Year of the Blockhead

We're dumbing down and it's the new media's fault

"Going from one out of 40 to a situation where everyone owns a bike, you're going to solve hunger, AIDS, a whole lot of things."

Ritchey sees his Rwanda coffee-bike project as a reprise of his experience helping bring the mountain bike into the world.

If you'd like to see your holiday gift spending extend beyond the person opening the package (and if your gift-giving extends through the 12 days of Christmas, when this issue will reach your hands), it might be worth buying a few gift bags of coffee at http://www.projectrwanda.org/.

The mountain bike "wasn't something we concocted, designed, and put through marketing research. It was a gift of enjoyment that we all gave out freely," Ritchey says, adding that he hopes to achieve something similar in Rwanda. "This is the same. It's a love letter. It's a gift. It's meant to bless people and put them into a different place and direct them to their own personal destiny."

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