I'm sure lots of people have since seen stories about the "green machine," but Adam was the first to draw my attention to it at Mutualist Journal Club (see note). Nicholas Negroponte of MIT recently displayed a prototype of a cheap (production cost $110) laptop with very low power consumption and backup power from a hand-cranked generator. It's also open source, using a Linux operating system. Negroponte plans to have millions of them in production in the near future, with hundreds of millions eventually being distributed--especially to children in Third World countries.
This strikes me as an excellent example of the kind of empowering technology that mutualists favor.
And to answer the question that most of you are probably asking, yes, he's the brother of that Negroponte. If only by promoting the diffusion of open source software in the Third World, Nicholas is directly at odds with the very un-market and un-democratic vision of so-called "market democracy" to which his brother has dedicated his life. So in the big karmic bank account, the Negroponte family may actually come out slightly ahead.
I wonder--did Hitler have a brother?
Note--You'll probably be seeing more here about the Mutualist Journal Club in the next few days.
negroponte , nicholas negroponte , $100 laptop , laptop