[Olpc-open] Dvorak, critics et al.

Ed Montgomery edm at rocketmail.com
Fri Dec 14 14:33:07 EST 2007

Bumblers like Dvorak should be ignored, just as people
who picked up a mouse obviously ignored him.  And I'm
surprised that there has not been any rebuttal along
the lines of: "this is an education project, not a
feed the children project...this is an education
project, not build a hospital project...this is an
education project, not a (insert excuse/unfounded
criticism/etc. here) project".  Further, ask Dvorak if
he believes that "give a child a fish and feed him/her
for a day, etc. is better than...TEACH a child how to
fish and feed him/her for LIFE!"  I believe that is
known as EDUCATION! :-)  And I believe this is an
EDUCATION project, and it will lead to a future
generation that can feed itself, given access to the
abundance of info on the internet, the ability to
communicate and share with others, analyze, etc.,
etc., etc.  I also believe that this project is NOT
targeted at starving children, etc.  Hence, Dvorak and
his ilk demonstrate their (continued) incompetence,
and should be ignored.
I also look forward to an explanation from Dvorak
about how his ideas are helping both starving children
and the non-starving children assisted by this
project?  How much food/money has he sent?  How many
has he helped? i.e. let him put his money where his
mouth is.
Ask him how many food programs he is involved in.  How
about even in his own backyard/city/country?  (Ask the
same questions of any others who attempt to divert the
questions to 'feeding', etc.)
Ask him/them about 'education' programs they are
involved in.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but don't
farmers/agriculture, etc. use computers??!!

Ignore him and like-minded simpletons.

This project will probably do more to aid these
children than all other projects to date combined, if
enough computers get into their hands.  And a few
special children will blossom and provide unknown
benefits, I am certain.  This project is ESSENTIAL in
order to help those ideas take root, develop and grow.

Thanks to all of you who replied.

My concern wasn't so much with winning Dvorak over -
both his article 
and his response to some of the talkbacks (he wrote
his own talkback to
trash Nicholas Negroponte's polite reply, for example)
make it pretty 
clear that he has a closed mind, which is probably
good for his 
self-appointed role as a cranky curmudgeon.  But well
over half the 
talkbacks supported him, and it's pretty obvious from
reading some of 
them that a lot of people are just following his
gripes without
for themselves.

These things have a way of spreading.  A TechRepublic
blog picked up on
the Dvorak article and asked for reader's comments: 

It was in turn picked up by a normally thoughtful
member of a universal
access email list I belong to, who agreed that food is
more important 
for starving people than computers.  (Duh...)  I
referred her to this 
site.  The more publicity OLPC can generate about the
active projects, 
like the one in Nepal that folks are discussing this
morning, the less 
impact such criticism will have.

In the end, even Dvorak may have to admit he's wrong. 
After all, he 
probably uses a mouse now and then.  :)

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