Hold on ...let's think LO11623

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
31 Dec 96 17:12:08 EST

Replying to LO11606 --

Gary says,

> Let's not fool ourselves by saying that technology is getting cheaper,
> that we're putting PC's in public places like libraries, and so the
> widening gap between 'them that have' and 'them that don't' is not as
> bad as we think. It's getting worse.

Well, let's be specific. In North America where the cult of the
individual is fairly strong, it is certainly true that technology is
outpacing the ability of poor individuals to have their own personal
stuff. On the other hand, technology is putting cell phones in incredibly
remote areas of China, and for the first time, giving villages real, and
reasonably inexpensive access to the outside world.

TV dishes allow villages to share a TV (in many parts of the world,
sharing one TV is quite normal), and thus have access to what is happening
in the outside world. The Internet can be brought virtually anyplace for
far, far less than the cost of even a small library. As a consequence, in
places where individual ownership is not of prime importance, technology
clearly is bringing more and better access to the broad world.

The issue Gary describes is an interesting one, and I personally think it
is because we are accustomed to thinking of tecnology on an individual
level. Of course poor people can't afford to own all the technology of a
modern corporation which some of the users here have and use. Access,
however, need not require ownership, and in much (most?) of the world, it
does not. The reality is that even where Internet access is available in
the local library, it is the educated and well-off who monopolize it, not
the poor or uneducated.

The economic gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, as Gary
points out. Personally, I suspect this is more a matter of education than
of access to technology, but I guess that could be the subject of a raging


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc 76234,3636@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>