November 20, 2006

The Social Worlds of Immigrants

I like this little passage I think it shows that immigrants do want to be apart of our society and that they do care but they just are not always as easily understood. I think this passage shows that even though we are different because of our cultures we are very muich similar because Dario's mother worries for him just as ours worries for us. I think it shows we are just as much alike as we are different. It gives reason for us to sit back get to and understand others.

The Social Worlds of Immigrants

I like this little passage I think it shows that immigrants do want to be apart of our society and that they do care but they just are not always as easily understood. I think this passage shows that even though we are different because of our cultures we are very muich similar because Dario's mother worries for him just as ours worries for us. I think it shows we are just as much alike as we are different. It gives reason for us to sit back get to and understand others.

African Americans Versus Technology

I personally was not a very big fan of this passage. I do not agree with a lot of what the author say and I do not believe he as a very good understanding of the black culture, I think like many he misunderstands the black culture. The biggest misconception I get from his work would be that all blacks are alike. Some blacks just like people in other races are behind in technology and yes blacks do have the lowest numbers in areas susch as computer engineering and being doctors or lawyers but I am not sure how much of that has to do with slavery and cotton gins or how much of it even as to do with not knowing how to deal with technology or being behind in the technological world. I definately do not believe that we are behind in the political world either. Though there has yet to be a black president balcks have indeed become an active part in politics. Look at this years turn outs in the election democrats sweeping both the house and the senate in the election and who are the biggest supporters of democrats usually people of color and women. Not mention that both Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were both great bodies in the government and Rice still is currently. I just took offense to his article because I fill it greatly incorrect and that maybe someone should not be writing on such a large topic so broadly in such an unsupported way. I disagree with the thought that rappers and basketball players influence kids black or not majorly when it comes to how they carry themselves. I have never agreed with the media influences children I believe if you teach your children correctly they will lives by their beliefs which should not be that easily broken by television and music. I think black boys who have a passion for rap and basketball may admire the Michael Jordans and the Coolios but they don't choose to be who they are because they are imitating these celebrities but t they merely like these celebrities because they have similiar interest. Most importantly though is the fact that lots of African Americans are able to use and understand the functions of technoolgy and I believe what is holdiong most of them back is money and not much else. And generatin after generation black families are trying to better themselves so that the next can be even better and make their way through school and a career in technology

November 19, 2006

Technology & African Americans

I won't say I was surprised about what the article had to say but I guess I had never realized that there really are very few African Americans in careers involving technology. I believe the main reason for this is the lack of computers in the homes of these children due to high poverty rates. If I grew up in a home without a computer, I'm sure I would have no interest or skill in using them. My question though, is what about video games? I have yet to see a lack of the latest systems in the homes of many of my friends and people I know who are black. Yet, when it comes to what's behind the scenes of those games, there is still a major underrepresentation. Maybe there is some cultural belief that even learning video game programming is somehow dorky. Maybe, though, that field is only just becoming popular and the there could in fact be a better number that just hasn't been seen yet.
The thing that bothered me about the article was that I just didn't see why the history of African Americans having to fight technology rather than embrace it had any real direct connection to why they aren't involved or good at it now. Times have changed for everyone and computers are much different than the cotton gin. To me, it's about poverty and accessibility, not something that seemed to be pulled out of thin air. To use my stats class terminology, correllation does not imply causation.

Technology Vs. African Americans

This article brings up many points to think about. I believe that there are many African Americans that have stunted skills with technology, but I also think that this view of things is a bit restricted, there are also many African Americans who flourish in the ways of the computerized world while I have only a base knowledge since most of it makes little sense to me. I also believe that one of the main reasons that this group of people has so limited a knowledge basis and skill with computers has to do with the fact that there is a mainly richer (not necessarily rich) white society holding the reins of power and also with the often limited resources of the schools. I have had experience with many people, including many of those at the Minnesota Internship Center, that have no computer at home and as such there experience with them is limited to what they get at school which severely cuts in on there potential to be able to be fluent in the ways of the computer. This in turn will diminish their potential of excelling in modern society, both job-wise and socially. Every person should have the opportunity to be educated in all ways as best that can be done. But as it stands there are only a select few who have this choice. This should change, and it should change soon.

Technology Vs. African Americans

I wasn't very surprised when reading this article to find that African Americans don't have much to do with technology. We have talked a lot in our discussions about how many African Americans are not very well educated because of poverty rates. I think it's sad that certain races are confined to do certain things. Especially with fields like technology, where it is predominatley white dominated. No one is really to blame for this. I really liked the line, "What might be accomplished by an education system that truly tried to educate everyone to excellence, not just the children of the cities and the suburbs? (18)" If all schools focused on educating all students to be their best there wouldnt be as many gaps in society but as we all know and have discussed it's not as simple as we'd like to think. There are too many circumstances with inner city schools funding and all sorts of other things that we never seem to think of when looking for solutions.

