Saturday, October 15, 2011

Like falling dominoes

I don't know about you, but usually, when I hear a politician speak, I only hear this:

The only difference between the baby girl in the video and politicians is that the baby is funny (and the politicians are utterly boring). But the language is basically the same.

Being a politician has become mainly a poll job...ooops! That didn't sound right (even if there is some truth to it). Let me rephrase that. Being a politician has mainly become a job based on poll results. Boring, inefficient with enormous (negative) economic consequences. No discrimination here. Whatever is the political allegiance, it's all the same blah! blah! blah!.

Exceptionally this week, a quote burned my ears. For once, it was not blah! blah! blah! The quote came from Herman Cain, American businessman, syndicated columnist and a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012. Cain candidly declared, word for word, during a television interview that "It's Your Own Fault if You Don't Have a Job! In other words: It's not the economy, stupid, it's YOU!"

I don't want to go in the specifics of that statement in this blog. It would be boring and I don't have another second to waste on that (insensible and ignorant) individual. Let's just say that I strongly disagree.

The question is: Can we really count on politicians to change the world? Our World. Can we count on them to make it better? Of course not. They make moves to please only some people (mostly those who contribute to their political campaigns).

Here's how I think people can change the world. Or maybe "should change the world" would be more accurate: Take ideas and act upon them (Can you hear politicians in the background ask "how do we do that, act? Can't we just talk about the ideas?).


Back in 2006, an American teenage girl and her father, a journalist, were on spring break in Venice, Italy. While the daughter was on a shopping spree, the father headed back to the hotel room. He stumbled upon a BBC documentary on children of Africa dying of malaria. Make that 3,000 children per day (you read that right...per day!). It also mentioned that if the children would just sleep under a mosquito bed net, they would be almost entirely protected from malaria. That net only costs $10. Not that much to save one life. Nevertheless, those children died every day because they didn't have nets.

That man had an idea and acted upon it. On May 1, 2006, he wrote a column about it in a Sports Magazine you might have heard of before (Sports Illustrated). That man is Rick Reilly. That day, maybe without realizing it at the time, he changed the world. He also happened to save lives. Then there was some sort of chain reaction and the whole thing snowballed into a World Wide campaign. To make a long story short, has distributed almost 4.25 million mosquito bed nets. In other words, the charitable organization has raised almost $42.5 million for the cause.

Can you just imagine for a second a government trying to help African children dying of malaria? First there would be a study or commission or any other bullcrap meeting of politicians that would cost about 40 million dollars. The result of the study would be: Africa needs mosquito bed nets (what we already knew!!). The cost of the study would leave us with a tiny budget of $2.5 million to buy the nets. The government would send only 25,000 nets to Africa (because of the $2.25 million for the travelling expenses of the politicians sent in Africa to have pictures taken with dying African children and for the ads on tv to show the goddamn pictures).

More, less government. And what about examples that would help the economy? Or if you prefer, what about job creation?

Two high school outcasts that became college dropouts in the mid 70's. They identified the need to produce print-outs, labels and databases, in a world that was lead by typeriters. They combined genius with creativity in...a garage. And with the help of a $20 Central Processing Unit (CPU), produced by MOS Technology, they assembled their first personal computer. With the exception of the parents that lent the garage, and maybe the first store that sold their first product, not many believed in their bold project.

The company, as Forrest Gump would refer to it as "some kind of fruit company", is Apple Inc. The founders: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Yes jobs. Apple Inc. employs almost 50,000 persons. Real jobs from a real Jobs. Not bad for a fruit company.

Never underestimate the power of the geek or outcast with a dream, a obsession. He or she will not exclusively talk about the idea (remember politicians? blah! blah! blah!...shouting make believe numbers like an auctioneer). The geek will do something about it.

Invest in people, not in politicians (yes, you've read that right...politicians are excluded from the first group!).

I believe that ideas lead to other ideas, like falling dominoes. And if someone takes that idea and acts upon it, that idea could change the world. According to the the Chaos Theory, more precisely, the Butterfly Effect, the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could set off a tornado in Texas. In other words, a slight change in the conditions of a system could provoke a chain of events leading to out of proportions results.

Consequently, a reader of this modest blog could have an idea, act upon it, and maybe inspire other persons to have ideas on their own...and ultimately change the world. And I like to believe that this is the only efficient way that you and me can change the world. Like falling dominoes.   

A big shoutout to Lana Leclerc for her work on the new graphics for this blog. Thanks for everything you've done and most of all, thank you for supporting this blog from the very beginning.

This week’s lucky number: The clue…a movie directed by David Fincher starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey.
Note to self: Always check your pant's pockets for tissues before putting them in a washing machine.
Note to self #2: Sometimes patience is not a is a waste of time.
Indirect way to disagree:I’d agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.”
Mixing up numbers: “He had 3 children with 4 different women”.
Bad pick-up line: I think I've dated your mom. How is the ferocious cougar?
Bad name for a rock group in Milwaukee: Prince (Fielder) and The Devolution.

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:


  1. I so love the comparisson you do here and trust me, be sure you are not the only one that thinks this way

  2. I already answered your comments with an e-mail message...but just for the record:

    @Miss Lego: Thank you. Your comments are always welcome.