Homeless and Wireless at SXSW

A short Al Jazeera video on the use of homeless people as mobile hotspots, at the South by Southwest music and film festival.

2 Comments on "Homeless and Wireless at SXSW"

  1. So those rich people manage to turn poor people in inanimate objects that they can use. It’s no news that they see us in that whay!

  2. Ex-Squatter | Mar 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    There’s been a lot of uproar about this practice, and I understand why.  On the other hand, I also understand that SXSW does seem to really be trying to come up with a viable solution to at least provide homeless people with SOME method of income in a world where even the “normal” folk are having a hard time finding work.  At the end of the day, you have to consider: Is standing around providing wireless Internet really THAT much more dehumanizing than working in a retail store, or behind the counter of a Starbucks?   Especially when you’re presumably signing up for this task to begin with, and can quit just like any other job (except that, you know, unlike most folks, quitting this job DOESN’T leave you with the question of “how do I pay my bills?” because you don’t have any, being homeless)?  Honestly, I’d rather see the homeless population decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing rather than let a bunch of bourgeoisie condemn it from the comfort of their homes, presumably FOR them.  Having been homeless in the past, I’ll say straight out that I wouldn’t have minded having this as an opportunity to get some money put together. I can’t say I’m SURE it would be something I’d want to continue doing, but if so, I’d just quit, and be left back in the world of, well, where we’re at today without this kind of program.  The condemnation of an option for those with few options by people who presume to know what’s best for them is fairly sickening.

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