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United States The Internet

Rural Mississippi: The Land That the Internet Era Forgot (wired.com) 154

New submitter lesedeuezghe writes with this Wired story by W. Ralph Eubanks about the efforts of the Extension Service to broaden its scope from mostly agricultural information to bringing broadband to rural communities. "In sleepy public libraries, at Rotary breakfasts, and in town halls, he [Assistant Extension Professor Roberto Gallardo] gives PowerPoint presentations that seem calculated to fill rural audiences with healthy awe for the technological sublime. Rather than go easy, he starts with a rapid-fire primer on heady concepts like the Internet of Things, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, digital disruption, and the perpetual increase of processing power. ('It’s exponential, folks. It’s just growing and growing.') The upshot: If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust. Then he switches gears and tries to stiffen their spines with confidence. Start a website, he’ll say. Get on social media. See if the place where you live can finally get a high-speed broadband connection—a baseline point of entry into modern economic and civic life."
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Rural Mississippi: The Land That the Internet Era Forgot

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Damn, talk about low standards.

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @06:33PM (#50889681) Journal

    While obviously written from the typical Southerners-are-stupid-hicks point of view, the story has this interesting quote:

    Elderly townspeople, black and white alike, were uneasy about the security and privacy implications of entering the Internet age.

    Looks like maybe those backwards southerners aren't quite as stupid as everybody thinks.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      Looks like maybe those backwards southerners aren't quite as stupid as everybody thinks.

      Then why would they live in Mississippi?

      • Because they're too smart to live in whatever urban shithole you reside in, drone. Now get back on the hamster wheel and shut the fuck up.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Looks like maybe those backwards southerners aren't quite as stupid as everybody thinks.

        Then why would they live in Mississippi?

        Because Detroit is cold in the winter...and it looks like a war zone.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Sunday November 08, 2015 @11:01PM (#50890577) Journal

        You've never been to Mississippi, have you? Oh, man... I stopped in the Natchez delta region once, about four years ago, and sat down at a restaurant. Three days later, I finally waddled down to the riverboat casino and took a nap. See, Jackson was a dry county so I more than made up for it by staying right across the street and buying booze and walking back across the street. Which is how I ended up going the wrong way and getting to Natchez. I think I spent like another week in that casino and it was one of the few times in my life that I've managed to put on weight. I didn't keep it...

        Anyhow, man... They feed you something special. I also learned when a pee-can becomes a peh-khan. When it finds its way into a pie. The music was awesome, the people were awesome, the food was awesome, and they tell me I had a good time. No, I don't think we should unleash the internet on these folks. They deserve better. Also, I lost my hat. :/

        • You've never been to Mississippi, have you?

          Sure I have. I've biked across the state.

          See, Jackson was a dry county

          There's the problem, right there.

          As with all places, there are always pockets of first-rate people (though perhaps not Arizona) and some lovely geography to enjoy. But backwards is backwards.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I was a drinking man then. I stomped across the street and bought alcohol. The dude in the lobby told me the county line was right in the center of the highway that ran in front of the hotel. I made a point out of drinking double, just out of spite. I think there ought to be some sort of application that you can get for your phone that tells you if you're in a dry town or dry county or if you'll be going into or through one. That way you can prepare. It should probably be tied into the national emergency sy

        • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Monday November 09, 2015 @12:21AM (#50890825) Homepage Journal
          Natchez ain't in the Delta, my friend. You were worse off than you thought.
  • Ruined! (Score:5, Funny)

    by BenBoy ( 615230 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @06:42PM (#50889717)
    Damn it, now you've ruined the control group. Who told them about the internet?
  • by dlenmn ( 145080 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @06:49PM (#50889731)

    If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust.

    Unless rural Mississippi has some major perks that I'm unaware of, I'm not sure better internet access will really help those rural areas retain young people. Young people leaving rural areas is not a problem unique to Mississippi. It's happening all over the US, largely due to economic reasons such as the increasing efficiency of agriculture requiring fewer people. (See Rural Flight [wikipedia.org].) Unfortunately, instead of seeing rural flight as a natural response to economics, some chalk rural depopulation up to incredibly dumb Agenda 21 conspiracy theories [wikipedia.org], which I'm guessing most slashdoters haven't heard of but which some state legislatures seem to take seriously.

