‘I, Smartphone’ Video Celebrates Creativity

“The smartphone is like a pencil – not one person (nor government) knows how to make one,” says Dr. Jay W. Richards, IFWE Visiting Scholar

The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE), a biblical advocacy think tank, has released a new video short that brings a modernized 21st century update to the classic 1958 essay by Leonard Read, “I, Pencil”.

Produced with ColdWater Media, the video features two female child actors who experience the magic of the market from a talking smartphone who explains that no one person in the world has the knowledge to build “him”.

Dr. Jay W. Richards, a visiting scholar at IFWE, wrote the screenplay based on adaptations featured in his books, Money, Greed, and God, and Indivisible: Restoring Family, Faith, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late.

“Critics of free enterprise talk as if entrepreneurs don’t start businesses. Of course they do.” Richards said. “This video short reveals the seemingly miraculous aspect of the market – that the hard work and ingenuity of many in the global market are crucial for bringing something as simple as a pencil into existence, or as mesmerizingly complex as a smartphone. I’ve never seen anything like that come from the government.”

In an article, “Why Watch, I, Smartphone?” IFWE explains why an organization “dedicated to educating and inspiring Christians to embrace a Biblical understanding of faith, work, and economics” produced the video:

“God has given us the market process as the most powerful tool we have in a fallen world to serve each other by using our gifts… Smartphones allow thousands of dispersed people from across the globe to bring their gifts to serve people they don’t even know, and most likely never will know.”

The five key lessons from the “I, Smartphone” video are:

1. Markets bring people together without any one person in charge.
2. No one person has enough knowledge to create the things we use every day.
3. Markets allow people to use their gifts to serve others.
4. Each one of us has a role in serving the common good.
5. The innovations which markets bring can benefit everyone.

In addition:

1. Markets are the best form of global poverty alleviation known to date.
2. Markets embrace the dignity inherent in our creation by allowing us to unleash our creativity.


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