My research on ICT4D has taken a very interesting turn. During my research my view of technology as i heard it being talked about and saw it operate was cynical- this is the best word that comes to mind. By cynical i mean doubtful of what i was told technology would create for us in the way of progress or development or just what it was suppose to mean. I saw the latest cell phones were there was not a regular supply of electricity. I saw 3G phones/devices where there were maority CDMA networks. I generally felt that we were getting a bit ridiculous in Jamaica and taking the technology thing too far. I have always felt that i was living in a time when we were just putting the cart before the horse.
I looked at the E-Learning project (introduction of computers into schools to improve student performance) with a very critical eye and saw how technology was imposed to create a miracle.
My understanding of technology is now changing as a result of a few events.
1. The Politics of Open Source Software
Matthew McNaughton ( Executive Director of the Slashroots foundation in Jamaica) had mentioned to me that he had done research for his first degree on open source software in Cuba.Looking specifically at how Open Source Software could democratize development. I was fascinated by the concept of how by using open source software individuals and governments were countering the dominant narrative of innovation and development and creating their own space and terms.
2. A Problematic installation of Windows 7 on my computer forces me to install and work with Ubuntu. Launching me head on into the world of Free and Open Source Software with a new level of commitment.
3. Working as Programme Mananger for Code for the Caribbean Programmme stimulates my interest in the technical aspects of techhnology, coding and designing and forces me to explore Linux more.
4. An exploration of the presense/absence of women in technology after a bad day at work leads to me finding FLOSSIE. a collective of women based in England that explore Open Source and hardware.
5.Watching a series of lectures on Youtube about the Flossie Movement and Linux.
6. Discovering the FOSS OPW internship for women applying to translate the Debian installer in Patios/Jamaican English and getting accepted.
All of these recent events have led me to see;
1. how community can be created around technology
2. There are alternative cultures all over the world that are not capitalist and oppressive but about creating cultures of sharing community access and innovation.