Stanley Korn – A Procedure for Exchanging Unwanted Items

Image: Stanley Korn

Image: Stanley Korn

Have you ever participated in a grab bag, and ended up with an item that you felt someone else could put to infinitely better use? Stanley knows the feeling; he took part in a white elephant grab bag, and came away with a woman’s hairpiece. When he got over being disappointed, Stanley set out to design a system for people to exchange items so that, to the extent possible, all participants end up with the items that they most desire. The result was the Systematic White‑elephant Allocation Procedure (SWAP).

If you wish to participate in the SWAP, bring an item, unwrapped, to exchange. You are guaranteed to end up with an item that you like at least as much as the one that you bring. Worst case: you come away with the item that you brought.

This is just one of many programs at this year’s RG – return to the program page to read more about other confirmed speakers and events!

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