The Khoikhoi Computer Programming

The Khoikhoi Computer Programming Summary Text 12

The Khoikhoi Computer Programming Summary Text 12

Summary Written Text


1. The Khoikhoi

San, people of southern Africa, consisting of several groups and numbering over 85,000 in all. They are generally short in stature; their skin is yellowish brown in color, and they feature prominent cheekbones. The San have been called Bushmen by whites in South Africa, but the term is now considered derogatory. Although many now work for white settlers, about half are still nomadic hunters and gatherers of wild food in desolate areas like the Kalahari semi-desert, which stretches between today’s Nation States of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Their social unit is the small hunting band; larger organizations are loose and temporary. Grass huts, caves and rock shelters are
used as dwellings. They possess only what they can carry, using poisoned arrowheads to fell game and transporting water in ostrich-egg shells. The San have a rich folklore, are skilled in drawing, and have a remarkably complex language characterized by the use of click sounds, related to that of the Khoikhoi. For thousands of years the San lived in southern and central Africa, but by the time of the Portuguese arrival in the 15th cent., they had already been forced into the interior of southern Africa. In the 18th and 19th cent., they resisted the encroachment on their lands of Dutch settlers, but by 1862 that resistance had been crushed.


San, short Southern African people with yellowish brown skin color and prominent cheekbones, are living in primitive ways and small hunting bands previously lived in southern and central Africa.


2. Computer Programming

Consider the current situation: Like their counterparts in the United States, engineers and technicians in India have the capacity to provide both computer programming and innovative new technologies. Indian programmers and high-tech engineers earn one-quarter of what their counterparts earn in the United States. Consequently, India is able to do both jobs at a lower dollar cost than the United States: India has an absolute advantage in both. In other words, it can produce a unit of programming for
fewer dollars than the United States, and it can also produce a unit of technology innovation for fewer dollars. Does that mean that the United States will lose not only programming jobs but innovative technology jobs, too? Does that mean that our standard of living will fall if the United States and India engage in international trade?

David Ricardo would have answered no to both questions—as we do today. While India may have an absolute advantage in both activities, that fact is irrelevant in determining what India or the United States will produce. India has a comparative advantage in doing programming in part because such activity requires little physical capital. The flip side is that the United States has a comparative advantage in technology innovation partly because it is relatively easy to obtain capital in this country
to undertake such long-run projects. The result is that Indian programmers will do more and more of what U.S. programmers have been doing in the past. In contrast, American firms shift to more and more innovation. The United States will specialize in technology innovation; India in programming. The business managers in each country will opt to specialize in activities in which they have a comparative advantage. As in the past, the U.S. economy will continue to concentrate on what are called the “most best” activities.


What a country will engage in international trade depends on its comparative advantage, so India will do more computer programming due to its comparative disadvantage of obtaining physical capital while the United State will engage in capital-intensive technology innovation, though India can do both at lower costs.

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