scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: email has not become important?
Jim Miller Sr. (jjmsr@LSFCU.ORG
Sat Feb 26 2000 - 07:34:13 CST
I belong to a number of lists which regularly proclaim the "digital
divide" and bemoan the fact that it is just another case of the rich
getting richer and denying the poor access to necessary means of
surviving in today's world. It is made to sound as if those of us who
use the internet have formed a giant conspiracy to deny access to some
and keep the goodies to ourselves. Fortunately, there is no conspiracy.
Unfortunately, some will have greater access to this powerful means of
communication than others. That is the way of the economic system that
our nation has grown and prospered under.
A number of people in this thread have implied that we should not use
e-mail as a means of communicating in the troop because not everyone has
it - there is not universal access so to speak. I really don't see the
logic behind this argument. If we were to follow it to its logical
conclusion, we would not use telephones because not everybody has one;
we wouldn't even use written communication because not everyone can
read. Come to think of it, we couldn't use speech, because not everyone
can speak or hear. And we couldn't use sign language because not
everyone can see.
The internet and e-mail are still in the relatively early stages of
development and adoption. They are one among many means of
communication which may be used within the society or the troop. Other
means such as written notices and face to face meetings must be used to
make sure as many people as possible get the message. If you choose to
not use e-mail because everyone doesn't have it, many of those
individuals who don't have it will never find a reason to get it and
they and the society will miss out on the opportunity to add another
powerful tool for communications to our toolbox.
The printing press was invented a long time ago, and still we don't have
universal access to the written word because some people are illiterate.
If we had told Gutenberg that he couldn't allow people to use his
invention because not all people could use the end product, we would
still be in the Dark Ages.
Why not devote that passion to finding ways to help people gain access
instead of condemning those who choose to adapt and utilize the new
tools as they come along. Assuming others "can't" is elitist: using a
new but viable means of communication appropriately is not.
Jim Miller, Sr.
ASTA # 3105