[IAEP] Peru, OLPC and Wikipedia

Xander Pirdy xander.pirdy at gmail.com
Wed May 12 19:34:11 EDT 2010

On Tue, 11 May 2010, Martin Langhoff 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.

While watching the video I came to the understanding that many people 
would take this as neo-social-darwinist, but I thought that the main 
narrator was trying to make a very different point, one that could just as 
easily be called social-darwinism, but was distinct in meaning from 
earlier uses of the term. From 

>Social Darwinism is a pejorative term used in criticism of ideologies or 
>ideas concerning their exploitation of concepts in biology and social 
>sciences to artificially create political change that reduces the 
>fertility of certain individuals, races, and subcultures having certain 
>"undesired" qualities[dubious – discuss]. It has very rarely been used as 
>a self description.

I don't think that this film attempted to accomplish any of these things, 
nor did it promote them. I think that he was discussing the evolution of a 
species as a whole, instead of pushing the evolution of the species 
through homogenization, and elimination of diverse culture. I am fairly 
sure that he was describing the human species as a diverse group that in 
some ways could be seen as a giant organism, and that this view is 
becoming increasingly correct as the interenet and interconnectedness 
becomes more and more universal. I thought that his statments were more in 
line with Kevin Kelly's use of the word technology, then social darwinism 
in that self-organization and interconnectedness are increasing and that 
technology itself leads to the increase of: "Differences, Diversity, 
Options, Choices, Oppurtunities [and] Freedoms".

Giving laptops to children in these cultures is going to have an effect. 
What that effect is has yet to be fully determined, but I don't think that 
it will lead towards the extinction of their culture in fact I think that 
it might allow it to spread and become more widely understood, by allowing 
these children to share their world-view.

Just some thoughts.

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