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Friday, July 18, 2008

Software and Politics

Here's a thought that has been ringing round my head since talking with James.......

Democracy - a hugely important part of the life as we know it, has three fundamentals that define it: 1 - a free and fairly elected government, 2 - a free press, 3 - the rule of law.

But something is bugging me. In an age of information and the knowledge economies is software and in particular access to the internet fast becoming a defining property of a democracy?

For sure, the power of software, and what can be researched, analysed and created using modern technology now fast becoming an asset that leaves developing nations at a serious disadvantage and makes it a hugely political issue.

When the 20th Century saw the birth of atomic energy and the atom bomb it created a segregation that changed the face of the planet. It created special 'clubs' where those that had the advantage restricted it from others, and controlled economies, held the upper hand in heated discussions and caused tensions around the world.

But what of countries without the right infrastructure now? Without the ability to adopt or to grow the technology that changes lives? How will they embrace these visions of the future where software not only makes life better but helps to solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity?

For many of us software is a job, a hobby and sometimes a passion. Do we really understand the evolution that is going on around us though?

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