Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The gift that keeps on giving (infusions of science and skepticism)

I really like Ideas for Africa, a local civil society project aiming to get books about science and skepticism to as wide an audience as possible, using a simple "read it and pass it on" model. In their own words:
Each book released by Ideas for Africa is given away freely, with only one condition: that the recipient pass it on to someone else when they are finished reading it. Each recipient receives the book under this same condition.
It's not going to single-bookedly save the whole world instantly, but it's still a great, worthwhile idea. Imagine you have no decent library and not many books at home, probably very little education or general background in science, and then someone just hands you one of the best introductory books you could hope to get, at no charge and with no time pressure, just a request to keep the book moving along to others when you're done with it. It's a fantastic idea, and I'm proud to have thrown a sizeable chunk of my puny salary at them, because the more books they can afford, the better the odds that one will reach someone who's going to have their life profoundly changed for the better by it.

Now they've got a new idea too, just in time for the compulsory gift-giving season: Gift Cards! You can make a donation in someone else's name and let them know with a little gift card saying so. It's perfect for the person who already has too much shit anyway, or for someone who'll get really pissed off by the spreading of secular ideas, or for someone like me who just thinks that science and skepticism are really important things to teach. Give me one of these gift cards, and I'll like you more than I currently do. Even if it's a really small amount, because every little bit will help.

Plus, for you rich foreign devils, it's going to benefit kids in Africa! How exotic, how important, how suitable for boasting about to your friends! And you should find the exchange rate quite favourable at the moment.

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