Thursday, December 01, 2005

Dumb Idea: one laptop per child plan

Holy sweet lord...

Sometimes I read an article, shake my head, read it again to make sure I got it right, then shake my head again.

This happens a lot with boingboing, since they have obvious social/political/ideological leanings and tend to stray from the rule of Phil: always play devil's advocate. But maybe that's what makes them a blog.

In this post, Cory (yup, him again) mentions that "Nicholas Negroponte and other MIT luminaries" are pushing for "every child in the world whether they want one or not" to get a $100 hand-cranked laptop.


If you're a firm believer that we should become a computer-enslaved society.

Ok, that aside (attention cybergeeks: not everyone WANTS a f***ing computer! And, guess what: that's not a bad thing!) the major problem with this plan seems to have evaded everyone, including the project's prime critic:

Isn't this gonna lead to an awful lot of trash?

Computers are not easily disposable and, if I'm not mistaken, aren't necessarily made with the most environmentally-friendly materials. We're talking about hundred of millions (billions?) of computers here. What would happen to all these computers in 5 years when they start crapping out, slowing down, or are otherwise deemed obsolete?


Someone thinks this is a good idea?

And kids should get one whether they want one or not because "they may not know they want one"?

Uh, arrogant much?

Let me guess: you're American.

And what poor, starving family in Honduras is gonna hold on to this marvel when they can sell it for something FOOD? Do you really think that many of these third-world citizens that you're looking to rescue are clinging to the dream (whether they know it or not) that one day they will get a POS computer (no, that doesn't stand for "point of sale"), spend hours learning its inner workings (and not working themselves), in order to one day provide for their family by starting their own internet porn site?

Does MIT stand for Most Intelligent 'Tards?

In many ways I envy those places on the planet where the citizens are not attached to their technology in a twisted symbiotic (parasitic?) relationship.

I do not own a cellphone. Although it might be nice to be reachable in the bathroom at Wendy's, believe it or not, I get by without one. The vast majority of folks in Europe do not have internet in their homes (unlike here). So who are these MIT gods to tell the world that they should all embrace the mighty computer and learn its language?

Give your heads a shake.

I did.

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