Sunday, November 16, 2008

ONE CELL PHONE per CHILD / The Cell Phone is the School


ONE CELL PHONE per CHILD / 1 Cell Phone per Child

ONE CELL PHONE per WOMAN / 1 Cell Phone per Woman

The Cell Phone is the School

It takes a cell phone to raise a child

Back in August or September 2007 I registered these domain names:

Why? -- because the slow adoption rate of the "One Laptop per Child" program made it clear that a lower cost structure was needed to wire the Children of the Developing World. The direct manufacturing cost of a cell phone is only US$ 5 - 10. But the "One Laptop per Child" laptop still has a manufacturing cost of at least US$ 50++.

Until silicon and intellectual property become free, which will take another 10 - 15 years, the One Laptop per Child program will be severely cost constrained.

Moreover, a cell phone is the ultimate personal "pull" device, and a radio the ultimate push device. In the latter case, think of Voice of America or Radio Free Europe, which helped catalyze the rot and fall of the Soviet Union.

Nokia now produces many cell phones with built-in FM radios. The broadcast networks and the telecom networks are now accessible in the same low-cost personal device. Once a person in the Developing World has bought a cell phone by redeeming their Carbon Micro Credits (CMCs), they not only have a portable ATM, but the same device can also immediately serve other value-added functions in the Developing World such as:

(1) tele-education of children -- a very attainable “One Cell Phone per Child” goal, versus the now unrealistic “one laptop per child program”

(2) dissemination of public-health messages to parents and patients; and

(3) timely notification of national emergencies such as typhoons or tsunamis.

In the case of tele-education, a child can use a cell phone to learn how to type, spell, text-message, do mathematics & calculations, and download information from the internet (if accessible). All for only a US$ 5 - 10 investment. With a built-in FM radio as well, the entire world bows at the child's feet -- the child can hear and learn foreign languages, stay current with national & international news, and learn the meaning of Freedom and Free Will.

In the case of public health, both text and FM radio messages can be pushed/broadcast to remote populations advising them of:

* Infectious disease outbreaks (e.g. Ebola, Marburg, Malaria, Dengue) and precautionary counter-measures

* Upcoming vaccine campaigns and incentives to participate -- "Get your child vaccinated for polio and receive 60 free cell phone minutes!"

* Reminders to individual patients to take medications such as for drug-resistant tuberculosis -- already done in Central America via an MIT-sponsored project; and

* Repetitive public health announcements regarding family planning and avoidance of sexually-transmitted diseases such as HIV, HCV, herpes, syphilis, and others.

Regarding the concept of "One Cell Phone per Woman", in the Carbon Micro Credit (CMC) system outlined in the other posts below, the cell phone is already in the woman's hands, as the woman of the house does the cooking and has the greatest control over the family's carbon footprint. Of course, mother and child can share the same handset. But a separate, low-cost cell phone with computing functions, combined with a built-in FM radio will save the children faster.

In these Dark Times, radicals in many countries of the Developing World burn down school buildings to prevent children, especially female children, from being exposed to Western Knowledge, and to prevent the children from learning the meaning and feeling of Free Will and Freedom. However, if the cell phone becomes the school and the library, and if Education & Knowledge can be accessed in any small corner of the home or village, who could silence the Voice of Freedom ? Who could imprison Knowledge then ?

Globally & warmly yours,

David Palella
Caped Carbon Crusader

San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741