The 100 dollar notebook

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By wolf_

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28-05-2006, 16:43

So, where're all these outsourcing companies located in India? In the poor inlands, or in the more modern cities? (Calcutta, Delhi etc.) Would the ppl living in the inlands be ready for the digital age? (idem other 3rd world countries)

By snout

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28-05-2006, 16:45

where do you think the people living in those cities come from, Wolf? Smile

By wolf_

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28-05-2006, 17:19

Any proof of that? Smile

By Tanni

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30-05-2006, 15:35

>>Indeed, these laptops could be selled at $200 or $250 in western countries and the benefits could be used to sell laptops in 3rd world countries at cheaper prize ($80 or $50), it's an option<<

... and then resold to the western world for more then $80 but less then $200! That's the way the wrong people make money!

By Tanni

Hero (556)

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30-05-2006, 15:46

I agree mostly with wolf_! We shouldn't impose our way of life to these countries! It just sounds good to have one computer for each child, but it isn't, at least in least developed conutries. There is one side effect on these project: Children from poor countries get addicted to the PC at an early age! So later, they will by PCs! And governments and some kind of humanitarian institutions should pay for that! It's an intelligent business strategie. Maybe it will have also some positive effects on the people there, but for the long term, it wil have positive effects on worldwide computer companies. Has someone thought on the adults of these countries? Maybe most of them can't cope with computers. They can't protect their children from internet material they condsider inapropriate! A better strategie for these countries would be to have a system independent form PC not one for each child, but one or few for each village. With some adults being trained to teach how to handle these computer to children.

By Tanni

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01-06-2006, 11:48

"Too often, the computer is used in the schools, as it is used in other social establishments, as a quick technological fix. It is used to paper over fundamental problems to create the illusion that they are being attacked.
If Johnny can't read and somebody writes a computer software that will improve Johnny's reading score a little bit for the present, then the easiest thing to do is to bring in the computer and sit Johnny down at it. This makes it unnecessary to ask why Johnny can't read. In other words, it makes it unnecessary to reform the school system, or for that matter the society that tolerates the breakdown of its schools." [1]

[1] From an interview with Joesph Weizenbaum, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in "Computers and Education", (June 1984) BYTE 9(6), p.225

Source: www.archimuse.com/mw98/papers/gerrard/gerrard_paper.html#en1

"Wir füllen die Schulen massenhaft mit Computern. Ein geflügeltes Wort heißt, "johnny can't read", ein Drittel unserer Jugendlichen sind Analphabeten. Ein Programm von IBM heißt "Riding To Read", und Kinder lesen damit anschließend besser. Das wäre erledigt. Was wir da gemacht haben: Wir haben ein Problem, das soziale, menschliche und politische Faktoren hat, zu einem technologischen Problem gemacht und das mit dem Computer gelöst. Was wir da nicht machen - Wir fragen nicht die einfache Frage: "Warum kann Johnny nicht lesen? Warum lernt er es nicht in der Schule?" Würde man die Frage stellen, käme man vielleicht zu der Antwort, "Johnny hat Angst in der Schule". Wer Angst hat, kann nicht lernen. Warum hat er Angst? Oder er hat Hunger. Es gab mal Schulen, wo die Schüler Mittagessen bekommen haben, aber die gibt es nicht mehr. Das hat mit Geld zu tun[...] Wir sind ein reiches Land, wo ist das Geld? Ein nuklearer Flugzeugträger oder ein kleiner Krieg in Panama oder im Golf kosten sehr, sehr viel Geld. Da ist es. Diese politischen Fragen werden verdrängt, sobald wir irgendeine Antwort haben[...] Wir brauchen nicht weiter die politischen Fragen, die gesellschaftlichen Fragen zu stellen, die wir stellen sollten."

Source: www.hrz.uni-dortmund.de/computerPostille/September1995/weizenb.htm

Attempt to translate:

We massively fill the schools with computers. A dictum is: "johnny can't read". One third of our children are illiterate. An IBM-program is: "Riding To Read", and after that the children read better. Ok, done! But what have we done? We reduced a problem with social, human, and political factors to a technological one and solved it with the computer. But what we haven't asked is the simple question: "Why isn't Johnny able to read? Why doesn't he learn that in school?" If one would ask that question, a possible answer would be: "Johnny has fear in school". The one who has fear isn't able to learn! Or he is hungry. Once, there were schools where pupils got lunch, but now, they doesn't exist anymore. That has something to do with money ...

