Ethan Zuckerman Is Back, Negroponte Please Take Note

   
   
   
   
   

Ethan Zuckerman

Back in the day, Ethan Zuckerman took his dot.com winnings from Tripod and was one of the first to apply cash, sweat and tears to try and bridge the economic digital divide between Africa and America, using appropriate yet cutting edge information and communication technologies.

His dream became Geekcorps, which a few years and many, often painful, changes later is now IESC Geekcorps. I may be the Director of Geekcorps and Ethan no longer officially involved, but his presence is still felt daily.

When I started OLPC News (which, as the About page clearly states, is not related to my day job), I noticed that way too many people were blind fanboys of One Laptop Per Child, and I wanted to have a more objective discussion about OLPC's goals and methods. Now OLPC News is so insightful and so influential, I have my own conspiracy theorists followers.

But just when I think I may be in the blogging big leagues with our OLPC News coverage, Ethan steps back into the OLPC debate and I feel like I am walking in Ethan's shadow yet again.

Why? Check out his 6,000+ word tour de force on OLPC: Child’s Play - How One Laptop Per Child plans to bring computers to a billion schoolchildren… and a revolution to the computer industry. There you will find intriguing gems of Children's Machine XO knowledge and analysis that Ethan has gleamed from his easy and in-depth access to the OLPC team.


An education revolution tool?

Or better yet, his post, One Laptop Per Child: Just what sort of content do you load onto these puppies? where he distills my entire rational for OLPC News, and why I sometimes go hyperbole intense with posts, into one concise paragraph:

I’ve flippantly offered an observation: there’s been roughly ten times as much thought about the hardware as about the software, and roughly ten times as much thought about software as about the challenges of rolling this device out to schools around the world.

(There may well be a fourth tier - disposal and recycling of these machines - and I’m open to the argument that that’s received only a tenth as much thought as the third tier.)

Like may a thing Ethan says, his observations are quite keen, even if he may think they are flippant at the time. He and I may sometimes disagree in the three emails a year we exchange, but I for one, am comforted that he's up in the OLPC leadership's grill.

Here's to hoping he stays there. It will take more than OLPC News to keep Nicholas Negroponte's ego from sinking his $150 Billion dollar OLPC XO "boat" on the shoals of implementation magic.

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3 Comments

I've gotta ask: where did you get that picture of Ethan? I didn't know he was a member of the Mamas and the Papas. :-)

Meanwhile, on another front:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/29/business/worldbusiness/29cheap.html

Wish I could have been there.

It really feels like you are going to war.
Anyway, thanks to the linkage to Blizzard's entry i finally found out that olpcnews is not in anyway connected to the OLPC project itself and is more like opinions of a single man.
Couldn't you really state it somewhere more clearly? I totally feel misguided now.

TM,

You might wanna try the About page - there you'll find that OLPC News is actually the work of five writers and many guest contributors, all independent of OLPC.
http://www.olpcnews.com/about_olpc_news/

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  • Oh, come on Michael. Do you really think anything that was said on OLPC News would have had much …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • Hi!

    I bought 2 "Tablets OLPC." I had to return because the two did not work. O …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

  • Warning: Use of undefined constant title - assumed 'title' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c03/h05/mnt/54379/domains/olpcnews.com/html/includes_c/sidebar.html on line 1473

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on Guest Post: My XO Tablet Technical Review and First Impressions

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  • Bonjour Mokifisi!
    Je suis bien d'accord avec vous. Je travaille depuis 4 ans dans un petit …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • You just follow the same route upstream how you got the 2XO Tablets? How did you get them? Bring …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • quelle adresse envoyer mes deux XOTablet qui ne fonctionnent pas?

    At what address to s …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • That's called "Death on arrivals". They happen. That's why there's always some additio …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • What is a shelf XO? If you tell me what did you buy and from whom, perhaps I will have a suggest …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • Voici mon message en franais...

    Bonjour,
    Je viens d'acheter 2 tablettes XO. Les d …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • OLPC is not death; eg. this One Laptop per Child San Francisco (OLPC-SF) June 21, 2014 Meeting a …

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