May 06

Technology integration

2009-05-06_1656, originally uploaded by NDeRC2.

From International Grid This Week. Notice what’s happening with computing, and what happened with electricity. There seems to be a poverty barrier, stopping progress for a larger percentage of households as the cost of the technology increases. (Here’s another US curve, more detailed and harder to read.) It would be interesting to see a similar graph for worldwide households and country-by-country. Every plateau in these adoption curves marks a technological divide, which we know best today as a digital divide. Some of these divides might be more complex than simple economics–automobile ownership can be lower where mass transit is available, for example. But the plateau associated with computing adoption doesn’t seem complex in that way: those who can afford it, have it. Computing is a catalyst for other sorts of progress. We ought to resist the flattening of that adoption curve in our own community. Here’s how it is being resisted in Northern Uganda. We should resist it in Michiana, too.