I’m a fan of both longitudinal population studies and of the work of public health researcher Michael Marmot from the University College London. His previous work on Whitehall studies I and II revealed a correlation between a person’s health indicators, and their position within the British public sector. Much of his work has revolved around the notion of how personal autonomy affects a person’s ability to choose healthy behaviour.
“Man, the flower of all flesh, the noblest of all creatures visible, man who had once made god in his own image, and had mirrored his strength on the constellations, beautiful naked man was dying, strangled by the garments he had woven.”
“Truly the garment had seemed heavenly at first, shot with colors of colours of culture, sewn with the threads of self-denial. And heavenly it had been so long as man could shed it at will and live by the essence that is his sould, and the essence, equally divine, that is his body.”
On my way to TED India I was shown around the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement activities in Saragur, rural India, by an old friend who worked there as a paediatric surgeon. It was started 15 years ago by 4 medical students from Mysore and comprises two schools educating approximately 800 students between them, and a 100 bed hospital supplying free medical care to the local population.
Whilst my body is long gone, I’m happy to still have the opportunity to talk to you like this, in a way my great great grandparents unfortunately didn’t have to speak to me. Little did they envision the opportunities we now possess to have a permanent record of our every online conversation built into a relatively accurate personality construct that can speak to you in the way that I’m speaking to you now.
Here’s a link to a short article by Jeffrey Sachs on the digital war on poverty.
Its interesting to see market forces accomplishing a feat NGOs would be unable to (assuming they had wanted to). As of 2007 over 50% of the world’s population now use mobile phones. It took 20 years to reach 1 billion, another 3 years to reach 2 billion, and the 3rd billion took just 2 years. Mobile phones and their future capacity for information distribution are making their way into the hands of the world’s least resourced.
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