[LINK] $100 laptop could sell to public

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Wed Jan 17 15:43:23 AEDT 2007

Has anyone actually worked out *who* the OLPC is actually aimed at  
being delivered to? We are all making gross generalisations here, in  
that we assume that only the very poor would be issued with the devices.

I'm not asking a rhetorical question: it's just that I've yet to find  
the article that has the demographics of the intended customers of  
this device. Maybe they all have fairy floss at the top of their  
needs list, and maybe they have transistor radios, decent plumbing,  
plentiful food, robust shelter, etc. (I simply don't know)


On 17/01/2007, at 12:57 PM, Stewart Fist wrote:

> Danny writes:
>> If support for different projects were fungible, then on a cost
>> benefit analysis no one would ever put money into anything except
>> public health and education.  But that doesn't happen in Australia --
>> even charitable donations go to all kinds of purposes -- and it's
>> just utopianism to expect it to happen anywhere else.
>> Development IT projects are not, in most cases, an alternative to
>> public health ones, but an extra.
> The reason it doesn't happen in Australia is because the base  
> standards are
> so much higher for the vast majority of citizens, that public  
> health and
> education is reasonably covered.
> In places like Africa, philanthropic support for different projects  
> are
> entirely fungible.  And the problems are so obviously at the base  
> public
> health and survival level, that, to even consider spending good  
> money on
> laptops for every child, is patently ridiculous.
> Maslow's hierarch of needs and wants, rested on a foundation of  
> survival
> essentials.  Only when these are reasonably in place do you begin  
> to built
> on this, layers of less-essential kinds.
> It is an excellent concept that appears to have been neglected in  
> recent
> years.
> Laptops would, in my opinion, be at the top of his hierarchy with such
> desirable items as monthly supplies of fairy-floss.
>> And assuming poor people can't or wouldn't be able to use IT  
>> resources is
>> patronising.
> It is not patronising to point out that people who lack food, water,
> sanitation, basic medicines, permanent homes, clothes, electric  
> power, the
> ability to read, and a few hundred other items essential for  
> survival before
> they need laptops, is just plain common sense.
> You'd give them transistor radios before you introduced laptops.
> You'd give them TVs before you gave them laptops.
> You'd give them bicycles before you gave them laptops.
> You'd give them electric power and water and food and roads before  
> you gave
> them laptops.
> With the best wishes in the world to those earnestly involved in these
> projects, there's a distinct appearance of the same sort of social
> disconnect that had a certain French queen suggesting that the poor  
> should
> eat cake.
> -- 
> Stewart Fist, writer, journalist, film-maker
> 70 Middle Harbour Road, LINDFIELD, 2070, NSW, Australia
> Ph +61 (2) 9416 7458
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Ivan Trundle
http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742
skype: callto://ivanovitchk

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