(From a post of Rahul Banerjee. About internet being brought to the remote tribal hamlet of Kakranam Alirajpur.)
Rahul Banerjee Cowmesh is community owned wireless mesh, a technology that allows internet to be provided in remote locations far away from mobile towers. The government is not supporting this as it is a cheap means of empowering the poor and that is why it has to be there in the name.
Technology is a factor multiplier Wat u put in gets multiplied so input matters. And who holds the access to what matters.
Having said all there is enuf loot that has happened in the name of ict4d and also bridging digital divide.
All said and done individual efforts are to be lauded. It's also interesting that there is lot of research that suggests technology doesn't improve learning outcomes only the teacher does
The problem is the religious mysticism that we let the technologists create and get away with. If we can break that, I think the rest will follow
Arjun Venkatraman Responding to a couple of points - An intranet is a network that uses the same underlying technology as the internet in terms of infrastructure, but is not connected to the "mainstream" internet. A sort of local network...We think of it as a lake/pond as distinct from the sea. Which in turn contributes both to the cloud as well as to the mist, i.e. global data sharing as well as local data sharing.
Also because the idea and central philosophy matters more than the person. Humans will compromise, make errors of judgement. They essentially need the honesty to accept these as errors and compromises. Gandhi, more than most, was extremely unforgiving with himself.
Anyway in the existentialist crisis of the day, with the breakdown of society, and earth itself, in all ways, it is a return to morality, to simplicity that is in need. Charity by the rich, who otherwise continue unleashing violence by their very living, is passe. Even revolutions which speak of redistribution of profits, while continuing assault on a battered earth, is passe. What is left now are those thought and principles that go by the name of Gandhiism.
When I moved to the village I was firm on 'Local Income' as the corner stone of integrating with a village, and living as one of them. It was a glorious failure. We did earn from farming in initial years, but it did not meet our full requirements. And then drought came, and the whole rural discourse changed. To live on Local Income then meant living on half stomach. Stronger men/women might have done it - I did not. You have also had to make your direction shifts in life.
So we simply need to draw on ideals and ideals from Gandhi or Ambedkar or Marx, and do what we can in depleted times.