Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where to Put Your Extra Money

I think the problem these days is not in being willing to donate our money to a good cause, but to which cause to donate.

Yes, it is always good to donate money to orphanages, to organizations that build houses or schools, that provide clean water and internet access to remote areas. But what is the intent of all of these organizations? First they start with the physical needs, providing them with a better environment and resources, then they hope to someday work toward providing for their intellectual needs, so that the brilliant minds of the previously neglected children/people can be used to their full potential, where they in turn help others and advance our human race.

What about those whose physical needs are already provided for? Even in very poor families in America, the homes still have internet access, and it has become a solace to the children hungry for mental stimulation. These are the ones who have a lot of time on their hands and are willing to shape their own futures, despite their current economic or social disposition, as long as they have a means to figure it out on their own. These are the ones who might not do so well in class, because they don't think they are smart, or they are intimidated by their teacher, or they don't want to look like a geek in front of other kids. But with their wireless education, there are no strings attached; it doesn't matter how smart others think they are, or how smart they think they are themselves; they have the freedom to tap into their inner geek.

We think something is wrong with kids these days because they don't read books and are on the internet all the time. I'm not saying internet articles are better than books, but I'm sure the amount that some kids read, bouncing from webpage to webpage, might add up to a few books. And look at what Google and other places are doing, providing digital copies of millions of books that are in the public domain.

Sure, we also want equal education in the public school system, giving a quality and unprejudiced education to kids living in underdeveloped cities. But the internet provides an undiscriminating education, and probably a better education than even the best schools could provide. Because in school, what you learn is what you are taught---not necessarily what you are interested in, or think you might be interested in, not what you had to learn completely independently or really depend on yourself to figure out alone, not what you might have stumbled upon whilst uncovering knowledge of a future professional education you would love to possess, not obscure topics that just sound really cool, even if you're never going to care to read much about them again after clicking off that webpage.

Sometimes I wonder where I would be without my internet education. Sometimes I wonder how many more kids, probably more motivated and intelligent than I, depend on their internet education for their mental stimulation. Schools are paid for by taxes, and as terrible as this may sound, it wouldn't matter so much to me to see those go down as much as I'd hate to see Wikipedia or Khan Academy go down.

Pay your tithes to your churches, pay your tithes to charities and organizations providing aid in developing countries. But don't forget to pay your tithes to the organizations that have helped develop you, and millions more like you all across the globe.

Places I'd personally love to donate to:
Wikipedia (

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (

Christian Classics Ethereal Library (

Rutgers University =D (