I've gotten that optimistic
I think when it comes to poverty, one of the greatest miracles of the world is how the poor can quickly catch up. In my old self, I saw the poor as being somewhat on par with the needy. Yes, many are needy especially when it comes to access rather than talent where poverty may strengthen a man's mind.
They, however, are also fast and furious at achieving greatness so to speak. What I described wasn't a form of pessimism, it was great respect at how good the poor can be.
The recent change in outsourcing, the recent dominance of immigrants selling cheap vendor products, the more I see/read/hear about squatters being able to form internal governance of theft, castes and hierarchies and be superior to a ghetto in organization...the more I read about the copycat business plaguing the poor...the more I respect how the poor can quickly unite with the rich's demands such as the question posted on this blog post never coming from the rich so the poor never threw out the same question but the poor being fast at prayers, donations and working together is very much in agreement with the harmony of the middle class and the rich and the non-needy at reacting: http://getrealphilip...devastated-mindanao/
...the more I'm awed by the poor and the clearer it is to see how skilled, empowered (or hard working) and fast (at adapting) most people are including and especially the poor. When they wanted tablets, the poor and needy got their tablets like a chaotic free market democracy towards a product. Yet once they got their tablets, the poor who needed education weren't as fast as acquiring the education they feel deep inside they don't need even though many will morally accept that they do need education.
It sounds pessimistic but it's actually a form of extreme optimism. The poor can and will wield opportunities once they are handed the opportunity. They don't care what the tool aims to be, they care at what the tools can and will do.
This is not to say these projects aren't needed but these projects, if successful, will evolve to the terms of the poor and the market while leaving the higher aim intact which is to provide education to the needy...but it will still evolve. The poor or the needy will make sure of it even if it's simply through creating a space for a less well intentioned supplier to supply it.
It may also just be that I finally read (but haven't finished reading) this
I don't agree nor understand many of the things in it but it did upgrade my vocabulary of a welfare state from a welfare state to a welfare colony and now I see education as everything through that possibility.
His wikipedia page actually has a free pdf that's similar to the chapter on this found in the book:http://www.un.org/es...s/2006/wp14_2006.pdf@mahesh2k
The usb drives can't apply to the goal because the primarily target is: using cheap tablets such as the Aakash, which is now available to students in India for ~$20 and it's not about a static storage media.
Not that there's no merit to it but it's an entirely different goal. USB drives and storage media have no real time capability to tweak a database and are limited by their internal memories and require computers. This is almost entirely for televisions with the exception of the cheap tablet that has been mentioned. Unless USBs and storage media have found a way to sync with each other in a wireless p2p range that deletes the data inside and replaces with new videos - it's not really comparable and people in poor countries do use usbs in cases where they can have usbs. You could even say there's too much empty usbs being handed out but there's too little demand or idea as to how to make a person be interested in the content of the usb on a general basis.