Monday, October 29, 2007

OLPC in Brazil

I'm sitting in a favorite coffee shop listening to the windows rattle, given the heavy base speakers in a vehicle just outside, waiting for the light to change. At home: science experiment in progress: is it the fuse box, the washing machine, or some other component that's failing?

The machine is pretty rusted, but I'm not one to replace unnecessarily, given the leanness and meanness I've needed to cultivate, to survive on my budget (not complaining -- it's ample). I've reactivated the circuit and mom will phone if the house shorts again (this AC 20 amper tends to take whole the house when she blows).

Much of my day is about passing the torch, helping a next generation get up to speed in various ways. The excellent thing about teaching is students come to class already spinning, sometimes at high speed, and that tends to rub off.

Academic cultures get good at creating positive synergies under optimum conditions, though many degenerate for lack of a sustainable balance among faculty (yes, a tautology). The "spin" metaphor traces to Fuller for me -- a word he kept for disciplined use within his self-invented philosophical language.

Anyway, it's great having so many good teachers, of all ages, keeping me up to speed on so many fronts. Just today, I got around to this video of XOs in Brazil, lighting up the lives of these talented students. OLPC is still in its infancy as of this writing, but the age of the low-to-no cost laptop is upon us, that much is clear.