I am a fool !! I am fool!!

Ever heard the story of the naked king who was fooled himself by running around naked and showing off to the world that his new dress. If you haven't heard of it, don't worry what we just have much more foolish act by us the citizens of India. I am referring to the egregious stupidity in the much hyped "$10 Laptop". How could someone be so stupid? It beats me. The stupidity is nothing less than running around shouting, "I am fool .. I am fool.. ".

From the very start I had no faith in the "$10 Laptop". Being an electronics engineer and following the travails of OLPC, I very well understand the impossibility of the task. However, the very involvement of three major engineering institues (VIT, IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore), I had a small hope that these folks will come up with a hand-held device(kind of a PDA) in the range of $50. My worry had always been that, I the tax payer have to foot the bill for subsidizing this instrument to $10. This was the line of thought developed after the announcement of the date.

It gives me immense pain at the loss of face(gizmodo, ars, tomshardware, fastcompany) 0f India in the international community. Already the ridicule is pouring in from across the world. It would have been far more better if they had accepted their mistake and dropped the whole idea of unveiling a brick.

It was surprising to me to note that, not many bloggers, nor the media saw through the fallacy of the whole business. Atanu Dey has an irrefutable argument against this concept, to quote him:

'The most compelling reason for totally rejecting this claim of a Rs 500 laptops is this: if the government, together with “students of Vellore Institute of Technology, scientists in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT-Madras” could pull-off a near-impossible technological miracle, does it not imply that the entire global computer industry is either totally incompetent or else it is a huge big scam which actually produces stuff at very little cost and then sells them at exorbitant prices."

Thankfully, the ISRO was not involved in the project, in which case doubts would have been raised over the veracity of India's achievement in Space. Amulya Gopalakrishnan writes why even a laptop at the price point specified does not mean much to the edcucation.

"The holes in traditional schooling can’t be fixed with a shiny green laptop. This is not to second the HRD ministry’s dark suspicions about OLPC, but a reminder that a laptop is empty and unproductive by itself, and the adoption of a technology must depend on the particular ends being aimed at, in each situation. "

Where do we go from here? Do we have opinion about this? Are we going to do something to stop such things in the future? What options do we have?

Photo Credits: Gizmodo, TomsHardware
Follow me on Twitter: gantir

Liked this Post: Subscribe to the RSS feed to get the posts to you. You have the advantage of getting my deli.cio.us links on the feed.