Bridging the Digital Divide
Its an often overlooked topic, but many people do not have equal access to information systems.
Often the poor, elderly, or those generally outside the loop. While the gap is closing, per se, there is a new digital divide.
Those with access to a general purpose computer, which comes with root access, and the ability to create programs, and media.
I propose the ability to either own, or have exclusive access to an internet capable self-hosting, general purpose computer is a right. The right to tinker is the right of ALL.
I further propose root access on a device you own is a right.
I also further, given the fact that it is generally the poor, who have a phablet, or tablet as their ONLY computers, denying these rights to phones and tablets is targeting the poor, and preventing them from learning about computers or contributing. At very least its denying them the rights we had in the 1980s and 1990s to tinker.
Steven Smith started a proposal Wed 19 Jun 2013
Digital Grant Closed Thu 4 Jul 2013
Every citizen who needs it deserves a biannual digital grant to stimulate the purchase computing devices such as laptops, netbooks, desktops, tablets or computer components for custom builds. At the current conditions of the market, $300 to $500 every two years sounds like a decent rate.
Like the common implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there would be a national, competitive marketplace where people could see all the unbiased options available to make informed financial decisions.
I think this grant should be universal, but because at this current population, such a program would cost between $95.8 billion and $160 billion at the suggested values, I can agree with a needs-based program. However, keep in mind that this would be biannual, so providing universal grants would be like spending between $47.9 and $80 billion annually.
|Agree - 2|
|Abstain - 2|
|Disagree - 2|
|Block - 2|
Wed 19 Jun 2013
Such a grant would reduce the digital divide, and it reconciles the fears that (1) some would abuse the grant and (2) the federal government would be providing compromised devices that are irreversibly monitored.
Sun 23 Jun 2013
I agree with a variation: The way Bikes not Bombs collects and refurbishes old bikes, somewhere in this plan we should have "collect and refurbish old hardware." Not too old, obviously, but a 5-7 year old computer will do for many folks just fine.