The Work

In Brussels, Part Deux

I am staying in the Metropole Hotel – a chain so venerable it was mentioned in Downton Abbey. The lobby is gorgeous; the rest is ordinary, if not scuffy.  The wifi is below ordinary – I have paid for the high-speed service, and I can’t even get online most evenings.

So obviously my thoughts turn to those for whom this is a normal situation.

There is nothing more frustrating than a call with no response. And that is the Internet – all our responses. We call out for information, and we get newspapers and blogs. We call out for contact, and we get family and friends.  We call out for knowledge, and we get libraries and books.

Increasingly, those who cannot make these calls are isolated. They have no helpdesk to call (I’m online right now and doing fine); they are literally cut off from the world.

I’m convinced that Internet access is a fundamental human right. It’s what connects us to other humans – and humans at their best are networked.  Everyone deserves to be at her best; everyone deserves to breathe and eat and sleep and think and say.

A call to the helpdesk fixed a lot tonight. But many people don’t have a helpdesk to call.

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