Stop what you’re doing. Take out your phone. Go to the Unicef Tap Project.
Now put your phone down.
By not touching your phone for x minutes (or hours, or days…), the UNICEF Tap project sponsor will make donations for easier access to clean water. It is a reminder of essentials, and in my opinion a very successful way to do so.
The donation amount itself is not groundbreaking (at least on the individual level. If enough people participate then collectively the donation could be quite impactful). But the overall message is what I am impressed with. I pick up my phone at least every hour. At least. On my first attempt at leaving my phone alone, after less than an hour of trying, I had to end the session because I received a call from an unknown number and felt I needed to answer. Why should it be so difficult to briefly give my phone up (especially with substitutes like computers available)?
When considering the difficulty of such a luxury to be left alone, it’s healthy to remember that some lack the access to the real essentials.
Links I Liked:
1. Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham
2. Toilet Hackers
3. What uses more electricity – an NFL stadium or Liberia?
4. Catching up on my calculus with Khan Academy.
5. Global Economic Prospects and Dataviz say Developing Countries are to grow 5.3% in 2014.
The annual Gates Letter was released today, highlighting some of the current and popular ‘myths’ of development. These myths include:
“Poor countries are doomed to stay poor,”
“Foreign aid is a big waste,” and
“Saving lives leads to overpopulation.”
The justification for this myth busting, simplified for easy conveyance to readers who may not be as well-versed in development jargon, agrees with much of the current data of growth and aid from the experts, at least from the United States. What this letter succeeds at is putting a (perhaps overly) optimistic spin on the recent history and future of the ‘bottom billion.’ It asserts that aid and development programs have been good for the least developed countries, and that prospects are continually looking up.
The letter also includes a few cool graphics such as this one on the difference between GDP distribution between 1960 and 2012-
You can also check out what some development experts thought of the letter and the accuracy of the debunked myths.