[Etoys] A Hero for One Laptop Per Child (RE: OLPC mass production started)

SmallSqueak smallsqueak at rogers.com
Mon Nov 19 03:24:04 EST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org [mailto:squeak-dev-
> bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org] On Behalf Of Alan Kay
> Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:16 AM
> To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list; 'The general-purpose Squeak
> developers list'
> Cc: 'Squeakland list'; 'etoys'
> Subject: Re: A Hero for One Laptop Per Child (RE: [Etoys] OLPC mass
> production started)
> I would be very disappointed, even appalled, to see my name as a hero
> here. 
> The notion of a "Hero" seems to be partly built into human
> nervous systems 

This is especially true for children mind.

> and is a favorite trope in stories. 

Children stories are filled with all kinds of heroes.

Many a child brings her unfulfilled wishes into her dreams where the heroes come
along to give her "dream come true", in the dreams.

Think of the scenario where tens of millions of these children are empowered
with those XO (pre-loaded with all those 'dream come true'.) One wouldn't be
surprised to see them invoking the incantation "Google, Google on the screen,
who is the Hero for OLPC".

> This idea seriously distorted and masked how Xerox PARC actually worked, 
> for example.
> OLPC has been making progress because quite a few talented people
> decided to take responsibility for different needs of the project. I
> am very proud of the Viewpoints researchers who really got behind
> this because they believed in it.
> So there are a lot of heros, if that is the word. I think of it more
> as "there are a lot of enlightened people" and it bodes well for
> humanity when they decide to take action.

That sounds like what's described in this ancient Oriental proverb: 
"Following The Elephant's footsteps". 

> Cheers.
> Alan




There is also another proverb, to reflect the facts of life: 
"Following The Elephant's footsteps, to collect bagasse".

And it's so hard to separate the wheat from the chaff!


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