R. Buckmister Fuller, my intellectual hero, stated that piano tops can make fortuitous life preservers - but that doesn't mean that the best design for a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. The piano top that I see us clinging to today is the disorganized message board and database system that is being used to help people 'find' each other who were displaced as a result of the recent hurricane.
Because we tend to lack the ability to understand technological applications beyond their immediate design purpose, we lose a lot of opportunity to help real people.
So my proposition of the day, as an OT who likes to view the world from a broad perspective, is to use the SIX DEGREES PATENT or some similar networking system like Friendster.com or Facebook.com to create a searchable and linkable network that will help displaced people find their friends and family members.
It is such an incredibly simple solution, but who will think to apply social networking algorithms to disaster preparedness planning?
I'm tired tonight, folks, so please excuse me for not expanding on why this is totally about occupational-therapy style thinking. I promise you that it is.