[IAEP] Peru, OLPC and Wikipedia
cbigenho at hotmail.com
Mon May 10 23:29:40 EDT 2010
I sent the video links to a few people. They shared my concerns. Here are some of their comments:
First, from a highly respected cultural anthropologist who happens to specialize in the people of the Andes:
"1 Have they not heard of the problems of reading a Darwinian evolution onto
society and culture? That's called social darwinism, a terribly mistaken idea
about the transformation of human societies.
"2 Globalization did not arrive with the web. In fact, for those pictured, you
might say it started with colonialism. There is much more to say here.
"3 One should not confuse poverty with cultural difference. Of course no one
wants to continue living in poverty. But many societies are using global
connections not to become like us ( that is the assumption in the videos, and
one I don't buy), but to make global connections with others who are trying to
make changes in their lives by NOT becoming like us. Curiously, indigenous
politics has seen a resurgence in Latin American contexts since the 1990s. And
in some cases, the web has facilitated these politics of difference."
Another, an experienced educator and respected TIC consultant, that I shared the links with had equally
"Lack of cultural differences- that is a frightening world. I don’t agree with Negroponte that this is where we are headed and it frightens me that he sees that as not just possible but part of what he is doing.
"I did like the Sierra images. ... One idea that comes to mind is the potential change in culture (not one culture) based on connecting villages that were otherwise disconnected. I have often wondered about this with the infusion of technology into cultures that have otherwise been disconnected from these advances. This has been seen in cultures with shaman and the lack of youth who want to learn the tradition of the shaman in a village.
"The one race comment is frightening. It reminds me of another time and place not too long ago."
Sorry to rain on everybody's parade, but
this all seems so very anglo-centric. Won't everyone be surprised when we actually are all speaking one language and it is 汉语?
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