    FWIW, I speak as someone who really likes rural areas, but I realize that it's not really compatible with the employment I want. The best I can hope for is living in/near a smallish city and getting enough money to buy a cabin in the woods for weekends.

    • I live in south central Indiana. I moved here from Minneapolis. Everything is cheaper here. There aren't as many tech jobs but you get by. Without the Internet it would be impossible for me to bear living here. The Internet has flattened the world. You don't have to live in any particular place to be connected. If anything the best deal right now is to move out of the city to some place, with a good net connection, that you like.

      • Everything is cheaper here.

        I hear this a lot, and while I'll take your word for it that it's true in practice, I'm not convinced it's true in principle. There are a lot of federal and state subsidies to rural areas -- both direct and indirect. E.g. the only reason there's any telecommunications services out there is the Universal Service Fund -- a transfer from urban/suburban to rural areas.

        I've seen it argued that the subsidies go the other way: the federal government sends more money per capita in direct subsidies to urban and subu

        • I bought five acres with a 19th century 2 bedroom house on it, only two miles out of a town with one of the state's best small liberal arts colleges in it, for $120k. Out in the yard I can faintly hear the marching band at their football games, and in good weather, the bell in the courthouse. We could have horses in our pasture if I wanted the hassle of keeping horses.

          I said $120K up there. And I know there are a lot of properties much cheaper.

        • by ksheff ( 2406 )

          There are lots of factors that make up the spending received vs tax paid. Not all rural states are getting more than what they pay in Federal taxes. Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas are certainly rural states, but receive less than what they pay in taxes. Off the top of my head, what contributes to this spending can be broken down to:

          • Military bases
          • Other Federal government installations/managed land
          • Locations of Federal Contractors (why VA and MD are high on the list)
          • Farm Subsidies
          • Federally paid retiremen
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The internet can attract jobs back to rural areas. In Japan a number of internet based companies have their main operations to rural areas. Cheaper housing and business premesis, a nice environment, and it doesn't really matter where your warehouse is. IIRC one business was a second hand book store, and another was a craft goods company selling through Rakuten.

      There are a lot of jobs that could move to rural areas if they had good internet access. A lot of engineering consultancy jobs, for example, are most

      • by dlenmn ( 145080 )

        The internet can attract jobs back to rural areas.

        Yes, I'm sure that good internet access can attract some jobs back to rural areas. However, I don't believe that the carrying capacity is that high; you're mostly talking about small business and self employed people. In contrast _a lot_ of people are leaving rural areas. A lot of recent job growth has been in the service sector, but that only happens where there's a reasonably high population density.

      • The internet can attract jobs back to rural areas. In Japan a number of internet based companies have their main operations to rural areas. Cheaper housing and business premesis, a nice environment, and it doesn't really matter where your warehouse is. IIRC one business was a second hand book store, and another was a craft goods company selling through Rakuten.

        There are a lot of jobs that could move to rural areas if they had good internet access. A lot of engineering consultancy jobs, for example, are mostly done remotely. An architect might have to travel to clients and sites now and then, but that's true if they live in a city or not, and the rest can be done from an office in a rural area as long as they have fast broadband for file uploads, big email attachments and Skype.

        With my wife being from Japan, I've been half-seriously considering moving my family to Japan, to one of the small, half-depopulated small rural towns not far from Tokyo. There is a push for small towns like that to throw fiber optic, or whatever, to entice developers to move with their families. For some, it is working.

        Then I'v considered if that same move would work in the US. And the answer would be know IMO. Those small towns in Japan are being very progressive and forward looking their attempts. Sadl

      • by ksheff ( 2406 )
        Companies like this: https://www.ruralsourcing.com/ [ruralsourcing.com]
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @06:50PM (#50889739) Journal

    Truth is, the U.S. has a lot of wide open space that's sparsely populated - mostly by farmers or ranchers. These people are usually a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. They have to be, because it's so difficult to make a living that way these days. (You have to do a lot of manual labor, do a lot of number crunching, be versed in sales and marketing, and much more.)

