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IMF crucifies IT, the source of all evil!!

So much for the evolution of society towards a tech-aware, 2.0, whatever eSociety.. the IMF, in its World Economic Outlook 2007, stated that Information Technology and its ecosystem are the fundamental cause of World’s inequality (here an excerpt..).

There is here an interesting (!!!) theory about globalisation, free trade, financial flows (Foreign Direct Investments) and technology. In short, but you may want to go into deeper details here, PDF version) it is stated that globalisation is, overall, reducing inequality due to a diverse effect combination of free trade (which is a positive impulse to evolution) and a rather not-so-positive FDI (which eliminate some diversities albeit augmenting some turbulence in the countries originating the FDI flows). The reduction in inequality should be better translated into an income rise amongst the (once??!?!? please..) poorer part of the World population, whereas inequality is, whoops, actually rising due to … technology!!

Lots of articles and commentaries have addressed the issue, from Financial Times to The Register, and yet I believe nobody has ultimately pointed out a major factor: technology divide may be a more likely suspect, a better one than tech itself.

FDI flows go to countries that, for a number of reasons, are more attractive than others to investors, and unfortunately this fact cannot fully exploit a real, global organisation of production, wealth, innovation, evolution. China and India are attracting a severely different level of FDI, both in terms of origin (around 60% of Chinese FDI comes from what has being called its “diaspora”, and investments are capital intensive and with – relative – low tech level, 70% of Indian FDI measure comes from Western countries and includes a strong level of technology transfer – courtesy of S. Majumber on The Hindu Business Line on IFM data) and, again, usage: Chinese production vs. Indian services. First point: is the country economic and social development plan that drives inequality within the country, not really the FDI or the technology.

Tech is a first and foremost a fabric, a neural system upon which building up, is an energy source enabling further advances. If this energy is “held in hostage” by a small fraction of any given country, it is not a tech “genetic” fault, isn’t it? Extend this at macro-geographic level and it may still apply.

The actual chasm between deployment and usage of tech resources determines the inadequacy of a given country system to compete in a given “scenario”. What it should be important to notice is the fact that there are multiple scenarios to fit in, and the combination of all scenarios are making up the “global wealth”. Therefore, as far as providing “living energy” for the Planet (since we are talking about globalisation..) is the main task, we all need a China (with less pollution maybe??) and we need an India. We need tech and we need plough. Question is about how to rightly value both.

Capital flows are not actually designed to improve a country systemic wealth, or a macro-geography systemic advance, but generally serve the purpose of few “actors”, and capital moves around to foster any potential mid term return. To ignite technology in a system is the easiest way to foster a mid term return, it is like a steroid cure for the weakest, that seldom conduct to long term gains if the cure is not supported by a targeted and systemic distribution of the new “booster”. Again, it is about the divide and not the tech itself.

Someone, guess it is the FT columnist, argues that on a global scale inequality is certainly shrinking, I am questioning whether this is a statistical statement, which clearly encompass a massive rise of rich limited portions of a country population and a significantly larger grouping still feeding the former with brute manpower….

And on we could go… bottom line is there still are three, if not four “planet Earth” on the same celestial object we all inhabit and whether there are rich or poor nations and people it is not because of technology, which ultimately the human race has developed and still control, but it is about the stronger against the weaker, it is about profit and power, not about bytes and IT services.

Plauto, a latin author of III century B.C, gave us “homo homini lupus”, which Hobbes transformed in a castle of thinking, and Shakespeare, in his Julius Caesar, made Cassius pronouncing “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Have a thought.

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