[LMB] OT: sort-of -- Internet/computer access for the poor

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Thu Sep 22 15:56:16 BST 2011

If entry level ed-type devices get so ubiquitous and inexpensive that they 
are NOT worth stealing, people likely won't steal them.   Or if they're 
ugly, except that situations of stealing to make someone's life miserably is 
NOT about the object, it;s about making the person -miserable-.   There's 
nothing stopping them from stealing schoolbooks, for example, except that it 
doesn't occur to most bullies to do that. ...

If there were a school-grade device given to all students--and "cost" is 
less of a problem there than people might think, consider what printed 
textbooks costs.... a One World PC type device is less than the cost of 
three inexpensive-for-textbooks textbooks, these days.... --and ALL students 
had them, it wouldn;t be long before the things did NOT have much worth as 
objects to steal sell for cash.... --if the supply is not less than the 
demand and the items are in ample supply, and inexpensive, and people don't 
have a need/use for more than one, the items tend to not be attractive 
objects to steal....

-----Original Message----- 
From: phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:44 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: sort-of -- Internet/computer access for the poor

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 03:53:16AM -0700, Raye Johnsen wrote:

> I think you missed the bit in McGuire's article where she directly
> addressed that solution - which was the bit where she flat out said
> that if this equipment has any resale value at all, it *WILL* be taken
> from the children by parents or stolen by neighbours and sold, either
> to pay for food or bills or for a junkie's next hit.? Ergo, it is no
> solution at all and will in fact contribute to the problem.

Actually, she said that any nice thing *she* would have would be stolen
by unspecified people as poor as her, or by richer kids keeping her
down.  Parents, food, and hits not mentioned.  I'm sure it happens.  But
as someone who grew up on free lunches, I find "it WILL be taken" to be
classist stereotyping.

> 'Interesting' is not the word.? The one you're looking for is
> 'frustrating'.?

"We can't help the poor because they'll sabotage themselves" would be
frustrating.  Also false.

-xx- Damien X-)
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