Kiva.org – Allowing Individuals to Do MicroFinance

Microfinance is a big deal these days.  The principle behind it is that one of the biggest barriers to rising from poverty is initial capital.  Many poor people run small businesses that could making much more money if they had, not a gift, but a loan.  This loan provides the initial start up costs that allow people to expand their buisiness and eventually get out of poverty.  Read more on it here: Wikipedia on Microfinance.  (Dammit.  Apparently Wikipedia thinks the entry on microfinance sounds too much like an ad.  So instead, here is an article by the Economist on microfinance.)

So I found this website called Kiva.org from a personal finance blog I read called “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”.  This site allows you to personally make Paypal loans to entrepreneurs in other countries.  You can read a profile on who you are giving a loan to.

I made a $25 loan to María Pilco, who has been running a General Store in Equador since she was young.   My$25 is a portion of the $925 dollars total that she is asking for.  When she gets all the money, then the loan will begin.  It would be repaid in 6-10 months.

I think you can see her profile here.

I think that microfinance is in a way, better than charity.  You are forcing people to be accountable with the money that they recieve, and I think that that will make a big difference on the results they get.

Schwarzenegger Fights Global Warming … with his fist.

Ok, so not with his fists, but with a bill.

The measure passed by the Democrat-dominated legislature last month caps the state’s man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The most populous U.S. state seeks to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a cut of around 25 percent.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 is also a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which has opposed mandatory caps to fight climate change, from a state that has often led the way nationally in new environmental standards.

This is one of the reasons why I love California. Schwarzenegger is a badass. I have a feeling that’s what some people say about Bush, but Arnold was an immigrant who came to America and actually DID STUFF. He was Mr. Olympia. He’s star red in huge blockbusters. Even if this isn’t the stuff that govenor’s should be made of, its a step up from drunkenly failing at life while Daddy pays the bills AND THEN becoming governor of Texas.

PS I read State of Fear by Michale Crighton. Very interesting. Will blog later.

Why Smart People Need to Think for Themselves.

Most of the info adapted from the documentary The Smartest Guys in the Room. and from the wikipedia entry on Enron

When Jeffery Skilling was asked by a Harvard Professor if he was smart, the alleged response was “I’m fucking smart” (Damn, thats a lot of confidence). This combination of hubris and belief in big ideas was critical to the downfall of Enron, at one time the largest and most powerful energy company in the world. Through a method known as marks to market booking, Skilling was able to record projection FUTURE revenues as current profit. (When I was making the budget for my boss, even when we book a deal for 100k, we have to spread out the money over a year to make sure everything is even). Continue reading…

Finding Yourself – Day 7

That’s it people. You’ve figured it all out. You now truly know who you really are.

WRONG.

The truth is, it’s never really over. I’ve just gotten you started on a path that will last the rest of your life. You never truly “find yourself”.

The last post was about being honest, and expressing your true self. Knowledge is useless if it’s not used. In this case, you have self-knowledge that you are obligated, that you need to express honesty. You cannot hide it or just settle. Never settle.

http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html – conceptual, more idea based

http://chronicle.com/jobs/2002/11/2002110401c.htm – more practical nitty gritty job based research

Other places of interest:

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/66/mylife.html

http://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your-Parachute-2007/dp/1580087949/sr=1-1/qid=1158120783/ref=sr_1_1/104-3350218-3700757?ie=UTF8&s=books