Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh, Venezuela!

The people of Venezuela have recently taken steps to pull themselves up to the level of rural, depression era Kentuckians who "were living lives similar to their ancestors, with no indoor plumbing, electricity, telephone service or radio access."

According to the BBC's story, a University in Venezuela is providing library books to the mountainous farming villages via pack mule. If you follow links, you would already know that this is not a novel idea, as the report claims, but a direct theft from Roosevelt's alphabet

This isn't the funny part though. The best part is that there are plans to put laptops on the mules! Way to go Venezuela! Fight the image of your land as a third world country by putting computers on mules! I actually laughed out loud when I read this. I have no doubt that is program is backed and promoted as a successful vision by every idiot in charge of the country.

I can't help it, but isn't this putting the cart in front of the... well, mule? If you want internet access, BUILD A BUILDING! Forget delivering new technology via the domesticated animal. If you want to leap into the 21st century, you can't drag big parts of the past with you. If you can afford wireless internet modems in the banana trees (that's not a joke either, read the story!), then you can afford a small hut to put the computer in.


Michelle H-C said...

Great post! Recently, I read an article in Popular Science about a non-profit organization based at MIT. The organization's goal is to "provide a laptop to every child in the world."

At first glance this sounds like a noble cause, but when you start thinking about it (in my opinion,) I think the logistics just start to set in. Now, this organization is developing "tough" laptops that don't require electricity, but even then...is this the best way to make a difference in the life of child in a mud hut in Africa or Venezuela? I'm thinking clean water or nutrition might be a good start...but what do I know? Also, how is a child that can't read going to use a laptop? I guess "picture programs" can work, but how far is that going to get them?

I admire the goal, I just wonder about the strategies sometimes.

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh out loud! I love you!