How to be the best volunteer you can

So this list will be a laundry list of my and others mistakes and the things that I have learned from them.

  1. Volunteer when you are healthy. Even though charities need volunteers they don’t need sick ones. It is an unfortunate fact of life that many people do not have health insurance and can’t easily see a doctor. So while you may be sick and able to get better, it is not so easy for those with a lack of resources. Try to think of the resources of the people you are helping when you are helping them.
  2. Volunteer when you are in a good mood. If you are stressed or dealing with other issues in your life, don’t bring them to where you are volunteering. They need volunteers with a good, positive, helpful attitude not one in which they are stressed even more by being there.
  3. Volunteer when you promise. Unless you are sick or an emergency has come up, please keep your commitments. Many times they plan on your effort and without it, important things don’t get done. So please keep your commitments and call and give a heads up the moment something happens that forces you not to be able to keep your commitment.
  4. Turn off your phone. Too many times I have seen people distracted by their phone to effectively donate their time. Certainly you can have a phone, but please instruct people you will be out of touch for whatever time you are donating. It is really disrespectful to stop helping someone in need and whip out an expensive mobile phone and tell them to wait. It’s basically saying that your life is more important than theirs, and that you aren’t really in the moment.
  5. Be humble and do whatever you can to be helpful. Of course what a charity may ask you to do is probably not what you would prefer to do. Most people do not volunteer for the difficult or boring jobs. If they ask you to do something, please, please just do it, regardless of your feelings towards it. If you are known as someone who is not helpful, your usefulness is questionable and they may ask you to not return. Volunteering is about doing what needs to be done, no matter how boring or tiring it may be.

Five surprising things about the future according to Science Fiction

Watching Science Fiction is often a thinly disguised parody of what is occurring in the world today. However since it has to have some kind of logic to be meaningful, I thought I would share the things that seem hard to believe about the future that Science Fiction shows like Star Trek/Star Wars display.

  1. Energy limitations. Often the plot revolves around some kind of limitation of energy that causes problems. This is very odd. We have fission/fusion/dark matter/zero energy we are beginning to understand about now. It seems impossible that the science of energy won’t continue like it has the past century. It is hard to imagine why there will be energy limitations in the future. If anything, being able to fly faster than light will require an energy source that is not easily drained. It is probably more a limitation on bad science fiction writing, than on the technology itself.
  2. Medical science. The futurists believe that by 2045 we will be able to load our consciousness into a machine. If we can load ourself into a machine, it defies explanation why medical science will be so crude. I suspect that within 50 years we will have cures to all DNA related diseases and an almost 99% cure rate for bacteria/viruses. We will probably have something like the comic book Motherboxes that are part computer/healing. It will be made of nanotech or some derivative so it can heal the problem directly. If we don’t have this, then it will be energy based and probably internally controlled by a hybrid mind/technology connection.
  3. Space exploration. Faster than light travel will happen, but travel like the Tardis will be the real method. In the fast emptiness of space, it is silly to try to waste the short lifespan of humans in mapping it. It will be done by technology, or by accessing other realities or races that do understand it. I think humans will not have a Star Trek type of exploring the vast reaches of space alone, but rather will seek to digest the information from those who have already digested it. Technology is about creation shortcuts and efficiency, and random exploration isn’t going to do it.
  4. Time limitations. If we as a species conquer faster than light travel, then we will obviously understand time much better as well. I think we will be able to change how time flows in a defined space like a spaceship, and not just create a time machine, but also practically make ourselves immortal. Time won’t be the enemy, in fact, I think human beings will cause ourselves no end of problems in changing our perception of time. In a Star Trek episode Captain Picard experiences a lifetime in 25 minutes. That kind of time compression and expansion will change our experience of life, and indeed our lives will no longer be limited by what we feel is time, but only our imagination of what we can fill our live with.
  5. Money and value. It seems impossible to me that when our society experiences no hunger, pain, medical problems, disease, little death, that our desire for money will be the same. When the cost of those goods come down to nothing due to the technologies above and scarcity is no longer an issue, it will be interesting to see what people do with their time. We see this with people who are rich and no need to work for a living. We see some rich people enjoy their lives and other rich people help those who are less fortunate. I wonder what our response will be when money is no longer an issue.