Yesterday evening, I got some free time to sit down with my family. I scrolled over TV channels and ran into the 60 minutes show....
It's about a project so called, "One Laptop per Child".
This idea was originated from an MIT graduate. He went to a remote area of Cambodia and realized that how children in the area desperately needed education and its tools. So he came up with a crazy idea of having these children to own laptop computers.
It sounded pretty much like a mission impossible to me... I saw many practical and possible obstacles in this mission.
But, the show continued and laid down how this person "materialized" his plan...
Pricing was the most challenging problem of all... Along that rugged line, there were also many other engineering problems of how to invent "those laptops" and the children could really use them for their education.
OK, I totally agreed that if a child got a laptop with an internet access, he or she could learn tremendous lessons within a short period of time--- no doubt about it...
Anyway, how could he build cheap laptops with many capabilities to overcome lacking of resources in such remote and financially poor areas of the world.
Let's think about those areas a bit.... no roads, no electricity, raining all the time, and so on... Those laptops would be able to overcome these hurdles to fulfill his crazy ideas, right?
A passionated person never allows any cannot-do attitude into his/her mind to undermine his determined goals....
The guy overcame all these potential problems and successfully invented 100-dollar laptops. These machines were equipped with wireless internet capabilities, a built-in VDO camera, a waterproof&dustproof capability, resistance to heat and humid conditions, a long-lasting battery, a cranker for boosting up a dying battery, and much more...
All of these were just 100ish dollars... This project became a worldwide project, aiming to distribute these machines to their customers, poor children in third world countries... for example, children in Cambodia, Brazil and many more....
By numbers, it's been calculated that there would be around 1 billion of children who need these mavelous machines altogether....
Combined altogether, this "poor" business looked suddenly lucrative, right?
Money is always smelling to greedy people like blood to sharks....
It has been turned from a humanitarian project which there was no one thinking about it (because it's potential in causing bankrupcy) to a project with competition from a giant in computer chip industry, Intel!!
The MIT guy who industriously worked his life for this passion are confronting a huge hurdle of all.... even more difficult than those engineering challenges he's won.
The fight between the two is still on-going.... Personally, I would like to see the owner of the original idea prevails.... on top of that I would like to see those under-preveleged children have their educational tools for themselves and their family.
By the way, if you're in the US and you would like to buy one, you have to pay for two: one for yourself and another for a child in the areas in need.
That's fair enough for me though.... :)
If someone told you that you'd a crazy idea which never been fulfilled, I would like you to think about this story... There is no such thing as an impossible if you put a true, passionate effort into it.
================================= Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.
It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....
As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.
Cheers, Mr. A.T. June 6th, 2008
My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...
Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.
I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.
I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.
Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;
I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.
Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.
I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.
I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.