A day late, a dollar short… The frickin site crashed yesterday, to the chagrin of untold thousands of frustrated visitors. In the meantime, I got an update from Stats Can (see previous post), and landed on a really snarky backlash to the recent NYT piece (Matt Richtel, May 29) - Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era - in which poor people are portrayed as the real online time-wasters. I’ll get back to that after I finish with Ottawa’s digital sins.
“Even when you give poor people access to technology, they don’t know what to do with it! Might as well give a paleolithic tribe access to a chip fab, pffft.”
–Christopher Mims, MIT Technology Review, May 31
[continues from previous post]
3 – IC has excluded consumers from digital policy – except as workers and online shoppers
Ever since Tony Clement, the previous Industry minister, began mooting a strategy for the digital economy, he left plenty of signs that he intended the beneficiaries to be his party’s business constituents. And that his approach had nothing to do with a broadband strategy. The distinction between a strategy for the digital economy and a digital strategy for everybody is not a trivial one. Two years ago, the Tories launched a public consultation process, dressed up with a 40-page backgrounder entitled “Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage” (uploaded here). I wrote a post shortly thereafter in which I laid out evidence of the government’s anti-consumer bias. To cite one small point:
“The digital consultation has tossed consumers over the brink, while lavishing its attention on the needs of business. Here’s a semantic clue: The consultation background paper uses the word investment over 70 times; it uses the word affordable exactly once.” Continue reading