[Olpc-open] Let them have laptops

John Kintree jkintree at swbell.net
Sat Feb 2 19:00:54 EST 2008

On Friday 01 February 2008 11:46 am, Sameer Verma wrote:
> A short writeup from the Indian Express today.
> http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/267511.html

Thanks for sharing that, Sameer.  The article says, "A full 
implementation of the XO project for India would involve the 
purchase of 100 million laptops and would cost around Rs 50,000 
crore every year. That is obviously impossible but even if it were 
possible, the benefits of a laptop for every child have to be 
weighed against the benefits from spending the same amount 
in schools, teachers, nutrition and healthcare for those children."

According to 
the actual annual expenditure for the military of India in 
2004-2005 was Rs 75,835 crore.  I guess the thinking there is, 
"If they don't have bread, let them eat bullets."  

With respect to education about technology, how much of a 
computer would $200 have bought ten years ago?  Not even a 
computer; maybe a monitor for $200 in 1998.  How much of a 
computer will $200 buy in 2018?  Maybe ten years from now, 
$50 will buy a computer that is vastly superior than the XO 
laptop of today.  How do we educate children for that kind of future?

The author of the article was right when saying it's, "a matter of 
political will."  If each of 100 million children in India took their XO 
laptops home, and showed their families and neighbors how they 
work, we might be looking at close to a billion people directly 
impacted by this project.  With the right software, those billion 
people might then use that kind of technology to express their 
political will.  If that happened, I think there would be fewer hungry 
people in the world.
John Kintree

More information about the Olpc-open mailing list