This image illustrates the state of telecommunications in Brasil. Somewhere inside those messy cables is the copper wire which carries our ADSL. Because of the rain it stopped working. (I am now in another building where there still is a line). A decent always-on-internet connection costs a fortune here in Rio. If you consider the lower income level this makes it even more expensive. Mobile phone tariffs are punishing, 10 Euros went up in the air just for two or three short calls. So how can you have a knowledge society with such a cost structure?
The 20th century can be understood along the lines of a process of democratization of access to media and the means of cultural production. Things that originally were the privilege of social elites only became accessible for a much greater number of people. At the beginning of the 20th century access to education and knowledge was restricted as well as access to high culture. People from lower income classes had insufficient means of participating in the democratic process because they were either not allowed to vote or they did not have an opportunity to get an informed opinion.
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