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October 10, 2003

"WiFi SM: Feel the spectacle of pain"

There is a great German word, Weltschmerz, which roughly translates to "awareness of the pain of the world." Clearly, the world has plenty of pain, some caused by us in the West, who have almost no direct, unmediated way of appreciating just how bad things are in some places. The point is not guilt, but simple perception. Although the WiFi - SM site is a joke, and kid of a funny one, but it's not fundamentally a bad idea. I'd wear one for a week.

Less painful, but just as useful, might be a "daily Weltschmerz report" like the weather or UV index, that quantified suffering, distress, and discomfort on a global scale (and perhaps the pockets of elation, relief, and joy in others). The increasing insulation of the West from the real conditions of the majority of humanity is a serious problem, and I feel no idea is too far fetched that might bridge this gap.

Posted by jay at October 10, 2003 12:23 PM | TrackBack
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