By Tanni

Hero (556)

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01-06-2006, 12:00

So do we think we can solve 3rd world problems by just selling cheap computers to them, one for each child? We have problems by our own! As the homecomputers were introduced, you had to buy one by your own. Nobody came along and gave one to you for free. You had to show interest. You were insulted by some articles in magazines because of you being something today called computer kid. But nobody asked about that what you really thought!

By Niles

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02-06-2006, 08:49

Tanni, I think computers are the XXI century books. When books began to appear massively -on XV century or whatever- the countries more advance in technology, knowledge and life-quality were the countries who spread books among its population. I can bet western countries are more advanced as more books (and today, more computers,schools...) are used on they.

3rd world countries have a lot of problems, I'm sure about this, and a lot of people have to find food (shame on us) for they and for their childrens before get a computer and try to learn using it. And this is true. BUT they have to try to begin using the same tools and technology than western countries... otherwise they ALWAYS will have to find food day after day, and they never will escape out this terrible routine...

By Tanni

Hero (556)

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02-06-2006, 11:43

Niles, you can't compare computers to books in that way. A computer is more than a book, and there are several kinds of books, even such which don't help in getting a more developed country. The upcoming of books -- made by a printing process and not written by hand -- for everyone like today surely took centuries. The comparable process concerning computers is much more faster.

''I can bet western countries are more advanced as more books (and today, more computers,schools...) are used on they.''

So, give them more books, not computers!

With computers or in the internet, you can easily dissipate your energies. Computers are no universal remedy for every problem. That's why I gave the citation of Joseph Weizenbaums interview.

''BUT they have to try to begin using the same tools and technology than western countries... otherwise they ALWAYS will have to find food day after day, and they never will escape out this terrible routine...''

Yes, they have to try to begin to use some technological tools, but not necessarily these of the western countries. They must search for technology approbriate to their countries respectively. They should not become addicted to our western technology, which would be the case if they are just supplied massively with western technology, i. e. one computer for each child. If you had read my posting properly, you would have found that I made the proposal to not supply every child with one computer, regardless if it wants one or not, but to just supply e. g. a village with just one computer respectively, so that there is the possibility to have access to the internet, if needed. That's a better -- and cheeper -- strategie for the governments of the poor countries and therefore much more likely to come true, but -- fortunately or unfortunately -- not for the big companies, which want to conquer the 3rd world markets.

By wolf_

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02-06-2006, 12:07

What you see even in western schools (or at least in NL) is that computers are all around in the classroom, to learn ppl write, do math, to geography etc. Complete and utter bull. I learnt it the 'boring' way. * + - / math? Just make them, pages and pages and more pages of boring sums, completely not funny or inspiring. Same with writing, complete and utter boring writing lessons.. etc. etc. Right now I see a clear change on fora, ppl who really can't write properly, gramatical errors. I'm not sure whether computers have a role in that, but: *I* didn't need any computer to learn how to read/write, or to learn things about the world anyway (geo, math, bio etc.). So over there they won't need computers either for the same lessons.
Sure, when you're studying you might need a private computer (tho ppl didn't need one 30 years ago, and those are today's professors/gurus), but I can imagine a computer being handy. If ppl in the 3rd world are actually studying for an academic grade, I don't mind them having a computer!
The only computers I've seen in my school-years (not my-study years where I mainly used my own one) are MSX2 for geo-lessons (flying a chopper to given locations) and small PC's for LOGO, WP5.1, DBase4 and M$-DOS 5. Big swell! The Dos/WP lessons were given in the time of Windows and WP for Windows .. Tongue So, even when I *did have* a computer at my disposal at schools, nothing useful was done with them.
So, I figure: those ppl in the 3rd world who aren't studying for a serious grade won't need a private computer.. they'd sell it probably if they'd get one. (and let's not mention them living in a tribe or culture that tries to keep western influences outside!)

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