Layne and I walked down to the Creole Lunch House for lunch yesterday after the rush and saw a crew at work burying some fiber on 12th street due to overcrowded poles. (Nice guys) When we went in we mentioned the fiber to Merline and the ensuing conversation between the three of us and some lingering customers surprised and heartened me.
Long story short: People off the street, with no particular expertise, understood some crucial details about a very technical fiber build our community is engaged in and understood the value of having technical assets in their daily lives.
Some details: Before the mail delivery lady went back out to her truck she chimed into the conversation with accurate info about a schedule for inspection and replacement of "telephone poles" and her friend let me know that even though they were replacing poles in Breaux Bridge that fiber wasn't going to be deployed there. The discussion quickly morphed into an enthusiastic talk about the niece who got a "30 dollar an hour!" job because she "knew the computer" and another whose 17 thousand dollar raise (to around 60) was acclaimed a general wonder and attributed to computer skills. Getting adopted by this niece was jokingly made the task of the afternoon. More seriously, there was a general agreement that they all needed to learn "the computer."
The point being that far from technically sophisticated people on the street are more knowledgeable than you'd think and recognize the value of the new network. They'd like to take advantage of the emerging resources in ways that make sense in their lives. That's the sort of understanding that is the necessary foundation for all those dreams some of us have about building some new "city on the hill" here in Lafayette.
Like I said, I was heartened.
(Oh yeah: If you've never made it to Miss Merline's you really oughta. The stuffed bread in that pic is the hot version...that's the one I'd start with; the plate lunches are a killer too...Layne had the fried pork chop with greens.)