One of the younger guys I know seems to have half a brain, or maybe even more than that, which is all too rare these days.
We were discussing things in general one night and he brought up that a team at MIT was working on trying to figure out how to make the under $100 laptop so that everyone in Africa could have internet access.
Neither of us really thought too much of it because it struck both of us that the guys at MIT really had no clue and seemed to think that the solution to all of lifes little problems is the internet, which it certainly isn't.
While neither of us are anti technology by any sense of the word, this young guy seemed to think of technology as something to add to the basics to make life better as opposed to being the instant solution.
Before the internet is going to do a person a whole lot of good you have to be able to read first. A person also has to be able to know how to use a computer on top of that. If you do not know how to at least read and write than a laptop really isn't going to do you a whole lot of good unless you use it as, say a cutting board or a flat spot to prepare foood on or something along these lines.
He then went on to point out that there was another gang of guys at MIT working on a toilet of some sort that would pretty much vaporize human waste.
While this project seemed a little more down to earth in that there is a lot of disease from lack of sanitation in the more primative parts of the Dark Continent, the entire project is pretty much based on the premise that people there are eating fairly regularly. Generally speaking, in order to need a toilet, one must eat first.
It struck the young man that the people at MIT were putting the cart ahead of the horse because in a lot of Africa the people there are starving and need the very basics of life. Giving many of these people technological things would be a lot like giving a fish a bicycle.
It was quite refreshing talking to a young man of the technology age that seemed to really understand what was going on.
I hope I can meet up with him again soon, and maybe spend a weekend with him up at his old man's camp.
I'll bring along my portable ham set and he can peddle the generator while I try and contact someone in China. It might make for an interesting evening.
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