“In truth, the story didn’t have to be called How I Met Your Mother. It could have been called How We Bought This House, or How I Bought That Couch, or How I Learned To Make Bread. What matters is that the show is structured around a philosophy that is fundamentally this: However your life goes, that’s the story of how you ended up where you are, and therefore, every turn your story took, whether sad or happy at the time, is part of how you achieved whatever joy you have. It’s not really How I Met Your Mother that Ted is explaining to his kids. It’s How I Got Here, and How You Were Born, and How Everything Turned Out Okay.”—Read the rest: 'How I Met Your Mother': The Optimism Of Inevitability(HT: The Dish)
Millions are still offline completely, while others can afford only connections over their phone lines or via wireless smartphones. They can thus expect even lower-quality health services, career opportunities, education and entertainment options than they already receive. True, Americans of all stripes are adopting smartphones at breakneck speeds; in just over four years the number has jumped from about 10 percent to about 35 percent; among Hispanics and African-Americans, it’s roughly 44 percent. Most of the time, smartphone owners also have wired access at home: the Pew Internet and American Life Project recently reported that 59 percent of American adults with incomes above $75,000 had a smartphone, and a 2010 study by the Federal Communications Commission found that more than 90 percent of people at that income level had wired high-speed Internet access at home.
But that is not true for lower-income and minority Americans. According to numbers released last month by the Department of Commerce, a mere 4 out of every 10 households with annual household incomes below $25,000 in 2010 reported having wired Internet access at home, compared with the vast majority — 93 percent — of households with incomes exceeding $100,000. Only slightly more than half of all African-American and Hispanic households (55 percent and 57 percent, respectively) have wired Internet access at home, compared with 72 percent of whites.
These numbers are likely to grow even starker as the 30 percent of Americans without any kind of Internet access come online. When they do, particularly if the next several years deliver subpar growth in personal income, they will probably go for the only option that is at all within their reach: wireless smartphones. A wired high-speed Internet plan might cost $100 a month; a smartphone plan might cost half that, often with a free or heavily discounted phone thrown in.
The problem is that smartphone access is not a substitute for wired. The vast majority of jobs require online applications, but it is hard to type up a résumé on a hand-held device; it is hard to get a college degree from a remote location using wireless. Few people would start a business using only a wireless connection.