What technology--applied wholesale to Puerto Rico--would have the greatest positive impact?
I asked that question (or one very much like it) in My lunch with Gabriel Pagán, of I Can't Spell fame. In any case, the question posed above is the one I'll answer.
My first ideas on this were that the technology in question would have to cover three basic characteristics:
1) User-friendly: Think "cell phone" versus "computer."
2) Economical: Same example.
3) Capable of "trendiness." Harder to define, but the same example applies. Cell phones come out more often with a variety of options and personalizations, much more so than a computer.
That's when I noticed (as you have) that what We're looking for here is "the new cell phone." It's debatable if the cell phone has had a great positive impact, but an opponent to them would have a very hard time arguing against the value of their ubiquitous presence.
I gave this more thought than I estimated I would. In fact, I may have spent more time with this question than with practically anything else I've posted as The Jenius. (Make of that what you will.) I even confirmed the definition of technology to make sure I would leave no stone unturned.
Those of you familiar with My writings and/or personality would assume I went down a few strange side-streets... and I did. And through it all, I kept coming back to one concept:
You can pick your jaw off the desk now. I mean it: Accelerated learning. Here's why.
---Puerto Rico has a stronger tendency to short-term thinking than long-term. Now that's certainly a human trait, but We generally evince it to a higher degree than most. Accelerated learning, if it hits the tripartite sweet spot noted above, would radically alter Our society. The bad side of short-term thinking is opportunism, which We have in spades and nearly idolize as a lifestyle. That's where accelerated learning makes its largest impact: It makes (can make) opportunism an incentive to learn, instead of an incentive to "slide by." The more you know--or the more you can learn--the more you can take advantage of the circumstances.
---Handled by business, it would take the process of education out of the government's hands, also reducing Our witless over-reliance on that Fool's Paradise. Accelerated learning would move education from "class" to "individual," from "sub-standard" to "results-based" and from "propaganda" to "empowerment." How else would it be successful, if it didn't tailor the service and product to Me, gave Me My money's worth and made Me feel better about who I am and what I can do? The positive benefits of that kind of impact are almost staggering to behold.
---And in the ideal world where accelerated learning comes to be as I envision, the simple truth of "The more you learn, the more you can learn" could lift Us to seek Our true place on the world stage, beyond a pretty face wearing a sash, a pair of hips swiveling on a stage or a sweaty hand raised in victory. A place on the world stage where the mind matters, where thoughts make a fundamental difference and Our talents as a People--all Our talents, not just those to entertain--are made manifest.
Okay, Gabriel, MC Don Dees, Soldier and anyone else who wants to jump in: What's your answer? I'm sure they'll be well worth the effort.
The Jenius Has Spoken.