November 18, 2006

Another Problem in America Caused by Poverty

The article “Technology Verses African-Americans� presents a very interesting topic. We all would like to think that the fast growing technology knowledge in America was widespread but it really leaves out some important groups of people. The face that most of us had computers in our homes while we were growing up has helped us a lot in many ways. For example, we all can quickly get the hang of this blog or internet classes, as well as get job opportunities because we can type well or, as in the article, program computers. Not to mention the benefit of being internet savvy. We all can look up information for a report, look for jobs, or instant message almost instantly with a computer at our finger tips. But the sad fact that the article pointed out is that a lot of poverty stricken African Americans cannot afford the luxury of providing their children with computers in the home. So, those kids are limited to brief computer time at school or after-school programs or they don’t use a computer at all. Because of that fact, all of those children are at a disadvantage to people like me, who has had a computer for most of my life. Those kids don’t get the opportunity to expand their technology literacy that is so important in America today. The end result is more people left behind at this technology boom in time. And it is terrible that the poverty rate is yet another underlying cause for disadvantages many Americans are forced to face.

Technology VS African-Americans

I completely disagree with Anthony Walton, the author of this article. I think that he is only looking at a certain group of people in each race instead of seeing all of the people in the race, he is just looking at the average. For example, he argues that African-Americans have a harder time with technology but I know a lot of African-Americans who have much better technology skills than I have. I also know a lot of white people who do their best to avoid having to use a computer as much as they can, just because they get so frustrated with it and they get frustrated because they don’t know how to use the technology. I don’t think that it’s the fact that African-Americans cant understand technology because of the color of their skin, but I think its more because of cultural differences and what society has allowed them to learn. Throughout history African-Americans have been put lower on the social and economic scale than white people, and its white people who put them there. So they have had to adapt to new technology at that level. The average income for the African-American family is less than the average income for the white family, so owning the highest tech technology isn’t on the list of priorities for the African-American family, many may not even own a computer, students would then use a computer at a public place like a library or at a school, but since they then have to do more to get to that computer, they are only going to use it when they need it and they are not going to use it to learn how to use technology like the people in the article, the school dropouts and other technology savvy people.

Tech vs. African Americans

I could of guessed before reading this article that African Americans werent very involved in technolgy. I know its sad but looking out into our world you can spot these things before soemone has to write about them. African Americans are one of the highest percentages in poverty. If a family is in poverty they cant afford to buy all the fancy technolgy or even not fancy technolgy that has came out. Its all very expensive. I come from a middle class family and my parents told me that they couldnt afford to buy me a lap top. Thank god the U of M has computer labs i can use. What about the schools in the poorer nieghborhoods with many of the African Americans in poverty, they cant afford to give these kids a great computer lab and if they do have computers is there someone there who can also teach them how to use one? As for very little African American involvement in technolgy careers i believe is smilar to our last reading about why American Indians arent involved in careers in science, they have not been introduced to it much. How can you be interested and want to pursue something for life if you have no idea about it. You can see the disinterest in technolgy careers for African Ameriacsn here at the U. I have only met one African Ameriacn that was enrolled in the institute of technolgy, the rest were all white or Asain. Computers and technolgy are used to do everything now and everyone needs to have a understanding of these things and if certain people, in the case African Americans never get that chance to understand then they wont be able to keep up with the our fast pace society.

November 17, 2006

Technology Versus African-Americans

Before reading the article “Technology Versus African-Americans�, I never realized that African-Americans seldom involved in the technology business. It is still unclear to me the full reason that they do not pursue careers in the technology areas more. I think the main reason may just be that there is a small basis for a beginning in that area. What I mean by that is if people of a certain culture are not involved, then their children and children’s children will be less likely to get involved as well because they have to exposure to it growing up. Nowadays though, I think that it is possible that more African-Americans will get involved in the technology because it is so common for everyone to USE technology. This will lead to interest in the area and they may pursue careers in that field as well. For people to say that African-Americans are technologically illiterate, though, I believe is a false statement. They use as much technology as anyone else in today’s society. It may have been valid in the past, but not so much now. Like the example the article gave about the invention of the cotton gin causing technological struggles for African-Americans, this may have been a problem in the past. In the very near future, though, I think that they will have an increased involvement in the technology field.

Very Interesting

I found the statistics presented to be not only interesting but also so sad. It is rather unfrotunate when young people don't have technology at hand, but it is ridiculous that we as a society haven't done something to make them more affordable for all. It is inexcusable when we face figures pointing out that there is a specific race that is behind in technology. It means that somewhere we went wrong. Even as the price of a standard computer continues to fall, they can still be very spendy for a family. It looks great when you see the adds on tv. Buy a dell for only $399 + shipping. What about antivirus and antispyware and things such as the internet. I think that most of us can agree that in today's age a computer is essentially useless without the internet. Yes, we don need to use word processing programs for papers as well as spreadsheets and such, but I feel that most of us can agree that the best tool a home computer can provide us is infintie knowledge at our fingertips.

Technology versus African Americans

Before I read this article I never realized that African Americans do not usually work with technology. But after reading this article I saw that. Its not necessarily as common now and it used to be though. Young African American kids and teenagers use more technology than African American adults. This is probably because the younger generations are using more technology because we have to. Almost everything can be done on the internet now a days and it is necessary for younger people to have some knowledge about technology. However, adults do not necessarily have to know anything about technology. They have other ways of doing things besides the internet. However, I think this will change as more time passes because it is almost necessary for everyone to use technology with everything they do. It is not to the point where it is completely necessary, yet. It will get to that point eventually and when it does people will be forced to use technology so they will have to learn how no matter what.

