This sounds like a techie’s fantasy: hundred dollar laptops for Hottentots. Someone wants every poor kid in the world to get his own laptop. Computers haven’t done much for education in America, though, and it’s not clear they’d do more in Waziristan. It’s not as if every third world schoolkid is a computer nerd who just lacks the computer he needs to blossom.
It’s all very high concept, with concepts applied globally that were invented by people thousands of miles away—literally and figuratively—from the people and issues involved. If someone wants to make computing power more available, why not just make the laptops, sell them to all comers, and let them find their niche? If they’re useful someone will buy them. If they’re useful for education people will will find that out and they’ll spread. At least that’s so unless people don’t know anything and can’t act on their own behalf. If that’s the way it is, though, why think laptops will change things?