This question appeared in my mind with relation to another my question (Yet another question about Tenacious badge), but I think this one is worth being asked separately. I made some analysis of my motivation of why I spend time on actively participating on Stackoverflow (asking, answering, voting, editing, commenting, reviwing, flagging, any other changing actions) and ended up with such list ordered according to percentage:
1. Challenging problems (I love brainteasers) - 25% 2. Altruistic help - 20% 3. Professional self-satisfaction - 15% 4. Self-learning in areas of interest - 15% 5. Socialization in discussions around problems and solutions - 10% 6. Respect from community - 10% 7. Ideas for startup/open source - 3% 8. Searching for fresh trending topics - 2%
As you can see altruism takes about 1/5 of all my motivation. And my question is how ethical is it to do all this being dependent on reaction of the system updating my reputation, badges, scores, ratings and so on? I want to increase common amount of good things in the world. So could it be that being not 100% altruist I make more harm than good (even if my expertise level is good enough) and in this case it's better for me to stop doing it (in terms of previous sentence)?