Charity And Consumption Have Issues In Common

My post on cognitive aspects around charitable giving provoked a reply from Elver. The discussion continued in the comments there, from where I’d like to aggregate another thought that seems to be contextually important.

Getting funding for a charity is all about optics and active marketing to achieve it. Madelaine and Colin McRae are (were?) world famous, heavily pushed brands. Anonymous dying kids and anonymous flying tourists are not.

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Uus kodanikuportaal on uues kuues. Suur samm parema kasutusmugavuse suunas.

Otseühendus informaatikanõukogust

Nagu Enn mõnda aega tagasi rõõmustas tuli täna kokku esimene Informaatikanõukogu istung pärast mõneaastast pausi.

Pets korjas juba kokku tänase aruteluga seotud linke, ei hakka neid siinkohal dubleerima.

Minu suureks rõõmuks on diskussioon emotsionaalne ja tempokas, ei midagi tavapärasest stereotüüpilisest riiklikust nõuandvast kogust, kus uimaselt etteantud paberikuhilaid formaalselt ära kinnitatakse. Senised kaks lahedamat kõlanud ideed on akadeemik Jaaksoo hiljuti väljapakutud vabatahtlik Küberkaitseliit ja Teet Jagomägi ettepanek avada kõik riiklikud andmekogud, mida ei pea isikuandmete osas kaitsma, vabaks kasutamiseks. Kujutage ette selliselt pinnalt tekkivate põnevate lisaväärtustatud rakenduste (á la Wolli wLex) ja mashupide potentsiaali.

Näis, mis sedalaadi mõtetest protokollidesse, otsustesse ja reaalsesse ellu nüüd jõuab.

Give a Hundred to Save a Million Kids? Nah…

Read a great column by Clive Thompson in Wired’s September issue on how big numbers (and lack of numeracy there) affects people’s charity decisions.

He studies a troubling paradox in human empathy: We’ll usually race to help a single stranger in dire straits, while ignoring huge numbers of people in precisely the same plight. We’ll donate thousands of dollars to bring a single African war orphan to the US for lifesaving surgery, but we don’t offer much money or political pressure to stop widespread genocides in Rwanda or Darfur.
The problem isn’t a moral failing: It’s a cognitive one.

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A bunch of good Skype mashups

Congrats, Dick & Christoph at PamConsult on winning the Skype Mashup Competition 2007! Even though I have not sent a fax in like 10 (ok, maybe it is just 5) years I am sure that PamFax has conservative old school business users flocking as we speak.

There was a whole bunch of good entries, really happy as it was the first competion we held. I’ve actually used a few of them before, like Twitter4Skype and Anothr. However, my humble request did not show up yet – so there is still a chance for you to develop it for the next round. Or before.

Deep Thoughts on Immigration

Stepping outside of the Kogo (highly recommended, btw) restaurant in Prague I found myself chatting with our waiter of the night who had also come out for his break.

I learned that he was originally from Macedonia (ex-Yugoslavia). And that there is a notable Yugoslavian community living and working in Prague. Having a certain interest around free movement of labour in the contries we have offices in – and that includes Czech Republic – I had a few further questions.

At some point his English unfortunately failed. They guy stopped mid-sentence about his & his friends’ experiences with working in Prague to search for the right word. But then sighed and said: “Anyway. Nationality is nationality. Business is business. Life is life.”

Probably there are more than a few possible interpretations here. For me, this means that nationality-based borderlines (and preconceptions) in business are obsolete. How good you are in what you do, matters.

The service we received throughout the dinner was excellent.

Hang a Pet to Be Alone

Bér the Hanging Dog
A creative “do not disturb” door sign at the La Bergère Design Hotel in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The next step could be hanging small live animals on a doorknob?
This is by far not the only trick they play in that place to justify the “design” part of the name. However, randomized door numbering on a floor can get quite annoying if you are really tired and would prefer to actually find your room.

Street Name as a Brand

Any better name ideas for a restaurant street?
Swallow street is located just off Regent street in Westminster. There are a few great restaurants there, for example Bentley’s has definitely the best seafood (and best dressed lemons) I’ve had in London. Now – putting two and two together, you get the perfect brand for a restaurant street, worth designing into a logo.
There are two more Swallow streets in London. Wonder if they all have good restaurants and share the brand?

Two Feet On the Ground in London

From the London Transport website today. Thank you, Metronet, strikes are so much fun, aren’t they?
Fortunately, the good old tricks still work in even the busiest of metropols. Stay in a hotel close to the office. Eat out in walking distance. Preorder cabs. Remain on the the grounds where you can actually see the sky. Do not join a union.