Completely Different, Part II

April 2005

…the interesting cut.

So I thought I’d give some reasons that I want to go work for Engineers Without Borders this coming year.

Initial reason that comes to mind (I am really shooting from the hip here, I have no plan for this post) is the fact that I can sit here in New Jersey and blog on and on and on about how we should be reaching out to the developing world and helping them to make the transition from the “gap” to the “core” (see Thomas PM Barnett) and how we should be doing it in a way that is going to be sustainable and environmentally sound and help to connect them with the developed world and all these other buzzwords. The bottom line is that I have no idea if this is actually something that works, that has real benefits, unless I go and do it. Theoretically, this should be a good thing. But right now all I am doing is framing scripting this whole story. There might be empirical evidence that this sort of thing is good, and it certainly makes sense. But I have become convinced that there are plenty of people out there who are watching this happen. This occurred a while ago, namely when we had our research workshop for NES 265 (Political and Economic Development of the Middle East) and they put together this research guide for us and I was blown away by it. At that point (March or so) I was thinking, wow, somebody should really go into these developing countries and look at all of these factors, and then maybe we can have a basis for acting on that data. Game over after I saw all this. People already DO. This was my first realization that I had vastly underestimated just how big a number 6 billion is. There are SO many people. Even if a small percentage of 6 billion people are concerned with and working on this problem, that’s still a lot of people, and they have already done a lot.

This leaves me at the next logical step, actually going and doing something. This is another area where a lot of people are working. There are a huge number of organizations that are working on this sort of thing. Engineers Without Borders is just one. The Peace Corps, if done right, can be one as well. I want to do something like this, find out what works, what is possible, and what is just empty, buzzword talk.

This is going to get refined, of course, but that’s the “short” and immediate answer. For now I am going to head over to the filibuster.