[Foundation-l] getting Wikipedia to the 5.2 billion people who can't access it

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun May 31 13:17:59 UTC 2009

2009/5/31 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> If Waves works anything like email, then it will be possible to use it when
> not directly connected to the Internet.  How's that for helping get
> Wikipedia to people without Internet access?

Not very. Waves, like email, should work for people with intermittent
internet access, but it's pretty useless for people with no internet

>> Wikipedia has already become a dominant information source for the 1.5
>> >> billion people with Internet access thanks to Google.
>> >>
>> >
>> > How does being a dominant information source for people help the WMF
>> achieve
>> > its goals?
>> I don't think being dominant helps in any way, but being an
>> information source for people basically *is* the WMF's goal.
> The goal is for the information to get to the people.  Being the source is
> only the means to that goal.

Fair enough, but I think that's mostly a technicality. Information
travels along a chain, wherever the WMF is in that chain you can
probably call it a/the source.

>> > Personally, I didn't even know the number was 5.2 billion.  Should I do
>> this
>> > further research myself, or can someone answer these questions for me?
>> Wikipedia [1] tells me there are 1.58 billion internet users world
>> wide. It also tells me [2] there are 6.78 billion people in the world.
>> That leaves 5.20 billion non-internet users.
> Ah.  :(  That's not very helpful...  What does it mean to be an "internet
> user"?

Don't know, I didn't look at the methodology of the statistics (rookie
mistake, I know). Hang on... Ok, it looks like the data comes fro a
variety of sources, so I doubt there is a common methodology. Take the
statistics with a large pinch of salt!

> While we can't directly help with things like getting
>> people access to clean water, education is a very important part of
>> any long term scheme to get people out of poverty, and we can
>> certainly help there.
> I'd say education is lower on the list than most people think, unless you
> mean education as a means to get the hell out of the place you're living in.

It depends if you are thinking long term or short term. Short term,
education is pretty useless, but long term it is extremely important.
I don't think getting people out of poverty by moving them is a
sustainable strategy, you need to make the poor villages wealthier.
That means enabling them to move beyond subsistence living, which
education is a key part of.

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