Two days ago I caught this piece from the NPR archive: Cigar Stories: El Lector - He Who Reads (also found here) and I was really impressed. Apparently, back in the heyday of hand rolled cigars, the workers would make their task a lot less tedious by hiring a professional reader. He'd sit at a central lectern and regale them with various tales.
Apparently, the content they read was all over the board: from local and international news, to novels and poetry, to political manifestos, to anything else the workers wanted.
The result: the workers were not only entertained, but well educated and informed. No electricity or Internet required; just some reading material and an individual with a gift for projecting his voice to potentially hundreds of people.
That's a mighty brilliant hack. Low tech, and highly effective.
Here, give the piece a listen: