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By alan LaBudde
Many people are to put it one way "shy" when interacting with people who seem in need on the street, and in the opposite spectrum put off by the removed nature of donating to charities.

I would propose a type of WebCam avatar that would allow people to interact in real time with people in need. Probably initially in the third world. I think many people if they could hide behind the mask that couldn't be torn off of a Santa Claus would be much more free with the distribution of toys or medicines, food, etc. Another person acting as an intelligent avatar via a real-time webcam would be just the sort of shock aborber needed by many people who are embarassed by the word love one to one but would like to play the game anonymously and see other peoples reactions to their generosity.

Initially this webcam could be set up in a third world country where a small donation could go the farthest. It might have to wait for technology to catch up to be truly mobile but could be set up in clinics initially. I think of this as gaining popularity in the same way as a fantasy world like Everquest has online. People could hire others for dollars a day in the third world to build fantasy schools, clinics etc. and maybe even art projects that at the least wouldn't be damaging. I could go on with my own personal ideas but I'd like to allow your imagination to roam.

Reward: credit as possible originator
That would cost to much money, it would be better to give them , the money so they can buy food or fix there house not to spend it on things like this,
Its a good idea but not just yet, ;-7
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By Michael D. Grissom
We've been throwing money at these third world problems for many years and It continues to get worse. If you analyze these problems and their causes, you'll find a completely different set of much better solutions that have nothing to do with food donations.
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By Steve
I agree. One of the main problems is most likely that, on a global scale, the Third World countries are still throwing money at us rather than vice versa.

However, I do think that Alan's idea has elements which sound extremely promising. Ater all, there are a lot of situations (war, famine, disasters) where analyzing the problems won't help the people in need, at least not in the short term. It's a well known fact that the wave of donations doesn't start before some camera team has visited the place and broadcasted the images of injuries and/or starving children all over the world. So obviously, helping people imagine who and what they are donating for does help a lot. Wouldn't moving the whole thing to an interactive level be the logical next step?
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By Michael D. Grissom
I agree, war and natural disasters need all the help the world can give. I was referring to those situations that are caused by all the other self-inflicted causes that money only makes worse (in the long run). I was intentionally being very ambiguous because I have always avoided getting into the details of any discussion that I can't possibly debate effectively ie; religion, politics and, sex). So, the most I usually will ever do is pose a question or two that encourages others to examine the facts a little more closely.

There is no doubt in my mind that putting these destitute kids in major chat rooms with translators via satellite linked laptops would greatly improve their chances.

BTW Steve, I got your email and will reply as soon as I finish testing some other possible variations in my computers configuration.
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By alan LaBudde
In response to Steve this webcam would be completely interactive technology permitting in the future. I originally imagined it as a vitamen scooter where you get an old guy who looks like Albert Schweitzer ,spelling?, to run around and distribute/interact in real time.

In response to Mac Daddy...the investment might be worth it as Americans like thrills and spend ALOT of money on them, this Samaritan Thrill ride might entice a whole new class of people who were left unmoved before by depressing junk mail type solicitations, seeing a group of kids dance around might be fun for many people and you could disengage more easily. You might also start with an organization that has an established infrastructure. or spin it as a non interactive tv show like Peacecorp-Survivor a show which has little substance just for lack of imagination I believe.

Of course the ease of disengagement aspect might cut both ways and be seen as very crass towards the side of those being engaged. I can imagine other ethical pitfalls as well but perhaps the experiment might be worth it. An American Citizen Charity giver embedded in Iraq via a real time avatar might be a very interesting experiment in the democratic distribution of aid.
By Kevino
My Nephew (who works at Radio Shack) is, and has been working with the latest mobile-phone stuff.
I am CERTAIN that phone-cams will be the standard of the future, if they are not already the majority of new cell-phone purchases.
The cost of both equipment and services is dropping dramatically.

I agree wholeheartedly with your idea to provide a 'connection' between people-in-need, with people in shopping malls.. restaurants.. their own home..
That connection being entirely anonymous if desired, entirely real-time, completely real in the sense of gift-help-value to the persons involved.

We can easily picture handing change to someone in a parking lot.

Imagine being able to easily hand a child in Brazil a new schoolbook, or a meal..??!!
And to hear them say "thank you" .. !!

The cost of such a service can be very, very inexpensive with today's technology.
And the minimal costs could be raised with donation/funding.

The people 'on-the-scene' are already there! Volunteer workers just waiting for such a program. Just provide the 'connection' and WE ARE THERE. We all are there to interact and feel the real joy of sharing with a real person.


Some ideas MUST be realized.

By sevenizm
Ok ok ok. I tried to post this before but something went wrong, so if it pops up again I apolgize.

First I want to say this is a great idea. I think that the money should go to the person ACTING like someones puppet. Many people can do this all day and get paid for it.

Voyerizm has been hot for years and that's just watching in third person. Now you can virtually perform in first person.

Here we go.

ACTOR: the one perfoming the actions

DIRECTOR: the one giving the commands

PRICE: amount paid from DIRECTOR to ACTOR

AUDIENCE: anyone watching the events on a computer monitor

The Director sits at home and watches the monitor. The Actor is somewhere like a mall or beach or someplace interesting. The Actor is wearing camera glasses with a mic, earbuds(to hear the commands) and a transmiter/cel phone. (To send the images in real time). The gear is made to look like normal everyday clothing and assecories.

Rules: Director gives the commands and the price willing to pay

Actor accepts the price and perfoms the act.

That was the simple version. Here's the technicalities.

Text to speech software so the Actor can hear the commands in his native language

Anyone in the Audience can become a director by just giving a command

If more than one Director, the most commands wins. Example:
Director #1 commands "sit down" $1
Director #2 commands "run straight ahead" $2
Director #3 commands "turn around" $1
Director #4 commands "sit down" $3

The Actor only hears is "sit down". (More people wanted him to "sit down" than for him to "turn around"). He also gets only 1 dollar. The lowest price offered

The Price is agreed to before the action. The money is held in ecrow until all parties are satisfied.

Since there can be more than 1 director the Price can be divided amongst all who issued the command. In the example above Director 1 and 4 both pay $0.50 (fifty cents) apiece.

The actions are recorded on a server somewhere just in case there is a problem moderators will be availible.

The Actor is responsible for all actions. He has the right to refuse.

This can go on and on. Imagine wearing this when you go on vacation. Get paid to do the things other people want to do. Of course the *beep* indusrty will absorb this technology. People will wear these things in nightclubs, bars, class, parks...

If you think reality TV is sick, wait til the AVITAR channel hits cable.
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