I am Edward Cherlin and I have a fairly extensive draft for a book with the tentative title "The MIT $100 Laptop: 101 Uses for a Computer You Can't Get", or possibly "Ending Poverty for Fun and Profit", and I have been talking to a possible publisher.
There are actually a few more than 101 sections, but we can deal with that. I plan to put the profits from the book into my non-profit, Earth Treasury, and use them to support further anti-poverty initiatives.
You don't have to read the book to get the main point: Anybody can join in the OLPC project, whether by contributing to the development of the Children's Machine XO laptop and its content, or by working on the consequences of the project, such as teaching e-commerce skills to the children who will shortly be online, connecting with them via e-mail, chat, VoIP or whatever, or just watching the videos they will soon be uploading to YouTube and telling your friends about the good ones. It's up to you how much you get involved.
You do have to promise to read the book to get it published. I have started a pledge at PledgeBank asking for 5,000 people to commit to reading my book so that I can write it and get it published. If you pledged to buy an XO laptop, which they won't sell to you yet, come on over to my page and pledge for something that can actually happen.
You don't have to promise to buy a copy, so if you are willing to convince your library to get it, or you have a group of friends who would want to buy one and share it, that's fine.
You can only pledge once per person, but if you want to buy more than one copy of the book to give to friends and family, or assign it to a class to read, or get an NGO to distribute copies, put an estimate of the number in a comment, and see if you can get some of your target readers to sign up.
When you pledge, please tell me what you think I should put into the book, or ask any question you want answered. I already plan to have a section on the kinds of objections and obstacles Wayan writes about and invites on OLPC News, but I'm collecting more, which I will publish here with refutations or at least suggestions for further research.
Tell me how much I should say about poverty in general, about existing programs that should or should not be taken worldwide, about the laptop innards, about Free Software, or about anything else you think should or shouldn't be in the book.
You can suggest better titles, too. After all, it isn't the MIT laptop any more, and it doesn't sell for $100 yet. Then we can discuss both the good ideas you contribute and the objections you bring up right here on OLPC News, and I'll give credit in the book.
Your name in print! May I quote you?