    My experience is, many of them are already well aware of the Internet and make use of it (even if it's only via a satellite connection). What they may NOT care about that much are "city slickers" coming in, preaching how their entire way of life will die out if they don't change (EG. conform to their ideas of how to modernize everything in town).

    They're already adopting a lot of tech that the outsiders probably know little to nothing about -- but it's specific to their career choice.

    • The farmers and ranchers of rural America are already well aware of the Extension Service - historically it's been a very useful resource to them. So while it's an open question whether these residents will see this new program as useful to them or not, I doubt they'll be writing it off as coming from a bunch of "city slickers".

    • which is terrible, abject poverty. China double planted and starved half their population, albeit because everyone was too scared to tell Mao he was wrong. But the point is it's not hard to get people to do stupid things that aren't in their best interests.

      You're right about one thing: their entire way of life is going to die. Privately owned farms are few and far between. All you have to do is wait for a dry spell, economic downturn or for junior to get tired of living in the middle of nowhere watching
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Non-operators (landowners who do not themselves farm) owned 29 percent of land in farms in 2007, though that proportion has declined since 1992.

        http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/... [usda.gov]

        It's an interesting read. Industrial farming does take place but it's not as much as people seem to think nor is it on the rise. I don't usually watch TV but I do go down south a lot. Sometimes, when there, I turn on the TV in the hotel room and find the RFD channel and watch the Farm Report. I watch 'em sell cows and stuff too. No, I have no idea why I find it interesting. I can sit there and watch that shit for hours - oddly, I can't stand normal television for that long.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          It's an interesting read. Industrial farming does take place but it's not as much as people seem to think nor is it on the rise.

          Reminds me of some idiots who were protesting in my county about industrial farming and all that. There are very few that do it, and despite the land being available most of it is cut into 200-400 acres and are still family run, long as you're willing to make a run at it even here in the green belt of Ontario, you can pick up 300 acres for 300-400k. At least here 90% of the farms are still family owned, and it's such a big business that there are chicken, turkey, and cattle slaughterhouses that are suppor

    • What they may NOT care about that much are "city slickers" coming in, preaching how their entire way of life will die out if they don't change

      It depends, are the city slickers looking to sell them something, or are they 'merely' doing a presentation that is mostly 'obvious in hindsight'?

      You should realize that they're not doing these presentations towards random people. You have to join the rotary clubs and such, the club itself goes out looking for presentations, and the topics are pre-published.

      People who show up for this are expecting a presentation on the internet and how it can effect them and what they can do to make things better 'via the

    • These people are usually a lot smarter than most people give them credit for.

      That depends where you go; farmers and ranchers in the western states (Colorado, Wyoming and Montana come to mind) are definitely a lot more likely to be "with it" than those I supported in Oklahoma (you may hear a lot of shit talked about Arkansas and Missouri; well, Oklahoma made those places look good).

      It comes down to culture... or lack thereof.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      While they might not need or want broadband themselves, it is necessary to keep small communities viable. As jobs dry up due to automation people move away. Then services are no longer viable, the local shops are no longer viable so they close and the owners move away too. The local school is then no longer viable and that goes, and so on.

      The solution is to replace the lost jobs. Many new jobs that can't be automated involve the internet. For example, a contract software developer needs internet access for

  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @07:06PM (#50889779) Homepage
    Go anywhere in rural America and you'll find little to no broadband. I travel on my job to all kinds of small towns and cities. Right now I'm in one of them and the internet service is barely above dialup.

    The same goes for cell service. There are vast rural areas of this country with really poor service or no service.
    • AT&T used to offer hotels a cheapo $15 per month DSL plan. I think it was 512k download. From my experience, a lot of Hampton Inns shared this connection via wifi across the whole hotel.

    • Correct. I live in rural California and my only choices are satellite internet or dial up.

      Satellite has a 10 GB cap so it's pretty useless for video.