Dario and "The Social Worlds of Immigrant Youth"

Wow! I could really relate to this article. It brought back so many memories of my Chinese friend that moved to Crookston in third grade. He moved into the United States without knowing a single word of English or any background of the country. However, with the strong influences that he had with his family, friends (the ones that he immediately made in Crookston), and the school, he was able to learn extremely fast and knew almost as much as we did within the first year. It's amazing how children, especially at a young age, can learn so fast, and yet the older you get everything gets tougher and tougher. Anyways, it is because of those influences that my Chinese friend was able to survive in the American culture and schools. If they didn't push him and encourage him and even support him enough, he would have never made it through the first year. It just goes to show how much inside AND outside influences affect a person and their learning ability. Also, just this past summer, he came back to visit, and he had a friend of the family that was going to be going to our high school. The boy was in the same situation that my friend was in. He knew how to say hello and that is it. I'm really anxious to see how he ends up over the next couple years. I'm sorry about the whole entry being about my Chinese friend, but it just brought back a lot of good memories and I thought that I would share it with you.

November 15, 2006

Questions for this week's articles

The Social Worlds of Immigrant Youth

1) Do you feel that this article relates to article on the “The Choice is Ours� program? How?
2) How might Dario’s separation from friends and family have affected his life in America?
3) Do you feel that what Dario does on “the street� is self destructive or possibly helpful to learning more about American culture? Why?
4) Why do you think that Dario isn’t doing well in school? Could this apply to all immigrant youth?
5) How are what Latinos think about Americans and vice versa ironic?
6) Do you think that the people on MTV are the best role models for Dario? Could this correlate to what he does on “the street�?
7) How do you think that segregation affects stereotypes about Latinos and other immigrants that are held by Americans?

Technology Versus African-Americans

1) Why do you think that there are so few African Americans involved in the technology business?
2) Do you think that African Americans are really “unaware� of the growth of jobs in technology, versus that they were just not available?
3) How do you think that African Americans are technologically illiterate?
4) Do you think that the current struggle that African Americans are having with technology can be related with past struggles (slave traders/cotton gin)?
5) Has the upper class been responsible for the lack of technology literacy among African Americans?
6) What do you believe prevents African Americans from “breaking into� this new industry?

Summary of "Technology Versus African-Americans"

This author opens the article by sharing a story about his friend. His friend owns a computer firm that designs and constructs websites. He often has employs people over the internet to do programming when he doesn't have enough time, himself, to do it. The people chosen to do this work However, he soon began shipping out his work to India because it was fast and cheap. After hearing this story, the author then wondered why African-Americans weren't involved in this field.
The author then talks about technology in the world today. Many young people today build their own computers, however; black kids were not included in this group. Many companies such as Apple, HP, and Oracle were started by people fooling around. The rise of computers is sometimes referred to as "the last gold rush in American history."
Over the past 400 year, African-Americans have faced a constant "struggle against oppression and indifference on the part of the American mainstream." African-Americans are often believed to be technologically illiterate. Technological literacy often reflects class, wealth, and race. African-Americans are different from other immigrants due to the reason they initially came to our country: the slave trade. Slaves were technologically illiterate and this trend has continued to present day African-Americans. This problem of technological illiteracy could determine survival for blacks in the future.
At this point in the story, the author then shows several examples of how black have been at a disadvantage due to their technological illiteracy. The first example of this dated back to the invention of the caravel, which was ship that could sail against strong winds and currents. Europeans and Americans benefited from this because it sparked the slave trade. The author then refers to the invention of guns. When guns were invented, Africans were easily defeated by the Europeans because they lacked the technology. He then talked about the cotton gin. The invention of the cotton gin resulted in a large increase in slavery. Many white people in the states became rich off of this invention; however, the African-Americans were at a disadvantage because they were forced to be slaves and didn't financially benefit like the white people.
After slavery was abolished, many blacks continued to work at cotton plantations until the invention of the mechanical cotton picker. The mechanical cotton picker only required the a few men to do the work of hundreds or thousands. After this invention, many blacks moved north to work in mass production factories. This continued until technology in communication dramatically improved. With new technology in communication, factories began to close and suburbs began to emerge. This left many black people stuck in urban areas.
Another reason that this problem has occurred is due to poor education in many urban public schools. These schools don't stress the importance of education and technological literacy. Due to this, African-Americans have been viewed as mainly consumers. The author uses a good example when he talks about Michael Jordan. Many black kids see his shoe commercials and believe they can "be like mike" if they have his shoes. These kids don't dream of starting there own computer companies; therefore, they don't value technological literacy.
Technological literacy is almost always necessity for success in our present society. The author refers to technology as a cash engine. Most blacks aren't aware of the opportunities that technology can give them. Technology will also become more and more important in the future.
Alex Christianson