Wire the World

I dislike my job. I’m not the only one I know, and there are many fringe benefits to my particular position, but at the same time the work that I do I find intensely boring and mundane. Combine that with a directionless and ineffectual work atmosphere and you’ve got worker angst, manifesting in me at all times. The only pleasure I get is working with the kitty – our arguments and debates are a source of constant enjoyment.
I realize now that there is no future in this job. Previously I have entertained thoughts of travelling next fall – mainly travelling Europe to begin with but gradually heading east, but maybe there’s a better way to see the world. I want to start a charity specifically dedicated to wiring the world, to set up computers and internet access in poor impoverished countries. Of course I want to do many things, but I think I could really get into this if it were my career.

Of course, how does one set up a charity? I have no idea, I’m not rich obviously. Can one apply to the government for grants, or is the best way still to find a wealthy backer? Unfortunately for me I don’t know any rich people, well at least not rich enough to be considering philanthropy. Any suggestions people have would be greatly appreciated.
See I have this idea about how giving everyone a digital voice will ultimately lead to the salvation for humanity. I talked about it before, and I haven’t changed my mind about it. Sure it’s grandiose, but perhaps in these trying times we need grandiose ideas. I just can’t help thinking that a lot of the poverty in the world could probably be solved by putting a little library of knowledge at the fingertips of members of small poor communities. Give them access to the latest renewable organic farming techniques, to cheap and easy to manufacture contruction material and perhaps even go so far as to include ideas about small scale electricity generation. Sure there are language, cultural and political barriers, but at the same time these things can be overcome. Language is learnt very easily by young children. Culture can be absorbed and integrated, in fact one might say that in melting pots of culture only the best bits from each rise to the top and are preserved. Politics can be overcome with diplomacy, communication and perhaps financial reward. Maybe a few bribes to some officials are what it’ll take to get computers and knowledge into the hands of the people who need it the most.
I am a dreamer, I know. My reality and popular ‘normal’ reality are offset from each other. Yet I still can’t drop the notion that this project, that pushing for greater interconnectivity of our species is something that can be a positive influence on the shape that the world is taking. So I still dream, but without suggestions for how to take action it’s only an ephemeral idea in my head.
Ok, now for some links. First off, I found this interesting piece on class warfare and how the internet is changing (and keeping the same) the classes of society that are a legacy of our non-connected past. There are some interesting socialogical implications for the classless nature of interactions between traditionally disassociated groups of people. What happens when your 17 year old girl debates a 75 year old grandfather on issues of teenage sexuality? Definately a conversation that didn’t take place 50 years ago.
Scientific American has an article about creating a cable science network which would theoretically be broadcasting debates and lectures at the heart of the scientific community. Now there’s an idea I can get behind. Science is such an important aspect of our life and we all seem to take it for granted. If it’s not new and exciting then it’s not worthy of any appreciation. Wally and I were talking about science and it’s contribution to our life and he quoted me this (I’m paraphrasing):

Anyone who does not live on top of 10,000 years of cultural and scientific history is not really living at all.

What he meant was that if you don’t understand any of the blood sweat and tears that went into getting us to where we are now then you will never really appreciate it? Or at least that’s my interpretation. Anyways, I love the idea of the CSN. My question is why don’t we have this already?
Allegations of Microsoft involvement in the $50 million donation to the SCO legal team are bubbling to the surface. It’s a very plausible scenario but of course there’s denial all around. This would take a real investigative reporter to uncover the truth.
My buddy Neil has been working with the European Space Agency over the last year or two developing tether technology for satellites. A few months ago he got a chance to fly in the vomit comet, a parabolic flight where you can experience weightlessness. He’s got a bunch of pictures available – not too many of the zero-g but interesting stuff nonetheless.
Finally, I’d like to thank Pixy Misa for the nod.. will I rise the ranks in the New Blog Showcase? Doubtful, but ah well what are you going to do.

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