    • by sudon't ( 580652 )

      I can verify that. I don't have to go fifteen miles before it's all 2G in every direction for the next one-hundred and fifty miles. I live in a small town on the North Carolina coast. As a truck driver, I have traveled pretty much everywhere, and 2G is the standard outside of the larger cities, if you can get a signal.
      As for Mississippi, slow down there, feller. They ain't got to the book learnin' era yet. Mississippi has been dead last in every education metric for a long, long time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2015 @07:10PM (#50889793)

    that most normal people actually care about things other than tech. For most average people, tech is just a tool. Most do not care about MHz, or GHz or dual- or quad-core or brand name. What's truly shocking to the younger techies in the bubbles of very large cities is that there are a huge number of normal people all throughout society who do not care about the internet and do not waste their time logging onto it - they get up, go to work, get home and care for the kids, then perhaps watch a little TV and then go to bed, all without thinking about the internet.

    Facebook and Twitter are not required for day-to-day life. What Bruce/Caitlyn and the Kardashians are up to is simply not important. People who have jobs in small-town America simply do not need LinkedIn, etc. and going onto the net to look for Pizza is idiotic if you live in a town with one pizza place. Who needs Google Earth when you already know all the local roads you need to drive on to do your job and run the errands you need to run for your family?

    I am not being a Luddite here, I personally live a life stuffed full of electronics and code and tethered to the web, but I have many friends and relatives who have simply no use to any of it and I am amazed at how internet-centric so many younger people in big cities have become - to the point of becoming completely ignorant of LIFE in the real world. This is at some level toxic to politics and national policy. I recall that when Obamacare was going public and the young "experts" were tasked with helping people in "fly over country" enroll, one of these morons told an older guy in the midwest to enter his e-mail address on a screen and was met with the question "what's e-mail?". This is driving a large cultural divide and that divide is going to become another political wedge.

    It is simply an act of supremely ignorant arrogance to assume that everybody is on the net and that anybody who is not is some sort of ignorant backward hick - lot's of people simply know what's important to them and what's not. For every netizen who sees the non-addict as a knuckle-dragging moron (who is almost certainly automatically also assumed to be racist/sexist/homophobe/etc), there's a normal person with a life who sees a shallow, plastic, soulless zombie with an iPad and no original thoughts in his brain. For many, the remote, tabloid nature of the internet and its data-mining advertizing-centric vapid content is simply less important than the real world all around them and their families.

    At the end of your life, which will you regret more: the time you spent with your spouse raising your kids, or the time you spent on the web looking at what other people were doing, or were pretending they were doing?/P

    • that most normal people actually care about things other than tech. For most average people, tech is just a tool. Most do not care about MHz, or GHz or dual- or quad-core or brand name. What's truly shocking to the younger techies in the bubbles of very large cities is that there are a huge number of normal people all throughout society who do not care about the internet and do not waste their time logging onto it - they get up, go to work, get home and care for the kids, then perhaps watch a little TV and then go to bed, all without thinking about the internet.

      Facebook and Twitter are not required for day-to-day life. What Bruce/Caitlyn and the Kardashians are up to is simply not important. People who have jobs in small-town America simply do not need LinkedIn, etc. and going onto the net to look for Pizza is idiotic if you live in a town with one pizza place. Who needs Google Earth when you already know all the local roads you need to drive on to do your job and run the errands you need to run for your family?

      I am not being a Luddite here, I personally live a life stuffed full of electronics and code and tethered to the web, but I have many friends and relatives who have simply no use to any of it and I am amazed at how internet-centric so many younger people in big cities have become - to the point of becoming completely ignorant of LIFE in the real world. This is at some level toxic to politics and national policy. I recall that when Obamacare was going public and the young "experts" were tasked with helping people in "fly over country" enroll, one of these morons told an older guy in the midwest to enter his e-mail address on a screen and was met with the question "what's e-mail?". This is driving a large cultural divide and that divide is going to become another political wedge.

      It is simply an act of supremely ignorant arrogance to assume that everybody is on the net and that anybody who is not is some sort of ignorant backward hick - lot's of people simply know what's important to them and what's not. For every netizen who sees the non-addict as a knuckle-dragging moron (who is almost certainly automatically also assumed to be racist/sexist/homophobe/etc), there's a normal person with a life who sees a shallow, plastic, soulless zombie with an iPad and no original thoughts in his brain. For many, the remote, tabloid nature of the internet and its data-mining advertizing-centric vapid content is simply less important than the real world all around them and their families.

