Friday, February 22, 2008

OLPC - One Laptop Per Child - I

The world is going through hyper-change mode, transforming before our eyes on a variety of fronts - largely enables by advances in telecommunication technology. As a result, we are entering a new phase of information management - one where personal productivity tools that recognized the power of the individual to one where information is recognized a something groups of people either utilize of produce in some kind of supply chain. Seldom is corporate information handled by a lone individual. It is the consequence of an as yet usually ill defined production cycle. First let me explain.

I'm referring to what is typically called unstructured information - documents and messages of one kind or another.
Merrill Lynch estimates that more than 85% of all business information is unstructured data – commonly appearing in e-mails, memos, notes from call centres and support operations, news, user groups, chats, reports, letters, surveys, white papers, marketing material,research, presentations and Web pages.

This unstructured content or what is being called UGC (User Generated Content) is beginning to move from enterprise drives
behind the fire wall to domains that are accessible via the internet. . .

But what does this all have to do with OLPC? As the knowledge of the world gets better reorganized and becomes more accessible and therefore made accessible to anyone on the planet with broadband access, one has to wonder what would happen if every child were given computer access to the knowledge of the world?

Did you know that less than half of the content contained in Wikipedia is in English. Did you know that the Google Boys are excited about advances in automated translation technologies. The world is shifting - if we could but perceive. Information is leaking from the hands of the few to the hands of the many - at exponential rates.

If this leakage is actually taking place, what would happen if OLPC took place. Most probably, concepts of Intellectual Property (IP) would attempt to limit who gets to learn and know what. That seems to be what IP rights do.

[1] DM Review Magazine, February 2003

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