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In this show, we discussed the true meaning of “digital inclusion” – what does it mean to have an online device, when we can perceive helplessly that it “rots” before our eyes?
With Restarter Dave Lukes, we asked if statistics about device ownership, numbers of people online, really mean anything if we are becoming mere passive receivers of information and playing catch-up to access key online-only services.
Then we talked about how mobile users in Europe and North America have few choices in terms of form-factor, and even fewer in what relates to the underlying software powering smartphones.
As a counterpoint, we talked about the mobile ecosystem of Shenzen, China, as featured by this great MIT Media Lab video.
Lastly we mentioned the “back-alley upgrades” happening to iPhones in China, and what this all means.
For background reading, in order of our discussion:
- André Lemos’ essay: The Dogmas of Digital Inclusion
- MIT Media Lab’s Knotty Objects
- WSJ on Chinese iPhone upgrades
- Photos of Chinese iPhone upgrades
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