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

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Thu Sep 22 16:00:16 BST 2011

And one electronic device instead of umpteen million textbooks would certainly save money for everyone in the long run. The problem I see with bullies is that these devices are more easily destroyed than textbooks, and I can see the bullies smashing the kid's reader for fun. Especially if the kid goes to a different school than the bullies. Other than that -- if everyone has one, well, maybe someone's no-good cousin or whatever might steal it and try to sell it for drugs, but what would he get for it? Pennies?


> From: paal at gis.net
> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 10:56:16 -0400
> Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: sort-of -- Internet/computer access for the poor
> 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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