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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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...afterall, a lot of us just cruise through this board for the hell of it. Sure, we mix up a Mai-Tai now and then, or try to get a cheap-ass price on a mug that was mislabeled by some poor sap. If there's a tiki party someone else is organizing, we'll show up -- if the drinks don't cost more than a glass of beer. Who knows, we might even have the opportunity to pilfer something from the old koot that's barely keeping his run-down tiki joint in business. As for carvers and other artists, well some of us might just knock-off their work and try to sell something similar ourselves. If the local library ever gets the Book of Tiki in stock, maybe we'll finally get a copy by permanently borrowing one. If only we could get free bootleg copies of the all the exotica music we haven't bought, then our tiki lives would be complete. Except -- oh yeah -- we wish this tiki thing would quit expanding in popularity because it's getting so damn hard to find stuff for 25 cents when we go to the thrift store once every six months. So like, why in the world would anyone want to contribute to the Raise a Tiki at Tiki Gardens project -- when it doesn't directly benefit our personal tiki jones. Afterall, we're only interested in this tiki thing for what we can get out of it, not for what we can give back to it, right?

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-01-29 10:45 ]

Exactly.... why make the effort...?

"Ask not what tiki can do for you, but what you can do for tiki."

Chongolio

CY

Hey Geoff,
Adam Smith was indeed wrong; the invisible hand may tend to efficiently allocate scarce resources between two parties, but it does not even begin to address, let alone maximize, societal utility. If I offer two bucks to your tiki bar owner for a museum quality Tiki artifact I know to be worth 50 times that on ebay and he not only accepts but feels good about having two bucks in his pocket, where is the net gain for society? The answer is there isn't any. I studied John Nash's game theory extensively as an economics graduate student (and I enjoyed the movie) but while his theories can be applied to even the most global aspects of trade, they are still predicated on the most basic premise of capitalism- enhancing one's own revenue, marginal utility or political capital at a trade partner's expense. You may make nice with mexico and brazil to get cheap imports, but that utility always comes at somebody else's expense. Face it, until people want to look at a salmon swimming upstream and realize he does it despite odds of 10,000 to 1 he'll ever complete the journey to spawn and perpetuate the species and a zero percent chance he'll survive even if he does, there's still going to be awareness of self and ego and people who don't give a damn about anything but themselves.
Good post; lofty stuff for a tiki forum.
Have you ever read Oscar Wilde's definition of a cynic?
-Lest I be labeled a hypocrite, we bought the Byar's scrapbooks from a dealer for several hundred dollars, and donated them in their entirety to the IRB museum; see Geoff, altruism isn't dead.

Cy,
I guess we're finding out how much altruism exists at Tiki Central. Nice to hear of your donation.
Last Weekend I gave a vintage Hawaiian Inn mug to their bartender (at the Hawaiian Inn) so he could display it behind the bar. It cost me less than $20 and I had another one, so what the hell... It makes me feel good to know it is there. That's kind of how I view making a donation to the Tiki Gardens memorial.
KG

Economics is only a social science, not a hard science. Academics can propagate all the scholarly sounding BS they want to, but one variable remains constant - human nature!

(just ask Mr. Greenspan)

CY

Hey Tikibong,
you're right, of course it always comes down to what people will do, but I think that was exactly KailuaGeoff's point; failing either a deeply held sense of altruism or a socialist tax structure that allows you to be a better person than you ever thought or maybe wished you could be, where do we look for the moral, civic, and ethical compass that so many of us seem to be lacking? I thought geoff was decrying getting caught up in our own insignificant lives at the expense of missing the opportunity to actually make a difference (although I differ with him on whether putting up a tiki should be considered on the same plane as donating a weekend to Homes for Humanity or volunteering at your local Humane Society). He sounds like he realizes tc has the potential to make a difference; his idea to create a fund to finance worthy projects on an ongoing basis is noble and forward looking. It also sounds to me like moral clarity.

S

I don't know what you guys are talking about. Tiki is scarce around here and I've paid through the nose for everything I have and I don't mind. I'll support my subculture to the best of my severely limited ability!

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