Yesterday (Monday), my neighbors threw a wrecker of a Christmas party. They hung some mistletoe in the doorway, put some hot wine on the stove top and encouraged guests to arrive with tacky presents. I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about going, but it’s hard to avoid parties happening five feet away from you so I forced myself to be social and neighborly, bought a tacky present and joined the fray.
Early on, while looking for refreshments in the kitchen I overheard this: “How do you quantify a life? Can you discount it? That’s an interesting case, isn’t it?”
I looked at the speaker and immediately drew a few premature and unfavorable conclusions. He was white, American, an MBA student. He was speaking loudly, over everyone else in the kitchen and with such wide-eyed enthusiasm, such calculated, quantitative precision that I suspected the lives he was talking about weren’t American. Or European, for that matter.
He went on: “So, the question is if you have to pick between a Malaria vaccine that will take four years to produce and save 20 million lives and bed nets which will save 5 million lives a year, how do you make that calculation? How do you assess which lives are more worth saving?”
After engaging him in a brief conversation he revealed that he had been asked the question as part of a job interview for a social consultancy based in Geneva. The consultancy told him they were asked that question all the time, by various NGOs and governments.
Photos I have missed; memories I have made
Barcelona is cloudy today; thank you Nature. Makes me miss the roulette of San Francisco weather...
Lounging around on a terrace on top of of the Eixample.
Once I read that Spain is actually in the wrong time zone.
Neverending conversations or segmented reality?
you & me, that's something. we are work in process. not defined; in discovery mood. happy anniversary to us #11
Gaudi's Color Gamut
On cities that were made for friendship