Mailing list commentary
Sometime last year, a BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26065991 made it's way on the University of Michigan GRID list. I wrote a quick response and replied to the person who sent the email instead of the whole list. Oh well. Here it is:
"Gosh, this article goes on the list of 'how not to think/write about technology and/or Africa' for academics and technologists. It certainly has the components of 'how to get attention for your article' checklist if you're a journalist writing about both.
Depict Africa as a deplorable unified mass with reductive statements about complex issues? check
Point to a 'modern' agent to save the day? check
Raise zero questions about the corporate and vested interests behind said wonder innovative 'solution'? check
Pretend to give Africans some agency by partially quoting African elite person giving support? check
Use keywords like leapfrog, transform, mobile, etc multiple times? check check
Extra points if you come up with a 'clever' name. Why Lucy? You know... because!"