One Laptop Per Child

Robert Marella rmarella at
Mon Nov 12 13:37:11 PST 2007

On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 15:56:34 -0500
Robert Huff <roberthuff at> wrote:

> 	The problem I have always had with this is computer use does
> not exist in a vacuum; it changes, and is changed by, the society in
> which it happens.
> 	If I look at the countries of the "first world", I see places
> that have walked the path from the written word to the telegraph to
> the telephone to the computer.  At each step they've tested the new
> technology, learning what it can and cannot do, discovering stuff
> the inventors never even imagined, discarding ideas that are
> techically problematic or culturally unpalatable, and adapting to it
> as it adapted to them.
> 	Now consider dropping 100,000 OLPC on a country where the
> (median and mode) hardware layer is paper and ink, the government -
> often autocratic and kleptocratic - cannot manage to install and run
> a 1950's era phone system, and religious leaders fulminate against
> imunization as a "foreign plot".  Even under the best of
> circumstaces exactly what do people reasoaly expect to happen?
In my opinion you underestimate the abilities of people. There is no
need for the people of the third world countries to "evolve" as we did.
One only needs to look at the progress made in China over the last few
decades. People who never had a telephone, facsimile, radio or in some
cases even books are now using cell phones, computers and televisions.

China is becoming more capitalistic, if not democratic, not because the
government wants it to but because it has to. The people are more
knowledgeable about the rest of the world because of the new ways of

If only one percent of the 100,000 laptops in your above example were
to fall into hands of some child who is awakened to a new world then
that is 1,000 children who will grow up and help change that country.

As someone else stated, "It's my money". I have completed the "give
one, get one" order form. I hope my laptop is sent to a worthy child
but if not so be it. I have not decided what to do with the one that I
receive. My grand daughter is only 3 and I think that is a little to
young. I will probably give the laptop to one of my great nieces.


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