3 posts tagged

the wider problem

The wider problem. Protesters getting fined

When something seems like a solution to a problem, look beyond.

In summer 2019 many protesters in Moscow were sued by the city transport authorities and a restaurant for making them work harder (!). This seemed like complete nonsense until I understood the wider problem. Most Russians hadn’t yet ditched the bug of believing that the Tsar or the Party will fix their problems. Thus they believed that the only person that can solve the problem is someone from the government. The government of course, became tired of this: solving every problem is impossible.

So the government took advantage of the popularity of opposition leaders and the protesters following them. These people were fined high sums for minor misdemeanours. Most people in Russia haven’t crowdfunded anything, so by engaging in a nationwide discourse, the state created a situation in which people would impulsively help them, by crowdfunding. People learned about crowdfunding and later used it for personal matters. Russians became richer and Russia became better. This is especially noteworthy because Russia established a new crowdfunding law on January 1, 2020.

 No comments   8 mon   problem solving   Russia   the wider problem

The wider problem. Ground floor room

When something seems like a solution to a problem, look beyond.

This summer I stayed at a Milanese hotel for a night. I found some of its eco-policies to be admirable, while others to be ridiculous. One of the ridiculous ones was giving me a room on the ground floor. “We are afraid of wasting precious energy powering the elevator as this would harm the environment”, the hotel triumphantly declared on its posters. These are fancy words for “we want to save money”.

The hotel also did not think that sound pollution is more of a problem for me than using excess electricity. I might have come up with some fantastic idea if it weren’t for the dogs barking next door.

 No comments   9 mon   problem solving   the wider problem   world problems

The wider problem. Flight shaming

When something seems like a solution to a problem, look beyond.

Greta Thunberg insists on shaming people for flying. She even forced her mother—an opera singer—not to hop on a world tour. While some voyages are faster and cheaper by rail than by plane (Genoa to Rome, for instance), others are not.

Don’t tell me to take a five-day train from Moscow to Sanremo because it’s better for the environment. It might not be. It’s a waste of time to spend five days instead of eight hours to get from one place to another. During the extra four days in Sanremo I could have invented something that would in the long-term help the planet more.

If business people were to cancel their flights to meetings “in order to save the planet” we as a society could be losing more: breakthrough ideas would not be shared, so new products would not be created, therefore the economy would not develop faster and polluting factories would exist for longer.

 No comments   10 mon   problem solving   the wider problem   world problems