Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Erika's Extra New and Hot

"The exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt has many items to show a grasp of the depths of world poverty and ingenious ways to attack it. They include a 20-gallon rolling drum for transporting water, above."

“Design That Solves Problems for World’s Poor” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/science/29cheap.html?ref=science

This article doesn’t relate directly to Darwin, but we’ve talked several times about attempts to right past wrongs, like using technology to counter the global warming that is resulting from technology. I also think it’s just a really good idea. This article describes the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum that honors inventors who design products to help the poorest in the world. It is housed in Carnegie’s mansion, which is fitting, as Carnegie himself thought that everyone wealthy had a duty use his money for the greater good. He believed that wealth would be most useful concentrated in the hands of a few, who would then become patrons of the arts and sciences, promoting a level of civilization that he did not believe possible without a wealth disparity. He himself founded libraries all across the country, and managed to give away almost all of his money before he died (for more of his philosophy, see “The Gospel of Wealth” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1889carnegie.html). Since there is such an enormous disparity between the industrialized world and the developing world, I’m sure Carnegie would have approved of using the amassed resources to improve others’ lives. I found it interesting that, after globalization has allowed developed countries to exploit the resources of the rest of the world, we are now trying to use globalization to make the situation more tenable.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

My impression was that Carnegie wanted to improve the culture people were exposed to, which is why he built lots of libraries. I don't think he ever did anything to improve the physical existence of people though.... Maybe he would have approved of things like the water drum, but my impression (I took 19th century US History last year so I'm not just making this all up, though I might not remember very well) was that for physical needs he would just assume let people fend for themselves. I just thought I'd bring that up, in case someone had more to add.