The issue somehow came up again. What to do to reduce the social gap
in Israel using technology or maybe how to avoid increasing the
gap because of the technology.
Fact is that people with less income will be less likely to be
able to afford Internet connection or a computer or even good
Children coming from such background have less chances to attend
higher education, to get better job and unless they are lucky or
exceptionnaly talented they are doomed to be left behind. Again.
So let's look at our small niche in improving their situation.
Financing computers and Internet connection might be a good idea
though most of the computer software is still in English and
the Hebrew content on the web is relatively limited.
So I guess - if I was the government - I would to such things as
Finance translation projects of Gnome
and KDE via PERACH or other
similar semi-volunteer organizations. That will ensure that future
versions of systems using these GUIs will be fully available to
people who don't know English on a high level.
Actually I think the Israeli government should help not only the Hebrew
translation but also to get involved Arabic and possibly in Amhari.
Not only will that help the Arab minority and the immigrants respectively
but that will also help bridging some political gaps.
Translate Open Source applications
Finance translation of several Open Source applications including their
help system. There are lots of them. I would probably look at the
applications installed on Ubuntu and start with some of those.
Setup computer rooms in social clubs around the country, especially in
areas with limited financial capabilities. These computer rooms should be connected
to the Internet as well. Maintenance of such computer rooms could be done
via the above mentioned semi-volunteer programs.
In parallel I would setup classes to show people how to use computers
in general and Linux in particular. The computer rooms mentioned above
would work. People would learn basic skills in using a computer, accessing
web sites (e.g. Wikipedia, news
sites, e-mail. How to search for information. How to find jobs, how to
contact government offices. How can they learn new stuff on the Internet.
None of these are especially bright or new ideas. They just need a decision to be made by
the government officials and some financing. I am sure many university students will be
glad to get a grant for some of this work.