[LINK] Free computers for the poor
Sun, 15 Oct 2000 21:12:24 +1000
In my equally unhumble opinion the attitude that 'the poor' whether in the
first or third world don't need access to IT, or that they, or their
funding sources, should focus on more important thinks like jobs, food,
clean water, etc can be as patronising as assuming that they are 'victims
of the digital divide'.
Those of us with good access to resources spend a disproportionate amount
of our time and money communicating, and on communications technology. It
seem to me patronising to say that we can afford to do this but 'the poor'
should have other priorities.
I reckon access to communication and information is essential for anyone.
The hard task is working out what role technology plays in doing this
I guess, as always the (hard slog) answer is to consult with people and ask
them what their priorities are and help them meet these - and don't presume
that all 'the poor' or 'the third world' will all come up with the same
neat simple answer.
And if you haven't got the time to do this yourself, pay your taxes gladly
and contribute to progressive charities committed to social development.
At 08:35 12/10/00 +1000, you wrote:
>"And what do they do, these schluckers and muckers? The paint pictures of
>themselves on a wall and exclaim Ecce Homo! (Behold the Man!)" -- Nietzche
>(Gotterdamerung, I think).
>Heads in clouds, Bernard? Heads missing entirely, IMNSHO. The whole digital
>divide notion is predicated on the assumption that "people who are not
>should be" - the divide only exists if you accept the a priori proposition
>"not being digital" is the cause of disadvantage rather than a symptom.
>Subject: [LINK] Free computers for the poor
>Author: "Bernard Robertson-Dunn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: 11/10/00 11:42
>Looks to me as though it's not only Australian pollies with their heads in
>I can just see the scenario...
> Please sir, I've got a new, old 486 computer with something called
> Windows on it - and I've got an account with porn for beginners.
> Can I have a job as a knowledge worker, sir, sir, please sir??
> Deathly silence.
>Free computers for the poor
>Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
>Mr Brown said that the government was planning to provide 100,000 recycled
>older computers to low income families through the "Computers Within Reach"
>scheme, with 35,000 available now.
>And, with Education Minister Michael Wills, he announced a £10m initiative
>to wire up poor local communities, with 10 pilot schemes.
>The first scheme, in Kensington in Liverpool, will provide 2000 computers
>available free on loan to local residents, along with cheap internet access
>and a special local web portal and extra training opportunities.
>"This will help overcome the barriers people may face in access to
>employment, education and local services and it will give many the
>opportunity for the first time to use the Internet," Mr Brown said.
>Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
Jack Gilding mailto:email@example.com
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