Universal Access


Slashdot.org has an article from Jon Katz on Universal Access.

\"Universal Access is that rarest of social phenomena, the win-win issue. Except for moral guardians clucking about pornography and violent video games, who could really oppose it?: It can advance technology while it helps eliminate potentially bitter social divisions, upgrades literacy, education and research, liberates information, enhances democracy, strengthens community. Some companies even believes if strengthens family ties. It would make the Net a universal business, educational and social tool, rather than a network for the affluent, educated and technologically-inclined it is now. \"Universal Access is one of the most unambivalently moral issues relating to technology and contemporary society. It helps fulfill the real promise of technology --- to bring information to everyone on the planet. Not to take anything away from the sweatshop issue, it\'s hard to think of a cause that would do more for the disadvantaged right here at home. While middle-class Americans are hooking up to the Net like mad, poor Americans aren\'t. Nor has most of the underdeveloped world. Without Universal Access, they will soon be hating the technologically-connected (especially the American variety) who monopolize and dominate the new technologies driving the global economy.

It\'s interesting that corporations, of all entities, rather than educational or political institutions (colleges and universities rarely provide personal computers to students taking these strides). Business grasps that internal communications networks, interconnected business environments and systems that involve the whole family are good for business. That they are, in fact, potentially good for everybody.

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