The hidden costs were a “nightmare”:
“OLPC promised a product, a sub-$100 laptop, it simply can’t deliver based on underlying economics of the computer industry. And it asks governments already unable to provide basic services to not just buy these laptops but pay to ship them from the factory in China, truck them throughout the countryside to the schools and then support and maintain them. The hidden costs were a nightmare.“
Laptops are nice and all, but rich Westerners don’t seem to comprehend the level of challenges that await them in trying to give money and stuff to poor people halfway around the world, who mostly need (a) clean water and (b) economic opportunity and (c) fewer thugs and crooks running their countries.
Is it really possible that the One Laptop Per Child people didn’t realize that parts of the world that struggle with disease, corruption, poverty, and oppression probably aren’t going to have good distribution channels for frivolous consumer goods? I mean, really?
Have they been watching the news? The families getting murdered by machetes, or living in refugee camps, or being starved to death by ruthless dictators, or dying of disease caused by lack of basic sanitation, or being oppressed and robbed by corrupt, evil dictators?
And in reaction to all this, the geniuses at OLPC figured “hey, what these folks need is laptops!“