October 12, 2006

All Libyan pupils to get laptop and web access
  • And you realize that John Negroponte (that of Death Squads fame) is the brother of Nicholas Negroponte. Oh, well, Canadians have health care, Lybians have computers, what do we have? A deficit?
  • What country we come from? You don't say!
  • can you eat porn??
  • No, you can't, but you can gain a new world-view, and that might make a difference.
  • A commendable enterprise, also one that has met much (predictable) resistance from the established laptop/PC industry. There remains the question of whether laptops, even at $100, are are the most immediate need in the poorest parts of the globe. They may however help to improve education and economic opportunity in areas where the more basic needs such as clean water, food and health care have already been at least addressed. Still, a damn cool idea and potentially a very disruptive bit of technology.
  • I have very mixed feelings about this kind of initiatives. On one hand, yes, knowledge of basic word & data processing applications can make a difference for a child's future in the marketplace, or help create that marketplace. But... what about teachers? Do they also get re-booted, with a new vision, better salaries and resources? And where there aren't any, will their magic plastic box become a preferred substitute for them? Tough questions, and the project's validity also hinges on who supports it. I have serious doubts that many governments on developing countries would allow their kids to access information criticizing them, but maybe I'm just being overly cynical. And, wasn't Lybia on the terror list of bad guys not so long ago? Mh, maybe that should be the way to do it: instead of invading Iran, send their kids laptops. Regime change from inside!
  • Sounds like a kick-ass idea to me. Go Lybia.
  • I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the two are brothers. Squick. That said, yes, it would be nice if Nicholas had grown teats that lactated enough milk for the entire 3rd world and maybe regrowable fingers made of manna. But since he is a computer guru and that is definitely what he does and knows best and better than most people, than yes, this is a very good contribution of his time and effort. And it is far better and far more effective than anything I have done.
  • Okay, okay. Radical new project and all that, yes, yes, yes. But that doesn't address the most important, burning question: WHY THE F*** WOULD YOU SAY "E-DEMOCRACY" AND NOT "E-MOCRACY?!?!" WHAT KIND OF MORON PASSES UP A CHANCE LIKE THAT?
  • Difficult not to have reservations. If you gave every Libyan $100, how many would buy a laptop with it, even if they could? And how are they going to deliver internet access to the whole of Libya, permanently? And does Col Gaddafi's wacky Jamahariya really leap to mind as a good candidate for this kind of assistance? And won't this just produce another wave of Nigerian-style spam? But good luck to them anyway. and where's mine?
  • *cuts TUM's coffee with a little hot water*
  • From what I remember from the earlier articles about this is that the computers are hand-cranked and have satellite connectivity, Plegmund. I think this is a good idea. For an example: if you feed the starving, ignorant poor, you only solve the one problem temporarily. Pollyanna?
  • Thanks, IC.
  • Seems an idea worth trying.
  • I mean, c'mon! E-MOCRACY!
  • *makes TUM a nice cuppa tea like*