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College Days Brother Richard L. Scott, Jr.

Computer Literacy is a Must Contrary to popular belief African-Americans have always been a positive force in the capitalist free market economy. Our first major contribution was to the agrarian driven economy which was based on free slave labor. Cotton was KING. The South was not the only region to benefit from cotton and other valuable cash crops. Others such as textile manufacturers, ship builders, brokers, and bankers enjoyed the profits generated by slave labor. Slaves were not only valuable producers, they were valuable products as well. The ending of international slave trade helped create an economic trade barrier incubating the domestic slave trade and allowing it to flourish as plantations sprang up in the "New South." The period following the Civil War ushered in the industrial economy that we know today. As war industries converted to manufacturer consumer goods African-Americans, now free, moved en masse from the plantation to the cities of the South and North to find employment as factory workers. Needless to say AfricanAmericans encountered racism in the form of low wages and exclusion from newly organized labor unions, but these obstacles did not prevent African-American workers from helping develop an industrial driven economy. Our economy is continuing to change. Telecommunication corporations are becoming the new giants of American industries. We are now living in the "Information Age" and the saying "Knowledge is Power" has an entirely new meaning. Agriculture and manufacturing are still important to our economy, but knowledge of each

and efficient methods of obtaining that knowledge are equally important. Various types of media (books, magazines, video, newspapers, etc.) contain information on every subject. How do we achieve maximum efficiency? How does one gain access to such a wealth of information? he answer to the first question is the use of computers. Just about everyone on the entire planet is, in some way and at one time or another, using a computer. The speed and accuracy at which computers operate makes it possible for us to achieve maximum results with minimum effort. The amount of available knowledge today is too great to be stored in one place or transmitted by mail, books, television, or other conventional methods of dissemination. Thus another task for the computer with die assistance of modem (MODulator DEModulator), die telephone wire, coaxial (cable line), and tiie satellite. Computers not only have die capacity to store information, diey can also transmit it to odier computers connected to die Internet. The Internet (International Network) is omnipresent because it is made up of numerous connected supercomputers and PCs (personal computers) all over the world. It originated as a military research and communications network and was designed to be in many places at the same time so that it would be protected in event of a nuclear attack. Naturally, the Internet is loaded with computer related information, but recent developments and simpler methods of accessing the Internet have gained die interest of small business owners and major corporations. The commercial potential of the Internet cannot be calculated. Businesses can advertise and sell products over the Internet, and manufacturers of computers and computer-related products can make repairs over phone lines (provided that die damage is not physical). As I said earlier, the Internet is all about the communication of information, and diere are four primary ways to communicate information:


Summer 1995 T The Sphinx A 19

The SPHINX | Summer 1995 | Volume 80 | Number 2 199508002  

This magazine talks about the Alpha Renaissance Continues... Around The World Volume 80 • Number 2 • Summer 1995 AUCKLAND *A*nPOOCS * Hi.y *...