By now everyone’s heard about the stampede in Richmond over 1,000 Apple iBook laptops. Apparently, over 12,000 people showed up, and instead of doing something logical like handing out claim tickets to the first 1,000 people, the sale turned into a riot. Go here to see a slide show of the event.
I had heard the term “digital divide” before, but I never really understood exactly what it meant until I heard about this catastrophe. When people are willing to fistfight, urinate on themselves, and hit other people with folding chairs for the chance to purchase a laptop, there is a definite divide in the have’s and the have-not’s. Computers and high-speed internet access has become such a ubiquitous aspect of my life that I wasn’t able to see that others are not as fortunate as I (or as you, my blog reading friends). The ability to receive and transmit vast amounts of information has become a valuable commodity, and those that don’t have access to said information obviously want it very badly. The computer and internet access has moved from being a luxury to being a necessity, and an information war of sorts has begun.
Whew! To balance out the seriousness of the last paragraph you should download and watch this small video of a newscast, in which a woman explains she had to “kick people in they balls” in an attempt to get one of the laptops. I swear, the media will find the funniest person to represent a group of people.