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Negotiating in Vietnam is a strange, strange thing

First off, quick refresher - what is negotiation?

Good negotiation is about discovering things you value a low amount that the other party values a high amount, finding things they value a low amount that you value highly, and exchanging. I wrote about this in "How to Avoid Exchange-Based Relationships" -

A lot of people don’t understand good negotiating. They think it’s about getting the best price – no, no, no. Good negotiation is about figuring out what you can offer that’s worth more to the other person than you, and what they can offer that’s worth more to you than them.


it’s okay to have pure exchanges sometimes, like if you’re just buying something once. But if you can transcend that, move it beyond the exchange and into looking out for each other, that can be a beautiful thing.

Casanova on Rewards and Virtue

I started reading Casanova's Memoirs recently. While his fundamental ethics and the reason why he does things doesn't appeal to me, he certainly had a hell of a lot of adventures.

I thought this quote was quite good -

It is not true that a wish for reward is unworthy of real virtue, and throws a blemish upon its purity. Such a pretension, on the contrary, helps to sustain virtue, man being himself too weak to consent to be virtuous only for his gratification. ... In fact, I do not believe there is an honest man alive without some pretension [for reward], and here is mine.

I like that quote, and think it's a good one. Everyone looks for reward from their virtuous actions - at the very least, the good feeling for having done them. Social status is another commonly sought reward.

I like how Casanova puts it - he puts it right out there in the open that he's comfortable with this and thinks virtue doesn't suffer from the virtuous man wanting to be rewarded. He goes on to say that he thinks people are too weak to keep being virtuous without reward.

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