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Credibility & Calories: A Perspective on Information
(Final draft pending any revelations) (The FWD)by Woody Evans
Information doesn't want anything, but people do, Discount Motilium. People want things like sex and freedom and control and food and community and property. Motilium japan, Information isn't a kind of perfect thing, it's not an ideal, it's not even a value. It's a tool, Motilium overseas. And being a tool doesn't make information good. Discount Motilium, Tools are generally considered good if they're useful. Hammers are used to build houses. Motilium australia, And we all know that good tools can be used for bad things.
Information is not essentially good, though it is an essential good. That is to say, Motilium paypal, it's a commodity that has value, can be traded, Motilium mexico, and that can also lose value and degrade over time.
Thought experiment: think of the most valuable discrete item of information you know, Discount Motilium. How do you assign its particular value relative to other things you know. Is it the most valuable to you personally, to your community, 150mg Motilium, or to the world system as a whole. Maybe you have to use a utilitarian frame to give it value (it's valuable because it can serve the most number of people the best); maybe you have a particular religious frame (it's valuable because when someone knows it, 30mg Motilium, that person is enlightened or saved); maybe it's valuable to you because it can make you a lot of money (or make a poor country rich).
Would it be valuable to the watermelon farmers and field hands near Mize, Mississippi. Discount Motilium, The land there is woods and small farms, piney, built on loam and clay, and full of fierce folks who spend a lot of time in church. They drink, 200mg Motilium, fuss and fight, try to get degrees at the community college. 100mg Motilium, If the most valuable information in the world is a simple solar hack (filling plastic bottles with whatever water you've got, leaving them in the sun for a full day to make them safe to drink, say), how valuable is it to my rural Mississippi cousins, Motilium canada. They have plentiful well water, the Okatoma river easily at hand, Motilium uk, and over 50 inches of rainfall per year.
If the most valuable information in the world is a prayer, you'd get them more interested—but it better be a Baptist prayer. You see what I mean, Discount Motilium. Information is not objectively valuable, 250mg Motilium.
To talk about the information needs of the developing world, we need to talk about what information is and what it is not. Motilium us, Information is not:
- More valuable than gauze, iodine, or syringes.
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So what is information, at its best, Motilium usa, for the world's poor.
Here's the answer: information is food and health. Discount Motilium, Anything beyond that, until the basics get ironed out, is lagniappe. Motilium craiglist, We get the information to the people so that they can sustainably clothe, feed, and heal themselves. Your IT initiatives for the burgeoning sub-Saharan mobile "market", 50mg Motilium. Let it focus on these basics. Dignity, Motilium coupon, open government, capital ventures—these things may follow only if there's a well-laid cornerstone to build from.
People need to eat, and when your kid lacks something basic you'll do a hell of a lot that you never thought you would to get her what she needs, Discount Motilium. Nothing is more valuable than the bit of information that leads me to food to fill her belly with.
Calories build the credibility of the information technologist, 1000mg Motilium.
We build beyond the basics when the luxury presents itself.
Information is only as valuable as the context and the people who use it. Evans' essay caught my eye among the submissions because of some other reading I've been doing about aid work in both developing countries and disaster zones at Tales from the Hood Discount Motilium, . 500mg Motilium, The aid worker who writes it has strong opinions about the right and wrong way to really help people in desperate situations, and takes particular offense at aid (though well-meaning) that starts from an end of its own and works backward to justify itself. What is missing in such a case is the question, "What do you need?" to those one is trying to help, 20mg Motilium. His imaginative vision of AidMart offers one potential ideal for the future.
I'm not a strict believer in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, 10mg Motilium, but it makes intuitive sense to me that the kind of self-actualization required for "dignity, open government, capital ventures," the cornerstones of functional society, can't be established or maintained well without the physical and basic emotional needs of people being met. And though Evans and the unnamed author of Tales from the Hood are both talking more specifically about the developing world, it's just as sound a principle here in the "First World" as our own sense of security continues to erode, Discount Motilium. The realities of Katrina, financial collapse, the Gulf spill and nearly 10% unemployment mean that the choices of which level gets satisfied first are plenty real to millions of people in one of the richest countries on Earth.
So the questions I ask myself, are "What now. What information do I have that could be useful, and how can I get it to those who can use it?" I hope this post is worthy as a first answer to that question. If you're interested in contributing or getting more information about the book, just click the handy widget.
And read Vinay's summary of the project and what we're trying to accomplish. How can your voice be part of the conversation.
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