Tag Archives: blog

Blog Action Day 08: Poverty

Poverty anywhere is a threat to life everywhere.

This is a contribution to Blog Action Day 2008:

When someone is living in poverty he or she is struggling to sustain the basic requirements for life.  This means that this person has no opportunity to change his or her life because all of his or her effort is dedicated to satisfying those basic needs.

Hence a person living in poverty is cornered; death is the only retreat.  This at once makes a person in poverty dangerous because a person in poverty has nothing to lose.

Having nothing to lose but your life changes a person in ways hard to imagine.  Stories of people stranded come to mind.  Take a look at the product description for the book Alive:

On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Out of the forty-five original passengers and crew, only sixteen made it off the mountain alive. For ten excruciating weeks they suffered deprivations beyond imagining, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable. And to survive, they were forced to do what would have once been unthinkable …

This is their story — one of the most astonishing true adventures of the twentieth century.

Yes, the people had to eat each other.  My morbid sense of humor made me smirk that this is described as an adventure. Having nothing to eat in harsh weather conditions might seem like adventure while sitting in a comfortable chair, but when it is daily reality, it is just ordinary poverty.

Like adventure poverty is dangerous.  Unlike an adventure, poverty can be just as dangerous to those who are not the ones in direct danger of losing their lives.  When Cortez landed in Mexico he burned his ships so that his soldiers would know that there was no retreat – they were in essence shipwrecked – and hence would fight their hardest.  Not only was he trying to encourage his men to fight, he was trying to scare the Aztecs, who, he knew, would see the burning ships and know that they would be fighting people with nothing to lose.  The Aztecs retreated.

When there is nothing to lose desperation sets in, and there is no reasoning with the desperate.  What is there to say to someone whose child is starving to death?  So given the opportunity to escape such a situation, a person is willing to do and support things that the rest of us find unimaginable.


  1. Physical poverty of some implies a poverty of imagination of the rest.
  2. Poverty anywhere is a threat to life everywhere, always.

Posted in internet, random idiocy. Tagged with , , .

‘It’s Nice That’ had a good day.

Two most excellent finds on ‘It’s Nice That‘:

fig crumbs (blog)

animal of the month: pangolin!

Posted in art, internet. Tagged with , , , , , .

Design junkie

Perhaps two people know this about me but I am a design junkie. Notcot.org is my favorite blog of all time. Recently I’ve even contributed a few posts (#7106, #6974). I’m not sure what it is about design that I like so much. There is always that form/function distinction but I don’t think that is exactly what attracts me. It is more along the lines of personal engineering: with the right stuff you can do different things. You have the right tools and you can build a house (or a website); you have a spiffy outfit and you can get into an exclusive club; you have the right ideas and you can change the course of humanity.

Anyway, here’s some links (or slingks as Apartment Therapy calls them) to people with good ideas:

Check out the art galleries here in NYC with this handy printable list of the best galleries.

Running from Camera: Exactly what the title says and yet surprisingly entertaining. (via It’s Nice That)
Hi, My name is Joseph. I work in a cupcake.: Again self-explanatory. (swissmiss)

Wordcount: a visual representation of how often English words are used. ‘Pope’ is one behind ‘Logic’ and four ahead of ‘Discourse’. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. (via DamnIWishI’dThoughtofThat via Spoonbuzz) Surprisingly I found this site through my lesser infatuation with marketing (as compared to design) since it is more a work of art/design. However if you consider Search Engine Optimization choosing words lower on the list will inherently make your site more unique and hence searchable. I think I got lucky by tagging ‘relativity’ (#15559) before ‘biology’ (#6746) or ‘physics’ (#4543) and definitely before ‘philosophy’ (#2821).

Brevity is possibly wit: Overheard in NYOne Sentence

Witty and thankfully not brief comic/graphic novel (the only one I have ever liked, so this is high praise): Platinum Grit – and by the same people of wit (though not a comic): Poke the Bunny. You really should.
Who Killed Bambi? Art blog finding all those out there pushing the bounds of death and life.

Japan is good for so many things: Trends in Japan is full of products and ideas. Currently #1 on my wishlist for ridiculous things (which is my normal wishlist btw) is a Homestar Pro (no not that homestar) PERSONAL PLANETARIUM. I’m from NY. I have to drive like 4 hours to see stars otherwise.

On the topic of Japan Ping Mag is worth a look. It’s a Tokyo based design magazine.

And because you should always end with a bang, the Superest is my new favorite fun blog. It’s superhero competition with ‘The overprotective parent’ being vanquished by ‘Doug the Slacker Next Door’ who was vanquished by ‘The Charismatic Recruiter’, etc.

Posted in art, design, fun, internet, marketing, motivation, SEO. Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Check out Spoonbuzz

Y’all should check out Spoonbuzz. It’s a blog dedicated to marketing in the best possible way: making your vision of yourself and your world a reality. I guess the way I think of it is a cross between motivational speaking and down and dirty marketing advice from a ‘I want to be in marketing for the next 40 years’ guy. And that is a direct quote because Josh is a buddy of mine. So go to his blog and sign up for the rss feed.

Posted in internet, marketing, motivation, products. Tagged with , , , , , .