Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeless Hot Spots?

So.. the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) has a company that has paid homeless people to be mobile hotspots.  SXSW is a music, film, arts festival in Austin.
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This has caused quite a bit of controversy and press - which is probably what the company that paid for the mobile hotspots wanted in the first place.  Much of the anger appears to be around the idea that this is a short term solution.
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The short term arguments are around the "teach a man to fish" idea.  That the company should show the homeless how to set up a hotspot company.  Like in the absence of capital, a home or  infrastructure they can do this.
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Other arguments tend to revolve around slavery - which I think is a bit much.  No one is forcing the homeless to be hotspots.  It's a job - albeit temporary.
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Personally I think that it is odd that we are okay with homeless as long as they are invisible, but are uncomfortable or angry once they are visible.  So angry we insist they are being exploited.  (FYI: they do this by wearing a small transmitter strapped to their ankle.  I suppose this can brign some uncomfortable imagery of the chain gang.)

1 comment:

Laura said...

hope they all wear the t-shirts otherwise the transmitter strapped to the ancle may look like they have just got out of prison... just sayin'