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How do we take it forward? You tell us!

On Sat, 28 Nov 1998, Shashi Shekhar wrote:

> Leveraging Internet based Technologies to build "Community Networks"
> which can then become vehicles of change. 

		etc. etc.

> There it is guys, how do we take it forward

Shashi, That was a nice piece of wishful thinking!

I was talking with Vamsi over the phone a while ago and I have a small
similie for all of us to consider:

The technology to go to the moon existed in the 1960s.

So also the knowledge to change India exists today.
The knowledge to create community networks exists today.

The problem is 
	a) somebody has to visualize it
	b) somebody has to create a plan and strategy for it
	c) somebody has to enthuse people to join in the plan
	d) somebody has to work out the details
	e) somebody has to do the dirty work of actually making
		the spacecraft
	f) somebody has to risk their lives and go to the moon.

In other words, we have to not only show that a technology exists, we
have to show how we can do it.

In this case, I see this idea as highly impractical. It is a costly
idea.  It is trying to provide a public good, ie., there is no incentive
for private citizens to build this network: e.g., providing computers
and T3 lines to villages in India. etc. etc.

I am being a devil's advocate; not being harsh. Think of why your idea
is economic, worthwhile, feasible, and how it will be implemented. Try
to persuade me. Try to persuade others. Show how it will be done.

Else, like much that we would like to see (such as free education for
everyone, right to education, free water for everyone, etc., etc.,) it
will only provide a leverage for those who see a role for government in
opening a new department with the intention of providing computers free
of cost in every village! (basically a free sinecure to some petty govt.
servant somewhere!)

Good intentions must be really good. They must also be supportable
without govt. intervention.

There. I am now waiting to be persuaded.


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