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The Digital Divide Dissenting Arguments By: Ife Afolayan, Jackie Eisner, Farayi Mafoti, Youyi Hwang.

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Presentation on theme: "The Digital Divide Dissenting Arguments By: Ife Afolayan, Jackie Eisner, Farayi Mafoti, Youyi Hwang."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Digital Divide Dissenting Arguments By: Ife Afolayan, Jackie Eisner, Farayi Mafoti, Youyi Hwang

2 Position The public should not subsidize computer and/or Internet access for underserved areas and communities.

3 Response to Affirmatives: Poverty Argument Their Argument: Subsidizing digital technology for under severed areas will reduce poverty. Our Argument: - Providing digital technology/internet access to under served communities does not address the root cause of poverty and inequality. Money should be spent addressing the more immediate concerns of education, access to public healthcare, proper nutrition, housing, and unemployment.

4 Response to Affirmatives: Economic Argument Their Argument: The digital divide prohibits already poverty stricken countries from competing in the increasingly digital national and global economy. Our Argument: - Capitalism: We live in a capitalistic society and therefore it would be impossible for us to operate under a completely equal and socialist global market. The global market system would completely collapse if some inequality did not exist. - Not all world economies necessarily need to be connected to the larger global (digital) economy in order to function or sustain themselves.

5 Response To Affirmatives: Terrorism Argument Their Argument: There is a correlation between communities left in the Internet-Technology boom and terrorism Our Argument: Allowing so many new users on the internet with access to new technologies may increase hacking and or/ identity theft. Allowing so many new users on the internet with access to new technologies may increase hacking and or/ identity theft. We are not contending that people in poorer communities are likely to commit identity theft. However there is evidence of this occurring. We are not contending that people in poorer communities are likely to commit identity theft. However there is evidence of this occurring. Case in Tula, Russia: A group of poor students became notorious computer hackers. Russian economist William Knowles in a statement concerning the Russian economic crisis and how it leads people to hacking and piracy stated “think of poor people in (the central city of) Tula, students who have no prospects, then you can understand why (they turn to hacking and software piracy)”. Case in Tula, Russia: A group of poor students became notorious computer hackers. Russian economist William Knowles in a statement concerning the Russian economic crisis and how it leads people to hacking and piracy stated “think of poor people in (the central city of) Tula, students who have no prospects, then you can understand why (they turn to hacking and software piracy)”.

6 Response to Affirmatives: Terrorism Argument Continued With their limited knowledge of internet security, individuals from underserved/poorer communities might become easy targets for parasites. With their limited knowledge of internet security, individuals from underserved/poorer communities might become easy targets for parasites. “Unfortunately,privacy and anonymity also can be exploited to facilitate unwanted and undesirable computer-aided activities in cyberspace, such as money laundering, drug trading, terrorism, or preying upon the vulnerable” (Marx, Gary T.(2001) "Identity and Anonymity: Some Conceptual Distinctions and Issues for Research"). “Unfortunately,privacy and anonymity also can be exploited to facilitate unwanted and undesirable computer-aided activities in cyberspace, such as money laundering, drug trading, terrorism, or preying upon the vulnerable” (Marx, Gary T.(2001) "Identity and Anonymity: Some Conceptual Distinctions and Issues for Research"). So, in a sense, terrorist acts might be PERPETUATED by subsidizing internet access. So, in a sense, terrorist acts might be PERPETUATED by subsidizing internet access. Can the other side present an argument that proves that there is cost effective, expedient way to inculcate underserved people around the globe with knowledge about keeping their technologies safe and secure? Can the other side present an argument that proves that there is cost effective, expedient way to inculcate underserved people around the globe with knowledge about keeping their technologies safe and secure?

7 Response to Affirmatives: Inequality Argument Their Argument: Lack of computer/internet technology foments socioeconomic inequalities Our Argument: - The increasing prevalence and usage of computers/computer technology in our society is in and of itself a growing cause of inequality. - Low skilled workers are losing their jobs to computers/being given lower wages while computer technicians/specialists/developers and others in lucrative computer professions are experiencing increases in their wages as the demand for digital technology and computer skill increases. Katz, Lawrence. “Technological Change, Computerization, and Wage Structure”. Harvard University & The National Buruea of Economic Research

