I've been back in Europe for a while sorting out life logisitcs and visas and that.
This is unlikely to be of much interest to you but it reminded me that the world out there is, well, out there.
The American newsmedia is famously solipsistic - international affairs rarely take centre stage, or get mentioned at all, unless the affairs in question directly involve American actions.
You like to think that the media doesn't effect how you think.
But it does.
Not necessarily in the big-scary-shouty-telling-you-what-to-think-political-agenda-OBEY way.
But in the subtle-insidious-things-that-aren't-in-focus-for-too-long-slip-out-of-consciousness-without-you-even-realizing way.
It turns out East Africa is starving to death due to drought.
[Had you heard? Did I miss it on the news? With all the debt ceilings and everything I must have.]
Millions of people in Somalia, Ethopia and Kenya.
Something in the region of 12million people are going to starve.
It's too big isn't it?
It's impossible for most normal people to actually feel anything about this scale of disaster.
Scale is important - we aren't programmed to understand big.
We live small lives, we can't see the emergent patterns in the world, and we find it really, really hard to FEEL anything at scale.
I quote you Bertrand Russell:
If you are hungry, you will make great exertions, if necessary, to get food; if your children are hungry, you may feel an even greater urgency.
If a friend is starving, you will probably exert yourself to relieve his distress.
But if you hear that some millions of Indians or Chinese are in danger of death from malnutrition, the problem is so vast and so distant that unless you have some official responsibility you probably soon forget all about it.
And that's the problem.
So some people in the UK and USA are trying to 'chunk' the horror into manageable pieces.
50/50 is a collaborative platform for fund raising ideas.
A bit like Kickstarter for fund raising projects:
50/50 is a collaborative experiment, a platform of 50 little bets: digital projects created and run by individuals and teams of makers. Each project aims to engage a network of supporters to help spread the word and generate as much money for famine aid as possible.
They are trying to launch 50 projects in 50 days by the UN's World Food day - 16th October.
Plenty of time to get involved if you have an idea.
And the lovely Farrah - read her post here - is organizing a hackathon in NYC - details below - in case you were free and wanted to go.
think small. feel big.