Friday, April 28, 2006

Silicon Hutong Feller Gets it Right Once Again

In his Silicon Hutong blog, David Wolf comments on a story from Reuters in which the folks from Big Blue, a/k/a IBM, you know, the folks who used to make computers?

Well, it seems that the European director of the IBM Institute for Business Value (sounds like a bullshit job right there, no?) says that there is a level playing field developing in terms of connectivity vis a vis the 'developed' world and China.

David correctly states that this happens to be horse pucky. He points out that maybe if you're talking about the major cities it might be so, but that is the sort of off the cuff judgment that foreigners who are not China hands tend to make regularly.

China, he points out, is underdeveloped. Less than nine per cent of the populace have regular internet access, there is only one home computer for every fifty people (still a lot of computers, though) and few people can reach the internet thru their cell phones (I can't myself here in Iowa).

David notes that this makes China appear more developed than it is, and exaggerates the level of development and thereby competitive threat to knowledge and creativity based industries in the developed world.

He says that the average American truckstop likely has more connectivity than the average Chinese village. I don't know from Chinese villages, but one of my students works from a booth in a truckstop in Idaho because there's free wifi.

What this all leads up to is speculation-speculation as to why anyone would do business with a group of people so out of it as IBM seems to be. A good question.


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