Friday, April 21, 2006

Tropically Tolerant

This blog is my humble attempt to look at technology both old and new through the "tropically tolerant" microscope. I will focus on technology that has great potential for use in the tropics. There will be excursions into technology policies that are not tropically friendly like net neutrallity. In summary anything that can be tagged technology and tropically tolerant is a possible topic for this weblog.

Tropically tolerant is a term coined by Hermann Chinery-Hesse of Soft Tribe. Chinery-Hesse used the term to describe the software that is designed and coded with the realities of modern day Ghana. The realities include but are not limited to power issues, connectivity and piracy. Soft Tribe's software writes to disk often to counter the issue of inconsistent power. The connectivity problem is handled by caching data locally and syncing to a central server when a connection is available. Piracy is tackled by having engineers travel to customer sites to install

I believe that the concept of tropical tolerance can be applied to all attempts by the modern african to acculturate western culture. Reggie Rockstone stumbled upon this truth when he localized hip-hop. The appeal of hip-life to all generations of Ghanaians in contrast to hip-hop bears witness to the validity of my belief.

In technology, we need to only look at the success of Soft Tribe's point of sale software. This POS software was designed with the tenets of tropical tolerance in mind making it a more viable option than imported software. This is not to say all imported technology is bad. Rather, foreign technology should be given the "Reggie Rockstone" treatment. It should be remoulded to fit the tropics.

Welcome to tropically tolerant.