Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

This Social Innovation Game just isn't Fair

Exactly as it should be. Perfectly emulates the game of life. Life isn't fair.
  • Is it fair that the poorest country in the western hemisphere just got flattened by a natural disaster?
  • Is it fair that Chile's earthquake was even bigger and diverted world attention?
  • Is it fair that that the new girl got the good chair next to the window you wanted?
  • Is it fair you child ignores you because when you answered her question truthfully she didn't like it?
  • Is it fair I'm a white middle class male living in the most beautiful country in the world?
  • Is it fair that your village has clean drinking water but the next door village has none?
  • Is it fair that you have the perfect innovation, destined to save the world but you probably won't share in the Evoke prizes to make it happen?
Alain de Botton says it way better. Watch it through to the end. The Q&A is worth listening to.



As he says, we must continue to strive to be fair but recognize that due to the random nature of life, it will never be.

Perhaps we can use this fact in the design of a tool that drives compassion into a system.


Views: 33

Comment by Amos Meeks on March 6, 2010 at 10:29pm
I think it's important to consider, as Alain says, what success is for you, specifically what it is for you in EVOKE. For some people, it may be getting to the top of the leader board, but I think that for the majority of people here, success is doing something, helping someone, meeting the people here, etc.
Comment by Michele Baron on March 17, 2010 at 11:06pm
We can all do our share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and all frustrations and all disappointments. (Abraham Heshel)
If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. If you and your friends do not despise the small work, a million people will remove a lot of suffering. That is the secret. Start right now. (Sister Chan Khong)
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. (Confucius)
In neez bogzarad -- this also shall pass (Persian), Sana'l of Ghaznl
He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity. Ben Johnson

People have grappled with concepts of fairness, justice, equity, adversity, resilience, and inspiration since language enabled us to record and exchange thoughts. At least, in this forum, we are striving also not just to philosophize intangibles, but to achieve, accomplish, innovate--in the matrix of EVOKE and in the proving grounds of the world
Comment by John D. Boyden on March 19, 2010 at 6:29pm
+1 vision :)
Comment by Jane A.W. on March 23, 2010 at 8:52pm
The fundamental difference is in how one 'uses' the truism that life isn't fair - do you use it as an acknowledgment of challenges and difficulties and continue forward - or do you use it as an excuse to justify one's own privileged place.
Comment by Michael Texeira on March 23, 2010 at 9:33pm
equality is a concept that has meaning only in mathematics. in a complex system, equality simply doesn't exist. separate but equal is one of the fundamental errors which is corrupting the human unconscious, leading to a lot of dispersed energy in the attempt to fix something which isn't broken. dynamic response in a fluctuating system cannot work if the point of comparison is also in flux. it does not make sense to compare Bongomusa to Panamericana at all, since from one moment to the next, both of them have changed in vast and undefinable ways. which Bongomusa would you compare to which Panamericana? at which point in time (which is illusion) would you decide set as the point to make the comparison.

once equality as a concept is truly gotten rid of, we can begin concerning ourselves with being present and responding appropriately to each individual situation which arises, something which cannot happen when the mind is busy comparing and expending energy attempting to create an impossible state...equality.
Comment by Greg Stevenson on March 24, 2010 at 2:29am
Thanks @Sean. Being a privileged white middle-classed male comes with it's own set of responsibilities. It is different from the responsibilities of the extremely wealthy where philanthropic systems are the order of the day. Gill Gates foundation Case foundation etc.

Social equality typically comes from the middle-cla****. They are the only ones with time to think. The poor are too busy surviving and the wealthy are too busy making money.

The responsibility lays with the middle-cla**** to step outside of themselves and look at the bigger picture, to look at what has been and what is likely to be unless we change. It has been philosophies and systems that have got us to where we are now and it will be philosophies and systems that will lead us into the future. Unless the philosophies include compassion at their core and the systems provide a mechanism to deliver acts of compassion we are in for a fearful future. Fortunately, for my own peace of mind, I have an invention that delivers just that.
Comment by Jessica Gomes on March 24, 2010 at 2:43am
very inspiring. i loved it. the blog comments are so insightful! +1 for vision
Comment by Greg Stevenson on March 24, 2010 at 4:00am
@Sean Exactly, yes non-religious.

Yes an invention I call Kahatika
Comment by Michael Texeira on March 24, 2010 at 7:43am
AV, I'm afraid you've interpreted my comments through your own filter, which apparently has a great deal of anger in it. That anger is no doubt rooted in your perception of inequality, and that anger, no doubt compromises your effectiveness and you ability to reach a state of inner peace. In a state of inner peace, you cease to manifest conflict and drama into your life, and your entire being becomes a source of peace.

Just because the same statement might be made by another person with malevolent intent does not mean the information is invalid. It has long been the pattern for those with malevolent aims to co-opt truths and use them to distort meaning.

Nothing with ever make anything in this world fair. Fairness is a mental construction. It does not exist. Look at any natural system in the world and tell me where fairness plays its part. I'm not saying this is good or bad. It just is. You can interpret my comment as being a justification, but it is not. The most socially active and capable people I've ever met were people who had discarded the idea of justice and fairness, and were working towards something higher. The people I know who are working towards justice and fairness are mostly always fighting something, complaining about something, angry and dissatisfied no matter how much they accomplish. This is all. I'm not saying don't do work for the betterment of all sentient beings. I'm saying don't do it from a space of comparison to some non-existent point of reference.
Comment by Turil Cronburg on March 31, 2010 at 12:16am
I love Alain de Botton!

Fairness is an illusion. For life to exist, there must be imbalances that roll like waves through the universe. Without imbalance the universe would be static, dead, and just plain no fun at all!

For love to exist, there must be fear.

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