Saturday, January 5, 2013

6-7 months without a post sheesh!

Happily what's brought me back today is that my brain is on fire today.  Exciting ideas are exciting.

What's got me most excited is that I believe I've discovered a path forward in the path forward of my philanthropic life.   In my 16 years of independent adulthood I've been irresponsible in this regard.   Lots of talk, little action.  Recently, over some beers with my friend Mike Lavato we've been gas bagging about how the world's biggest problem is overpopulation.   This is a difficult problem to tackle, at least from an engineer's perspective.   All of the obvious ways to get rid of people have historically been unpopular, for obvious reasons.  This certainly makes it easier to lament the problem while continuing to do nothing.

This morning I decided to scrape the surface of the over population problem again, and I stumbled against the venerable organization devoted to solving this problem, Population Connection.   One of natural areas of focus for Population Connection is women's reproductive rights.  I became instantly enamored with this.   My left brain gets all excited about the long term impacts on the environment without the danger of unpopular topics like ZPG, while my right brain gets all excited that giving someone reproductive control impacts their lives immediately in a profound way.

I'm looking forward to getting involved with this issue, both from a charitable perspective, but also as a volunteer.

A slightly less exciting thought:  markets require some sort of inequitably.  I was initially thinking about the buying and selling of vinyl records.   If everyone valued them equally, this pursuit would simply be the exchange of records, governed by rarity of course, of the records you cared to hear.   This isn't how it works.   Sally has a stash of jazz records and doesn't know that Bob really wants some jazz records.   Instead they have to pass through a broker of some sort, who profits off the exchange.  What I'm trying to get to is that Sally's lack of knowledge about the true value of her records hurts both her and Bob, and benefits the dealer, and ultimately I'm trying to say that great economic opportunity can be found in emerging markets.   When something is readily available, and the cost is well known, you've got to be a Walmart, or a genius, to come out ahead.