Sunday, 20 March 2011

I sent a box in place of me

This Friday chap was playing in Jurnets Bar

in Norwich. It's a great venue (in a cosy crypt) where every Friday night a handful of different bands and musicians play a few numbers each. I have had some amazing nights there over the years - sometimes because of the quality of the music and sometimes because of the wonderful crowd it attracts.

Unfortunately though, this week I wasn't able to go but because I knew a particular friend of mine was going who I was sad to miss, I sent her a box in place of me.

The box was a yogi tea bag box painted purple and labelled:

Sadly I cannot make it tonight so I have sent:
1) a better version of me and
2) some things that will be more fun than me

The 'me' she got was:

And inside the box for her to play with was....

• Some play dough to make a new nose for me
• A yoga position to try
• A post-it to stick on her husband's back (It sad 'don't kick me')
• Poo Poem
• A bouncy ball to bounce at your leisure
• A photo scavenger hunt – I want the photos on FB tomorrow morning (yet to get the results. Suspect I might not get them)
• Some food (Folded up paper plate with sausages, egg and chips drawn on it)
• A fruiteller
• A glow in the dark sperm key ring that doesn’t glow – everyone should have one. (From my days of working in sexual health)
• A Zebedee fancy dress outfit (a spring)
• This home-made top trump card to give away > > > > >

I'd rather get all that than me - much more fun - although not entirely unlike a night with me actually there. What would need to be sent in your box to replace you?

A country's empathy quotient?!

Yesterday I was reading a version of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth

written for young people. (I like books for young people - especially when they have lots of pictures) This book is clear, cuts-to-the-chase and spells out what needs to happen. I have always thought the title was spot on for this work!

Anyway it got me thinking - linked to my post Sustainability

about different countries' readiness to embrace these issues. For example, a country that is in a state of civil unrest, that has starving people in abundance and heaps of corruption is unlikely to have the green agenda high up on its list of priorities. It takes a certain level of some kind of development for this readiness that I was pondering.

I know there is a Corruption Perception Index

for countries but I was wondering if there could be a more complex index for showing a country's readiness to embrace the sustainability agenda. It would need to take an awful lot into account as an awful lot can inhibit this progress.

So then I got to thinking what would be needed for a country to be poised for meaningfully addressing sustainability. For a starting place, you would need to care about future generations. That ultimately takes more empathy than many can muster. So I have decided to name this arbitrary, playing with ideas, slightly silly concept a an 'Empathy Quotient.'

It's also hard to judge countries on their attitudes (although some countries are undoubtedly more liberal than others) so maybe this quotient would be calculated on what a country actually does and has rather than what it says it does or what treaties it has signed - to get a real flavour of the country's concern for others. So I guess you would look at things like:

• level of corruption
• range of inequality within country
• justifications for participating in wars
• weapon manufacture
• treatment of criminals
• how much education is prioritised
• health care provision
• influence of the media on the masses
• levels of democracy and power wielded and by whom!
• etc -

Anyway, I suspect an academic somewhere has done this!