Jan 31 2008
Loud Murmurs author and super Vancouver technologist David Drucker got his hands on an XO-1 $100 laptop. The machine is a product of the non-profit One Laptop Per Child Foundation, which intends to help children and families in the developing world benefit from the information age
A second computer went off to a child in a developing country (Presumably, the one David had was distributed to help promote the project to ignoramuses like myself).
I’m conflicted on the idea of giving laptops to children in countries where development is typically measured in numbers of people with access to clean drinking water or basic education. But it would be hard to argue that scarce funds should not be spent on technology until absolutely everyone in a poor country has the basics; after all, even in the developed world, there are those who fall through the cracks.
Countries that aren’t tapped into globalization (eg. North Korea, Myanmar, Yemen) are the least successful ones on the planet, and modern globalization is driven in part by computers and their associated infrastructure. Ultimately, giving computers to people in poor countries is on balance a good thing.