Walter leaving and shift to XP.
echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Apr 23 18:06:50 EDT 2008
On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
> I certainly don't know enough about Windows to be able to answer your
> question from the technical perspective. I do know that to launch an
> effort to port to Windows will require resources above and beyond what
> are currently available. Is that the best use of resources? There is
> an argue to suggest that since so many people are running Windows,
> that this would be the most efficient way to reach the most people.
> But there are some negatives as well... many of which have been raised
> earlier in this thread. Not the least in my mind is one of culture: I
> fought long and hard to get the principle of free and open added to
> the core principles of OLPC because I believe that (a) there is power
> in freedom--it really does make a difference to teachers and learners
> to know that they can be first-class citizens in the world of ideas
> [it is a contradiction to advocate expression and collaboration but
> put up barriers at the same time]; (b) there is efficiency in
> freedom--despite all of the deficiencies and all the mistakes, we've
> accomplished a tremendous amount in just two years and the potential
> to accomplish much much more.
We all know that this is supposed to be an education program, not a
laptop program. But in reality it is an anti-poverty program, not an
education program, and indeed an anti-suffering, pro-human rights
project, not just an anti-poverty program. Laptops are the
infrastructure and education the means to alleviate human suffering on
the grand scale.
But it is not only material poverty that matters. Poverty of rights,
poverty of opportunity, poverty of means, poverty of power, all of
these are also essential problems. Software freedom is more important
than laptops for children in the long run. Of course Free Software on
laptops for all children is better than either alone.
All of this comes down to the age-old fight over education as a tool
of thought control in the manner of Plato's Republic, and education as
a tool of freedom, and freedom as a tool of education. The Prussians
are still ahead, but we are gaining, and they can't stop us.
Amartya Sen has a good take on the essential nature of the problem in
Development as Freedom. So do all the Constructivist and
Constructionist educators, and many other pioneers. See
Student-Centered Education on the Wiki for a few pointers.
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay
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