Some suggested web sites to read before going on:
- http://www.digitaldivide.gov is the main "Digital Divide" web site.
- http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/digitaldivide/ for the reports that make up the "Falling Through the Net" series that coined this buzzword.
The issues at hand for this divide is not just based on "who has a 'puter, and who doesn't?" Some of the issues involved are the penetration of POTS in different neighborhoods, the kinds of people who don't have a computer (minorities like blacks and latinos), and what do they do with internet access if they have it (e-mail, finding jobs, and so forth).
Well, I have my own issues regarding this report. I was thinking how and why computers are expensive (even at the $1,000 level). How much does it cost (in time and money) to learn to use a computer? What kind of computing equipment and education should be provided to ease the problem? Are computers really that expensive? I don't want to just give money to "fix" the problem, but I want to make sure people learn to use a computer and evolve as a better human being (or even better, be a hacker!).
Before you (the reader) go to read another node, look at yourselves. What kind of a person are you in terms of race and economic status? What is your neighborhood like? What kind of neighbors do you have? I'm an Asian American in a working class family, living in a "middle-of-the-floor" working class neighborhood. My neighborhood has a public library, with internet access (very small-looking Gateway computers running Windows NT -- yikes!). Even more, can you use your computer smarts to help improve the condition of your neighborhood so they can learn about computers?