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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  August 1994, Week 1

COMMUNET August 1994, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Universal Access: E-d-u-p-a-g-e 08/04/94 (fwd)

From:

"David H. Rothman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

David H. Rothman

Date:

Fri, 5 Aug 1994 21:38:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (58 lines)

Art's right to feel grouchy about 99-inch television sets. Basics before
luxuries, please. Too many people--Afro-Americans and whites alike, in my
opinion--are TVcentric. But this TVC problem is far, far more than just
the shortcomings of individuals.
 
The White House so far is among the worst sinners. I find it most telling
that Al Gore held his grand NII conference in Hollywood, and that the
entertainment biz is overrepresented on the NII Advisory Council while
librarians are under-represented. With its TVC approach, the White House
seems more eager to cater to Fortune 500 types and Americans' short-term
wishes than to serve the long-range interest of the country. Note the
"seems." I'd love to be shown wrong about Clinton-Gore (Tom Kalil Jock
Gill, or Mike Nelson, are you lurking? I voted for Clinton-Gore. I'd like
not to have to sit out '96. Please don't disappoint me.)
 
The best long-range solution is to drive down the cost of text- and
net-friendly computers to the point where they're just too cheap *not* to
own. We could do this through a focused procurement program for schools
and libraries to justify *private* industry's R&D. And the same machines
could be used to add new capabilities to TV sets, including smart
electronic forms for commercial and government-related transactions--a
means to justify the text-friendly machines, at both the national and
individual levels. There is indeed a way to reconcile literacy with the
wishes of the home shopping folks for commerce-oriented gadgetry.
 
But is the White House doing anything? As far as I know, zilch. Despite
all the nice talk about digital libraries and support of communets and
the rest, folks, we're essentially talking about TVcentrists.
 
I'd hope that the White House would show a little leadership here and
change its apparent direction. Otherwise Al Gore's little neighbor
girl--the regular in his grand NII speeches--will be too busy gawking at
the Roseanne to dial up the Library of Congress.
 
Meanwhile, perhaps *some* voters are finally wising up. I find it most
heartening that a TVC atrocity like Channel One is losing out in the
schools, thanks to a rather useful campaign at the grassroots level. Maybe
the same energy can be harnessed someday to hold Gore to his promises to
help his neighbor girl.
 
-David Rothman           For the latest TeleRead (185K), put your system in
 [log in to unmask]       capture and type from the UNIX prompt:
 703-370-6540(o)(h)      finger [log in to unmask] Copies also via e-mail.
 
> As a so-called "ethnic minority" I often find myself somewhat ashamed of
> the value SOME people who share my culture place on luxury items, while
> giving low priority to things that will enrich them intellectually. How
> many times(Black people raise your hands because you know what I am
> talking about) have you gone over to a friends' or relatives' house,
> walked through the front door and nearly been crushed by the 99"
> television set in the living room?!
 
[GREAT STUFF DELETED]
> -----------------------------
> Art McGee [[log in to unmask]]
> -----------------------------
>

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