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Show HN: HoboJacket, want to see hobos clad in your rival school's jackets? (hobojacket.tk)
7 points by jinpan 1610 days ago | hide | past | web | 14 comments | favorite



I can't believe the level of elitism and immaturity that this idea represents. Firstly, homeless are not hobos. Second, you want to give homeless jackets of rivals - why? Because you want to laugh at them. How elitist. An MIT project you say?


Yes, this does represent a certain level of immaturity. The idea behind this originated as a prank, but it was meant to be a harmless one. We didn't want to dance around being politically correct so we broke some social norms.

However, we are not giving the homeless jackets because we want to laugh at them. We are trying to put a spin on the gamification of charity to see if we can get people to do more than they would otherwise.


If you cant do the right thing for the right reason do it for the wrong one.


While I applaud clothing the homeless, this kinda struck me as in poor taste (mainly the rival school part).. but in saying that I never went through the US college system so maybe I'm missing some vital context.

It seems tacky, tbh: but if it puts jackets on backs then I'm all for it.


Well, you have this enormous amount of energy in the form of college rivalries going towards (in my opinion) a relatively silly ball game. Our hypothesis is that if you could tap just 1% of that energy, you could accomplish something great. This is our first foray into tapping that intensity.


Ever heard the aphorism, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? Your intent is to tap a negative to achieve a positive. Unfortunately, you also reinforce a negative.

Clothing a homeless individual with a rival's garb as a means to insult one's rival reinforces the idea that it is ok to use a homeless person as an instrument of insult. It is not. It is dehumanizing, and treads dangerously close to the line of thinking that leads to projects like Bum Fights [1].

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bum_fights


It is certainly not our hope that people use this as an avenue to dehumanize the unfortunate.

But is it more acceptable to see the unfortunate clearly wearing thin clothing when it's 20 degrees out and maintain the idea that they are people who must maintain their pride, or offer them the chance to sell out? It's a hard question to answer, but I think society has already answered that for us. Fast food restaurants already offer young professionals a chance to sell out by offering higher wages than many starting jobs in alternative industries [1].

1 - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/magazine/skills-dont-pay-t...


> It is certainly not our hope that people use this as an avenue to dehumanize the unfortunate.

There is no way to use a homeless person as a prop that doesn't dehumanize them.

> But is it more acceptable to see the unfortunate clearly wearing thin clothing when it's 20 degrees out and maintain the idea that they are people who must maintain their pride, or offer them the chance to sell out?

I wholely reject this line of thinking. Doing one thing right does not absolve a wrong. By that line of reasoning, the people in the Bum Fights videos were better off, because they were paid. Net positive, am I right!?


I agree. Also, I imagine homeless people aren't short of jackets - cheap clothes are very cheap these days, relatively speaking. (I don't know about the States, but in the UK a cheap jacket in a bargain shop might be <£10. (Then again America is a lot colder than the UK in parts))

And there's plenty of jumble sales, charity donations of old clothes, etc. This reminds me of that guy who did the (failed) million-tshirts-to-Africa project. Good intentions, bad idea.


This is a really terrible idea. It's not so much "edgy," as heartbreaking. Instead of mocking them, perhaps you can contact any of these Cambridge organizations and do something less dehumanizing that might actually be helpful:

http://www.horizonsforhomelesschildren.org/ http://sparechangenews.net/ http://www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/DHSP/programsforadults/multise...


Yes, I agree this is a terrible idea in some respects, and we're not certain if we're set on actually donating the jackets. One route we're actively considering is contacting the donors and asking them if they're open to the possibility of us directly giving the funds towards more traditional nonprofits, and refunding those against the idea.


I hope you have the empathy to understand how terrible this idea is. Seriously, <3


Why not clothe Hobos in your own school's jackets? People should be proud of helping people.


This idea makes a lot more sense to me.




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