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I haven't seen many criticisms of the $100 laptop project. It's hard to criticize something that is being done for altruistic reasons. I have always thought that it was not what was needed. Clean water, mosquito netting, text books, schools, things like that seemed more important to me, but since I'm not doing anything (except giving platelets), who am I to talk?

I do have a friend who is qualified to talk about it, having spent a lot of time in some of the worse places in Africa, including the Congo and Mogadishu during particularly scary times. Here are his thoughts on the one laptop per child project.

I'm not one to call the kettle black, for the international development and disaster relief business is rife with fantasies and funding dedicated to a 'better world' for the most destitute of the planet. But at Davos, where so many rich people and self-proclaimed visionaries mingle annually, one would expect their underlings to have researched what prior forms of literacy, infrastructure and knowledge are required if a computer is to mean anything other than spacejunk to an subsistence farmer, a former child soldier, or the third wife of a man with 27 children to feed.

Read the entire post to find out what Dinka of Southern Sudan do with CDs.

My prediction for the $100 laptop: If 100 laptops get to a village, 99 will be on Ebay the next day. That will get food for the village for a year or a decade or so depending on prices. The last laptop will be shared, hopefully.

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