Watching this video of Nicholas Negroponte in La Macarena, Colombia, I was struck by his companions in passing out 700 XO laptops to children. He was not accompanied by leaders in education or technology, but by the Minister of Defense, and the heads of the Army and Police.
Now I can understand a military escort when traveling in the FARC-influenced areas of Colombia, there have been high-profile kidnappings and killings that would make anyone wary. But to think of XO laptops as a strategic defense issue?
While Negroponte waxes poetic about liberating FARC zones via connected laptops for kids, I see a pretty crude yet possibly effective hearts and minds campaign by the military side of the Colombian government to convince the population to switch their allegiance away from FARC.
And a scary deviation from an education project.