The Gumption Memo

an open letter about what to do next...


Introduction

Background -- who I am and why I wrote this
Caveat Emptor -- notes on numbers, national bias, and fake forms

World Problems

Opening Quote
Perceptions and Priorities -- an overview of problems people worry about
Problems and Priorities -- a look at prioritizing problems
The Root of the Problem -- four fundamental issues
Signal and Noise -- seeing the pattern, not the perturbations
Closing Quote

Smart Decisions

Opening Quote
Decision Making -- techniques for thinking clearly
MicroMorts and MegaTragedies -- tools for comparing risks and losses
Decision Making Techniques -- a few Decision Analysis basics
Decisions, Systems and Models -- using math to save people's lives
Benefits of Modeling -- what we have to gain by building models
Closing Quote

Landmarks

Opening Quote
Mental Model Landmarks -- major landmarks on the mental model terrain
Landmark #1: Population -- why overpopulation is an enormous problem
My Grandmother's Soil
World Population
Population Scenarios
Population 101
Landmark #2: What the World Wants -- the small cost of solving our big problems
What the World Wants
Landmark #3: Wealth and Poverty -- you may already be rich -- details inside!
Wealth and Poverty
Perceptions of Wealth
Income Levels in the U.S.
Global Income Levels
Landmark #4: Government -- how to work with, and without, our governments
Government
Working With and Without Government
The U.S. Budget
Closing Quote

The Next Step

Opening Quote
A Call to Inaction -- doing more by doing less (more or less)
A Call to Action -- what is worth doing
Compact Florescent Lightbulbs -- save money by replacing lightbulbs
Family Planning -- slowing the growth of the world's population
Philanthropic Contributions -- selecting philanthropic investments
Family Planning Organizations -- a few details about a few organizations
In Conclusion... -- what $10,000 can buy, and parting thoughts
Closing Quote

Appendix

Opening Quote
Resources -- a selection of important books, videos & games
History -- history of the Gumption Memo project
Final Accounting -- a final accounting of the Gumption Trust
Dedication -- the Gumption Memo is dedicated to Robert Emler

"The world is before you, and you need not
take it or leave it as it was when you came in."
-- James Baldwin


You can copy freely from this site. To the extent possible under law, Brian Douglas Skinner has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to the Gumption Memo with a CC0 Public Domain Dedication. This work is published from the United States.