Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web
In short, there are myriad ways for public services to help people more effectively, at lower cost. The alternative – a pared-back, rationed, often low-quality and low-cost version of an existing service – will just leave more people feeling resentful and, in the long run, unwilling to fund collective provision. Anyone who wants to avoid that outcome should start innovating.
Sometime soon a Secretary of State or a PM will announce, in a second such major policy shift, that the really big prize is in how we work with personal data. Government will relinquish the desire to own and control it. You will open up government APIs and let people’s structured, scalable private data in, under thier control. You will leave people in charge of their own lives, which is how reality is because we have to put all the pieces together anyway.
Broadband in 2009 is electricity in 1900. We may think we know all the means to which high-speed Internet access may be put, but we clearly do not: YouTube and Twitter prove that new things are constantly on the way and will emerge as bandwidth and access continues to increase.
Like electricity, the notion of whether broadband is an inherent right and necessity of every citizen is up for grabs in the US.
In my experience, it isn’t always true that the people behind these statistics don’t have access; in my opinion, they often don’t have a vision of the purpose. Without knowledge of the importance of something, many kids won’t take the initiative to become familiar with it.
This may be a controversial statement, but to me, I think the divide is more than just a question of access. Access is part of it. But I think it’s also about which groups receive a sense of purpose about how important technology can be in life and which groups don’t.