Third world. Hippie. Redneck. Shithole. Religious. Crazy. Ghetto.

715538351c6be6d67ba658fed4322fec?s=47 Tal Raviv
December 31, 2018
630

Third world. Hippie. Redneck. Shithole. Religious. Crazy. Ghetto.

Last June I went to Malawi for vacation. Naturally, I figured in 2.5 weeks I could probably solve Africa's problems along the way. That's not exactly the way things turned out.

715538351c6be6d67ba658fed4322fec?s=128

Tal Raviv

December 31, 2018
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  1. 4.

    @talraviv talraviv.org this past june i traveled to Malawi Wait,

    don’t you know where that is? That’s okay, neither did I.
  2. 18.

    @talraviv talraviv.org how i traveled •I went alone •I took

    public transport nearly everywhere •I talked to the people sitting next to me
  3. 41.

    @talraviv talraviv.org I thought at least by the end id

    better appreciate my life in San Francisco
  4. 50.
  5. 51.

    @talraviv talraviv.org like, actually on the lake he was fishing

    in his canoe and I was paddling around my hostel’s free board
  6. 52.

    @talraviv talraviv.org like, actually on the lake he was fishing

    in his canoe and I was paddling around my hostel’s free board we talked for an hour
  7. 53.

    @talraviv talraviv.org like, actually on the lake he was fishing

    in his canoe and I was paddling around my hostel’s free board we talked for an hour and I got sunburnt
  8. 58.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death
  9. 59.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts
  10. 60.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration
  11. 61.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate
  12. 62.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate • Financially: The heads of each family
  13. 63.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate • Financially: The heads of each family contribute money
  14. 64.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate • Financially: The heads of each family contribute money to a common village account.
  15. 65.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate • Financially: The heads of each family contribute money to a common village account. They can take out at 10% interest
  16. 66.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s some ways Chindozwa works: • Socially: extended

    families take care of one another’s children, esp in case of death • Judicially: There’s government courts, but there’s 3+ levels of community arbitration before it reaches the magistrate • Financially: The heads of each family contribute money to a common village account. They can take out at 10% interest to invest in housing/agriculture/business/etc.
  17. 68.

    @talraviv talraviv.org to me, that’s quite cool esp for a

    village that even my taxi driver wrote off
  18. 74.

    @talraviv talraviv.org He started his career in business/sales/ marketing roles

    20 years ago, at the age of 30 he decided to become a pastor
  19. 76.

    @talraviv talraviv.org He is mainly community supported and he works

    on substance abuse and reducing the birthrate
  20. 91.

    @talraviv talraviv.org People… they find tribes? Like sometimes around sports.

    Or religions. A lot of people just don’t have a tribe.
  21. 105.

    @talraviv talraviv.org If you buy everything with money it sounds

    like you always need a dollar in your pocket
  22. 118.

    @talraviv talraviv.org paradigm shifts don’t happen to me every day

    certainly not to my fundamental life assumptions
  23. 126.

    @talraviv talraviv.org When I was on the Ilala, an overnight

    ferry running the same route for more than 70 years
  24. 127.

    @talraviv talraviv.org A fellow passenger mentioned that Malawi was just

    shy of being the poorest country in the world
  25. 130.
  26. 131.

    @talraviv talraviv.org On Wikipedia, I learned that Malawi’s GDP per

    capita was less than Haiti, North Korea, Afghanistan,
  27. 132.

    @talraviv talraviv.org On Wikipedia, I learned that Malawi’s GDP per

    capita was less than Haiti, North Korea, Afghanistan, or South Sudan.
  28. 140.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Sure I knew about its public health problems

    agricultural volatility governmental corruption
  29. 145.
  30. 158.
  31. 159.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So I took a step back and thought

    what is GDP per capita anyways it’s how much money moves around
  32. 160.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So I took a step back and thought

    what is GDP per capita anyways it’s how much money moves around divided by the number of people
  33. 161.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So I took a step back and thought

    what is GDP per capita anyways it’s how much money moves around divided by the number of people as a proxy for value
  34. 162.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So I took a step back and thought

    what is GDP per capita anyways it’s how much money moves around divided by the number of people as a proxy for value and economic success
  35. 165.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So if value is created, but never expresses

    itself in currency… (and I don’t even mean barter)
  36. 168.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Like when Charles serves as a headman/judge or

    takes care of his brothers’ kids or catches a Chomba fish in the lake
  37. 170.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Or when Pastor Alick grows his own food

    or his family receives help from the local community
  38. 183.
  39. 184.

    @talraviv talraviv.org https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Painted_Ladies.jpg Yes, America. Where there’s an app for

    buying groceries, hitchhiking, finding love, buying weed, booking a therapist, and catching up with your friends’ days.
  40. 192.

    @talraviv talraviv.org https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Painted_Ladies.jpg Yes, America. Whose most successful people are

    far from their families, over-specialized, & lonely as fuck. Lonelier than they even know.
  41. 193.

    @talraviv talraviv.org https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Painted_Ladies.jpg Yes, America. Whose most successful people are

    far from their families, over-specialized, & lonely as fuck. Lonelier than they even know. Because they don’t even know what to compare to.
  42. 195.
  43. 196.

