> What does this have to do with internet service in Zambia?
Nothing. The designator .ZA is the international code for South
> This is only one of the areas of huge disappointment coming up in S.A. What
> the gov't wishes to accomplish (housing, education, etc. etc. etc. etc.)
> will take decades, in a peaceful environment. Let's hope peace continues,
> so more and more people can realize at least some of their dreams.
I fully agree. Unfortunately politicians are wont to make rash
promises. More so during the run up to regional elections like now.
Expect to see a lot more violence, as the have nots express thier
frustration with a system that moves far too slowly.
>... Computer technology may not be a pressing need.
>Besides the hardware, and the knowledge of how to use
> them, there is the problem of telephone line access.
Basic services are a far more pressing need, but without access to
the international knowledge pool, we would have to invent solutions
on our own. While South Africans are very proud of the technology
developed in isolation, collaboration does make it easier.
> So do you think the internet is going to solve the illiteracy problem in
> Africa? Do you think it will improve basic health care, on a practical,
> day-to-day level?
Consider how the invention of the oral saline solution saved
thousands of lives in Africa, just one such idea spread by the net
will make it worth having. As for illiteracy, we would not have
beeen able to make the strides we have, without the participation of world
experts in things like adult education and user interfaces for
> The problem with the downtrodden masses getting all sorts of
> education/information .....
> This sort of polarization of people is happening in the West as
Sterling and Gibson spend a lot of time in thier novels discussing
the emergence of a technocracy. I believe this will be much like the
industrial revolution, some countries will get rich and others will
be poorer, but can you name one country without cars or electricity?
The effects eventually reach everywhere. This doesn't mean that
everyone gets access, but the potential exists. The net is by no
means a silver bullet to cure the world's ills.
> Technology will not answer your problems over there.
Perhaps not. Be very careful of limiting your view of technology to
the obvious hi-tech end. If a Kenyan ecologist formulates a system
allowing the poor to plant trees in order to supply themselves with
wood, shouldn't the rest of Africa know about it? and what faster
medium than the net? Low end agri-tech can have dramatic results.
>So what? How many people in all those countries actually get on line, and
>for what purpose?
Its not just the people on the net. The dissemination of ideas only
starts with those on the net. Admitedly access is severely
restricted in several countries, but those who have access see
everything on the net, by its very nature.
> Mind boggling. What is the SOS Children's Village? Exactly what effects do
> you personally think this will have on the average child?
SOS Children's Villages are a non profit project that takes care of
abandoned children. That's about all I know of them. Exposing
young minds to the fact that there are other cultures, might in the
long term allow for greater understanding between our own cultures.
Again, the effect of just one child who grows into another Mandela
because of exposure to the net, would make it worth having.
* Carleton Chinner *
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* phone: +27 (426) 400320 *
* fax: +27 (426) 400014 *
* Why is a duck? *