Saturday, July 21, 2007

Learning is FUNdamental

Primary school students in Nigeria now have a new reason to love the $100.00 laptops donated to them.

It's where their porn stash is located.

Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from a U.S. aid organization have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Thursday.

NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children's laptops.

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," NAN said.

A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.

This came after the earlier news story that these laptops had been delivered to school buildings with no electricity in them.

Maybe if we'd sent these kids low-tech education they'd spend less time searching for porn and more time learning history, science, art, literature and mathematics. You know, books. Those things that they used to use in schools in this country. You don't need electricity to use them. They don't connect to the Internet and they helped humankind learn for a long time.


Shore-Leave OIC said...

Gee, its funny how Nigerian school children using their free laptops for porn is even considered news. I'm sure if we checked every school age child's computer in the US we would find a lot more porn, perhaps even something more sinister. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Ronald 'More-More' Moshki said...

"1984" is here; everyone is being watched to some extent.

Telescreens for everyone but third world immigrants are near.

Hyunchback said...


It's news because your tax dollars went to help put those laptops into Nigerian... laps. A similar project to put laptops in Marin County, CA laps also found students with porn.

What is newsworthy is that rather than producing increased learning we have increased access to porn for the underprivileged.

I'm not in favor of spying on strangers but when I'm having to pay for something with my tax money then YES, I do want to find out how effective the spending was. The beneficiary of my forced largess is no longer a stranger.

Not every school age child in America is getting their computer through tax money. In most of the cases it was the after-tax income of their parents which supplied them with a computer. They aren't part of this because you and I didn't get forced into paying for it.

Shore-Leave OIC said...

Okay, then perhaps the government should (or already has) done a cost-benefit analysis on outfitting poor Nigerian students with laptops. Things to have taken into consideration are teenage boys beating off to porn, technical support, and (a real threat) other individual with notorious motives using this technology to launch DOS attacks on US servers. I don't know if all these things had been taken into consideration but in reality the effect of these actions are miniscule compared to the potential benefits. Namely educated people in a rather "uneducated" country having access to the global internet. I sincerely doubt that these students are beating off like monkeys in a cage to porn 24/7 365 (including leap years) to the latest episode of bangbus. Does the report state that they found anything else like homework assingments, research homework, was there any benefit to all or have these computers merely served as an alternative to unprotected sex (which really isn't a BAD idea considering Nigeria's problem with AIDS).

You tell me.

Now if you want to argue that these laptops shouldn't be there because we should fix things in our own backyard, nevermind the fact you can get a $300 PC at Wally World, then I might agree with you.

If your really that burned by the US government giving Nigerian school children laptops and using your money send me your address and I'll glady send you a check of $0.05 cents which is probably a HUGE overcalculation on how much you really contributed but I don't collect 1/2 pennies.

Hyunchback said...

Recall in my original post that I recommended BOOKS to educate the Nigerian children.

I WANT them educated but feel that laptops and Internet aren't the way.

As a father to two step-children who have grown up with Internet in the house I see the distractions of the Internet without the learning.

Though computer savvy I grew up in a world of books. I've read books by the truckload. I've read books by the streetlight that came through my window when I had no electricity.

The books don't turn into over-priced paperweights when there is no electricity. They don't need tech support. And they don't have to lead to porn.

THAT was my point. I want children in Africa to learn to use their imagination. Education can give you a step-stool to the world. Imagination will let you leap off that step-stool into something bigger.

The Internet, like television, can murder imagination. Books foster it, nurture it, weed it and the reader then gathers in the harvest.

In five years those same books could still be teaching new children. How many of these laptops will still be RUNNING in five years, let alone teaching?

Is it wrong to want to give Nigerian children the education that made me a highly adaptable human being?

Shore-Leave OIC said...

Well after reading your comment I retract my post and agree with you 100%. I hadn't even begun to think about books in regards to computers and I fully agree with home computers can be more of a distraction and easily outdated. And while research information that is available online is helpful, frankly speaking it is only truly useful at the graduate level, K-12 doesn't actually need it, and for undergraduates it is merely a convinence, a good engineering calculator is all one really needs.

I wish more people would realize books in the same light you do, and not get swept up in the epidemic that is the "information age with a lack of information"

I apologize for my rudeness and will remove my foot from my mouth.

Hyunchback said...

A solid discussion where both sides come to agreement is often hard to find, especially on the Internet.

I'm glad we could come to agreement on this.

As much time as I spend with a computer today I can't give up my first passion. I'm either reading fact or fiction, or one of each. I keep a book in the car for reading occasions and at least one other bookmarked in my home.

What I'm discouraged by is the observation that fewer and fewer people enjoy books.

Shore-Leave OIC said...

Fewer people read books which is unfortunate. It seems the replacement has been television, many providers have over 500 channels, then you have video games, gaming consoles, and a wide alternative of things to do that appeal to today's "now" generation. Apparently there is nothing "eXtreme" about sitting down for a few hours to read something. Which is why I tend to shy away from many internet discussion boards, people who often have no idea what they are talking about would argue, and of course you could always prove them wrong but I don't have the energy to write a 10 page essay with references every time I need to make a point on something like WWII history. Unfortunately the end result is that people who actually read and acquire knowledge don't wish to waste their time on the internet, and that void is filled by people who get all their knowledge from five minute "enlightening" conversations in the line at StarBucks and internet forums.

You are totally right, we should be sending books to Nigerian school children. I'm not even sure if Nigeria could support the infrastructure required to adequately support novice PC users.


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