Access to Tools

Tools foster conviviality to the extent to which they can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user. The use of such tools by one person does not restrain another from using them equally. They do not require previous certification of the user. Their existence does not impose any obligation to use them. They allow the user to express his meaning in action. Tools for Conviviality – Ivan Illich

I wonder what Ivan Illich would have made of the Internet. In the early 1970’s I drank in his Deschooling Society and later Energy and Equity. For some reason his name came to mind this evening as I sat on my bed after meditation, so I Googled his name and was pleased, and amazed, to find the full text of his books online. Wonderful!

There’s a movement to get people in remote areas of the world hooked up to the Internet and it’s not all commercially driven either. Rural Wales, Africa, India and Nepal. I wrote an email to Dave Hughes, who has been the moving hand behind many projects around the world, wondering if he had some ideas on how to get the West Allyn Valley hooked up to Broadband. In the end I decided not to send it. There has to be more deserving cases in the world than us.

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2 thoughts on “Access to Tools”

  1. There’s a project called One Laptop Per Child, which aims to give all children a laptop who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a computer, for example in a lot of countries in Africa and South America. The laptop itself seems pretty neat despite it being so cheap, as does the philosophy behind it. One of the really great things about it is that the laptops themselves form a ‘mesh’ WiFi network on the fly, so one laptop gets access to the net via the next laptop in the chain, rather than needing to connect directly. Details at

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