      At the end of your life, which will you regret more: the time you spent with your spouse raising your kids, or the time you spent on the web looking at what other people were doing, or were pretending they were doing?/P

      What a sad thing has slashdot become that its posters equate internet access with social media. Internet access is an economic and educational enabler. Regions with poorer internet infrastructure will do worse economically and educationally that regions that have better communication infrastructure. Period. This is not about being on FB all the time.

      Countries and regions all over the world recognize this. In Japan where mass urban migration and an aging population are decimating rural towns, there have

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @07:38PM (#50889875)

    Internet of Things, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, digital disruption, and the perpetual increase of processing power. ('It’s exponential, folks. It’s just growing and growing.') The upshot: If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust. Then he switches gears and tries to stiffen their spines with confidence. Start a website, he’ll say. Get on social media.

    the Internet of Things is a security disaster, the "mobile revolution" is a farce, cloud computing is outsourcing to people you shouldn't trust, "digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable, and the "perpetual increase of processing power" is a lie. starting a website is not always necessary and often a burden. social media is a hellscape of volatile idiots.

    people don't need to "think digitally", what they need is to think for themselves.

    • "digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable

      What is digital disruption? I've never heard of that.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        See Amazon and your lack of a local bookstore or lack of as many local or used bookstores. Similar to that, methinks. When digital stuff takes over or otherwise changes something that was entrenched - for better or worse. See also, race to the bottom. I've lost two bookstores locally. I miss them both and hadn't stopped shopping at either of them. In fact, I used to give a gift card to all the students at the local elementary school every Valentine's Day (they make me cards).

        I gave them all $10 Mr. Paperbac

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          As a parent.. ugh.. Gift cards. You just game a the gift of spending my own $20 at the bookstore... Thanks...

          Glad you care about the kids. Have you considered Scholastic books gift cards? I know that's popular with the teachers here and all the schools participate in the scholastic book orders.
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            You're welcome! :D Consider it motivation to buy yourself a book. There's only 56 of them in the school, cute little buggers. They invite me to plays and concerts. They can't sing and they act like monsters but I go. I usually take 'em to the above mentioned bowling alley afterwards. It's worth it - they send me cookies, Christmas cards, Valentine's Day cards, and usually Mrs. Turner's 4th grade class makes me some "art." I don't know what it is that they drew but I do hang them up for a while.

            Anyhow, I had

            • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
              I think the gift cards my kids got were something like "good for one book under $5", I'm sure they have some sort of deal for the teachers.
              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                I'll get one of the teachers to look into it for me. i'm just a resident upholding my end of the social contract. I'm sure one of them will be happy to take care of it for me. There's something to be said for living in a small community.

      • What is digital disruption? I've never heard of that.

        Digital Disruption: When clouds / heavy precip overwhelm the Comcast dish (the big ones at their facilities) which feeds your home cable connection, freezing, pixellating and making the show you were watching look like a Cubist work of art.

      • "digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable

        What is digital disruption? I've never heard of that.

        The rise of the web, and the near death of publishing. Amazon and the death of the mom-and-pop bookstore. Netflix and the death of Blockbuster Videos. Netflix/Amazon VOD/Hulu and what not, which is bringing Cable to its knees contemplating the real possibility of a-la-carte cable (and/or forcing major TV players like HBO to go digital.) Online banking. Online education. The so-called "share economy" (of which I don't think it is that good of a good thing.)

        Should I go on?

    • Also, screw starting a website or social media. Rural towns need to band together and hold the faces of big telecom to the f---ing fire.

      It's reached the point where it would not be unreasonable for a violent mob to show up with torches and pitchforks at any telecom C-level executive's doorstep. Alas, we've become a society so violence averse that I think the U.S. is relatively easily conquered at this point. We've reached the pacifism which the Japanese attributed to us in the 1940s and then some.
    • by vemene ( 466110 )

      people don't need to "think digitally", what they need is to think for themselves.

