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Coffeeshop cracks down on communism

Jonathan Stark had a dream. When becoming the new Iron Man seemed infeasable, he instead opted to do a social experiment involving free coffee. Starbucks took the opportunity to TANSTAAFL the living daylights out of this idea and serve him a nice warm cup of STFU.

Jonathan Stark is a programmer and writer and has been experimenting with “social sharing of physical goods using digital currency on mobile phones.” His latest experiment, named Jonathans Card allowed people to download his loyalty card to use at American Starbucks coffeeshops to get some free coffee. The idea should have worked because you could also donate money towards the card. Kind of like “Each pay for coffee according to his ability, to each drink coffee according to his need.” Some people may recognize this idea as a ‘Caffe Pagato‘ as was a custom in Italy, the birthing ground of fascism.

Jonathans card quickly went viral and created an entire community. The card even has it’s own twitter account with minute by minute updates on how much money is on it. It went back and forth from hundreds of dollars to zero more than once. Ultimately though, Starbucks got wind of it and decided to put an end to it.

On Jonathans website he relays a message from the Coffee Mogul stating:

The time has come for this wonderful experiment to make a transformation. Starbucks has informed me that they will be shutting off the card at 10pm ET tonight (Friday, August 12, 2011).

Jonathan doesn’t give up though, and thinks this is the beginning of a new movement: “In the last 5 days or so, we’ve received hundreds of stories of people doing small things to brighten a stranger’s day: Paying for the next car at the drive through. Sharing a pick me up with someone who has had a rough time. Charging up a phone card and sharing it with strangers at the airport. The list goes on, and on, and on…”

There have been some nice conspiracy theories behind the communist coffee. Some claim this was an elaborate viral campaign by Starbucks. Stark denies this. There is also the question of the Starbucks Rewards, which have skyrocketted for Starks’ card.