Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Computer/Cell or Basic Needs to Poor

What does the poor needs?? A Computer/ Cell phone or the basic needs??? Well this seems to be a debatable topic for sure. I read Venkatesh , Arun Rajappa and NYTimes on
this topic and it made me to ponder with thoughts.

Venkatesh in his blog asks

“Did anybody bother to find out from the "poor" in "underdeveloped countries" what they really want? “

I think technology companies are doing their best in getting technology/computing to reach to even the poorer so that they can also get to see what it is all about. I understand that the poor still suffer from not getting even the basic needs fulfilled, but what we should see here is the hidden benefits that it might bring out and not the visible problems that already exist. Well visible problems are not getting the basic needs in the first place, but the important hidden benefit could be the fact that the poor would also “think” about technology and computers. Is it not true that everything surfaces from how you think and if a poor could think better will it not directly help him in his betterment and will he be not well aversed to face the real world when he grows up??

Hi Sunny,
what ticked me off is this turf battle between MS and MIT. Selling guns in Africa did not prevent crime but started a civil war. So technology on its own cannot do anything. Its investment in social capital which is required. Empower the people and people can create/adapt technology. Don't sell them a vision, they don't need it.
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