Part two of my four-part NPR "Day to Day" series "Hacking The Himalayas
" airs today.
When the Dalai Lama fled Chinese rule of Tibet in 1959, he found refuge just across the western border in India. Waves of refugees followed their spiritual leader out of the once-isolated kingdom when India provided them with land.
Today, nearly 50 years after that first exodus, more than 100,000 people of Tibetan heritage live in the area. The Dalai Lama and leaders of the Tibetan government-in-exile now call the northern village of Dharamsala their home.
Even though two full generations of Tibetans have grown up outside their native land, the Tibetan community is still very close-knit, and many still harbor dreams of returning to a country free of Chinese domination -- something unlikely to happen any time soon.
But with the help of some technology experts from the West, the Tibetan community in India hopes to get the word out about their cause via the viral grapevine that is the Internet.
It's an enormous challenge. Electricity, phones and Internet access are expensive and hard to come by. Phone lines can go down for days at a time, leaving the region cut off from the world. But there's an effort under way to change that, and to teach young Tibetan refugees about computers and the Web.
to archived audio, and multimedia extras. Here's
the series home page.
And over at xeni.net/trek I've posted a few new items on the related "reporter's notebook" blog from this project:
* Corrected by a monkey: the meaning of "rinpoche."
* Gear notes: my sound recording equipment
* Biker gangs of the Tibetan plateau: nomads on motorcycles
* Tibetan photojournalist Lobsang Wangyal
* Tigga, please: wannabe gangsta-ism among Tibetan refugee teens
Image: (Xeni Jardin, 2006) Both adults and children take computer classes at the technology center
of the Tibetan Children's Village
Previously: Hacking the Himalayas, Part 1.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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