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Posts tagged gifts

"Mending for the People," filmed and edited by Andrew Galli, 30 December 2009 :: via MetaFilter
from "reading vs writing," by Dan Visel, if:book, 16 January 2009 :: via more than 95 theses

There are ways around this: we can, for example, see it as a moral duty to buy books by authors who are still alive and who deserve money new, rather than used. We could buy books directly from authors whenever possible so that they’re getting a more just cut. We need to re-conceptualize how we think about exchange and consumption. Lewis Hyde’s The Gift presents one such way forward: thinking about artistic creation as something outside the economic. But that requires us to think different both as producers and consumers: maybe that’s what the Internet is trying to tell us.


Altruism and charity are distinct if not in the acts themselves at least in the surrounding atmosphere: altruism reaches across with a sense of solidarity and empathy; charity hands down from above. The latter always runs the risk of belittling, patronizing, or otherwise diminishing its recipients in underscoring the difference between those who have and those who need. It takes away a sense of self while giving material aid. Giving and receiving can have strange reciprocities. ... Giving itself is a gift, and there can be a deep mutuality between giver and recipient in the horizontality of altruism rather than the verticality of charity. More complex exchanges take place in the arts: is it the writer or singer who is giving the work, or the reader or listener who brings the gift of attention, or are they knit together in a mutuality whose give-and-take is complicated? Seen in a larger context, continual exchanges knit together a society, form the conversation of which it is made.