>> On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:04:32 -0500, Gavin Baker <[log in to unmask]> said:

> I've never quite understood why they're using their distribution model
> (i.e. "one laptop per child") rather than selling on the open market. 

'They' are selling a model of central control.

'They' want to control the giving out of the goods, and they want to
empower central agencies in the places that get their largesse.

'They' represents some amalgam of negroponte and the policy wogs who
are setting about selling this idea to heads of state.  Like I said, I
bet many to most of the nerds involved are just giggling about the
control aspects.  *wink wink* And you'll be able to see what they're

> 2. They want to focus on their *message* of "one laptop per child",
> and don't want to dilute it by being involved in commercial
> activities.

Right.  They loathe capitalism for its' own sake.  Nothing so tawdry
will taint their aid plan.  That's why buy one / give one is a
"temporary" measure.

> I will point out, though, that even *without* engaging DTC sales,
> OLPC has accomplished a lot:


Me too.  Exactly.  And that's why I'm getting behind and pushing,
despite my deep ambivalence about their goals.

If OLPC only generates effective large scale mesh routing algorithms,
the payback in total world freedom will be incalculably large.  

Imagine a 'net without telco companies with addresses and business
models and corporate charters and locked rooms in which NSA taps can
be quietly maintained.

Worth the risk.  Let's do it.

-Allen S. Rout