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Topics - Lord Cataplanga

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The experiment:

Closed boxes with Motorola Xoom tablets with solar chargers and custom software were left in two isolated villages in Ethiopia. Some adults were taught how to recharge the batteries and nothing else. They didn't have instruction manuals or anything (very few people at the village knew how to read anyway). The devices had special software that tracked how they were used.

The result:

“I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said. “Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.”

Elaborating later on Negroponte’s hacking comment, Ed McNierney, OLPC’s chief technology officer, said that the kids had gotten around OLPC’s effort to freeze desktop settings. “The kids had completely customized the desktop—so every kids’ tablet looked different.  We had installed software to prevent them from doing that,” McNierney said. “And the fact they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning.”

This experiment began earlier this year, and what OLPC really want to see is whether these kids can learn to read and write in English. Around the world, there are something like 100,000,000 kids who don't even make it to first grade, simply because there are not only no schools, but very few literate adults, and if it turns out that for the cost of a tablet all of these kids can simply teach themselves, it has huge implications for education. And it goes beyond the kids, too, since previous OLPC studies have shown that kids will use their computers to teach their parents to read and write as well, which is incredibly amazing and awesome.

I've been told that one of the reasons OLPC isn't implemented in the schools in my area is not that the laptops are expensive or anything, but that the teachers don't want to learn how to use them. This experiment suggests that the teachers can be unnecessary.

Also, how did you guys learn how to use computers? Did you guys read instruction manuals and stuff?

Aneristic Illusions / Does terrorism really work?
« on: March 16, 2012, 09:23:00 pm »
Via last month's Crypto-Gram I found a very interesting paper on the futility of terrorism.

It's rather long and repetitive, but here's a summary:

The conclusion the author reaches is that terrorism not only hasn't worked in the past, but rather it makes the target population "dig in their political heels". In the cases where it has worked, the author says, it was because the terrorists attacked military targets instead of civilians (like when Hezbollah made the French and Americans leave Lebanon in the 80's, or when the Soviets were forced to leave Afghanistan). Even state terrorism (when an oppresive state targets its own civilians) isn't a very good long term strategy.

The author then wonders why terrorism exists at all, if it's such a bad strategy, and mentions some interesting possible answers: stupidity, desperation and the fact that terrorist organizations often care more about their own survival (as an organization) than they care about their actual stated objectives.

Anyway, what I wanted to ask you people was, if the author is right and terrorism not only doesn't work but does the opposite of what it intends, what would happen if you staged a terrorist act and demanded the opposite of what you really want, as a form of reverse psychology? I know states do that all the time (false-flag opperations), but what about non-state actors? Has that ever been tried before?

Discordia en Espanol / Otros valiosos sitios discordianos
« on: December 15, 2011, 08:51:14 pm »
Cuando leí que Khore sugirió un subforo en castellano, me pareció al principio una idea muy extraña, pero después pensé: "Un momento, ¡se supone que el castellano es mi lengua materna!"

Y ahora me doy cuenta de que efectivamente no conozco ningún sitio web sobre Discordia en Español. No sé si esto se debe a que de hecho no hay ninguno o simplemente a que nunca se me ocurrió salir a buscarlos. Una búsqueda preliminar que hice hace cinco minutos sugiere, lastimosamente, que en serio hay mucho pinealismo entre los discordianos hispanoparlantes. Supongo que es por eso que estoy leyendo este foro y no otros.

En fin, si alguien conoce una página web discordiana interesante que quiera compartir, adelante. Nos va a ayudar a encontrar nuevos miembros, que es lo que nos va a hacer falta en este subforo.

High Weirdness / 7 Bizarre Trends That Predict an Economic Collapse
« on: December 11, 2011, 04:28:10 pm »
7 Bizarre Trends That Predict an Economic Collapse

    #7. Mosquito Populations Surge
    #6. Waitresses Get Prettier
    #5. Tie Colors Turn Bland
    #4. Crime Takes a Turn for the Weird
    #3. Advertisements Get Nastier
    #2. Romance Novel Sales Spike and Playboy Models Get Heavier
    #1. Men Have More Affairs

The autor actually offers somewhat reasonable explanations for all these trends, so it isn't just the usual Law of Fives.

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