Monday, April 6, 2009

Week Nine- Questioning the Digital Divide

How does James' critique differ from Compaine's? 

James' main argument is that people have to have access, understanding, and competence in order for our divide to diminish.  He is certain that there is a digital divide.  James' believes that we cannot rely on past inventions to predict what the internet can do in the future.  For early technologies, people generally need few skills and literacy to work radios, tvs, etc.  But once people start using internet and email, they need to be able to understand and have a need for this type of technology. Nations that are more engaged in research are more likely to use technologies and attempt to understand them so that they can uplift or improve their country.  

Compaine's main argument is that with time, the divide is going to fix itself with technologies.  It's more of a digital crevice, than a divide, so eventually it's just going to disappear. His focus is on normalization, and that we'll all get to the same spot because digital technologies influence us.  He states that more and more people are using the internet and that prices are decreasing at the same time, making the divide close up. 

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