Frequently Expressed Concerns

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Check https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/FAQ for a more serious FAQ. I suggest we delete this page.

If the question is, How will Sugar affect your future? (by educating children, ending poverty, etc.) what concerns might people raise? How do we answer them? For each question that we hear, we want to know

  • Who asks it?
  • Where did they get that idea?
  • What are the most effective answers?
  • Where can we send them to find out more?

Wow! Can I get one?

Asked by geeks and parents. (Children, too, but sometimes they just say, "Mine!")

Yes, you can buy one through Amazon in the Give One Get One program. Actually, you will buy two, one for yourself and one for a child in one of the fifty least-developed countries.

Wow! Can I get involved?

Frequently presented in the form, "I wish I could help, but I'm just a..." In fact, anybody can help. We need every form of knowledge and skill to teach to the children. We need artists, movie people, musicians, and other creatives. We need financial and legal people to help our organizations, and to work with countries on creating a climate for doing business. You name it. We especially need teachers and parents. Among other things, we need to create mass political movements in the target countries (including the US) in order to fund not only the purchase laptops but rewriting textbooks and curricula to take advantage of the mental leverage that our software provides.

Does it work?

Yes.

How can you get electricity in the villages?

R&D plus a combination of traditional funding and microfinance.

How can you get Internet in the villages?

WiMax costs $10 per person installed, including links from towns to villages. Any country with a communications system that reaches the towns can afford this. See Grameen Phone for an example funded as a for-profit business in an exceedingly poor country.

How can you create jobs in the villages?

  • Education
  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Microfinance

Now we are talking about international e-commerce and the like, not purely local opportunities.

Won't the corrupt elites just give these to their own kids?

They can try.

Won't they all get stolen?

No. Stolen laptops brick up, and are rather difficult to resell.

I heard that Microsoft/Intel stomped on the project.

They tried. We have half a million units in the hands of children.

RMS says you guys sold out with XP on the XO.

Free Software pioneer Richard Stallman, like most people, pays too much attention to rumor without checking the facts. The fact is that there will be no more Windows-only XOs after the current trials, and that Microsoft will soon be creating what it has most feared: trials of Linux and Windows on the same hardware by the same people, hardly any of them on the Microsoft payroll.

You want to destroy America.

One concern is that we will be shipping jobs overseas. Actually, the idea is to create lots of jobs everywhere, including the US.

A quite different complaint is that the US will no longer be financially and militarily dominant after poverty is ended. True. China is on track to become the economic leader of the world, with or without the XO.

You want to destroy Christianity/Islam/whatever.

We are going to make everybody's scriptures equally available everywhere. If your teaching can't survive in that environment, it says more about you than about us.

This is just American cultural imperialism.

Won't countries use these to reinforce the existing system of oppression?

The teachers unions will never go for it.

This is a toy.

This is educationally suspect.

==Free Software is bad for business. It might even be Communist.==