The title is an example of a good idea. A worthwhile endeavor. A productive use of time. Full of potential.

Community-Based Solution to Poverty Theory

Don’t worry, this one’s very uplifting, even the poverty part.

There’s a theory of how to solve poverty locally. But it’s harder to do than it sounds cause it starts with kids. And it takes a while.

It’s a leverage point that works, which gives me hope.

For example, a community garden that all of the local public school kids go to (which is pretty much of all of them other than the few who go to charter schools, cause most folks can only afford public education). The kids get their parents excited about the garden, eating well, and learning. It takes a generation, but the neighborhood does much better. Not everyone’s an immediate convert, but it works eventually through slow, but viral growth.

Turns out, most instances of disadvantaged folks eating shitty food is because they literally don’t know how to cook. Eggs, toast, whatever. They’ve just never done it.

But in this case, it’s okay cause some community gardens come with kitchens. So the kids can learn how to prepare the stuff they grew for sale to support the garden. And cooking lessons in general. See where I’m going with this?

And when the kids do good in the world and come back, the place becomes somewhere they want to raise their family instead of fleeing.

By incorporating a positive community structure into a culture, the rest of the community can take care of itself. Meaning, the community ultimately gets out of poverty and improves on other cultural metrics.

If you ask, I can find a citation for this. I just don’t feel like combing through a bunch of HBS articles or whatever at the moment. I know, worst person ever.
cells from heather's research

Sidebar: Some cells with a nanoparticle uploaded into them (green). Notice how the NP doesn’t get into the nucleus! The big ole black holes. By the way, the green is also curcumin, which is all the rage in turmeric right now.

My Theory

When I look at microbes, I see a leverage point for how we can be happy, healthy, sustainable, and connected more easily. Did I mention microbes are safe, cheap, and viral (in a good way :-))?

We’ll see. But I’m pretty sure. I’ll hopefully post a systems diagram at some point, but it’s just one of those ones that have 9,000 reasons why it’s a good idea. Right now, I’m making a list.

bacteria on agar plates

1% of our gut microbes are culturable (easy-ish to study). A lot of work needs to be done!

Bad Theories

There are bad ideas on how to save the world. Like geoengineering.

I loathe people who go on about how amazing it is, especially to sound smart or interesting. Especially when they haven’t even looked into it themselves to see how bad of an idea it is. Or how it’s already being used. And how we kind of don’t have a halfway decent idea of how to stop it.

These people do harm by spreading a lie that we can be consumptive and inconsiderate with zero consequences because geoengineering, a drastically worse idea than just putting giant fans in space to shield us from the sun, is going to eliminate all consequences.

Just such a bad, bad idea.

All so they can feel smart or interesting.

If you’ve done this, now is your chance to stop. Just cause you’ve done the worst thing so far, doesn’t mean you can’t become the good guy now.

puppies being cute

You can do it!