Reading Response: Hardware in the Field / Nov.16

Technology has dramatically changed the way politics and leadership is done in various parts of the world. Whereas some countries are on the forefront promoting access of technology to enlighten its community, others are blocking all communication avenues to prevent rise of dissidents. Communication avenues such as Internet, television, and cell phone communication are increasingly becoming tools of power in which politicians spread their agenda or the community to oust bad leadership. Just recently, Facebook phenomenon was used to oust leaders in Islamic countries in North Africa. This is a personal response to three articles on the web discussing the issue of access to information and politics.

The article “Afghanistan’s Amazing DIY Internet” briefly discusses the way in which people in Afghanistan use crude tools to set up Internet connection in remote areas. I personally think that people around war torn countries are hungry and thirsty for information that they are willing to do anything possible to access information through Internet. The time has come this indicator when oppressing government regimes will face stiff resistance due to the increased access to information. This is exemplified by the fact that modern avenues of information are difficult if not impossible to intercept and suppress. America has been the globe’s brother’s keeper and thus always on the forefront in championing for peace in war torn countries.

From the article “U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour around Censors,” it is possible to argue that New York is the hub of global politics from which, policies and agendas are propagated to regions of interest. It thus does not come by surprise that the Obama administration is actually taking efforts of influencing leadership and political regime in other countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. Since the September 11 bombing, American politics took a new direction. The “PATRIOTIC ACT” changed the degree in which the federal government deals with information. There is much controversy looming over the issue of wiretapping and camera surveillance. Similarly, one might pose a question as to what is the motive behind funding and supporting dissidents in other countries.

The importance attached to by the federal government to such support is arguably great. This is because the New York Times article claims that some of the projects use ultramodern technology. It can only be hoped that such moves are aimed and meant to promote freedom of speech, which is a prerequisite for democracy. This will in turn promote peace in these troubled countries. The one laptop per child initiative in Afghanistan is certainly one of the best moves towards enlightening the society. If the initiative bears fruits, then I would expect the country to stand back on its foot and regain its former glory. The people of Afghanistan will be able to express themselves just as Americans do in their country.

It can only be hoped that all the moves employed to provide flow of information devoid of oppressive government interference work better still, we hope that these oppressive regimes come to pass. This way, countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria among others will rise to the occasion and be part of the developed democracies.