Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Other Side of Life: A FreeRider Perspective

For the uninitiated, WikiPedia defines a FreeRider as
free riders are actors who consume more than their fair share of a resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production.
In the context of an academic institute, freeriders are persons who don't shoulder their responsiblity in the group tasks or who are simply too lazy to work when other people are there to complete the work. This applies not only in academic context. Freeriding is not abandoning your academics in favour of some extracurriculars(like sports/music etc) or other productive activities like holding an important post. Rather it is simply killing your time doing useless activities, like watching movies, listening music or still worse Blogging or Orkutting.

You guessed it right. I am a Freerider. Though I always knew that that fact but in IIT there were not too many group tasks so this thing never came out in open. Even where we had group projects, most of the time I was with Ajay Gupta who was a major fighter. But here at IIMC, when there are Group Projects in almost every course, I have to face this fact, however painful. Perhaps the best example is the fact that I am extremely fond of reading novels. You give me any arbit novel and I will read it. But in our BS course, where we had to analyse the novel Colour Purple, I did not read even a single page of the novel.

Not that I am alone. There are many of my community here. And we are very careful that all freeriders are not clubbed together in any group Project. Otherwise the result would be disastrous. Thankfully some of the groups are allotted Roll Numberwise so to some extent this problem is alleviated.

Now I cann't justify it. Maybe the Projects are too boring and monotonous for us. But so is watching Andaaz Apna Apna nth time. And there are not so many Preity Zinta wallpapers available anymore that I can change my Desktop that often. I can do some productive work related to my timepasses like playing Bridge(instead of other arbit card games) or reading some value add books like Freakonomics or When Genius fail(insead of more Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer), but my spirit don't allow me to dilute my freeriding.

I confess that I have tried to change my Freeriding ways a number of times. But it is congenital, or determined at birth. maybe it has some genetic component. It cann't be changed by Herzberg Motivation factors our Maslow's self-actualization theory. Freeriding as a personality trait is very poorly documented in literature and psycholgy. In economics,it is only used for its nuisance value. More research should be done on this as this is a sort of social problem.

Afraid that some non-freerider will view this post and not take me in his group next time onwards. Don't be, because non-freeriders don't read my blog.

Come to think of it, the non-freeriders want to learn something in the courses. We provide them that oppurtunity by not working at all. It suits both ours and theirs goals. So this is a sort of Pareto- equilibrium for both of us. No point in disturbing it.



Blogger Jeet said...

Wah bhai ji.. Kabhi iske baare main itna detail main nahin socha tha :))

Watching A-cube nth times is NOT BORING.

Yeh vadde vadde naam kya logon ko darane ke liye likhe hain? ya phir yeh theories padhate hain tumhe?

Other arbit card games !! kyon be bridge is 'just another card game' (bridge snobs kahinke :p) .. You should play 29 and 250 or sweep before calling them arbit.. I love games like chaukdi aur double hand. If you have played them and still call them arbit then I can just have pity on you. (FYI, I made this statement about bridge 'after' learning bridge)

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Mithun said...

Hope that free riders will bag good placements also. Becuase they are the best managers on earth as "management is the art of getting things done through other people"

1:21 AM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

kya be tum to senti ho gaye. I myself have been playingchaukdi, 7-8 and 3-2-5 from childhood and still love them. I also like 29 and played it recently with my friends. Yaar arbit is not a derogatory word. Here I meant that the image that phrase "playing bridge" creates in mind is different from image that "playing cards" create. In MBA terms bridge has a CV value.
Even I am not bored of seeing Andaaz apna apna nth time. woh to aise hi bol diya.

amen....may freeriders get the best placements.

2:31 PM  

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