Microgifts

March 12, 2013

“See a penny and pick it up and all day you’ll have good luck”

So I had to park the car to visit the supermarket. I only needed 50p worth of time but I only had pound coins for the machine. The machine doesn’t give change.

But someone had dropped a pound coin by the machine which I picked up and used to pay. So I was even. (Someone had dropped twenty pence nearby as well so I was ahead!).

The pound bought me two hours of time. I was only in the supermarket twenty minutes.

So as I left I gave my paper ticket to someone who was just about to buy one, thereby saving them a pound.

In a world of the internet of things and micropayments, where money/credit is all on your hand held device, could any of this happened?

My device would be able to pay for exactly the amount of time I needed. I would never find cash dropped on the ground. If I found someone’s mobile phone on the ground I wouldn’t take it I would call them to give it back. My electronic ticket would be hooked up to me or maybe my car so I wouldn’t be able to transfer it to someone else.

Society is built on waste and surplus. On finding things that others have lost and reusing things they have thrown away. On gifts they don’t know they’re giving. I felt pleased with myself and the woman I gave the ticket to had a little smile.

A cashless world may be more efficient. But would it be less fun, even less social?

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2 Responses to “Microgifts”


  1. “So as I left I gave my paper ticket to someone who was just about to buy one, thereby saving them a pound.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s illegal…

  2. nickreynoldsatwork Says:

    It might be. But a victimless crime surely…


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