Humanitarian Aid, Being Gifted, SILVER over gold - Globe & Mail

Is Humanitarian Aid bad for Africa?

The starving children of Ethiopia were not the victims of drought, as most people believed. They were the victims of politics. The government was using famine as an instrument of war, and the rebels were more interested in defeating the government than in feeding victims. Political famines attract aid, with the consequence that governments or rebels can feed their won armies and divert resources to buy weapons.

Most of us believe that humanitarian aid is a morally pure way to respond to suffering in the world.

The colonial mindset of ‘we know best’ has surely persisted; the trouble is that we haven’t learned the difference between doing good and feeling good. Until we do, many of our aid efforts will be worse than useless.
- Margaret Wente


The Curse of giftedness

Their intellectual gifts mean they are even more aware of the flaws in their clay, of how short they fall from self-imposed goals. “People are forever telling me the achievements of my life and yet I feel I’ve accomplished nothing – nothing compared to what I might achieve

Success in school does not predict success outside of it.

Empathy, like creativity and imagination, is not something that intelligence tests are good at identifying.

…was an overweight couch potato, depressed at his failure to live up to his parents’ expectations, but once he escaped, he blossomed as an adult to become happy…

Love all the child’s gifts and faults. The concept of ‘gifted child’ is a man made phrase, an arbitrary line.
- Elizabeth Renzetti

Gifted: it implies that something was bestowed on them, the ‘gift,’ instead of that they’ve worked for it.

The kids who need help are those at risk of dropping out or failing because they are facing emotional and social problems. In many cases giftedness is not a badge of distinction so much as a life problem that needs solving.

It brings with it other issues, including heightened sensitivities, including heightened sensitivities, perfectionism and social deficits.

30% of the kids had learning disabilities along with their giftedness. Among other things, being ‘gifted can lead to bullying and social isolation.

Gifted kids will often experience their giftedness as a big bag full of expectations. So there’s some anxiety about being able to live up to those expectations.

Supported Failure – asking open ended questions – such as whether euthanasia is ever justified- so they can experience the (frightening) truth that there’s not always a correct answer.

Fixed mindset vs. Growth mindset.
Children who are designated bright after an IQ test are less likely to try potentially difficult tests; over time, they often fail to match their original scores. Kids praised for their effort, not their smarts = those with a growth mindset – were able to improve their scores by 30%.

Do we want to be remembered as people who categorized and labelled children (to their detriment), or as people who helped all children fulfill their potential?
- Tralee Pearce


An Industrial Strength Argument for Silver over Gold

Silver is essentially an industrial metal, and should trade on supply/demand fundamentals.

It typically outperforms gold in times of economic recovery; it responds to the increased demand that an economic expansion implies. Financial demand for precious metals can be fickle. Gold has much greater exposure to ‘financial demand – purchases made by investors – leaving it more exposed to the changing moods of the market. [Bulsing] feels most comfortable with the metal that has the strongest fundamental demand.
- David Parkinson

“To me it comes down to choice. I am not interested in imposing my views on anyone any more than I’m interested in having their views imposed on me.” – Danielle Smith


Globe & Mail
Nov. 13, 2010