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Spreading the Love

TL;DR: I’d like to donate a portion of the gross income of PacifiGo to organisations that will do good in the world. Details still to be worked out. Asking for thoughts.

So, as it says on the “My Story” part of the page, a large part of the reason I started PacifiGo in the first place is because I honestly, sincerely believe that the sheer cost of buying go sets that aren’t awful puts a lot of people, who would have otherwise really enjoyed the game, off getting more into it. Maybe they can’t afford it, maybe they figure dropping $400 on a set for a game that they like to pick up and play a little is a steep ask, maybe they don’t have space – the good and valid reasons abound. By selling good quality sets for as reasonable a price as I can manage, I sincerely believe that I’m helping people who would enjoy the game learn more about it. And the response you guys have given me seems to support this conclusion! Over and over again, I hear the same story from people:

“I saw the AlphaGo documentary/watched Hikaru no Go/was chatting with a friend, and I saw that this game looked really, really interesting! But when I looked to see if I could get a set, I saw that while there are very, very nice sets out there, I don’t really need anything that fancy. I just want something not terrible that I can play with.”

And that’s great! I like being corrected, but like most people, I love being told I’m right. Really tickles my amygdala. And the fact that I get that each and every time someone orders something from me, helping to spread this game I enjoy so very much to new and old players like here and overseas, honestly makes me really happy. I am genuinely extremely appreciative of my lucky position.

However, not everyone is as lucky as me. And while I can’t help you with your relationship problems, or your mental health struggles, or the fact that your car has a temperamental transmission, I can help some people. Specifically, I can use the luckiness of my position to help people living in poverty dealing with preventable diseases like malaria or cholera, or people who go blind because of worms or malnutrition, or changing how our meat is created so we don’t need to rely on the horrible issues with factory farming, or any of a range of other problems. However, at the end of the day, I need to do the socioeconomic equivalent of securing my own oxygen mask first – I’m going to do a lot more good if I can be sure I can eat next week.

But the question becomes then: how do we know that I will have accomplished that level? I find it best to figure out and publicly define a point before it’s met, so if I don’t hold to it, you all can see that I’m not adhering to my promise, but I’m going to still have to figure out what that point is. So I’m going to do that over the next few days.

But how I see things going now is: after I pass a certain threshold – sales per week, gross income, whatever – I will donate a portion of gross income to organisations that, in my judgement and research, will do the most good with the money in the world. I may do the same organisation every time, I may change over time. I may do one big donation per year, or one per month.

What are your thoughts?

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