[IAEP] Peru, OLPC and Wikipedia

Yamandu Ploskonka yamaplos at gmail.com
Tue May 11 10:47:04 EDT 2010

gee wiz. Talk about cultural whatevers going on, and I missing
completely my very first chance I have ever had to have a grown-up
conversation about social darwinism, a subject I have followed by my
lonesome for way too long to have something better than very mixed up
ideas, to the point I didn't even recognize the beast when it walked in
front of me.


> "all speaking one language and it is 汉语" 

As to one language, one culture, among my juvenilia I count hanging out
for 9 months as one of Rev. Moon's finest, so ein volk, ein land, etc,
is no news to me, I followed that (now stupid to me) call already.

I did also mention at some moment how confused I was in my own feelings
when meeting the Chinese equivalent of the Peace Corps active in a
school in Nepal. Why was it I find completely normal to see European,
Anglo or even African American volunteers in foreign lands, but this
sort of "didn't fit"? They were nice young people, we had pretty good
conversations (amazing level of English language), but, somewhere in my
heart a not purposeful reaction of "not my team?". And that happening to
me, when Cdo domu muj? is almost a way of life...

Too many words maybe, just to say that a whole lot of us are probably
quite ignorant to be informed players in their ideological conversation,
whence they will happily push forward their agendas, that, oh, alas,
happen to deal with *our *own -uninformed, participation not called or
expected- future and choices.

> ////in some cases, the web has facilitated these politics of difference//////

I'm curious if this goes beyond a wish. I'd say the balance being
negative so far.

I am making it my own business to work this angle. http://descolonizar.org

There is very little I have found on this quest that works, thus I am
all too afraid it might just not happen. I have a deep respect for
diversity, sometimes at odds with some great friends who would see in
more homogeneity a more peaceful alternative, and I am still very much
split in issues like availability of health care and elder care among
those whose approach is some version of inshallah. Also, individual
liberty seems to be so much at odds with cultural and community
coherence, worse when the market forces get through, spearheaded by
massive commercial interests especially in the cool-youth areas of music
and such, and credit-encouraged sales. One more reason I twist my nose
at Internet being the educational cure-all.


On 05/10/2010 10:29 PM, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
> Hi All
> 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 
> disturbing concerns:
> /"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 tradit ion 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?
> Caryl
> _______________________________________________
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