Not too long ago, the good people at One Laptop Per Child announced they would be developing tablet computers specifically for children in developing nations. These tablets are supposed to be inexpensive and very durable. They have been designed with the unstable life of a third world child in mind. They don't need wall chargers because the battery is capable of being charged via hand cranking or a solar panel. They are equipped with a camera to allow the kids to take pictures and express themselves creatively through that medium. Most importantly, though, each tablet is capable of connecting directly to one another for peer-to-peer collaboration on group projects. All in all, a wonderful step forward for the massively underprivileged children of third world nations.
Hold up. Tablet computers? Is that really the most pressing issue Afican kids are facing, lack of fancy electronic devices? Now, I'm no Luddite. I don't even brush my teeth unless each tooth is being gently caressed by the automatically rotating heads of my electric toothbrush. Much to my chagrin, similar technologies are not available when it comes to hand washing; my right hand is still belabored with the task of washing my left, how bourgeois. Get it together, Science. These kids, though, they haven't slipped the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God. They don't know what it is to not be poor. Maybe they'd like to finally enjoy the experience of having a nice sit on a sturdy chair, instead of a mound of hard packed dirt. I mean, with all the turmoil they've endured during their brief tenure on this earth, perhaps camping out in front of their neighborhood Target for the debut of the latest gizmo isn't the greatest of their concerns. Oh, wait, camping out is pretty much their standard of living, isn't it?
There's a reason that I'm sitting here on my plush suede couch, sipping the very finest V8 vegetable juice (for the fiber) and those kids are out there nibbling on wet garbage, trying to suck out any notion of nourishment to help satisfy their distended stomachs. That reason, friends, is that all men are not created equal. Let's get our priorities straight, first world first. None of those kids should even know what a tablet computer is before I get bored of mine. Once we all get ours, then let's consider how we should deal with sending our scraps out to those third worlders. They won't know the difference, anyway.
Instead of giving these underprivileged youths a shiny new toy, let's give them something they'll actually need. They don't need to learn how to make a gripping PowerPoint presentation about changing ecosystems in various climates. Nor do they need to be tweeting about how exhilarating it is to eat their first gummie bear. These kids are living in the middle of continuous tribal infighting; they need to learn how to shoot a gun. Let's face it, at $100 a piece, these tablets are going to be some real junkers. Instead, let's check out the black market for some lightly used, adult owned AK-47s from smoke-free homes. Hell, down there, you give me enough time and a can of used motor oil, I could probably barter for one. The best part is that the AK is a multipurpose tool. You can hunt with it and then later you can use it to paint a still life. Multipurpose. How many things can you do with a junker tablet? Words with Friends is really only so effective at teaching kids how to cheat.