8 Dissenting Arguments

9 The Implementation of Programs to Provide Digital Services is Not Feasible: What does lessening the divide mean? Giving households their own computer and dedicated broadband access 24 hours a day? What does lessening the divide mean? Giving households their own computer and dedicated broadband access 24 hours a day? How are we defining underserved areas and communities? How are we defining underserved areas and communities? In other words, how can we impartially establish a basis to provide for people who are in need of internet access and computational services in general? In other words, how can we impartially establish a basis to provide for people who are in need of internet access and computational services in general? Superficially "undeserved" can mean the poorer neighborhoods in cites, but how about villages in the middle of Africa or China? Farmers/herders in many rural areas may not have not much use for the Internet and computers. Apart from entertainment, they are less likely to make use of these technologies to the fullest potential. Superficially "undeserved" can mean the poorer neighborhoods in cites, but how about villages in the middle of Africa or China? Farmers/herders in many rural areas may not have not much use for the Internet and computers. Apart from entertainment, they are less likely to make use of these technologies to the fullest potential. Pendent\ Asking the supporters to claify their argument first.What does lessening the divide mean? Giving households their own computer and dedicated broadband access 24 hours a day? What does > underserved areas and communities mean? In other words, how can we impartially establish a basis to provide for people who are in need of internet access and computational services in general? Superficially "undeserved" can mean the poorer neighborhoods in cites, but how about villages in the middle of Africa or China?Pendent\ Asking the supporters to claify their argument first.What does lessening the divide mean? Giving households their own computer and dedicated broadband access 24 hours a day? What does > underserved areas and communities mean? In other words, how can we impartially establish a basis to provide for people who are in need of internet access and computational services in general? Superficially "undeserved" can mean the poorer neighborhoods in cites, but how about villages in the middle of Africa or China?

10 The Implementation of Programs to Provide Digital Services is Not Feasible: There is no cost effective way to provide services to all under served areas. There is no cost effective way to provide services to all under served areas. Infrastructure has to be set up, computers will have to be built/maintained, people will have to be trained to become computer literate. Infrastructure has to be set up, computers will have to be built/maintained, people will have to be trained to become computer literate. The costs of man hours, infrastructure and technology would be huge and is unlikely to be feasible. The costs of man hours, infrastructure and technology would be huge and is unlikely to be feasible. Given the limited bandwidth now, it is questionable if the Internet would be able to support the increased traffic. Given the limited bandwidth now, it is questionable if the Internet would be able to support the increased traffic. In other words, our opponents are arguing the benefits of an egalitarian global market without giving suggestions as to how it will be made possible. In other words, our opponents are arguing the benefits of an egalitarian global market without giving suggestions as to how it will be made possible.

11 Technological Determinism is Faulty Logic: "Technological Determinism"- a concept often endorsed by proponents of the digital divide is based on the idea that "the mere presence of technology leads to familiar and standard applications of that technology which in turn bring about social change".  "Technological Determinism"- a concept often endorsed by proponents of the digital divide is based on the idea that "the mere presence of technology leads to familiar and standard applications of that technology which in turn bring about social change".  Warschauer, Mark. "Demystifying the Digital Divide." Scientific America; Aug 2003, Vol. 289 Issue 2, p42, 6p, 2c.

12 Technological Determinism Continued: The mere presence of computers will not generate learning or development. Without proper instruction, their presence can actually be counter productive. The mere presence of computers will not generate learning or development. Without proper instruction, their presence can actually be counter productive. “…An overemphasis on hardware with scant attention paid to the pedagogical and curricular frameworks that shape how the computers are used is common in educational technology projects throughout the world.” “…An overemphasis on hardware with scant attention paid to the pedagogical and curricular frameworks that shape how the computers are used is common in educational technology projects throughout the world.” “Technology must be considered within a specific context that includes hardware, software, support resources, infrastructure, as well as people in various roles and relationships with one another and with other elements of the system. And the technology and social system continuously shape each other, like a biological community and its environment.” “Technology must be considered within a specific context that includes hardware, software, support resources, infrastructure, as well as people in various roles and relationships with one another and with other elements of the system. And the technology and social system continuously shape each other, like a biological community and its environment.” Warschauer, Mark. "Demystifying the Digital Divide." Scientific America; Aug 2003, Vol. 289 Issue 2, p42, 6p, 2c.

13 Case Study: IN 1999 THE MUNICIPAL government of New Delhi, in collaboration with the Indian National Institute of Information Technology, launched an experiment to provide computer access to children in one of the city's poorest areas. They set up set up an outdoor kiosk with several computer stations. The computers, with dialup Internet access, were inside a locked booth, but the monitors, joysticks and buttons stuck out through holes and were accessible. In line with a concept known as minimally invasive education, the test included no teachers or instructors. IN 1999 THE MUNICIPAL government of New Delhi, in collaboration with the Indian National Institute of Information Technology, launched an experiment to provide computer access to children in one of the city's poorest areas. They set up set up an outdoor kiosk with several computer stations. The computers, with dialup Internet access, were inside a locked booth, but the monitors, joysticks and buttons stuck out through holes and were accessible. In line with a concept known as minimally invasive education, the test included no teachers or instructors. The program did not yield the type of results that were expected: Internet connection seldom functioned. The architecture of the kiosk--based on a wall instead of a room-- made instruction or collaboration difficult.… Over the nine-month duration of the experiment, the youngsters did indeed learn how to manipulate the joystick and buttons. But without educational programs and with the content primarily in English rather than Hindi, they mostly did what you might expect: played games and used paint programs to draw.” Neighborhood parents felt ambivalent. Several embraced the initiative, but most expressed concern about the lack of organized instruction. Some even complained that the computer was detrimental. "My son used to be doing very well in school," one parent said, "but now he spends all his free time playing computer games at the kiosk, and his schoolwork is suffering." In short, the community came to realize that minimally invasive education was, in practice, minimally effective education. The program did not yield the type of results that were expected: Internet connection seldom functioned. The architecture of the kiosk--based on a wall instead of a room-- made instruction or collaboration difficult.… Over the nine-month duration of the experiment, the youngsters did indeed learn how to manipulate the joystick and buttons. But without educational programs and with the content primarily in English rather than Hindi, they mostly did what you might expect: played games and used paint programs to draw.” Neighborhood parents felt ambivalent. Several embraced the initiative, but most expressed concern about the lack of organized instruction. Some even complained that the computer was detrimental. "My son used to be doing very well in school," one parent said, "but now he spends all his free time playing computer games at the kiosk, and his schoolwork is suffering." In short, the community came to realize that minimally invasive education was, in practice, minimally effective education. Warschauer, Mark. "Demystifying the Digital Divide." Scientific America; Aug 2003, Vol. 289 Issue 2, p42, 6p, 2c.

