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Preview: Comments on: Creative, Networked Music Making on $100 One Laptop Per Child

Comments on: Creative, Networked Music Making on $100 One Laptop Per Child

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Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:47:00 +0000


By: bgrggfe

Wed, 16 May 2012 09:07:00 +0000

Beijing policy makers say they're eager to encourage greater domestic consumption. Chinese shoppers are famously luxury-happy, flying to Hong Kong and further afield in droves to stock up on Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and more. All of which means the stage is set for the next great innovation to hit China:  Louis Vuitton Outlet malls.

By: Create Digital Music » This Week in Comments

Mon, 24 Jul 2006 02:55:38 +0000

[...] “The OLPC program is not perfect, but at least they’re trying something. It’s open and there is a great deal of room for the individual countries and regions to adapt them to their needs.” -David Wagenbach in a heated debate on the value of adding music software to the One Laptop Per Child initiative, aimed at China, Brasil, Thailand, Argentina, and (possibly) even the US and Canada [...]

By: Create Digital Music » Adorable Animals with Synthesizers

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 21:50:30 +0000

[...] I love controversy. But after a week in which US politicians were talking about World War III (or was that IV) and somehow CDM’s great comment threads wound up on the topics of whether hardware or software was better (discussion = not allowed on this site), and whether starving children would be able to eat affordably-priced laptops, I decided it was time for an experiment. Could I write an entry with total appeal and zero controversy? [...]

By: David Wagenbach

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 12:24:29 +0000

The problem with most of this commentary is that most of you seem to be looking at this as a zero-sum game. What we need are more programs like this where really smart people tackle a small problem rather than something like, I don't know maybe the World Bank, trying to impose giant, top down solutions that ignor local needs and interest. Of course there needs to be changes to food aid and there are huge problems with getting the poorest countries economies to move from dependence on the west to independence, but that's probably a little beyond the scope of MIT's ability. If we all focus on what we were good at, instead of biting off more than we can chew maybe things would get better for everyone. The fact that someone affilated with the WB is critizing anyone on development issues is pretty bold given that group's spotty history. The OLPC program is not perfect, but at least they're trying something. It's open and there is a great deal of room for the individual countries and regions to adapt them to their needs.

By: Brad Fuller

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 10:30:57 +0000

I've been following the OLPC a little bit on my blog on O'Reilly Digital Media. A video of the prototype can be seen here, with links to other videos too. brad fuller

By: Thomas

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 07:26:05 +0000

Peter: As far as I know, tech centers are the way to go. They can serve as classrooms, they encourage the growth of infrastructure, they are more secure and cost-efficient, and they are community-centered.

By: NathanaÃ&fnof

Thu, 20 Jul 2006 21:45:55 +0000

Damon, please do your homework, the OLPC is not targeted at countries where people need food, we're talking about China, Brasil, Thailand, Argentina. It could even be useful in the US or Canada. Go read the FAQ on the OLPC Wiki, it's a good place to start.

By: Peter Kirn

Thu, 20 Jul 2006 20:38:16 +0000

Thomas, thanks for raising these issues; to be honest, I don't know much about OLPC so this is all interesting to me. Would it be possible to devise a more grassroots approach, getting technology where it's desired locally, rather than imposing bulk orders? And Damon, my whole point is, of course, you don't need a laptop when you're in need of food and medical supplies. You might want someone with a simple computer who could communicate and organize self-sufficient access to these supplies (that's separate from wanting a music sequencer, yes, I understand). I agree there's a danger of fabricating need where it doesn't exist. But I'm sure there are parts of the world -- including places in the U.S. -- who could use computers, who could take advantage of musical tools, and who are hindered by cost. The flipside of this is, why shouldn't we think about the economy of the technology we use, and how it can scale? I don't think there's any harm in pushing the envelope and using expensive technologies or I wouldn't spend the time I do writing about them, but likewise, I don't think there's anything wrong with looking for innovation in cost, as well. Forcing this down anyone's throats would be a bad idea, but I don't think anyone here is suggesting that (meaning readers here, OLPC project aside). From a technological development standpoint, there is still plenty to be learned. And, honestly, I'm more interested in the element of developing inexpensive learning tools for children wanting to experiment with music and sound. I think that's an issue worth exploring and debating. And I think it can probably be done on some level without unraveling global hunger and aid issues, really.

By: Damon

Thu, 20 Jul 2006 20:23:15 +0000

If you were poverty stricken or living in a very distant place with few resources, would you hope someone would maybe sell a cheap sequencer, using the proceeds to provide you with some basic medical supplies or extra food, or connect you up with some kicking kit? These conversations are really easy, unless you are willing to put yourself in someone else's shoes. You give poor people a sequencer (or a unix machine), and the first thing they will try to do is sell it to buy supplies, but will not be able to cause everyone around them is trying to do the same things. People are more interested in what they need than what you think they should have. Would i like a sequencer and a unix machine? Yes! Because I am not in need of food and medical supplies. This strikes me as a case of someone giving someone else what THEY would want given to them. And for Christmas, I have plans to purchase my mom a new pipe for my Suzuki. And I am all for helping out the disadvantaged. But if you do not give them what they need most, your efforts to help have come up vain.

By: Peter Kirn

Thu, 20 Jul 2006 16:29:28 +0000

Thanks, Nathanael. I'll make another point -- computers are tools of communication, which is an essential ingredient in empowerment. It's not just a crazy utopian vision; this is something that is real and productive all over the world for the same reason these technologies serve us here. Unfortunately, there's no response on the question of urban U.S. areas. Have you heard anything in regards to that? I also think of rural areas like eastern Kentucky. Then again, with open sourced tools, I can imagine these are ideas that could spread (and might indeed support cottage industries in these locations). Peter