we’re playing with.

[08:44] Paragraph 2, Sentence 2

They give us reasons to highlight some values and downplay others.

Jack says:

Depending on the group of people you’re with, you may want to show more of who you are in one area and downplay other parts. So if you’re playing this game with your boss, you’re not going to say bad stuff, but maybe if you’re with strangers or with a random group of friends, you’ll actually say something crazy.

[09:19] Paragraph 2, Sentence 3

How they will judge us in that moment is the only real stake, and our choices about ultimately refer only to ourselves, regardless of who we say we’d kill.

Jack says:

The only real thing that matters is the judgment of those people.

[09:55] Paragraph 3, Sentence 1

But charity crowdfunding — on sites like GoFundMe, YouCaring, GiveForward, or Indiegogo’s Generosity vertical — stages a much different version of “Would You Rather?”

Jack says:

The author is showing us a real-world “would you rather” and they’re giving all these examples of all these websites. This is a huge leap. We’re playing a game with our friends and we’re having fun. And it’s trying to suggest that maybe you can do the same kind of “would you rather” philosophy or game when you donate to charities online. So we have to keep reading and see where they’re going with this.

[10:51] Paragraph 3, Sentence 2

Declaring that you would rather fund a beloved local library volunteer’s anti-convulsant medication than the transition surgery for a survival sex working trans woman is obviously a very different kind of choice than saving hypothetical kittens.

Jack says:

The author here is giving us the difference of funding one person over another, and that you’re making a choice, but it’s not saving kittens. It’s trying to say you have a bigger choice or you have a more important choice.

[11:32] Paragraph 3, Sentence 3

Choosing not to choose anyone to fund at all is yet another kind.

Jack says:

The author here is telling us that choosing not to choose is still a choice. It’s trying to say you can judge someone based on what they decide to do in this realm.

[12:34] Paragraph 3, Sentence 4

In place of the projected fantasy self you’d like to be, there is a very real other on the other end of these campaigns for whom our choices are not at all abstract.

Jack says:

The author is painting this picture of real choices that affect real people. And not these abstract kinds of situations or hypotheticals that these games put us in. But that’s the whole point of the game. It’s a random hypothetical. So how could you suggest that the game has any bearing on real life? It’s what the author’s trying to do here so we have to see what their point is.

[12:34] Paragraph 4, Sentence 1

The homepage of GoFundMe teems with funds worth funding.

Jack says:

The homepage that the author is saying has lots of people here that are worth funding, and lots of choices that should be made.

[13:01] Paragraph 4, Sentence 2

From chemotherapy treatments for uninsured Americans to funeral services for a famously curmudgeon cat murdered in cold blood by a neighborhood poisoner to reconstruction efforts for community buildings lost to arson, it is home to nearly every variety of calamity that can befall human, animal, structure, or landscape.

Jack says:

It’s just an example of all of those funds worth funding.

[13:30] Paragraph 4, Sentence 3

That is, until you return the next day to find a scroll of fresh new calamities.

Jack says:

The author here uses the term calamity because it seems more like a derogatory term. Usually, charities are to help other people in need, and usually, you’re in need during a calamity. So that is a point to make. The author here is trying to change the game to be something about saving others or helping others in need. But that’s, at least, the author’s perspective.

[14:34] Main Idea

The author is pointing out that these extreme hypotheticals are happening every day. And if you just go to GoFundMe, we can see those and we can make those decisions in real life for real people.

Charity crowdfunding creates similar choices, as Would You Rather. You may disagree or agree with that. But that’s what the author is trying to say. And those choices seem to be more real, more important, real-world kinds of choices.

“At the end of the day, you have to stick to what the author said and pick answers that are in line with those ideas.”Click To Tweet

Links:

Meded Media

Jack Westin

Link to the article:

https://reallifemag.com/mercy-markets/

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