14 Education: The introduction of computers and computer based technologies to underserved areas is useless without the proper technical training to go with it. The introduction of computers and computer based technologies to underserved areas is useless without the proper technical training to go with it. If the government is to subsidize internet services to poor communities, it must also provide them with the background needed to utilize these technologies; the process of subsidizing becomes more arduous and less cost effective when the government not only has to provide the services, but also has to make sure that people have the competence to use these services in order to better themselves and their communities. If the government is to subsidize internet services to poor communities, it must also provide them with the background needed to utilize these technologies; the process of subsidizing becomes more arduous and less cost effective when the government not only has to provide the services, but also has to make sure that people have the competence to use these services in order to better themselves and their communities.

15 Not Everyone Wants, Needs, or Uses Internet and Computer Technology: "A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the hold-outs seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a new survey. Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months" (Reuters). "A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the hold-outs seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a new survey. Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months" (Reuters). People use computers for different things and in different capacities and many people do not use computers at all. People use computers for different things and in different capacities and many people do not use computers at all. There are millions in our country alone that are unwilling to acquire Internet services. Even if these people are somehow persuaded that Internet use is to their benefit, do we have the bandwidth to support this?  There are millions in our country alone that are unwilling to acquire Internet services. Even if these people are somehow persuaded that Internet use is to their benefit, do we have the bandwidth to support this?  Reuters Article: CNN.com 

16 Bandwidth Europe, a continent comprised of many developed nations, is suffering from limited connectivity and is having problems ensuring that all of its constituent users are getting the Internet access that they're paying for. Is it not reasonable to assume that a developing nation would suffer more from these issues, given its lack of infrastructure and technological advancement. Europe, a continent comprised of many developed nations, is suffering from limited connectivity and is having problems ensuring that all of its constituent users are getting the Internet access that they're paying for. Is it not reasonable to assume that a developing nation would suffer more from these issues, given its lack of infrastructure and technological advancement. Can we even establish dependable servers in these nations if more developed nations are struggling with this issue? Moreover, given the limited bandwidth now, it is questionable if the Internet would be able to support the increased traffic. Can we even establish dependable servers in these nations if more developed nations are struggling with this issue? Moreover, given the limited bandwidth now, it is questionable if the Internet would be able to support the increased traffic. Eisner, Adam. “Placing Blame For Europe’s Limited Bandwidth”. Web Host Industry News Eisner, Adam. “Placing Blame For Europe’s Limited Bandwidth”. Web Host Industry News

17 Too Much Government Intervention A general problem with government subsidies is that people tend to become dependent on them. This has often been the case with welfare programs, Medicaid (to an extent), and other forms of governmental aid. As a developed nation, we must be able to provide for people until they are able to provide for themselves. How can the government provide internet access in a manner that encourages these poorer communities to continue utilizing it without governmental intervention? A general problem with government subsidies is that people tend to become dependent on them. This has often been the case with welfare programs, Medicaid (to an extent), and other forms of governmental aid. As a developed nation, we must be able to provide for people until they are able to provide for themselves. How can the government provide internet access in a manner that encourages these poorer communities to continue utilizing it without governmental intervention?

18 The Digital Divide is Closing: Sufficient evidence exists that the digital divide is decreasing. Sufficient evidence exists that the digital divide is decreasing. By 2000 public schools in the US had roughly 1 computer for every 4 students. By 2000 public schools in the US had roughly 1 computer for every 4 students. Almost all schools are connected to the internet as were about ¾ of classrooms. Almost all schools are connected to the internet as were about ¾ of classrooms. Computers are becoming cheaper which makes them accessible to more people. Computers are becoming cheaper which makes them accessible to more people. As technology becomes more prevalent in society, it becomes more accessible in public spaces so even though a person may not be able to afford a computer in their own home, they can access computers in public spaces such as internet cafés, schools, and public libraries. As technology becomes more prevalent in society, it becomes more accessible in public spaces so even though a person may not be able to afford a computer in their own home, they can access computers in public spaces such as internet cafés, schools, and public libraries. Warschauer, Mark. "Demystifying the Digital Divide." Scientific America; Aug. 2003, Vol. 289 Issue 2, p42, 6p, 2c. delivery?vid=3&hkd=14&sid

19 THE END


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