Archive for the 'Brainstorms' Category

Day of Service

January 16, 2009

This is what I’m talking about!  Nice work, Seth.

I specifically like #12:

Find a tool that non-profits need online, and then organize some brilliant people to build it as an opensource utility.

Any ideas?  What are some non-profits in this area?

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Thoughts on Jobs: Jobs for Everyone!

September 30, 2008

Well, that’s the idea.

We’ve been talking about this passage from Acts recently. How does a group go about fulfilling everyone’s needs? It does seem difficult to coordinate, especially as the size of the group increases – even a family of four or five sometimes leaves a member out at times, how could 100 or 30,706 possibly accomplish this?

The problem of meeting everyone’s needs parallels the problem of finding jobs for everyone. Everyone has something to contribute to society (1 Corinthians 12:7). As we work together, our overall wealth as a society increases (called comparative advantage). But, how do you possibly find a place for everyone?

Here are two opposing forces I see in this problem:

Innovation: As we develop new technologies or processes, make things or perform services more efficiently, we increase the average standard of living. Unfortunately, we also reduce the number of jobs in a given industry (I’ll get to this in a second).

Imagination: As we have more and more people unemployed due to innovation, we need to be creative as to how they can contribute to society. This creates jobs.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: once upon a time we were hunters and homemakers. Someone innovated; “farming” was born. Now a few farmers could feed many people. That innovation put a lot of hunters out of business. So, they became cooks and builders and sheriffs…and actresses and novelists.

So, how do you find a place for everyone in this machine we call an economy? I have no clue. I think we need to be imaginative and find the things that are worth paying for (and not reducing them to commodities).

How do we coordinate the large number of people with their talents and resources to fulfill each other’s needs? For the math geeks, it seems like an NP problem. For the non-geeks, it’s freakin hard. Near impossible, I’d say.

Unless we can somehow get over ourselves and selflessly give our talents and resources. Yeah, selfishness seems to find prices points on supply-demand charts, and it seems to distribute resources well enough now. But surely we can do better.

Thoughts? (sorry for the long one, folks)

Expanding My Original Idea

November 16, 2007

I read this post by Perry and noted the older, wheelchair-bound man who came to church alone but came anyway.

It made me thing that my original idea might have been too small. Perhaps it should be simply a wishlist.

“I wish someone could pick me up before church, because I can’t drive myself.”

“I wish someone would spend some time with me after church, because I’m living alone and have no one to each lunch with.”

“I have kids and more than enough time on Saturdays to do something, but I don’t know who else has kids to do a playdate with.”

Or the other way:

“I have more than enough food in my pantry and just want to bless someone with a good lunch.”

What do you think? It’s great in theory, but we need an active social network to make it happen.

The Giving Craigslist

November 1, 2007

Does anybody else have abandoned jewel cases from their CD collections? We generally put the CDs into a binder, which is far more practical, and toss the jewel case into a box or a closet or a [insert storage space here].

Does anybody know someone in need? Or, perhaps, does anybody know someone that could use a helping hand or an overwhelming gift of love? I remember I once thought about making and giving out banana bread loaves to people in ACF as an encouragement. I also think filling up someone’s pantry with soup and canned vegetables would show someone a lot of love.

I’ve been kicking around this idea in my head, and I want to through it out to see what people think. Basically, we could run a website where people could post what they need or what people they know need, and others could post things that they’re going to through away but someone might use (or sell).

I assume these types of things would be more easily launched if the/a church had a more established online social network…perhaps I’ll save that for a later post.

Fighting Poverty: Any Ideas?

October 26, 2007

I’ve told this to a small number of people personally (and once here) that my passion for a while has been fighting poverty. My parents did a good job instilling in us the need to not take things for granted. I also think that poverty is one of those diseases that we basically know the cure to, i.e. if you had to eradicate one of the following from the planet in the next year, which would you have a better shot of doing: cancer or poverty?

The best way to fight poverty, in my mind, is the teaching a man to fish method. I like to dream of ways to start programs that do just this in Williamsport actually, and I’m sure there are organizations doing this around the world. So my two questions are these (and, PLEASE if you have ANY input, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get it in the comments section):

  1. What are some of the existing organizations out there that do this? (in US? in foreign countries? in third-world countries?)
  2. What are some of the ways you think this could happen in suburbia?

What better way to show people love than to put our money where our mouth is literally. I think if you talk to someone, you reach them. If you mow their yard, you say something to them in a tangible way. If you actually help them get on their feet financially AND possibly sacrifice your own money to do it, you say something tangible about sacrifice to them. It’s got to open doors to their heart (Acts 4:32-37, Matthew 6:21).

Let’s get the conversation started. I want to do something meaningful and not theoretical in this area before I’m 30.