The next Frankenstein

He exchanged a brand name watch to get the microprocessor; his brother left the motherboard behind when he left the country.  All he lacks is the RAM memory to build the next Frankenstein, with which he’ll connect to the intranet set up by several young people in his building.  Almost thirty, he’s been building his own computers for a decade, thanks to the black market in computer parts.  At first they were real monstrosities, full of innovations, but over time his computers have become more presentable and competitive.

Now he’s building a new “creature” to start his own business copying DVDs so he can leave his boring job at a state agency.  A complex video editing program allows him to advertise himself as a “specialist in filming weddings and quinceaneras,” a very well-paid informal occupation.  Among the dreams he cherishes is getting on the Internet and finding a girlfriend in the chat rooms  one who can get him out of here.  He fantasizes her gift to him on their wedding day, a computer he doesn’t need to add a single screw to.

When it was announced that Raúl Castro would allow the sale of computers to Cubans, this alternative techie was happy he wouldn’t have to wait so long.  But with the price of a laptop sold today in the stores in convertible pesos, he could acquire, informally, the parts to build at least three PCs.  However his Frankenstein is missing the most important thing; the possibility of walking out of there and taking his first steps on the web.  To make a being from a simple collection of circuits, you need the lightening of connectivity, the current of energy that will awaken him to life.


15 thoughts on “The next Frankenstein

  1. There is no inequality of access to connect to a network in the global Internet, since these are unregulated markets. Internet service providers wishing to sell Internet access in Cuba would find themselves precluded from doing so by government regulation. There’s a basic incompatibility between heavy government regulation and the free-market model upon which the Internet is built.

  2. 291RCR:

    Don’t try to confuse the rest of the people, because, the reality is, that you are the one which is a combination of several “monigotes”, directly controlled from Castro’s office.

    That’s very evident and a normal type of reaction from a government, that has been killing freedom and hope for more than 50 years, and you, and your horde of hyenas are an important part playing that roll!!!!!! cowards!!!!!!


  3. Oh, and 291RCR, the more you post comments the more I am convinced that you are nothing but a combination of numbers and letters.

  4. 291RCR, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. For goodness sakes, take off those ideological blinders.

    And what pray tell do you know about real life in Cuba that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and every credible human rights organization on the planet doesn’t know?

  5. The more categories I read the more I am convinced that Yoani is a creations of a consortium of individuals attempting to spread false propaganda. There is no way that one individual can live the falsehoods written each day. On occasions the author who ever it maybe comes close to writing real life in Cuba, but in reality when one contemplates the subject no way life is such.

  6. Miranda, as I understand it, allowing the sale of personal computers to private citizens was one of the minor reforms that Raul Castro introduced during the first few months of his presidency last year. However, the computers available for sale can only be purchased using convertible pesos that few Cubans have access to (convertible for hard currency such as the US dollar), not the regular worthless cuban peso most Cubans earn.

    So the person whose story Yoani is telling builds his own computers with parts available on the black market. But, even here, after the computer is built and sold (also on the black market), there is no internet access. So it’s like building a Frankenstein without the ability to bring the Frankenstein to life.

    One of the features of Yoani’s writing is her masterful use of metaphors to tell real life stories. Truly a wonderful gift both for her and for her readers.

  7. Castros regime blames the U.S. government for the poor Internet access that its citizens endure. The reality is that zero percent of Cubans are connected to the Internet. The Castros regime operates an incumbent phone company, which maintains a Web cache. Cubans who wish to use the Internet browse the government Web cache. They do not have unrestricted access to the Internet.

  8. kenny, get a grip. Yoani’s Frankenstein metaphor is obviously lost on you. For someone who is apparently from the UK, you really need to brush up on your English literature.

  9. Mary Shellys monster took the spark of life in the primordial way. A thunderous bolt of pure energy from the heavens. Wi-fi is the new pulse of life. More like the tiny mammals sneaking around in the bushes than the giant thundering lizards they replaced. Too bad radio marti can not add wi-fi. How long till some of those struggling tech wizards in Cuba are able to reach out into the sky and pull down the key to heaven ?

  10. Kenny are you stupid ,or, are you playing to be a cretin?

    How can you compare, the freedom to be able to buy the parts to built up your own computer- because you wants to do it that way-, with building up, by yourself, by MANDATORY law, “the Frankenstein computer”, just, because the government has prohibited the use of the Internet, plus buying a lap top -unless if you have dollars and with very high prices- is something almost impossible?.


  11. Building you own computer is always gonna be cheaper than buying built ones from the shop ya big doofus. Here in the UK I get my brother to build mine, it’s half the price of buying one from a store.

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