Archive for June, 2006

For Miss Missy

It’s strange to think that Missy Eliot has probably touched more women than say Cat Power. While Cat might be big in Japan, in the rest of the world she pails in comparassion to Missy’s thump. On the way to Atlanta with Matt and Zach they confess, “we really just like Missy Eliot.” Doesn’t everyone? Isn’t that what M.I.A. is about? Miss Eliot for indie kids (with a political sunshower to boot). For Wei Wei such is the case. Miss Eliot rocks her world, even though when I explain what she means by freak she looks a little askane. For Kei Lee however, who’s eyes reveal an insticate inner world to complicated to imagine, Cat Power probably rules the roast. Kuai Lee could move to New York tomorrow and fit in, her eyes show a humane thought and density that draws one like any good story to it’s roots, but like all the dense women who’s lives I’d love to be romantically entangled with, it won’t happen. She probably has a boyfriend and shows absolutely no interest in me. Wei Wei on the other hand goes the usual way. I start at her and then she comes over and turns out she speaks decent english. Her sister comes who has that slight desperation of a 30 year old Asian woman, she is still looking for that man, she tells that in Taiwan 30 is old for a woman. She works at a japanese wine bar, and while we’re talking Yo Yo for Casa De something comes over another J-bar in Taipei. Yo Yo is flamingly gay and is incredibly friendly too. But here’s my point, A. I’m beginning to realize that Taipei is a small town. It’s subways close at 12 so here at 3 a.m. in Dunhua which is so Japanese it’s almost Tokoyo (Wei Wei and her sister discuss their foreign friend in Japanese) so us local have all gathered in the new york cheese cake bar, Yo Yo from the bar I was at last night (where he flirted with some japanese boys and their 40 year old wives) to Kua Lee from Zaka (which is the hip coffe bar next door that eternally is tuned to tech or indie house) and here I am paging through the new york review of books, we’re all living near each other ending up in the only dive still open around 3 a.m. there’s a social contract in which the locals all condede this is the bar that will take their business after they’re down doing their own business for the day. But Kua Lee is the type of girl I would like to date, she is complex, her dress implies she has morals and possibly political views, and one gets the feeling she probably nestles next to a good book on occasion, diligently underling the passages most relevant to her as I do in the NYT Book review through articles on the palestian-israel conflict. But she has a boyfriend who’s slightly complex, but not as much so. On the other hand, I score more with a hip-hop enthuased college student who’s training to be nurse. Wei Wei has a simplicity and loviness that makes her perfect for anyone. She’s the all around girl, except she’s possibly a little chubby by Taiwanese standards (which is to say she’s nearly aneroxic by American standards) I will pronbably strike out with her too, but she invites me to come back tomorrow afternoon and give her a cd. Why is it that Missy pervades our lives? Wei Wei and I discuss our favorite Missy tracks, I pop Gnarls Barkley on, and everyone agrees it’s a good song. Her sister disseapears to the woman’s room and I pay and get ready to go. When I get home my ipod’s menu button has broken, meaning it has become a one album machine (the album Devenadra Banhart’s Nino Rojo not a bad album to be stuck on). I can not make a mix CD, can’t put Can We get Freaky Tonight next to Sean Price and maybe some M.I.A. for the hell of it. My laptop is stuck in limbo, the mouse no longer works. One block away a girl who’s life revolves around the chunky concepts of romance and health care sits next to a girl who’s sosphitication will forever isolate her from anyone who might find that exact isolation comforting…

June 25, 2006 at 3:24 am Leave a comment

links for 2006-06-24

June 24, 2006 at 3:18 pm

links for 2006-06-23

June 23, 2006 at 3:18 pm

links for 2006-06-22

June 22, 2006 at 3:18 pm

links for 2006-06-21

June 21, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Kiva updates and comments

I think in my mind I was a lot harsher on Kiva when it opened than what I actually wrote here.  But Kiva has expanded (it's partenered with NGOs in Bulgaria, Cambodia, and Palestine, amongst others) which means that increasingly NGOs in these countries are starting to work in the opposite way they traditionally have, they're taking the people around them's ideas and investing in. A similar philosophy has inpsired the Acumen fund and others recently. My original problem was the limitation of scope Kiva seemed like a bit of a moral washing exercise in which the profile and journal of someone was listed, but the archecture of Kiva seemed to ensure that it would limit the number and hence effectiveness of your money to a few individuals. It was in another words, a kinda selective sponsoring of people. My second problem was that it's not a real bank, after all actual growth often comes from the ability of local institutions to further growth. The later problem is something that will probably be answered by an increase in business (a problem that Kiva is obviously helping) the former problem seems to be going away. As the number of partners expands, Kiva is beginning to operate like any other loan organization, it has offices and takes applications and then the lender evaluates the client. I know this might seem cold, but I'm just trying to break it down to it's component parts.

The folks behind Kiva are also training people to be able to post to Kiva with out an agent getting in the way. In one video on their incontext blog, it shows them training people how to get e-mail, and then register for Kiva. One thing that does strike me about this example is that is e-mail needed? After all cell phones are far more popular and cheaper than computers and internet access. In other words, could someone register for kiva, put in their mobile number, and then just return an SMS to verify that the number they entered is their number? The user could then text message in their own loan or be alerted by SMS when their loan is approved.  Additionally, they could then SMS loans for individuals in their area, and then a picture could be snapped when they come to pick up the loan. Anyway, new businesses are now available for your philantrophic needs. I'm starting to like this service more and more as I browse both it's failures and sucesses.

Kiva Tag Micro_finance

June 20, 2006 at 3:26 pm

links for 2006-06-20

June 20, 2006 at 3:18 pm

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