Here’s another guy who is not all that thrilled with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. The Strange Case of One Laptop Per Child is made by Eric Posner, a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School. Money quote:
It takes little insight to see that laptops would be low on the list of priorities of the developing-country poor. One Laptop per Child makes as much sense as One iPod per Child or One Snowmobile per Child.
My friend Suhit wrote to me pointing out a site by a guy called Gurudev. One of the posts is titled “Speed of Light explained in Rig Veda“. Suhit wondered what I thought of the explanation and so I dutifully went and read that post and replied to Suhit.
First, I think Gurudev and I differ in our understanding of the word ‘explained.’ To explain something means “to account for something, to give reasons for something.” To explain is not the same as baldly stating something. I can simply state that “A is B.” However, to explain “A is B” I have to through a series of statements, state reasons, provide evidence, make arguments why A happens to be B and so on. In the post, Gurudev tells us that the Vedas (indirectly) state — not explain — the speed of light to be something and that something is pretty darn close to the speed of light as known to modern science.
I don’t know what the point of the whole post was. Perhaps it was to argue that the Vedas are scientific. I don’t buy that. Here’s why.
It makes sense to know a bit of economics, just as it is good to know how to do arithmetic. You don’t need to get yourself a PhD in mathematics in some area like topology or Lie groups. You just need to know basic arithmetic so that you can do your everyday figuring by yourself, so you know whether someone short-changed you or not. Thus spoke Joan Robinson: “The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”