Clinton's Digital Divide
beeline at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 6 06:16:21 EDT 2000
David says >
> i mean, place every tool known to man in front of someone and what happens to their motivation to accomplish anything?
Motivation can only follow knowledge. Children strive to do things that
they know exist -- build a house, fix a car, read a book. At an
impressionable age, they must at least have a passing knowledge of the
tools used to accomplish these tasks in order to dream of using those tools
themselves and to mentally explore the possibilities.
> add to this the pervasive disinterest in technology / technological advancement by the masses and you've got a nice prescription for millions of dollars of IT equipment gathering dust.
You jest, surely. Technology is destined to pervade any world that could be
considered modern -- it's already got a good start across the board, being
used by practitioners of the ancient arts of farming and merchandising as
well as those who work the more recent sciences of auto repair and health
services. Can you tell me a trade where computers have *not* made
> sorry to sound like such an a**hole, but no one is coming into my house to give me free DSL and a new PC. in fact, i can't even seem to get DSL installed via a _paid_ service. but that is beside the point.
I don't think so. Of all the issues you raise in your post, this strikes
the truest tone. I must agree that it's not at all fair for those of us who
would actually use the tech from hour 1 to be denied while those out in the
boondocks catch a free ride. (I can't get DSL either.) But you must agree
that we dwell in a rapidly expanding and wealthy area, a high-tech area,
and that widespread demand will certainly bring broadband to us fairly
> next, consider the average persons interest level in computers. any kid in the country who enjoys computers is likely branded a "sissy" and tortured because of their interest.
It's been my experience that the average person is very much afraid of
computers, but that all young boys are fascinated by them, country bred or
not; indeed, envied for owning one. Games. Robotics. Email, chat, and stuff
on the Web. There's also the advanced fascination of being able to
learn/understand/make the rules and control the thing.... I've taught
computers to children and I've taught 'em to adults -- the kids were much
less afraid and more imaginative, especially if the subject allowed them to
produce something quickly.
> i am not against social programs, i just think that this issue has been twisted out of proportion to look like we are all taking advantage of those "poor people" whilst we kick back smoking cigars and passing the Beluga; all the while plotting our next world-domination tactic to keep the masses at our feet. last time i checked (20 minutes ago) my life was *not* like this.
We're in the U.S. of A. and we need technology workers. We can't import
enough to meet demand, we can't find enough in our high schools and
colleges, and we don't foresee a speedy natural progression toward tech.
John Kennedy kicked off something like this when he declared that we were
answering the Soviet challenge to space. He looked around and decided that
there weren't enough American scientists to win the race so he began a
serious drive to bring more scientists out of the pool of US youth. (I
could be wrong, but I think that this was the first time the federal
government got involved seriously in local public school education
So, you could say that you owe your life -as it is- to a program very
similar in goal to the one you deride here.
> what about incentive?
Knowledge before incentive.
> what about personal drive?
Depends on the purpose. In general, the bigger the better -- I like Seagate
-- but a little one for cache helps with thrash.
> what about taking an interest in your self/life/education/future?
Everyone does that anyway, decide what they have to do to survive, and
young ones can only do what they see modeled.
> maybe we should be teaching these kids that "the rest of your life will be a total f*cking waste unless you learn a valuable skill?"
Kids use their eyeballs and their native understanding of their world.
Depending on where they live, a "valuable skill" may mean the ability to
milk a cow and fix a tractor, or to draw a gun and accurately fire it, or
to go daily to a hated job and earn that essential monthly check. Maybe
what they need instead is a wider understanding of "valuable" and "skill"
and a glimpse at a possible path to a different and maybe better life.
I do not begrudge anything done to help a child realize and achieve its
heart's desire, as long as the guidance is benign and positive, for this
can be only a boon to the society and culture in which the resulting adult
"B" at home
Snow Pictures Now Showing!
See the Abridged, Illustrated version:
More information about the InterNetWorkers