Guest blogged by Anuj on 15 May 2008.
I wrote a post a while back on OLPC and why it’s a failure, now one of the people who used to work for them wrote an article about why OLPC is such a big “fuckup”. Here are a few money quotes:
“In fact, I quit when Nicholas told me — and not just me — that learning was never part of the mission. The mission was, in his mind, always getting as many laptops as possible out there” Ooops!
“That OLPC was never serious about solving deployment, and that it seems to no longer be interested in even trying, is criminal. Left uncorrected, it will turn the project into a historical information technology fuckup unparalleled in scale.”
On the whole charade
“About eight months ago, when I caught myself fighting yet another battle with suspend/resume on my Linux-running laptop, I got so furious that I went to the nearest Apple store and bought a MacBook. After 12 years of almost exclusive use of free software, I switched to Mac OS X………So in the meantime, I switched to OS X and find it to be an overwhelmingly more enjoyable computing experience.” Maybe Apple should run an ad; “Hi I’m a Mac, I’m a PC I wish I was a Mac so that the freetards would like me” *sob*
“Of the programmers, a vast, near-total majority don’t dare in the Land o’ Kernel tread. As one of the people who actually can hack my kernel to suit, I find that I don’t miss the ability in the least. There, I said it. Hang me for treason.” Who does? I mean you do get a kick out of it but if you think about it then it really isn’t worth it.
“Keeping that in mind, Richard Stallman’s missive on the subject just riled me up:
[Stallman wrote the following]Proprietary software keeps users divided and helpless. Its functioning is secret, so it is incompatible with the spirit of learning. Teaching children to use a proprietary (non-free) system such as Windows does not make the world a better place, because it puts them under the power of the system’s developer — perhaps permanently. You might as well introduce the children to an addictive drug.[/Stallman]
Oh, for fuck’s sake. You really just employed a simile comparing a proprietary OS to addictive drugs? You know, ones causing actual bodily harm and possibly death? Really, Stallman? Really?”
“The problem is that Stallman doesn’t appear to actually give an acrobatic shit about learning, and sees OLPC as a vehicle for furthering his political agenda. It’s shameful, the lot of it.”
Turns out that OLPC was never about education or anything it was simply about selling those dumb laptops, GQ admit it you were conned.