Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Friends of the Open Society

Free computers for all my frnds

The NY Times had a write-up today about a program called One Latpop Per Child, run by the brother of Pres. Bush's security advisor Mr. Negroponte. The group is working with Quaddafi and the Libyan government (my how things change) to sell Libya laptops - and satellite wireless - for 1.2 million school kids there, at about $100 per. Not a bad idea. It shows I believe that Mr. Q is serious about opening-up Libya, eg is not afraid of what the internet can tell people (at least not afraid yet anyway).

The group is not working with Microsoft to power the PCs so I dont know what that means (does Gates know something we dont know!!). So the operating system will be the shareware Linux. The internet is very good for economic growth as it reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry. On the other hand people just stay glued to the tube. But this type of development is good as opposed to some well-intentioned donor building a hospital or school somewhere that just goes unused, unmaintained and understaffed.

Apparently the first English word the Libyans learn is Google.