As many as 10 years ago, the term “ICT for Development” or ICT4D came into popular use. It was based on the premise that information and communication [ICT] technologies could be used as a cornerstone in economic and human development.
The efforts have been rangy — from the “One Laptop per Child” project to projects where cellular (phone) technologies would be used to bring health education and services to remote communities. (See also OLPC on Wikipedia.) OLPC is a particularly good example of the ICT4D genre because over the years it has brought a large number of its computers to children, but has not achieved the broad success sought for the project by its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the M.I.T. Media Lab. i’ve written
Why do we do this? Here’s my story, based on personal experience:
As youngsters we like building things. This leads many of us to learn about technology, and to build careers or central interests in tech endeavors. We want to help people. It is frequently easiest for us to help people by leveraging the things we know best. So we start using technology to help people. In our own way(s).
I know that there have been hundreds of conferences and meetings in the ICT4D area. I’ve been to lots of them. But I also notice them more directly right now, because more of my friends are discovering ICT4D and are thinking of running their own events.
So I’m going to take note of a few of these as they come to light. Typically, my articles will be short, like this one, so please follow links and read more elsewhere — and do some reflection of your own.
I was just so astounded to see these unique photos in an email promotion for the Del Sol Performing Arts Organization over the last month. I like Del Sol, and if you’re in the San Francisco area you should check them out (or get recordings), but the photos caught my eye because they (and especially the one on the right of Rick Shinozaki) look so much like what I see when I get an optical migraine that it’s totally astounding. (continue reading…)
It has been my plan to make several trips into the Yosemite wilderness this summer in order to visit some places I’ve never seen before. Most tourists have seen Yosemite “Valley” and many have seen Tuolumne Meadows. Access to the wilderness areas is controlled by a “permitting” process that limits the number of people who may enter on a wilderness trailhead each day. There are a couple dozen trailheads, and they have quotas of one to two dozen camper-hikers per day per trailhead. Once you’re into the wilderness area, you can pretty much go where you desire, as long as you have the energy and the food. (continue reading…)
The SOPA and PIPA bills being considered in the US Congress allow blocking of domain names by someone who simply makes a complaint. Technically they apply only to non-US-hosted web sites that are pirating digital content, but once the “machinery” is in place, they could be used to block any domain whatsoever, and without due (legal) process. And also, technically, the only person who can complain and get a domain blocked is a digital (music, text, art) rights owner, but in practice this will be almost impossible to enforce.
There is no due process and no way someone who is wrongfully blocked can get themselves quickly unblocked.
And were this legislation to pass in the US, it would signal strong support for other countries similarly blocking internationally-hosted content based on their own national laws. (Many do it already, but let’s not set an example.)
Join me in opposing these bills. Notify your US Senators and Representatives.
This site will be participating in the Strike on January 18th, 2012.