Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

The $100 laptop closer to reality

On Thu, 29 Sep 2005, Brendan wrote:

> On Thursday 29 September 2005 12:44 pm, Anthony Gabrielson wrote:
> > On Thu, 29 Sep 2005, Brendan wrote:
> > I think a well done laptop will have less negative affects on the
> > environment than all the books that are made for schools.  I could be off
> > on that - no evidence to back up how much resources are spent on the
> > production of this laptop.
> Yeah, I guess you would have to look that one up first.
> And please, just reply on list of off, not both. I don't need copies in my 
> inbox.
> I can guarantee you that a laptop does not have "fewer negative effects" than 
> a book. Please do a tiny bit of research before you make wild claims:
> But, with a PDA vs a whole year of newspaper? 

Wow thats great - so if the people who get this laptop, read say five or 
six different news source per day the laptop will indeed  use less 
resources over its life.  My computer is a few years old and I read 
probably five to ten different source a day so my computer should be 
environmentally paid for :).

> > > This is not a "point". What does Hawking have to do with a discussion of
> > > cost and teaching methods? If you are just argumentative by
> > > nature...Honestly, this is not a pissing match. I am curious as to what
> > > people with informed opinions think on this one.
> >
> > You mention great people that didn't use a computer.  I mentioned a great
> > person who would not have been able to contribute with out a computer.
> > The computer is the enabling technology for hawking to do what he does;
> > contribute new ideas to a field loaded with brilliant people.
> So, the others who learned from books are somehow discounted.

Not at all, but I hope most would aggree that with a computer it is in 
fact easier to learn.  Data is more searchable than a book.  Book indeices 
can only be so powerful and the with the interenet it is much easier to 
search an idea.  That is one of googles main points with the online 
library they are building.

> Yeah, no. 
> There are always exceptions, and I guarantee you that Hawking learned from 
> books. We are talking *learning* dude, not how we do our jobs.
> Hawking actually shares Galileo's birthday, but he was born in 1942...So I am 
> His motor function disorder did not start hampering him physically until his 
> third year at Oxford, just FYI.

I am in fact familiar with the story.  So if his dissabilities started to 
hamper his first year of university its a pretty safe bet to say that he 
would be unable to make his contributions today without a computer.  I 
think this point is getting old.  If you don't agree that a computer is 
required for him today to convery new ideas and read ideas I think your 
just looking to argue...

> > Tech is quickly turning into a way of passing ideas, much the way books
> > do.  However tech also offers an easier medium for passing ideas, it seems
>'s also easier to pass crap too.
> Think spam vs. junk mail....When you lower entry standards, you also lower 
> barriers of entry to things that shouldn't be passed.

I like web forums alot.  I also like home theaters/stereo and my car alot.  
With a web forum I can read an idea figure out quickly if people on the 
forum support the idea then look it up online to verify or get more data 
related to that subject.  With all of the research combined I should be 
able to determine the accuracy of that comment.  The result of this is my 
home theater sounds great and I fix my car for less.  I'm happy with that 
outcome.  I think your really missing the essence of my point passing of 
ideas good or bad is good.  The bad ideas will be uincovered by others in 
that same place.  The good will be reinforced and hopefully built upon.  I 
don't have research on that however I do have personal experice on that.  
For instance if on this list someone emails "Linux sucks and windows  is 
more secure" I am certain that would be quickly challenged and brought 
down as a point.  Key idea is pass the idea into a group and let the 
group sort the idea; then you can look up to see what others group feel.  

> > is how data is presented.  Do you remeber Carmen Sandiego?  I thought
> > learning geography with that game was a blast when I was a kid.  How about
> Yes, for *you*. 
> Ever heard of geography bees? Studying for them is how *I* learned geography. 
> Should mine automatically discredit yours? Nope. This is where a study comes 
> in...ooooh, now we're learnin' with the scientific method.

Thats great - now imagine being able to do a bee everyday with people 
around the country.  Another example of better online is enclopedias.  
Would you argue that cd or online based enclopedias are worse than the 
print versions?  I could not, if I looked up avaiation in an online based 
one I could see movie clips of vernoullis principle in action.  I could 
also see how pitot and static systems work, I could information in several 
different ways making the learning process more interactive, more 
enriching, and in my opinion more likely to stick with me. 

> Remember, I have been a software engineer for 10 years, so I'm not a 
> technophobe, but have a strong belief, as Ben said, that it isn't a silver 
> bullet.

I agree that technology is not a silver bullet. It is a more intereactive 
way to learn.  Do you remeber your university experience?  How many of 
your profs didn't speak english?  I had several.  If open courseware had 
been around I could have easily sat in on anther schools version of the 
course when ever I wanted to.  I would have gotten more out of the school, 
if that had been around while I was in school.

We can build things that are much more complicated than we could ten years 
ago quicker.  Why can we do this?  We evolved our surroundings to enable 
this.  Tools like solid works can show us how everything interacts before 
metal is cut.  When ford builds a new engine they make it with a type of 
printer, built by a company on route 128 actually, that lets them turn the 
engine and see how different parts interact.  

I see technology as enabling people to do more, an equalizer.  What a 
waste that there are people in third world countries that don't have the 
knowledge to do basic algebra.  We need more people that can contribute, 
more people with education.  I look at the internet and computers as an 
enabling technology for that.  The internet will not be able to force me 
to want to learn, it will make learning easier.  This is how I use the 
internet, and I hope others do as well.


BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /