Thursday, December 6, 2007

Maybe all the rich people are snapping them up!

On the subject of $100 laptops--the brainchild of a Nicholas Negroponte--for the poor children over in Africa, here are excerpts from a series of follow-up letters to a recent WSJ article. (My blogging friend Victoria has an interesting post about it here.) It's a good idea...but is capitalism taking its course, or not?
  • "Mr. Negroponte should feel proud of his achievement. He humbled Microsoft into creating a $3 version of Windows and Office. This is great news for the Third World." - Mark T. in Seattle, chiding him for his "misguided" "anger at Intel and Microsoft."
  • Chides Richard W. in Denver: "The headline on your story might lead readers to believe that companies such as Intel and Microsoft teamed up to kill the project for nefarious, money-grubbing motives. In fact, the $100 product developed by the One Laptop Per Child project was ill-conceived...Other companies came up with better products that are meeting the needs of people in developing countries and elsewhere, and I suspect their profit margins -- if any -- are razor thin."
  • Says Mary R. in Shreveport, LA: "Mr. Negroponte seems to have succeeded admirably in making computers available to students in the Third World, just not in the way he originally planned. Capitalism can sometimes surprise us. Perhaps Mr. Negroponte should now pull back and do just enough to keep the competition alive."
I guess that answers the question about capitalism, then. It always has two sides and usually works for good...eventually.


Victoria Wang said...

Ah, interesting thoughts. I guess I never actually wrote about the project in my entry, just gushed about playing with the machine itself... and getting lost in Chicago :)

Aurora said...

Hannah, nice post. Without capitalism, none of us would have the computers we're sitting in front of reading these words. If certain neo-Marxist forces who want to grind the free market to a halt get their way, we're really going to understand what it is we've lost!