[IAEP] Peru, OLPC and Wikipedia

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Wed May 12 12:04:11 EDT 2010

On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 12:39 PM, Martin Langhoff
<martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 11:49 PM,  <forster at ozonline.com.au> wrote:
>> the interviewed social Darwinist is Robert Wright, the author of  Nonzero
>> http://www.nonzero.org/
>> The filmmaker is Righteous Pictures http://righteouspictures.com/
>> Wright seems to believe that there is a higher purpose to biological
>> and social evolution, that in some way, we will be fulfilling our
>> destiny if we become one globalised culture.
> When I watched the videos, I did get a similar feeling of concern. And
> Robert Wright's answers can be read as neo-social-darwinist. But note
> the "can be read"... I am not sure if he is actually darwinist;
> reading his book right after reading Guns, Germs and Steel may lead to
> a completely different perspective.
> cheers,
> m
> --
>  martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>  martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
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I didn't quite see the concern the same way as some others did. That's
perhaps because I'm not a trained anthropologist :-)

I do see a trail, in my own life, of changing cultures as I moved all
through my life. My family comes from Varanasi in northern India, but
I grew up in Hyderabad, in south-central India. Varanasi and Hyderabad
are perhaps more distant culturally than Hyderabad and SF Bay Area
these days. The move did not force me to shed cultural icons and
language. Sure, I don't speak Bhojpuri, like my parents did (although
I follow it), but I picked up Telugu, in Hyderabad. Moving from
Hyderabad to Atlanta was another shift in ideas, etc. and I gained a
few more things. Atlanta to SF was also culturally different (the
southerners in Atlanta thought Californians were weird and vice

All through this journey, I don't feel like I've lost much. Its all
still embedded somewhere. I can still relate to biryani (HYD), grits
(ATL), and cioppino (SF) quite well. While I haven't read "Nonzero" as
yet, looking at the summary, it indicates to the concept of zero sum
game (vs non-zero) from game theory. Although my observations are a
sample of 1, I'd argue that we don't really shed one set to gain
another. Instead we absorb all that we can.

Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Information Systems
Director, Campus Business Solutions
San Francisco State University

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