/*sidenote tool from arc90 */ /* end of Google Analytics code */ A Random Pattern: The New Class Divide?

A Random Pattern

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The New Class Divide?

Technology and the new class divide | Perspectives | CNET News.com: "The truth is that the promise of a digital utopia where all are more or less equal has not yet come to pass. More broadly, income disparities in the United States are greater than they have been in 30 years, and some suggest that income inequality is growing to levels not seen since the 1880s. Recent studies have also suggested that social mobility is stagnating and possibly even reversing. That means very few people are moving out of the class they were born into. Despite all our technology gains, it appears that class gaps are widening. Could it be that technology is actually exacerbating the class divide rather than helping to address it?

In an era when 60 percent of all jobs now require good fundamental technology skills and technology has become a quality of life indicator, tech elites have noticeable advantages. They're able to demand higher paying jobs, communicate better and faster, and save time and money by handling routine tasks (like paying bills and accessing health information) online instead of in person."

Right now there is a brewing battle between pipeline owners and corps such as Google. Web2.0 companies like the current democratization of the web, where all citizens are (at least somewhat) equal. But the pipeline owners are seeing dollar signs through a different vision of the future - a future where the speed of a particular site might depend on how much that site was willing to pay to the pipeline owner. I can see this leading to an even bigger class divide, voiding the promise of technology.