Re: New Government?

Brian D Williams (
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 08:59:44 -0700 (PDT)


>The facts you state are true. I'd like to see more discussion of
>extropian approaches to addressing problems in the Third World.
>What kinds of realistic economic reforms could we support? What
>kind of political action? What technologies should we advocate for
>development in the and for the Third World?

I agree, this is an excellent subject for discussion, I would recommend the book "Gaviotas" about the community of the same name as a good place to start.

>Things like Grameen Bank's micro loans are a very extropic tool
>for encouraging enterprise in the Third World. I wonder if there
>are other innovative tools like micro loans. Grameen's cellular
>telephone company, that focusses on putting just one cell phone
>into a village as a start, is the kind of thing I think we should
>look for as programs to highlight as extropic solutions to Third
>World problems: It is said that villages in Bangladesh that have
>gotten a phone through this program now get better prices for the
>cash crops they are able to raise because they are able to check
>market prices in the city and not be at the mercy of middle-men
>with better knowledge.

There is a new book out all about Grameen Bank, it's founder, and history. I've been facinated by the concept ever since I heard about it. I hope there's info about the cellular effort in there as well. The problem with cellular of course is that you still require expensive infrastructure..... It might be an interesting idea for the world bank to buyout Irridium and use it for this purpose....

Microloaning is well within the realm for US to do.....

The Extropian MicroBank.....

>It's true that most people in the world don't have electricity,
>and I think the West's high-tech industries should be thinking
>hard about how to distribute the benefits of new technologies into
>the Third World as swiftly as possible. In my opinion, working to
>get good power technology into the hundred million villages of the
>world is as important as any other technological development we
>could advocate.

Solar is good for this, as are various Cogeneration ideas.

>Finally, though, I think that the net WILL be crucially important.
>I've discussed before my idea of building "Brain Seeds":
>Super-cheap, solar-powered, sat-connected net terminals. I'd like
>to see design and development of such a tool become an
>industry-wide initiative in Silicon Valley and then competition
>among the high-tech billionaires there to support production and
>distribution of these as a philanthropic "gold standard".
>Development of a privately-supported network of web-sites offering
>basic literacy training and sound agricultural and village
>management advice could then become a way that almost anyone could
>participate in lifting the bottom third of humanity up out of
>abject poverty (and also of providing those hundred million
>villages a way to hear truth that their local tin-pot tyrant
>wants to quash).

Rumor has it that the people who developed the windup "Freeplay" radio" (an extropian must have) were working on something like this, once again Irridium is a good candidate, except it's low speed data rate would hardly support the WWW.

The Idea of a World Radio Network, (satelite) possibly backed by the U.N might be of help, although the International version of the FreePlay radio does shortwave.....


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