[Grassroots-l] [Community-news] [sugar] where is Walter?

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 17:30:07 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 4:14 PM, Samuel Klein <sj at laptop.org> wrote:
> An aside to all about mailing list usage : please stay on-topic.
> Community-news is for announcements only (despite having a brief discussion
> earlier this week), and devel is for code and development.   I'm bcc:ing
> devel and copying olpc-open and grassroots lists, in the hopes that this is
> taken up there.
> Ed,
> Darah's email isn't a brush-off, OLPC isn't doing the sort of campaigning
> for that bill that you propose.

Yes, that's why it's a brushoff. It says, "We have nothing to talk to
you about, and we're not listening to you either. Take a hike." Most
geeks are tone-deaf to such social cues in varying degrees, so I have
to ask some of you to believe that others of us are affected
differently by what you say, even if you can't perceive it yourselves.
Nicholas shooting his mouth off very nearly most of all. (Nicholas
refusing to talk to people at all is actually the worst.)

> That is a fine thing for OLPC Chicago (or
> any supporter) to do.  And of course we are interested in seeing it and
> measures like it succeed.

Management doesn't act like it. I have been told that it is policy
that US deployments don't count toward the mission.

> To some of your specific points:
> >  >  >  Not everyone knows everything about your project - though it's
>  >  >  >  interesting to hear.
>  >  >
>  >  >  Not my project! Illinois's! They asked me to make contact on their
> behalf.
> Who asked you to make contact on their behalf?

Ryan Croke of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn's office.

>  >  >  How does one invite him to State Senate Hearings? Darah or who? Does
>  >  >  he have an appointments secretary?
> Why would you invite Nicholas to a State Senate Hearing?  What would that
> accomplish?

I can't believe I'm reading this. What, do you think there are no poor
children in Illinois, specifically Chicago?

Is everybody at OLPC tone-deaf to politics as well?

> I have the general sense that people would like to advocate for
> passage of this bill in the Senate, and that there are people who would like
> to show up at the senate hearing, but I'm not clear on who they are, where
> such a trip is being organized, or what the desired outcome would be.

This is preplanning. The Senate hasn't scheduled its hearing yet, but
we want all our ducks in a row well beforehand. We're inviting
everybody you think we might be inviting that we can make contact
with, and we would like OLPC management to assist in this. If OLPC
says, "Not my job," then it is harder to convince others to take it
seriously, or even to open a discussion with them.

> There
> is clearly some support for the bill -- would you aim to cement it?  To
> oppose expected opposition or alterations?  To push for specific
> alterations?   Advocacy needs clear purpose.

You can find all of this information in the OLPC Chicago list archive.
The bill needs some help. We would like to see an XO-only program, as
would Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. If not, it's the kind of bake-off that
Nicholas detests. Right now, the bill lets each school choose any
under $400 laptop. We are concerned that the evaluation mandated by
the bill would return little data of value without proper experimental

This program is a model for the nation. When other states come in,
Congress will have to take note, and we can talk to them about putting
XO programs into foreign aid bills. Barack Obama proposes a doubling
of US aid to $50 billion, including a $2 billion Global Education
Fund. We think that this is fairly admirable, although it is still
only half of what the US has promised for decades, and that the
proposed education share of aid is much too low.

Obama is tightly connected to all of Illinois politics. I think that
he and they would be delighted to have Illinois be the model for the
world. We will also get all of the immigrant communities we can find
in Chicago and elsewhere involved.

This isn't just another program, yeah, sure, that's nice. It offers us
a shortcut path to our strategic goals.

Right now the visible strategy is

* Absolute minimum price for laptops, no matter what manufacturing
delays that entails.
* Sales to developing nations are the only measure of success. Sales
to other places that have poor people don't count. Public opinion
doesn't count. Sources for aid funding don't count. Good management
doesn't count.

If Nicholas persists in this nonsense, I will propose to the people
that have left OLPC that we form OLPC USA. (The name OLPC America is
taken, though to no apparent purpose.)

If Nicholas persists in his fantasy of Sugar on Windows at the expense
of Linux, we will fork Sugar.

> Here is the bill status, for those interested:
> http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=5000&GAID=9&SessionID=51&LegID=35963
> SJ

See the Illinois page on the Wiki.
Edward Cherlin
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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