Give one Get one
I just saw Tim Bray's blog post about the Give One Get One program. He says "I canâ€™t imagine any self-respecting geek not signing up for this, so I just did.".. I bought my OLPC on the first or second day the program was running, so that must make me a self-respecting geek. Or at least one who respects the nature of the digital divide. And while at one level it seems the last thing local villagers need is a computer, and that their more pressing need are for things like clean water supplies, energy services that don't require burning animal dung, and for adequate food supplies, and for governments that don't actively suppress them or put them into near-slavery (as happens in some countries)... it's hard to look at the effects the Internet has had, and not recognize how the playing field has been leveled around the world.
The Give One Get One program is that someone can buy a 'One Laptop Per Child' laptop for themselves, but they actually pay for two laptops and the second laptop is given to a child somewhere in the world. You send them U.S.$399, you get one laptop, and some child somewhere in the world gets another one. What a deal.
While I'm here writing about this, on this weeks On The Media (an National Public Radio program focusing on media and media critique) they had a piece on this program. $100 Dream .. discusses how the program hasn't quite worked out as Nicholas Negroponte had envisioned, especially that some places had resistance e.g. it doesn't run Windows. Sigh. They have an interesting 'take' on this program.