In the midst of the latest Windows on the XO controversy, Nicholas Negroponte seems to have announced a third new mission statement for One Laptop Per Child. From his email to the OLPC Sugar list serve he says that the OLPC mission hasn't changed in three years, and then points to this statement:
To eliminate poverty and create world peace by providing education to the poorest and most remote children on the planet by making them more active in their own learning, through collaborative and creative activities, connected to the Internet, with their own laptop, as a human right and cost free to them.Now unless I just came down with Negropontism, the current OLPC mission statement on Laptop.org doesn't look anything like that. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see any mention of free laptops and Internet access as basic human right when I read:
OLPC is not, at heart, a technology program, nor is the XO a product in any conventional sense of the word. OLPC is a non-profit organization providing a means to an end—an end that sees children in even the most remote regions of the globe being given the opportunity to tap into their own potential, to be exposed to a whole world of ideas, and to contribute to a more productive and saner world community.Let's also not forget that the current OLPC mission, whichever one it is, was not the first mission espoused by One Laptop Per Child. The orginal OLPC mission was much more revolutionary, and to use a word from Walter Bender, prescriptive:
OLPC is not at heart a technology program and the XO is not a product in any conventional sense of the word. We are non-profit: constructionism is our goal; XO is our means of getting there. It is a very cool, even revolutionary machine, and we are very proud of it. But we would also be delighted if someone built something better, and at a lower price.I wonder, does Windows XO count as better?