Tag Archive for 'OLPC'

John Dvorak – you ignorant slut

Mr. Dvorak, a well known Microsoft and Intel fanboy, has taken time off from congratulating Bill Gates for his achievements in computing and written a completely idiotic and half-racist article about the OLPC project.

He’s calling the project a naive fiasco and justifying his opinion on the tired “why are you giving laptops to poor starving children when you could send them a bowl full of rice instead” argument which not only is wrong but also reveals his First World attitudes towards Africa.

Well done Massa, can I fetch you an ice tea now, Massa?

He doesn’t seem to understand the whole “give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him once. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll be fed for a lifetime” idea behind OLPC. The laptop is not meant to improve the conditions of starving people, but give children, who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance, access to computers so that they’d be better prepared in today’s global economy. The goal is to teach kids modern technology, give them access to technology that’ll help them in their schooling and do that in a large scale manner and cheap. There’s nothing naive about it. It may or may not end up being a fiasco, but that will not because the idea is wrong or naive, but because the execution of the idea was bungled.

What pisses me even more than his complete lack of understanding of different needs of people living in poverty is his attitude towards people who would be contributing to the project or receiving the laptops.

He says:

People don’t want to consider the possibility that their well-meaning thoughts are a joke and that a $200 truckload of rice would be of more use than Wi-Fi in the middle of nowhere. There seems to be a notion that the poor in Africa or East Asia are just like the kids in East Palo Alto. Once they get a laptop, there will be no digital divide, will there? People can say, “I did my part!”

And this is the dude telling that OLPC proponents are pretentious douchebags? Pot’s calling, bitch.

He goes on:

Of course, it might be a problem if there is no classroom and he can’t read. The literacy rate in Niger is 13 percent, for example. Hey, give them a computer! And even if someone can read, how many Web sites and wikis are written in SiSwati or isiZulu? Feh. These are just details to ignore.

The poor kids in Africa ARE exactly the same as poor kids in the United States, you racist ass. They have the same aspirations, the same drive, and most importantly they just as smart. Give them the tools to express themselves with something like the OLPC and even a racist little dick like John here would be amazed at the results. Maybe the plan is to have the kids write the websites and wikis in SiSwati or isiZulu? That’s the whole fucking point!

I’m sure the $200 of rice would REALLY improve the chances of a school kid in Africa getting into College, right? Food aid is the bandaid of relief work. It never really fixes the underlying problem, but just patches the symptoms. By all means, John, keep on applying bandaid to the problem. I’m sure in 200 years you’ll see some progress. But hey, at least you can feel good about “doing your part”. Dick.

Dvorak also fails to realize that I can give BOTH the rice and the laptop, if I so choose. I sure hope he’s giving more than $200 a year in charity, because if he isn’t, he’s seriously cheap.

The real motivation behind the article, I suspect, is his aggravation that the unholy Intel/Microsoft alliance didn’t get to ship a few million Windows machines to the poor, poor starving children.

But there’s one positive thing that came out from me reading his stupidity. I am going to send OLPC some of my money. I wasn’t really convinced they’re gonna succeed in their plan, but after reading the rant from Dvorak, I want them to succeed, so I’ll do my part to make that happen.