If Not Adverts, Then What?

Too many of us are obsessed with the bottom line, making money, and taking advantage of others if it means increasing the balance of our bank accounts. America has always been about betterment — even if it means taking advantage of others to get there.

The American Way is no longer the American Dream, or home ownership, or education — no, the American Way is all about serving, and collecting, the mighty advertising dollar. Sell your eye for a penny; click your wrist for a nickel.

Continue reading → If Not Adverts, Then What?

Donated in Memory Of

I love using Google Alerts to track my life online.  How many David Boles folk are out there in the world?  Who is stealing my stuff?  Sometimes, though, an alert brings good news that touches the heart and when I read this Google News alert on my iPhone, I was stopped:

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A Virtual Donation of an Ethereal Notion

We love e-books and the easy way one can publish new work on a variety of reader devices.  We also appreciate and respect when hardcover books are donated to a library.  There is history in the print; there is provenance in the handing down; there is the mouldering stink of ink and finger grease on the pages.

We are uncertain, however, if a gift of 200,000 electronic books should carry the same glimmer and glitter of a similar hardcover donation:

Cambridge University Library is now home to one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese monographs – following the gift of 200,000 electronic books by the country’s Premier.

Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, visited the University recently as part of the University’s 800th Anniversary celebrations.

The gift is one of the largest single donations received in the University Library’s 650-year history and almost doubles the number of electronic books at its disposal.

Is there antiquity in a copiable e-book; can bites and byes be handed down with any authority; has the human aesthetic been deodorized from the virtual page?

While the spirit of the donation is confounding and intense, we to not believe e-books should be the measure of the man in donation or the ethereal university in its appreciative sycophancy.

When One Kidney is Not Enough

On December 12, 2008, I watched ABC News’ 20/20 and I was left slack-jawed by an incredible story about a boss that donated a kidney to an employee. At initial viewing, you are led to coo and ohh, but when you pause to think about the facts behind the story, you being to become outraged at selfishness dressing itself in motherhood.

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Thirty Billion Dollar Buffett Buffet

Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, announced over the weekend he was giving Bill Gates’ foundation $31 billion dollars, thus creating a charitable buffet like no other in history.
With $61 billion dollars in the till, the Gates Foundation will be able to do even more good in the fight to cure health and humanity issues the world over by creating a deeper dedication to healing the immense suffering in the urban human core and in bringing hope and satiety to smaller rural communities in Africa and Asia. 

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Mandatory Organ Donation

There are some ethicists who believe all organ donations must be mandatory and the option to opt out of the program should only be granted in limited conditions concerning religious beliefs or impaired mental state of the donor at the time of death.
The assumption upon death should be the organs of the deceased belong to the corpus of humanity and — as a matter of believing in each other — those organs must be recycled to keep the ill alive. 

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Deaf and Bloodless in Canada

The Toronto Star reported yesterday if you are Deaf in Canada you are not allowed to donate blood. When I first read the article I thought I was reading something from 100 years ago, not 12 hours ago. The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) agency isn’t outright blaming the Deaf for their disability and their inability in the Canadian health system to donate blood — no, that would be too obvious and vicious — so the CBS instead attempts to take up the banner of honor and thoughtfulness by claiming it is a privacy violation for the Deaf to donate blood because they use interpreters.

Continue reading → Deaf and Bloodless in Canada