09-May-2010, 01:33 AM
(This post was last modified: 09-May-2010, 01:37 AM by Ajita Kamal.)
What he is talking about makes perfect sense given the situation in India.
According to a recent study by the world bank, 38% of the world's poor, those below the poverty line, live in India. The innovations in science and technology, made possible by the vast resources of the multinational giants, are not designed to make the lives of these millions any better. They are deemed unworthy of being consumers by the market, for good reason- they are too poor to matter. So, they are left to innovate and adapt on their own.
I like Anil Gupta's idea that our science and technology must give credit to these people for their inventions. Creating an incentive- recognition in this case- is desperately needed to spur more innovation, and to eventually help people break out of the cycles that keep them economically and socially oppressed.
The issue is scalability, as he seems to be aware. However, on this point his model seems incomplete (although it doesn't fall apart completely).
I think that education is still very important, and we cannot leave it out of the equation. Many innovations that benefit the poor do come from the illiterate, but this is because traditionally the educated (even among the poor) are harnessed by the business sector to work on innovations that benefit consumers higher up in the economic ladder. We need different models of education as well. Education not to exploit but to benefit the poor in the long run. Education on their constitutional rights, on patent laws, on basic science and technology.... Even the poor can learn how energy is generated, transmitted and stored, for example. Imagination is a great source of innovation, but without basic knowledge, imagination remains fantasy.
But overall, this is a great approach to bring millions out of poverty and to end the drudgery that they deal with every day.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.