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Couch Surfing

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I thought I'd mention this site, www.couchsurfing.com for a few reasons. First, with all the Objectivist conferences and meetings that are spread out in different states, it seems like a good site for anybody looking to hang out in a city for a few days on the cheap. Secondly, I'm hosting while I'm in NYC and it's been pretty fun so far. I've only hosted one guy so far, but I have a few more lined up. It's a nice way to meet really interesting people, and to help people out with the prospect of making friends in other countries who might help you out when you go travelling.

Thirdly, I wonder if anybody has any ethical or social reactions to the idea, since it is prima facie an organization of people giving free stuff.

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I thought I'd mention this site, www.couchsurfing.com for a few reasons. First, with all the Objectivist conferences and meetings that are spread out in different states, it seems like a good site for anybody looking to hang out in a city for a few days on the cheap. Secondly, I'm hosting while I'm in NYC and it's been pretty fun so far. I've only hosted one guy so far, but I have a few more lined up. It's a nice way to meet really interesting people, and to help people out with the prospect of making friends in other countries who might help you out when you go travelling.

Thirdly, I wonder if anybody has any ethical or social reactions to the idea, since it is prima facie an organization of people giving free stuff.

And, technically, an internet forum is just a group of people exchanging ideas and information largely for free. While that website seems to have some serious Multicultural overtones that sound disturbing to my Objectivist ears, I don't see anything wrong with the idea itself. Indeed, you just listed numerous values that you yourself have acquired using it.

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I thought I'd mention this site, www.couchsurfing.com for a few reasons. First, with all the Objectivist conferences and meetings that are spread out in different states, it seems like a good site for anybody looking to hang out in a city for a few days on the cheap. Secondly, I'm hosting while I'm in NYC and it's been pretty fun so far. I've only hosted one guy so far, but I have a few more lined up. It's a nice way to meet really interesting people, and to help people out with the prospect of making friends in other countries who might help you out when you go travelling.

Thirdly, I wonder if anybody has any ethical or social reactions to the idea, since it is prima facie an organization of people giving free stuff.

It's a trade. People get somewhere to stay and you get to interact with those people in ways that you value. As long as everyone is participating voluntarily, what's the problem? I suppose someone could host even though they derive no value or benefit from it, but that would be their own stupidity, not a problem with the idea itself.

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It's a trade. People get somewhere to stay and you get to interact with those people in ways that you value. As long as everyone is participating voluntarily, what's the problem? I suppose someone could host even though they derive no value or benefit from it, but that would be their own stupidity, not a problem with the idea itself.

Agreed. This sounds like a trade of non-monetary values. Don't confuse "no money changed hands" with "anti-capitalist".

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Don't confuse "no money changed hands" with "anti-capitalist".

"What are you giving me here? A coupon for a free pretzel? Why you socialist, free-loader supporting pinko bastard! GET BACK HERE!"

Maybe I'm just too naive, but when I see something about, 'sharing', 'lending a hand' or 'free for free' deals, I don't go chasing people down the street, lynching them on the pretense of secret, malevolent, altruistic undertones.

As for the couch-surfing itself, I have a friend out in Holland who says he's found it to be a very good way for him to see different places inside and outside his country, since the kind of person confident enough to let a stranger stay the night at their house is usually a pretty interesting person (and, living in wherever, they know their local town pretty well too!).

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