Would you do something for free? Like, no recognition at all, and it doesn’t soothe your conscience either. Think of it like this: Your friend’s about to die, but you have a way to save him. It involves killing yourself, but afterwards, everyone will remember you as the biggest douchebag ever and you won’t even remember you did it, but he’ll live (still thinking you were a shitty friend). If you let him die, you’ll forget that you ever had a chance to save him. You’ll feel pretty bad, but come on, as bad as it sounds, your life will go on. “That’s dumb, NO way man, why would I do that?.” It feels awkward thinking about these situations, so we avoid applying logic to them. But consider it: Even the soldier getting blown up knows very well in his head that if he gives up his life now, he’ll be remembered as a war hero and he doesn’t want to deal with the guilt of abandoning a friend. Either way, the soldier is self-seeking. You can be selfless but self-seeking and this is exactly what it means. What do you do that’s truly NOT self-seeking? If you help someone out, you want people to see you as a saint. You want that person to see you as nice and maybe even feel indebted to you. You want to soothe your conscience and make YOURSELF feel good. You could say that helping others makes you feel good and that’d be completely accurate. But that’s like loving money when what you really love is the stuff money BUYS. Or is it? What can money buy that will make you any happier? You sitting there in front of your web browser reading this blog post. You’re already so well off that, in your mind, the point of money isn’t anything positive, but only to feed the necessities. I mean, money’s great for food and stuff. You like money because you’d be pretty bummed if you didn’t have any. But all this crap we do, society tells us it’s to make money right? Doing IB? That’s so I can go to college. College? That’s so I can get a good job. Job? That’s so I can make money. Money? That’s so I won’t go hungry and I can buy stuff. Stuff? Well that’s to make me happy right? What about happiness? What does that do for you? Well shit.
This isn’t a question of whether self-sacrifice is noble or selfish. It’s not a contradiction that both choices point to the same bad conclusion. If you do decide to save your friend, he’ll feel crappy too because his mistake ended up hurting someone else. That could be worse than letting him go. If everyone simultaneously refused to fight, this problem wouldn’t exist.
Now isn’t it a paradox that open-source software can exist? There’s nobody taking the credit for it. You contribute anonymously and you receive absolutely nothing. I just don’t get it.