I'm writing this article from a tiny 'desk' in a guesthouse in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The sunday street market and the didgeridoo street performers were amazing. Friday, my girlfriend and me will go back to Hanoi, Vietnam, and stay there 3 months. Before all that, we were in Cambodia and on a 3 months meditation retreat in Phuket, Thailand.
Sounds great? It is!
Do you want to do the same?
You disagree, because you don't know how? Don't worry. Most people don't think they could ever do something like that.
Every minute, almost two weeks of video material is uploaded to youtube. If you wanted to see all the videos that get uploaded within a month, it would take you 1.500 years of 24/7 watching. Pretty insane, and it will only get more. A very nice video that demonstrates the changes of the new media, made in 2009 (!), is 'Did You Know 4.0'.
There is a beautifully told story about Youtube, how it started and how it changes the world.
One of the most beautiful things of the Internet is that it can bring people together to do something good for their fellow human beings or to collaborate and share their knowledge. The Open Source movement is about voluntarily working together and (mainly) creating software of which the source code can be accessed and changed by anyone. The Mozilla Firefox browser is a prominent example of this, or the Linux operating system.
And since there are millions of programmers out there, some of them use it to build amazing things. Mick Ebeling, who founded the 'Not Impossible Foundation', was sad to see that the San Francisco graffiti artist TEMPT got a nerve disease that made him completely paralyzed, unable to do anything than blink with the eyes.
There is this thing that is all around us, every day, everywhere, yet invisible, not noticed consciously and taken for granted. I'm talking about sound. But rather than reading, you should hear and see it, in this insanely brilliant video which makes you 'see' sound in ways like never before:
No one doubts, that regarding the many areas in which the world is in a bad state, change needs to happen. "Change", and "yes we can" were the election slogans that moved the US to elect the first black president. But did change happen? Not really. The old structures and stories are too strong to be changed rapidly.
Change often comes slowly, incrementally, and starts in the mindset of people. (Unless it is facilitated by events like natural disasters, etc.). So where better to start than in education?
"Many ages ago, our peoples lived on a wonderful planet. The living beings on it were beautiful, and plenty. The millions of lifeforms had found a perfect equilibrium, living in symbiosis with each other. The climate was diverse, and beneficial to life - thus, all life was flourishing. It was an Eden in the middle of the Milky Way.
At a certain point in time, our peoples started evolving in their technology with increasing speed. Food production went higher, the population exploded.
Have you ever thought about it - or felt it: What you have under your feet right now is not concrete, sturdy ground. No, you are standing, sitting, lying on a round ball, which is not sitting on some substantial ground itself, but only floating through dark nothingness. You are walking on the top surface of a giant ball, which is flying through vast space. Right now, at all times.
If you look at the picture above, shot from the moon, you might be just upside down in the dark area of the image. If you jump up high enough, maybe the earth moves with you when you hit the ground again - just a fraction of an atom. Imagine.
What separates you from the big black immense infinity is nothing but a paper-thin layer of atmosphere.
In the last post, we talked about new ways of financing, if you didn't want to / couldn't apply for a loan or get funding in the traditional way. For most people in relatively rich countries, it's easy to access to money. But what about the rest of us (actually the vast majority of people who live with us on this planet): people with lower socio economic status, and the population in developing countries?
Until not long ago, if a farmer in Kenia needed to buy another cow to support his family, his only chance was to take a loan from a local credit shark, to horrenduous conditions. Being forced to slip into lifelong slavery, because he never would be able to pay back the installments of often 500% per year.
The distribution of microlending changed all this, empowering the ones in need to take a loan to cheap conditions from a 'real' bank for the poor.
In ancient times, if you wanted to buy or build something for which you didn't have sufficient funds for yourself, you needed to take a loan. Either from peers, your parents, or a bank. Until very recently, this principle stayed the same. You need money, you borrow it, you pay it back to one institution with instalments.
But in the past few decades the internet emerged, this miraculous invention that connects people around the globe and disrupts all the structures that have been built up in the last few thousand years. So too with financing.