Wrong side of the digital divide, again

Bobbie Johnson at Comment is Free reports on criticism of Nicholas Negroponte’s plans to produce $100 laptops for developing countries. Some of the criticism comes from Intel and Micrososft and, as Nick says, that can be only good — it means they’re nervous. But some of the criticism is more politically correct — that there are more pressing priorities. Well, of course, there are. But just because you can’t solve those problems that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to solve the problems — and create the opportunities — that you can. Negroponte et al are not in the position to feed the world and end wars and cure diseases. But they can bring technology and all that means to more people. This is the same skewed PC logic I complained about here — a ridiculous and offensive habit of showing that you are more concerned about the world if you can remind us of a more serious problem we’re not solving: You shouldn’t blog until everyone is online; you shouldn’t get more people online until everyone has computers; you shouldn’t get everyone computers until….