[LINK] Gates on technology for the poor
Tue, 31 Oct 2000 13:35:28 +1100
> It's a priorities thing. Come on, a couple of thousand dollars makes a big
> difference. Several years' salary in the third world so that someone can dial up
> and learn that there's a new drug available which neither the aid agency nor the
> village can afford?
I don't understand what you are saying here. I certainly agree that
we should spend more on foreign aid, and target that at basic health.
But is that an argument that we should scrap all high-end medical
> I've asserted before that the "Digital Divide" is a notion whose foundation is
> in Nietzche's "moralist". We abstract ourselves as the template upon which all
> others should model themselves; and when they lack part of that template -- the
> computer for example -- we say "the lack of computers causes disadvantage".
But I don't say that: I'd say "the use of modern information and
communications technology is critical in development work".
> Outside of policitical information, I can't think of a single instance where a
> day's difference, or a week's or a month's, in the dissemination of information
> will change the life of someone in the third world. "Damn. I didn't sell the
> Aussie Dollar in time" said the peasant in Bangladesh...
You're just plain wrong here. Information about market prices is
_vital_ to farmers throughout the developing world, it's one of the
things that helps them avoid exploitation by middlemen. There are
very few people in the world who are substantially free of the
And information about government programs can make a huge difference -
in many countries communities or individuals have entitlements under
government programs which they don't end up receiving because they
don't know about them (or because of corruption on the part of local
> the west's notion that
> "I knew first and I'm therefore better informed than you" is a prism which
> distorts our view of the world.
Definitely, but that's not a general argument against education or