When I saw Google yesterday offering a free 10 dollars for the taking, it reminded me of an experiment on trust by my wacky friend Prof. Dan Ariely. He did an experiment where he set up a table in a public space with a bowl containing cash and a sign that said, “Free Money.” Dan found that with a pile of one-dollar bills, 10% of the passerbys would stop and take the cash; with fifty-dollar bills, only 22% took him up on his offer. His point was that “If someone is offering me something free, there must be a trick to it.”
We can be cynical in life, and assume that there really is no thing as a totally “free lunch.” To complete mis-trust everything around you can probably lead to a lonely state of being. Well, in another browser window there I am about to “Sign up to earn [my] $10 bonus.” Free money is only a click away.
01 February 2007
Free money? What’s the catch?
It’s a funny state of affairs when you think about the state of society in which we live. I found this amusing post on John Maeda’s The Laws of Simplicity website:
Posted by Don at 00:04