[Air-l] One Laptop Per Child

Ellis Godard ellis.godard at csun.edu
Tue Jun 6 20:18:11 PDT 2006

Jarek wrote:
> I think that "giving" cannot be equated with "empowering." 

Sure, giving is neither synonymous with nor sufficient for empowerment. But
to suggest that because of this program "a global divide...will emerge" (as
if it didn't exist now) suggests that giving is DISempowering, which is
quite a leap - and, on balance, almost certainly backwards.

> Thus "inequality" and "stratification" are 
> by default wrong and harmful in this context.

That doesn't follow at all. The insufficiency of giving does not produce or
enhance inequality. And the empirical consequences of giving, whatever they
are, are unrelated to a normative evaluation of stratification (or anything
else) as "wrong", since facts imply nothing about values.

But, to follow your argument anyway: If inequality and stratification are by
default wrong, and providing hardware somehow increases inequality, is the
solution to maintain (even extend) differences in hardware access?


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