The $100 laptop in context

Part I of a nice essay by James Surowiecki which likens Nicholas Negroponte’s laptop project to Andrew Carnegie’s library benefactions.

Carnegie is usually talked about today as a precursor to people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, multi¬≠billionaires who have dedicated most of their wealth to philanthropic endeavors. But when you look at the way Carnegie built libraries–seeding institutions around the country and encouraging local involvement in the hope of convincing people of the virtues of free access to knowledge–what it calls to mind most is not Gates’s prodigious effort to fund the fight against infectious diseases but, rather, an endeavor called One Laptop per Child (OLPC)–or, as it’s colloquially known, the $100 laptop…