[LINK] $100 laptop could sell to public

Eleanor Lister eleanor at pacific.net.au
Sun Jan 21 10:26:33 AEDT 2007

i would argue that all this debate, and even the publicity pushing the
OLPC, is taking the eye off the ball.

the issue is much more basic; the geeks believe that connectivity is the
answer to almost everything, the mere fact of a global communications
arena that even the poorest can link to will materially assist all

in their favour are some interesting facts, e.g; the civil war in
Cambodia closed down (15 years ago? i disremember) almost as soon as
radiotelephone links were installed across the country, and all parties
could talk, which dispelled fear, after which the UN had a relatively
easy time of it, and they are now a corrupt democratic dictatorship like
everyone else.

and OLPC is communications on steroids for the poor.

so what could be wrong with this idea?

well, nothing, if you really want the fully electronic world with
everyone merely a keystroke away ... but perhaps some communities may
not welcome this unambiguously.

so some kid in a mud hut ignores the customs, ceremonies and obligations
required by the community in which s/he lives, thus damaging them and
the chances of survival for the village ... but has an awesome avatar in
Second Life :(

get these kids a First Life, first, then worry about online activities.


rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au wrote:
> Stephen Loosley wrote:
>> At 10:35 AM 20/01/2007, Richard writes:
>>> The OLPC is driven by fine sentiments and laudable enthusiasm.
>>> So what is the sin in asking these questions?   
>> If that were all, then, great ... it's comments like in your last
>> post that
>> I must say get me down regarding a philanthropic education initiative.
>> Eg: > "The entire scheme is wonderful publicity and that's *all*. "
>> Which, to me, is unfair and beneath you, Richard. Still, I must admit
>> that, though after ten years Link of membership I believe my posting
>> re this was my first 'emotional' type response (and which I don't feel
>> great about now) a 32 year involvement in education does drive one. .
>> After so many years of fighting for education resources, in every way
>> I can, it's a difficult habit to break. By all means, whinge-on my
>> friend,
>> but please just logically support your arguments, and i will also. Fair?
> Sure.
> Refer my now most-recent post: where is there evidence-based research,
> rather than advocacy, which says computers are the best investment in
> primary and high-school education? The Indian response to OLPC -
> "demagogically suspect" I think? - sums it up.
> The computer industry has worked very hard over more than two decades
> to market into education, and in doing so has built a pretty much
> universal belief in the necessity of computers in classrooms. But
> where's the longitudinal studies, say, which demonstrate the efficacy
> of classroom computers as a teaching instrument? What tells us that
> children now are better educated than even ten years ago because there
> are more computers? Where's the genuinely independent evidence which
> eliminates mere correlation (ie, a more prosperous society has both
> better education *and* more computers)?
> Without this evidence, OLPC as educational philanthropy is vulnerable
> to the simple (and I think correct) criticism that it's simply the
> wrong answer to the question - it's an answer shaped by IT ideology
> rather than educational science. That vulnerability should be
> answered; and IMO the answer needs to be founded on more than fine
> sentiment.
> As to my cricitism that the OLPC is a good publicity device: hasn't it
> been?
> Cheers,
> RC
>> Cheers Richard
>> Stephen Loosley
>> Victoria, Australia  

Eleanor Ashley Lister
South Sydney Greens
webmistress at ssg.nsw.greens.org.au

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