Re: gender apartheid information warfare

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 09:16:15 -0800 (PST)


>This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. How
>do we help people like women in Afghanistan, or peasants in
>Indonesia, or all of the rest of the folks who are cut off from
>the information revolution? I've envisioned a technology that
>could help, something I call a "Brain Seed". Imagine a network
>terminal with an embedded satellite modem. The device is built
>simple and tough -- as much one piece of solid-state electronics
>as possible, and the hard-wired communications software is built
>to be maximally tamper-resistant. Also hard-wired into it is a
>curriculum of basic literacy, from the picture-book level on up.
>With the operation of Moore's Law and advancing material science,
>such devices could be made very cheaply in 15-20 years. Now, make
>billions of these things and make them available to any
>organization that wants to distribute them, at a minimal profit.
>Include them with aid packages. Smuggle them into any country
>that prohibits them. Air drop them -- hell, air drop them from
>robot aircraft . . . Better yet, eventually make them in a form
>that IS a robot aircraft so that they become self-delivering.
>Saturate the planet with them. Then see what happens. . .

Sound's like "The Young Ladies Illustrated Primer" from Neal Stephanson's "The Diamond Age." A truly advanced model would realize if the user was illiterate and teach them how to read. Unfortunately a bit to far into the future.

Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan once made an interesting suggestion. He suggested that instead of propaganda, Radio Free Europe play only Jazz. He suggested it's innate content would cause the USSR to come unglued.

Radio free Afghanistan?

Member,Extropy Institute