#143: Name aid

I’ve been taken aback by my own ability to ignore people who are suffering. When I was a child, tv pictures started appearing in our living room of other small children dying for lack of food (always helped on their way by ‘governments’ from all over the world).

It’s been established by experimental psychologists that it’s much easier to be cruel or neglectful to someone who is anonymous.


Today’s invention is a new use for multicoloured plastic letters, suitable for stringing together to form a simple necklace.

These would be supplied to famine-threatened villages in a big tub. Children would be encouraged to grab these and make necklaces spelling out their names (and even maybe simple messages/greetings).

When the cameras arrive to document their ‘hopeless plight’, these people would be identifiable as individuals, rather than a mass of foreigners who are impossible to help. This might provoke all sorts of people to do a Geldof.

Maybe the necklaces will soon carry personal web addresses, in a further attempt to overcome the danger of anonymity.

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