27 July, 2007

OLPC conspiracy

After taking a little time off, I'm back at revealing the world conspiracies.

I saw an interesting article recently, about "unexpected" use of the cheap laptop computers in Africa -- Nigeria in particular. Interestingly, Nigeria is also known as one of the centers of the Advance fee fraud, so it would seem that the noble cause of educating African children may have an undesired side-effect of raising some really good hackers. (I know I would have become one if I had such a wonderful machine when I was 10).

However, we should ask ourselves, is it such an undesired side-effect? Let's see what hackers and scammers do: they extract money from people, right? So a person who had his or her money taken will have to work again to replenish the lost resources. Besides, the said person is likely to think that it may be wise to spend the money right away, since it may be stolen and all the work would be in vain.

Combine that with the news of the growing "quit the rat race" movement and the picture becomes clear: less work means less money to spend and, therefore, less profits for the corporations. Solution? Take you savings away, that'll teach you how fragile your perceived "I-have-enough-money-for-my-basic-needs" state is. Work harder, buy more stuff! At least stuff is harder to steal and you have to replace it anyway because we don't make it to last fashion changes.

In the light of this, the corporate support for Open Source and "free" software becomes way less puzzling: even if the donated laptops don't have the necessary software, there should be a place to download the missing pieces from.

/off to buy an iPhone
//writes through Firefox