African leaders are perhaps the most computer illiterate, and certainly the most bribeable people in the world. Only two or three of them can read and write.
I'm sure nearly all of them are literate, from the municipal level on up. Certainly the state-level officials in charge of these things can read. Which is why they have the power to begin with. In fact, a lot of the officials I've heard on Channel Africa are a little verbose for my tastes. I wish we still received World Radio Network tho.
It only goes to show us, again, that Might Makes Right.
The strong rule the weak, and the clever rule the strong. I don't see this ever changing. Nature compels it. Until all people are inherently equal, there will always be inequality.
The Times says that not all is lost, however, because those who specifically order Linux can still get it. Most African leaders haven't heard of gravity, much less either Windows or Linux. How stupid does Negroponte think we are?
Most people know about gravity. (I think.)
Meanwhile, we can only pray that Obama destroys McCain this fall and then destroys Microsoft. Until we rid the world of these twin forces of evil, its great masses will remain relegated to a life of digging ditches for the likes of rich white folk like Bill Gates and George Bush.
I have several problems with this last part.
Even if Barack Obama wanted to smash Microsoft's monopoly, any measure he would introduce would have to pass through Congress first. Microsoft is just too massively entrenched for that to happen, especially here in the US.
I don't believe getting rid of Microsoft would change much for the poor of the world. Piracy is incredibly common in second-world countries where there is access to technology but not a lot of money. Many, possibly most of of the warez books I have downloaded came from sites in Russia and China, and there is a wealth of cracked software I could just as easily get my paws on if I had any need for it. MS Windows in particular is pirated everywhere. I don't know whether the introduction of Vista has introduced more effective anti-piracy measures, but that doesn't matter because no one really wants Vista. Illegitimate XP copies are all over the place.
It would probably be more fitting to call BushCo what the Enlightened Westerner would consider 'evil'. However, even eliminating BushCo will probably not change a lot in the world. People act like a few diseased branches need to be pruned from the tree of humanity and that will be the end of all our problems, but the problem is that the disease is festering in the roots. Microsoft is not the real problem, and neither is BushCo. The real problem is the bovine stupidity of the human race, and the only solution is to let the stupid die out.
Anyway, that's besides the point: since the many often make life painful and miserable for the few, I think it is just that the few go on to make life painful and miserable for the many. Amirite? The 'great masses' consist mostly of unfit
individuals who are also oppressive in their own right. So why should we feel for people we don't even know? Almost any random sample of people will have very few people of any worth in it.
And Microsoft has done as job on America's poor too. A kid today that can't access the internet is blind to much, perhaps most, of the world's riches. Keeping those kids from their "seeing eye dog" however, is not the Negroponte story. It is the Bush story. Somebody's got to dig our ditches.
What does Microsoft have to do with Internet access? Also, I disagree about availability of the Internet determining what you can and can't learn. It's useful for many things, but having access to a decent library is as good in most respects, worse in some, but better in others. The Internet is full of a lot of data
, but most of these data are useless. In fact, most of what I know about formal computer science (e.g., Dijkstra's algorithm) came from books. I find the medium of the Internet powerful, but also really distracting. It prevents me from getting anything useful done because I can just hop around from site to site. Books promote focus, I think.