My son is asking for an iPod. He will be 8 years old tomorrow and we will get him one. One side of me is cringing thinking that this is wildly extravagant and that I am spoiling my child. The progressive side of me is thinking that I am using technology to give my child control over his own well being.
This started because he is a insomniac and music helps him sleep. First he had a radio which was difficult for him to control at such a young age. (This started around age 4) This progressed to a cheapo MP3 player which he quickly mastered but didn’t have enough space to fulfill his needs. The iPod (which I am not so naive to understand that this is partially about materialism and having cool devices) gives him complete control over what he feels like he needs to start his sleep cycle. This ranges from guided meditation to his favorite songs.
I mention this because these are solutions that I would have not necessarily predicted on my own. The foundation was the radio, but the true solution ends with something that revealed itself through my sons own voice.
This is important on a small scale. What is important on a large scale are solutions like the OLPC project where you dump thousands of machines (tools that have generativity) upon minds that have previously not had these types of tools. These children did not have a voice for themselves, now they have an avenue to spread their voices thoughts and needs all over the world. Because of the nature of OLPC it will start locally and then spread through the mesh networks, then nationally, then globally.
Is it important to predict what the voice of the children will be and what needs will it express or is it enough to say that the expression of this voice is inherently good?
One opinion expressed currently is that some children in some communities even here in the US don’t have these tools yet.
I have always been addicted to introducing chaos into complex set systems, so my views on the matter are no surprise. It has never occurred to me that the outcomes could be negative, and I have yet to actually hear what these predicted negative outcomes really are.
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