    @talraviv talraviv.org A country whose cultural elite’s best attempts at

    solving this include leaving everything behind to go to a desert
  44. 197.

    @talraviv talraviv.org A country whose cultural elite’s best attempts at

    solving this include leaving everything behind to go to a desert and live in primitive camps
  45. 198.

    @talraviv talraviv.org A country whose cultural elite’s best attempts at

    solving this include leaving everything behind to go to a desert and live in primitive camps and provide value to one another
  46. 199.

    @talraviv talraviv.org A country whose cultural elite’s best attempts at

    solving this include leaving everything behind to go to a desert and live in primitive camps and provide value to one another without money
  47. 208.

    @talraviv talraviv.org WITTGENSTEIN’S RULER “Don’t just use your beliefs to

    measure reality, but also use reality to measure your beliefs.
  48. 209.

    @talraviv talraviv.org WITTGENSTEIN’S RULER “Don’t just use your beliefs to

    measure reality, but also use reality to measure your beliefs. If the idiot keeps getting it right,
  49. 210.

    @talraviv talraviv.org WITTGENSTEIN’S RULER “Don’t just use your beliefs to

    measure reality, but also use reality to measure your beliefs. If the idiot keeps getting it right, it might not be them who is the idiot.”
  50. 211.

    @talraviv talraviv.org WITTGENSTEIN’S RULER “Don’t just use your beliefs to

    measure reality, but also use reality to measure your beliefs. If the idiot keeps getting it right, it might not be them who is the idiot.” @george__mack via Twitter (paraphrasing Nasim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness)
  51. 216.

    @talraviv talraviv.org something i observed when traveling around Malawi I

    was one of very few travelers there on holiday.
  52. 217.

    @talraviv talraviv.org something i observed when traveling around Malawi I

    was one of very few travelers there on holiday. Almost all foreigners I met served as volunteers.
  53. 218.

    @talraviv talraviv.org something i observed when traveling around Malawi I

    was one of very few travelers there on holiday. Almost all foreigners I met served as volunteers. Others were doctors in training from Europe,
  54. 219.

    @talraviv talraviv.org something i observed when traveling around Malawi I

    was one of very few travelers there on holiday. Almost all foreigners I met served as volunteers. Others were doctors in training from Europe, and some were researchers.
  55. 222.

    @talraviv talraviv.org by the end i was thinking it makes

    as much sense for Malawians to volunteer in the US
  56. 223.

    @talraviv talraviv.org by the end i was thinking it makes

    as much sense for Malawians to volunteer in the US as it does for us
  57. 224.

    @talraviv talraviv.org by the end i was thinking it makes

    as much sense for Malawians to volunteer in the US as it does for us to send volunteers there
  58. 233.

    @talraviv talraviv.org “Africa taught me to be patient, cautious, a

    bystander and eavesdropper; not a high-profile philanthropist with big schemes
  59. 234.

    @talraviv talraviv.org “Africa taught me to be patient, cautious, a

    bystander and eavesdropper; not a high-profile philanthropist with big schemes but just a humble helper.”
  60. 235.

    @talraviv talraviv.org “Africa taught me to be patient, cautious, a

    bystander and eavesdropper; not a high-profile philanthropist with big schemes but just a humble helper.” Paul Theroux Peace Corps Volunteer, Malawi 1963
  61. 249.
  62. 250.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So. That's when I started asking myself, hm,

    what other labels does my techie-city-ivy-league- educated
  63. 251.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So. That's when I started asking myself, hm,

    what other labels does my techie-city-ivy-league- educated-secular
  64. 252.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So. That's when I started asking myself, hm,

    what other labels does my techie-city-ivy-league- educated-secular-liberal
  65. 253.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So. That's when I started asking myself, hm,

    what other labels does my techie-city-ivy-league- educated-secular-liberal- urban bubble
  66. 254.

    @talraviv talraviv.org So. That's when I started asking myself, hm,

    what other labels does my techie-city-ivy-league- educated-secular-liberal- urban bubble use?
  67. 257.

    @talraviv talraviv.org Whatever they are, even if they’re not 100%

    my values, there’s probably something there for me to learn.
  68. 260.

    @talraviv talraviv.org If there’s a label, there’s probably a bit

    of truth there. They’ve probably figured out something that I haven’t.
  69. 263.

    @talraviv talraviv.org If GDP per capita turned out to be

    kind of bullshit, what other metrics do we use
  70. 264.

    @talraviv talraviv.org If GDP per capita turned out to be

    kind of bullshit, what other metrics do we use to quietly, implicitly
  71. 265.

    @talraviv talraviv.org If GDP per capita turned out to be

    kind of bullshit, what other metrics do we use to quietly, implicitly marginalize ideas?
  72. 274.
  73. 275.

    @talraviv talraviv.org When I hear my brain apply a label,

    instead of looking the other way, I need to make a habit
  74. 276.

    @talraviv talraviv.org When I hear my brain apply a label,

    instead of looking the other way, I need to make a habit of getting curious.
  75. 277.

    @talraviv talraviv.org When I hear my brain apply a label,

    instead of looking the other way, I need to make a habit of getting curious. What’s hidden there?