      Have you *been* to rural Mississippi?

      Pigs will not only fly but go on to establish their own Mars colony before rural Mississippians will learn to think for themselves.

    • Ironic. You're preaching to people to think for themselves but you're attacking concepts in ways that are marketed and sold to you by a corporation while ignoring the true benefits of the underlying ideas.

      "the "mobile revolution" is a farce"
      - Posted from my iPhone.

      "cloud computing is outsourcing to people you shouldn't trust"
      - Who says I need to trust someone? Setup your own cloud.

      ""digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable"
      - being unpredictable is the point. But it's no niche. It affects ev

    • social media is a hellscape of volatile idiots.

      If you don't believe him visit http://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

    • Internet of Things, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, digital disruption, and the perpetual increase of processing power. ('It’s exponential, folks. It’s just growing and growing.') The upshot: If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust. Then he switches gears and tries to stiffen their spines with confidence. Start a website, he’ll say. Get on social media.

      the Internet of Things is a security disaster, the "mobile revolution" is a farce, cloud computing is outsourcing to people you shouldn't trust, "digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable, and the "perpetual increase of processing power" is a lie. starting a website is not always necessary and often a burden. social media is a hellscape of volatile idiots.

      people don't need to "think digitally", what they need is to think for themselves.

      You almost sounded like you were saying something.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's keep this in perspective --

    This was a presentation to a Rotary Club, which is generally a conservative, late middle-age to elderly crowd (think "moose lodge", etc). You'd have the same type of audience if you gave this presentation at the Rotary Club of Manhattan.

    The "rural" angle in this is a complete red herring used to mock a group you are intolerant of.

  • Slashdot has posted several articles about people that have fled the internet of things due to the real or perceived health problems that living with technology causes. If we bring the technology everywhere then where can these people go to remove themselves from technology?

    I only being halfway serious here. We should offer technology to everyone, but also offer the opportunity to do without.

    • by sudon't ( 580652 )

      That's what I'm worried about, albeit for different reasons. I'm afraid that, eventually, I won't be able to buy a coffee maker, a TV, or a refrigerator, that isn't basically spyware.

      As for the people who think they're being made ill by electromagnetism, there's a nice little community in West Virginia they might enjoy. But the so-called internet of things isn't going to make much difference in that regard. They - we - are already inundated by electromagnetic fields.

  • While I have no interest in going to Mississippi for a number of reasons. I question whether there might be value in having places that aren't as connected.

    It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust.

    while i can imagine this is a real concern. Being untapped in doesn't necessarily have to be the be all end all. It's not necessarily as bad as we the tapped in make it seem.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:24PM (#50890249) Journal

    I tried to get my father interested in some tech stuff once. He had retired right around the time DBASE III was in general use, and he used that program to do some stuff for a government contractor. So, it's not like he wasn't capable. He just wasn't interested. He had his checks, his visits to the store, occasional trips to see people, good food, a good house, the remote control, etc. He literally told me he just didn't care about that kind of stuff at his age. If the rural population is mostly elderly that are set in their ways, and they've been planting corn and raising chickens twice as long as the presenter has been alive, in ain't broke. They ain't fixin' it.

    I don't think this has much to do with the South. I bet it's an aging population they've got.

    • My father retired from IBM after 30 years. He was a programmer on the IBM 650 in the late 50's. He spent his whole career working with computers. He still has an older Pentium 1 Thinkpad on his desk that runs Windows 95. He uses the Lotus spreadsheet for his finances. Mom has a newer laptop that is current to keep up with friends and family. Dad has no interest in any of it.

    • by ksheff ( 2406 )
      The only reason my mom has internet access is for Netflix. Even then, it could go away and she wouldn't really care. It's bundled in with her telephone and cable service. The kids & grandkids use it for accessing work, school, or other stuff when they visit.
  • You could substitute pretty much any state after the word "rural". Our rural infrastructure in this country is just that. I personally like having areas that are left alone. I think it should stay this way. Where else are all the politically inept paranoids going to live?

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