I've often disparaged various aspects of modern technology and globalization, and I still believe that it's a shame that silly memes like Gangnam style are much more likely to propagate themselves across the globalized world than are important philosophical insights or basic literacy. But I do appreciate certain technologies that, at least in my personal case, have really improved life for me (and I hope for those people I affect, as well). I have a Skype number that allows people from my home country to make direct calls to my cellphone at little charge to them. I can share my ideas and convictions with anyone who cares to listen thanks to my blog. And now, after successfully financing part of an agronomic experiment that I hope will benefit farmers in one corner of Colombia, I have been convinced of the utility of crowdfunding. So even if I continue to poke fun at the Gangnam Styles and the Can I Haz Cheezborgers of our modern existence, I also must acknowledge the potential of global communications to work good in remote corners of the world.
Of course the technology that enables crowdfunding would accomplish nothing were it not for the generous people who donate to a cause they find worthy. Here is the final batch of shout-outs to the amazing and generous people that have donated to our achira experiment:
Mary Walsdorf is a world traveler—most recently February in Myanmar—and a grade school teacher in the Chicago Public School system. Generations of students bear her stamp—a love of reading and the ability to do it well.
Martin Mahoney is an amateur actor when he isn't fixing computer and technical problems at Northwestern University.
Dru Alejandro works at the US State Department, having just finished a stint in the Consular Section of Monterrey, Mexico. He is a voracious (at times even undiscriminating!) reader and is generally game for doing anything.
Chidi Osuji is a talented engineer who lives his life with a mixture of piety, irreverence, an open mind, and a love for good food.
Nicholas Kryczka is an intrepid traveler, an enthusiastic teacher of US history, and soon to be a PhD student of history at the University of Chicago.
Bobbie Johnson is an old hand in writing and publishing, having worked in areas as diverse as school textbooks, children's literature, and scientific articles.
Erica Plut is an expert on religions and moral education, has managed fecal functions at high altitude without toilet paper, and currently dedicates herself to the challenge of raising well-adjusted, unpretentious children in the midst of the high-voltage Silicon Valley landscape.