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Digital deficits Public representations of digital communications technology. James Sumner Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine University of Manchester, UK email@example.com. Techno-utopianism: connectivity as the great leveller.
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Public representations of digital communications technology
Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
University of Manchester, UK
Like a force of nature, the digital age cannot be denied or stopped...
The traditional centralist view of life will become a thing of the past... While the politicians struggle with the baggage of history, a new generation is emerging from the digital landscape free of many of the old prejudices. These kids are released from the limitation of geographic proximity as the sole basis of friendship, collaboration, play, and neighborhood. Digital technology can be a natural force drawing people into greater world harmony...
A previously missing common language emerges, allowing people to understand across boundaries... The access, the mobility, and the ability to effect change are what will make the future so different from the present... we are bound to find new hope and dignity in places where very little existed before.
Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (1995)
Two years ago, President Clinton and I challenged America to connect every classroom – inner-city, rural, suburban – to the Information Superhighway by the year 2000. We challenged the nation to ensure that all of our teachers and students have access to modern computers and engaging educational software. We challenged the nation to provide all teachers with the training and support they need in order to help students make the most of these wonderful new technologies. We challenged the nation to make sure that our children will never be separated by a digital divide.
And America has responded to that challenge. Last March, the President and I rolled up our sleeves and worked alongside 20,000 other volunteers in California to hook up one-fifth of California's schools to the Information Superhighway in a single day...
Al Gore, public speech, Knoxville, Tennessee
10 October 1996
Assumptions underpinning the Deficit Model in science communication
MicroLink advertisement, Atari User, 1988; Shades ad, unsourced, c1988
While I manage to fend off pop-up windows with Mozilla, and spam with Spamassassin, most people don’t know about those programs. They live in the “hinternet”, that shanty-town of X10 pop-ups and porn adware, and endless, endless Hotmail and Yahoo spam. They’re tourists in the world of the Net, and like any tourist, they rarely get a good guide. They’re just taken down the back streets by disreputable but flashy showmen, and robbed for everything they’re worth. And it’s true, we don’t do as much as we should for them, because we’re okay in our little burbclaves.
Posting to personal weblog, 15 April 2003