The $100 Laptop project demoed some final-ish models this week. I’ve mentioned this project, and it’s potential, before. Sell cheap laptops to poor schoolkids in developing countries, kill the digital divide. Very interesting, very cool.
Your technology, that is. Further proof that society isn’t modern, nor is it advanced. Heaven knows how my PowerBook functions as a security blanket. Ask my wife about sharing the bed at night.
Regarding such uncomfortable arrangements, there’s a vague twist in the belief of the South Africans in both the witch doctor’s spells and in technology’s saving power. I suppose my dismissal of their perspective says more about my faith in technology than their faith in spells. It’s silly to ask the question of whether science and faith coexist. They do. Just look. Imagining from such an assertion, technology and miracles are equally mysterious, and become less so through intensive study. Neal Stephenson pointed out in one of his books that geeks became priests in the Middle Ages just as naturally as they do hackers now.
Both professions realize that you can’t take it with you. Fie on the materialism of the consumer and the metaphysicist.