And The Onion summed it up the best: “At press time, someone had reportedly fixed everything for the goddamn imbecile.”
iwood27 said: Will you do the ALS ice bucket challenge?
Probably not, partly because I am still recovering from meningitis and so the thought of doing anything out of bed is a bit overwhelming, but also for other reasons. I worry this makes me a totally humorless party pooper, but…
ALS is a terrible disease and there isn’t enough research money devoted to it. Raising money for ALS research is important, and while some people complain that the whole ice bucket challenge thing is mere slacktivism, the ALS Association has raised millions of dollars it otherwise wouldn’t have raised. And that’s great. This has been an extremely successful campaign, and I think it’s wonderful.
That said, I have mixed feelings about tying fundraising (or awareness campaigns) to stuff like the ice bucket challenge. Here’s the question: Why are we raising money for ALS instead of raising money for pediatric cancer research or food aid or for domestic violence shelters?
I feel like the answer to that question ought to be, “We’re raising money for ALS because ALS research is underfunded and can benefit from these resources,” not, “We’re raising money for ALS because the ice bucket challenge is a thing on the Internet right now.” If our philanthropy is dictated only by what happens to bubble up to the surface of the Internet’s consciousness, we’re not making careful choices about how to distribute our limited resources.
And when it comes to charity, everyone has limited resources. Whether you give $5 or $5,000,000 a year to charities, there will always be good causes you cannot fund. So you need a very good answer to the question, “Why did you donate to X and Y?” because there will always be a Z—a very worthy Z—to which you did not donate.
This is not meant in any way to diss those who’ve participated in the ice bucket challenge: it’s an important cause and it has been tremendously successful. And I certainly don’t want to strip the joy of giving and sharing from charity. Sarah and I are just focused on trying to make sure our giving is driven by need and the opportunity to create lasting change.
"This is not the best solution. It’s not the most legal solution. It’s not the fairest solution. What it is, is the most possible solution."
Behold, the wonders of modern IP law.
Let us now discuss Ebola, meningitis, public health, and western-centrism.
I am recovering from meningitis but still a long way from feeling back to my regular self. I hope to be fully recovered in the next couple weeks, but between now and then I’ll be a bit less active than usual online.
I want to send this to every fearmongering news media outlet out there because it isn’t the disease that is the problem, it’s the structures that are in place - or not, in this case - that are used to fight the disease that are the problem. And it bothers me to no end that they get it wrong because they’re causing unnecessary panic and keeping those of us who could help from knowing what it is we need to do to provide these people with the help they need.