Liberals Against Homeless People Making Money.

Motor Head

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#1
AUSTIN, Tex. — Which product at this year’s South by Southwest technology conference received more attention than perhaps any other?


Ben Sklar for The New York Times
Clarence Jones worked as a mobile hot spot at the South by Southwest conference.


Homeless people as wireless transmitters.

A marketing agency touched off a wave of criticism and debate when it hired members of the local homeless population to walk around carrying mobile Wi-Fi devices, offering conferencegoers Internet access in exchange for donations.

BBH Labs, the innovation unit of the international marketing agency BBH, outfitted 13 volunteers from a homeless shelter with the devices, business cards and T-shirts bearing their names: “I’m Clarence, a 4G Hotspot.” They were told to go to the most densely packed areas of the conference, which has become a magnet for those who want to chase the latest in technology trends.

The smartphone-toting, social-networking crowds often overwhelm cellular networks in the area, creating a market that BBH Labs hoped to serve with the “Homeless Hotspots” project, which it called a “charitable experiment.” It paid each participant $20 a day, and they were also able to keep whatever customers donated in exchange for the wireless service.

But as word of the project spread on the ground and online, it hit a nerve among many who said that turning down-and-out people into wireless towers was exploitative and discomfiting.

Tim Carmody, a blogger at Wired, described the project as “completely problematic” and sounding like “something out of a darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia.”

A commenter on the BBH Labs blog offered mock praise for the project, then complained that “my homeless hotspot keeps wandering out of range, and it’s ruining all my day trades!”

On Monday, the project’s scheduled last day, BBH Labs was scrambling to explain itself.

Saneel Radia, the director of innovation at BBH Labs who oversaw the project, said the company was not taking advantage of the homeless volunteers. He said that the company had had success with other such experiments, including one in which it gave homeless people in New York cellphones and Twitter accounts as a way to call attention to their plight.

Mr. Radia said he modeled the hot spot project after the street newspapers that homeless people sell for a dollar.

“We saw it as a means to raise awareness by giving homeless people a way to engage with mainstream society and talk to people,” he said. “The hot spot is a way for them to tell their story.”

Mitchell Gibbs, the director of development at Front Steps, the shelter that houses the project volunteers, said he advised Mr. Radia on how best to set up the program. He said he was surprised by all the criticism of the project, which he said had inspired an “entrepreneurial spirit” among its homeless participants.

“It’s an employment opportunity, regardless of who is offering it,” Mr. Gibbs said.

The human hot spots seemed unconcerned as well. One volunteer, Clarence Jones, 54, said he was originally from New Orleans and became homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Everyone thinks I’m getting the rough end of the stick, but I don’t feel that,” Mr. Jones said. “I love talking to people and it’s a job. An honest day of work and pay.”

But the program’s critics zeroed in on the divide between its impoverished vendors and Internet-bubble customers.

Adam Hanft, chief executive of the marketing advisory firm Hanft Projects, said that even if the effort was well intended, it seemed to turn a blind eye to that disconnect. “There is already a sense that the Internet community has become so absurdly self-involved that they don’t think there’s any world outside of theirs,” he said.
Link - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/t...fi-transmitters-creates-a-stir-in-austin.html

I thought this was a great idea. Give a homeless person $20, a t-shirt and let them keep the donations. All they have to do is offer people wi-fi and ask them to make a donation.

Leave it to the liberals to kill a good idea. Instead of some homeless people making a little bank, maybe even get a chance to pull themselves out of the downward spiral the libs jump in and now they get NOTHING.
 

Motor Head

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Oh and before you say 'Minimum Wage Law' I would think a tipped employee likely makes about the same per hour at the lower wage rate.

I have to wonder what else we can turn homeless people into?? There has to be a joke somewhere in all of this.
 

whiskeyguy

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#3
That's fucking hilarious.

And fuck anyone who is against this. The homeless people had more money in their pocket as a result, and entered into the agreement willingly. No one loses.
 

mills

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Jan 30, 2005
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#6
Or exploitative.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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Dec 9, 2004
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#10
How is this any different from, say, a cocktail waitress roaming a convention handing out drinks?

Cue Miley Cyrus picture.......
 

Psychopath

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#11
Oh and before you say 'Minimum Wage Law' I would think a tipped employee likely makes about the same per hour at the lower wage rate.

I have to wonder what else we can turn homeless people into?? There has to be a joke somewhere in all of this.
Fertilizer
 

Norm Stansfield

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Mar 17, 2009
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#13
Why is it automatically liberals? Plenty of other groups that might think this was exploitive.
There is only one political ideology that considers voluntary employment arrangements exploitative: socialism. And in the US, socialism is called liberalism.
 
Jan 9, 2006
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#14
Adam Hanft, chief executive of the marketing advisory firm Hanft Projects, said that even if the effort was well intended, it seemed to turn a blind eye to that disconnect. “There is already a sense that the Internet community has become so absurdly self-involved that they don’t think there’s any world outside of theirs,” he said.
Right, because that kind of attitude didn't exist before the Internet. :really?:
 

whiskeyguy

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#15
Adam Hanft, chief executive of the marketing advisory firm Hanft Projects, said that even if the effort was well intended, it seemed to turn a blind eye to that disconnect. “There is already a sense that the internet community has become so absurdly self-involved that they don’t think there’s any world outside of theirs,” he said.
Kind of like people who feel they are morally superior and must make decisions on behalf of the adults who agreed to provide this service for monetary compensation they desperately need.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#16
My buddy's company had some small thing to do with this and we were talking about it last night. Fuck the politics.

I found it fascinating that their goal was more to encourage the homeless people to have more social interaction than to make them money. I still don't understand why, they're obviously going to lose money on the deal, but it's a cool program any way you look at it unless you're fucking stupid.
 

CougarHunter

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#17
Since we aren't going to lock the homeless up in loony bins like we should, we might as well get some use out of them. Soylent Green is still several years off.
 

Motor Head

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#18
Since we aren't going to lock the homeless up in loony bins like we should, we might as well get some use out of them. Soylent Green is still several years off.
They better get to work on that. It was 81 degrees in Omaha today, the warmest day on record for March, EVER. If we don't get some rain soon, the only thing that will be growing in those fields will be dust devils.
 

CousinDave

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#19
Only leftist politicians are allowed to exploit the "homeless"
 

Norm Stansfield

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#21
Religious conservatives think that way about the girls working in legal brothels in Nevada.
No they don't. They oppose it for religious reasons, not because it's exploitative. Like I already explained, that argument is something socialists came up with.
 

Stig

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#22
Religious conservatives think that way about the girls working in legal brothels in Nevada.
You're right. There's not one Democratic politician who wouldn't stand right up and proclaim loudly their support for legalized prostitution and drugs, not to mention profanity and nudity on TV. They're very courageous, that bunch.
 

Party Rooster

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#23
No they don't. They oppose it for religious reasons, not because it's exploitative. Like I already explained, that argument is something socialists came up with.
What's the religious argument? I thought Jesus slept with a whore? They say it's exploitative too.
 

Floyd1977

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Nov 1, 2004
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#24
I found it fascinating that their goal was more to encourage the homeless people to have more social interaction than to make them money.
I don't know, sounds like one of those things a company needs to say to disguise the "crudity" of money.