Friday, July 06, 2007

Um... OLPC?


Somehow, I find Bowie’s appeal to prosperity for all of humanity a bit naive. But I do see great value in providing high-speed access for all. Can you also imagine government issued laptops for every citizen? Better yet, perhaps not a laptop, but a mobile device that handles email, voicemail, that serves as a pager, chat client and gaming platform. You know, a device that provides us access to maps, guidebooks, Web browsing, and our local election precincts. A device that is a video player, music player, radio; a device that serves as a transit ticket, a payment system, a biometric ID, an environmental safety sensor; a device that serves as an alarm clock, camera, laser scanner, navigator, pedometer, flashlight, remote control, a high definition projector, an office key, car key, house key…. (these features are listed in Bruce Sterling’s article Dispatches From the Hyperlocal Future, Wired magazine, July 2007, p. 163).

When I read things like this, I wonder "Does it matter that we're failing to do OLPC advocacy?" I sort of hope it doesn't, but that would imply that this stuff we write doesn't matter in general.

One thing I know for sure is that, despite my solidarity with my brothers and sisters in the CWA, we can't do anything that involves giving money to the telecoms. They are bad actors. They eat government subsidies for lunch. They are the source of our problems with broadband and wireless innovation. We need to route around them.

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