If I'm possibly going to give my money away, why would I want to do this to some random contract, instead maybe a Charity or somewhere other than directly to the contract?
Banks, credit card companies, and brokerages all make more money if you make poor financial decisions (fees, interest, and active trading, respectively).
Auto mechanics and car companies make money if your car doesn't work or doesn't last past the warranty period.
Even piano teachers only make money if you continue needing lessons, rather than becoming able to learn on your own.
Hopefully enlightened businesses will follow the model that customer referrals are more scalable than bleeding the money out of any one individual.
Blockchains and smart contracts purport to lift of out of these conditions, but, as you point out, this one seems to suffer from the same flaws.
You misspelled "capitalist".
To some, "capitalist" is an attribute of a society that resist state intervention in economic collaboration. It is equal to the phrase "free market" and viewed with great skepticism.
To others, "capitalist" is more tantamount to greed and cronyism; it is understood in a way that's contrary to traditional anarchic theory about the state.
You might detect that I usually find myself in the second category.
Because of this dichotomy, I like to think of the procession of ages of humankind represented by the dawn of the internet being from "statist/industrial" toward "humanitarian/information-driven".
But you can also certainly think of it as being from "capitalist" to "humanitarian" or whatever may go in that second slot, sure.
What type of system do you think cryptocoins facilitate?
Which results in unnecessary procedures, and unnecessary prescriptions.
>Banks, credit card companies, and brokerages all make more money if you make poor financial decisions
Which caused the housing crisis and great recession.
>Auto mechanics and car companies make money if your car doesn't work or doesn't last past the warranty period.
Which results in some of the most untrustworthy salespeople in one of the most untrustworthy industries.
All of those industries are regulated by the government, precisely because the incentives are wrong and it causes people to do more harm than good if left unregulated.
Hackernews is supposed to have smart people, but the pithy nonsense like the parent I’m responding to makes it abundantly clear that that’s not the case.
If a doctor's treatment record and long-term ROI follows them around, or if piano students can track their proficiency over time, the market can act on that information. Without it, we're all flying blind so of course we get suckered into bad exchanges.
It also reflects opportunities for stronger regulations... For example, financial advisor were required to act in the best interest of their customers (until Trump repealed Obama's executive order)
Take my thoughts on this with a huge grain of salt, given my conflict of interest, but I really dislike commitment devices that destroy things — either information or other forms of value. StickK’s anti-charities seem the most egregious, actively harming the world. I’m certainly motivated to not allow the world to become a worse place, so it’s not that it would be ineffective as a commitment contract. Just that I’m also motivated to prevent things that don’t make the world worse in any way, like paying money to a third party (who’s not evil).
That assumes that (1) there are "good" charities and "bad" charities, and (2) that most of Stickk's users are good people who end up benefiting "bad" charities when they fail.
Point (1) seems hard to prove and point (2) is impossible to prove without detailed info about how Stickk is used.
It seems like you're in this market, so perhaps you have data like this. Do you? If not, how do you justify the above assertion?
But more to the point, I'm just viewing it from the individual user's perspective. From your point of view, you're actively harming the world by donating to an anti-charity. It doesn't matter that those other wrong-on-the-internet people think your donation is doing good. :)
You want to focus on the individual user, and that makes sense. But to him/her, they're using an anti-charity because they want to increase their odds of accomplishing their goal. So when thinking about whether it is "good for the world" or "bad for the world" that people do this, we have to factor in:
1: the x% probability that the user will fail, and money will be donated, and
2: the y% chance that the user would have failed without the anti-charity option, but succeeds instead because of it.
When you consider both of these aspects, it is not at all clear that the anti-charity option is bad for the world.
Exactly zero harm befalls the world in the latter case.
I'd even go so far as to say you could achieve the same effect with a true charity by risking an amount that you really couldn't afford. But, as I point out in the blog post I linked to above, no one ever has the guts to actually do that.
Btw, on Beeminder we very occasionally have people who risk thousands of dollars. I think they tend to be really hardcore fans who may in fact view it as improving the world by giving us money. Hence them shrugging off smaller amounts and needing to risk something ridiculous to stay motivated to stay on track. But it's still super win-win (because they do stay on track overall -- and sometimes staying on track means things like finishing a PhD!).
Is there any evidence to support this theory? Seems like the existence of tools that offer anti-charity donations indicate that for at least some people, this assumption is incorrect.
Like transfer a small percentage to the owner as a fee for the service, then send the rest to a faulty address or contract setup to never be retrievable?
Since that is now money that is forcibly and irrevocably taken out of circulation, so therefore everyone else's money is worth slightly more because of it!
Probably not yet, but maybe eventually. It's essentially the same as burning it.
While BTC, ETH, XMR function like currencies and can be traded - they are not recognized as a currency in most places
Money going to charity won't make me feel that bad about not achieving my goal.
"oh well atleast someone needy is getting the money"
Defeats the whole point of the exercise( pardon the pun).