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Nov 18, 2005



I am all for going digital ... but if they don't have clean water, food, and medication, is this the priority??

Evelyn Rodriguez

Well, there are several questions here - I think. First off the first of these MIT laptops are going to countries like Thailand and Brazil, where it's still third world, but the necessities are a bit better provided than say, Uganda. So education might be next priority there.

Second, if you're refering to the Ugandan project - well, that's all still a figment of my imagination. I think by individuals speaking their own story and explaining their life, their needs in their own words others will be galvanized (my new fav word of late) to help with clean water, food and medication.

When you can't put a human face to these problems, it's all too simple to sigh (oh! the tragedy) over the morning newspaper and then go right back to the daily grind and standing in line at Starbucks. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

I was very inspired by a vision that Robert Paterson laid out after the tsunami, his post was titled Social Software Aid:

"Is there a better way than giving so coldly to an organization?

Help me folks with this germ of an idea.

We know that dating services online have been very effective. Not only do they link up well but the results, in terms of relationships, tend to be good too. So here is the idea - we set up (Maybe with Dina Mehta as point person for an Indian network, someone for Thailand, someone for Sumatra and so on etc ) an Aid/Dating Service where those who want to give - give directly to a village and to a community. The point is to initiate a real and long term relationship using technology that was developed for dating but which has a proven track record for making good links.

I would prefer to find one village, get to know who is there - give money and anything else that I can. Surely I can give more than just money? Visit on vacation - take a long term interest in the families and the children. If I only give money the action is instituionalized and is power based. If I can develop a legitimate and a direct relationship - who knows what will happen?"

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