Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Digital Divide - It's Deeper Then You Think

The digital divide is often discussed only in terms of access or lack thereof to tech & the web but the divide goes beyond that as the thought process required to successfully negotiate the digital realm differs from driving a car or preparing dinner for a family of four. For example, when a tech says the file is "over there", she or he usually means it resides in a place one can get to. The physical location is of little or no consequence as long as you know the drill. i.e.
  1. have web access,
  2. know the URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
  3. (if necessary) know the directory path
  4. (if necessary) know the Login & PW
  5. know the file name and last but not least...
  6. have the program needed to open and work with the file
This notion of connectivity and how it applies to computation and the internet is akin to learning a musical instrument. At first, it's a total loss. Really ugly sounds (of notes & frustration) issue forth and the possibility of playing or doing anything of consequence in either environment seems as far away as Pluto but with practice and perseverance, the Veils of Bacon eventually part and the reality of becoming connected just "happens' just as learning how to play said instrument without thinking just "happens".

Webopedia, Techtarget & Saugus.net are great resources to learning the vagaries of tech. Also asking questions doesn't hurt as the only stupid question is one not asked.

End of spiel.
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