[LINK] $100 laptop could sell to public

rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Mon Jan 15 20:49:16 AEDT 2007

Bernard, your scepticism disappoints me. If you have a computer, you 
will eat: after all, we all have computers and we eat quite well.

And the scheme is the brainchild of the Most Fertile Brain, MIT doyen 
and so on.

Bow the knee, anarchist!

OK. Sarcasm over, lowest form of wit and so on. The entire scheme is 
wonderful publicity and that's *all*. It makes me wonder if it wasn't at 
first dreamed up by Alan Abel. "I'll bet I can get some big-brain to 
believe he can solve the world's problems with a computer..."

It's yet another example of the IT media's hero-syndrome. The merits of 
an idea have nothing to do with anything: it's the personality, and "who 
do you follow" (another current example is iPhone, which is now divided 
along party-lines. I am the only Mac user I know who isn't already 
counting the days until an Australian release).


brd at iimetro.com.au wrote:

> Is it just me or is this yet another technology solution looking for a 
> problem?
> Reminds me of this story, broadcast on Counterpoint in December
> http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2006/1808567.htm
> <extract>
> David O'Connor: Yes, I was in Mongolia, the capital Ulaanbaatar, and I 
> was
> working as a kind of a journalist but not in the way that Europeans 
> think of as
> journalists but I was helping them to try to develop a better 
> journalism. I was
> sent by Australian Volunteers International which is part funded by 
> AusAid, so
> I guess I was part of the spending of Australian foreign aid. But I had a
> particular experience with AusAid which was that this is a city of one 
> million
> people which generates a lot of rubbish and the old system was there 
> was a
> large container placed outside each block of flats, a very, very large 
> steel
> container, which was collected and replaced every week. Associated 
> with every
> container there were scavengers that would get into it, they would 
> take out
> everything that was recyclable and they would sell it. They lived in the
> street...this is minus 30 degrees during winter and they lived in the 
> street,
> and they lived from this money they got from the recycling.
> AusAid and World Bank got together and decided this was not an 
> efficient garbage
> system and they brought in a consultant from Australia on a very large 
> salary.
> The average income in Mongolia is something in the order of $2 a day, 
> and he
> was on something in the order of $200 a day. He came for a few weeks, 
> consulted
> with bureaucrats like him who sat in offices, and they came up with a 
> scheme
> whereby the old containers were removed, smaller wheelie bins were placed
> around the place.
> They bought a whole lot of Chinese trucks that had special compacting 
> equipment
> and they could automatically pick up these wheelie bins and empty 
> them, this
> would be a much more efficient system. They took away the old bins. 
> The problem
> was that the scavengers couldn't get into the new wheelie bins, so 
> they threw
> the garbage out onto the ground so they could go through it and scavenge
> everything, which meant that every truck had to have two extra staff 
> to shovel
> the rubbish back into the wheelie bins so the truck could 
> automatically lift up
> the bin and put it inside.
> They recycled the old, big cans, but people began to complain that the 
> rubbish
> was always on the ground. There wasn't enough consideration given to
> maintenance of the trucks so they all broke down because they get 
> pretty hard
> wear in that sort of weather. The trucks broke down, the wheelie bins 
> broke,
> the trucks were removed, they didn't work any more, the wheelie bins were
> removed because they all broke up, the garbage was just left lying on the
> ground. They then instituted a system where a truck came round once a 
> week and
> you had to leave your house when you heard the truck beeping its horn, 
> you
> would leave your house carrying your garbage and put it in the bin. So 
> the
> scavengers were also out of work.
> </extract>

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