[Air-l] One Laptop Per Child

elw at stderr.org elw at stderr.org
Wed Jun 7 10:39:20 PDT 2006

> As these laptops are technologically inferior to Western technology, a 
> new divide between owners of advanced and ever-progressive technology 
> and owners of old-fashioned technology will emerge. The emerging divide 
> then is not about have and have-nots, but about those who have advanced 
> technology and those who have inferior technology.

I'm not certain that you can claim that they're technologically inferior 
to Western technology, as they *are* Western technology.  ;)  I do think I 
know what you meant, in the other sense of those words, too, and still 
don't find the argument compelling.

If we can build a perfectly usable 500Mhz laptop for a hundred bucks that 
runs the *state of the art* in available software - that is to say, the 
very same software (or its close kin, modified for the hardware of the 
laptop) that is on my desktop here in Indiana - what's the use of having a 
$3k "Western" desktop machine?

Plenty of the technology that's "new" and on the mass-market here... well, 
it sucks rocks.  Inefficient, sloppily constructed, cheap junk. 
Sometimes it is better to be the "backward" consumer of well-tested, 
reliable technology.

Somebody talk about computers-as-tools versus computers-as-entertainment 
and distraction devices?  I think that it would be a productive addition 
to the conversation.


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