Saturday, September 27, 2008

Project 10^100: a writing geek review

Sometimes, you get a barely 200-word ad more compelling and enjoyable reading than a fashionable book. Most fashionable books suck because of their no-brainer stuff and lack of insights, and it feels like time wasted to read such books. But read this ad: not only it's intellectually stimulating and interesting, it also touches a chord, and evokes the best in you as a human being.

“Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big.
In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.”
(In this consumerist climate, it sounds like an advice from a spiritual guru, but you would like it because there is a truth ingrained in it.)

"In other words, helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike."
(Great play of words – almost mesmerizing!)

“The question is: what would help? And help most?
At Google, we don't believe we have the answers, but we do believe the answers are out there. Maybe in a lab, or a company, or a university -- but maybe not.
Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you've observed, some notion that you've been fiddling with, some small connection you've noticed, some old thing you have seen with new eyes.
If you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, we want to hear about it. We're looking for ideas that help as many people as possible, in any way, and we're committing the funding to launch them. You can submit your ideas and help vote on ideas from others. Final idea selections will be made by an advisory board.
Good luck, and may those who help the most win.”
(I’m not sure it’s wholly a noble and altruistic cause. There might be a cause behind this cause. Nevertheless, I like the content and the way it’s delivered.)

But I’m not submitting any new idea for the project. What any other new idea can a writing geek have except that more and more people read more books by real writers to know the other people, to know the various human conditions, to know the world, and in the process morphing into as human as humanly possible?

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