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Are We There Yet? vol. 43

Well, the year didn’t quite start out the way I had hoped. As I write, many of us are still in shock about what we witnessed in Washington on Wednesday. Maybe it was not all that surprising, but it was shocking nonetheless. 

Rather than dwell on the negative, I’ll tell a story about something that I found amazing over the holidays and I believe it points to a future with incredible possibilities. My family and I are in Vermont and the quarantine rules here require a 14-day quarantine once you arrive. In Vermont, this means that you cannot even go to the store for groceries so the logistics of travelling here with enough food and other essentials for 14 days are daunting. As many of you know, my family consists of me, my wife, three teenagers and two dogs and car space is limited. 

After a very cramped and uncomfortable 7-hour drive, we wanted to do something special for New Year’s Eve and I had heard about a food delivery app called Gold Belly. On Tuesday afternoon, I ordered dinner for us from Curry Up Now which started as an Indian food truck in 2009. It is amazing enough that I could order food to be delivered to a dirt road in the Green Mountains in Vermont but more amazing that Curry Up Now is located in San Francisco. The food arrived on Wednesday night for us to heat up and eat on New Year’s Eve. It was delicious. To summarize, on a walk in the woods of Vermont, I used my phone to order a sizable, delicious, Indian meal from San Francisco that arrived two days later.

While the technology is important, we have to acknowledge all of the people involved in the process including the food preparers, truck drivers and many others without whom it would not be possible. I know that there are many who cannot afford to order food online or even afford quality food. But the possibilities of bright, caring, hardworking people using these technologies, current and developing, makes me confident that we can find solutions to help eliminate big problems like food insecurity. Some think of technology as an either/or proposition in that we have technology doing things or people doings things. I prefer to think of this issue as the combination of people and technology. I imagine caring and dedicated people like Alexander McLean, who I wrote about last week, using technological advances to tackle the hard problems that we face globally. Just writing this brightened my day and my outlook. I hope you also can look past the shock of the events at the Capitol and toward a brighter future.

This week’s selection is:

VIDEO:

The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
If you just need a mindless distraction this week, this is the series for you. A talented batch of amateur bakers face off in a 10-week competition, whipping up their best dishes in the hopes of being named the U.K.’s best.