Nicholas Negroponte quotes and sayings
December 1, 1943
By the year 2000, most Americans will be online one way or another.
Young people, I happen to believe, are the world's most precious natural resource.
MIT is governed by a second, even higher rule: the inalienable right of academic freedom.
Good education has got to be good entertainment.
If you take any world problem, any issue on the planet, the solution to that problem certainly includes education. In education, the roadblock is the laptop.
It's even hard for people to imagine today that telephones were wired, and they certainly were and you went to the end of a wire to make a phone call.
We've been working now with computers and education for 30 years, computers in developing countries for 20 years, and trying to make low-cost machines for 10 years. This is not a sudden turn down the road.
Access by kids to the Internet should be like kids breathing clean air.
Companies cannot really see beyond their current customer base. They explicitly or implicitly do things to protect their current customers. And the last person to want real change is your customer. This is why most new ideas come from small companies that have nothing to lose.
There is a belief that children drop out of school because they're needed by their families to work, or the little girls are needed to take care of younger siblings. It turns out that's not really true.
One of the basics of a good system of innovation is diversity. In some ways, the stronger the culture , the less likely it is to harbor innovative thinking. Common and deep-seated beliefs, widespread norms, and behavior and performance standards are enemies of new ideas. Any society that prides itself on being harmonious and homogeneous is very unlikely to catalyze idiosyncratic thinking. Suppression of innovation need not be overt. It can be simply a matter of peoples walking around in tacit agreement and full comfort with the status quo.
We all learned how to walk and talk by interacting with our environment, with real goals and rewards.
The laptop brings back a more seamless kind of learning.
Google has a very powerful and new advertising model that, for them, prints money.
Giving the kids a programming environment of any sort, whether it's a tool like Squeak or Scratch or Logo to write programs in a childish way - and I mean that in the most generous sense of the word, that is, playing with and building things - is one of the best ways to learn.
We have to make machines understand what they're doing, or they won't be able to come back and say, 'Why did you do that?'.
While a significant part of learning certain comes from teaching - but good teaching and by good teachers - a major measure comes from exploration, from reinventing the wheel and finding out for oneself.
Every child in Uruguay has a little green laptop.
When you meet a head of state, and you say, 'What is your most precious natural resource?' they will not say children at first, and then when you say, 'children,' they will pretty quickly agree with you.
Everybody agrees that whatever the solutions are to the big problems, they... can never be without some element of education.
Nations have the wrong granularity. They're too small to be global and too big to be local, and all they can think about is competing.
Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living. Whatever big problem you can imagine, from world peace to the environment to hunger to poverty, the solution always includes education, ... We need to depend more on peer-to-peer and self-driven learning. The laptop is one important means of doing that.
The notion of collective contribution, like the Wikipedia, is a very powerful one.
National law has no place in cyberlaw. Where is cyberspace? If you don't like banking laws in the United States, set up your machine on the Grand Cayman Islands. Don't like the copyright laws in the United States? Set up your machine in China. Cyberlaw is global law, which is not going to be easy to handle, since we seemingly cannot even agree on world trade of automobile parts.
I think life's turning into an omelet and people will just have to live with that.
A Wired reader told me once, Get a life, which I read from the back of a yacht in the Aegean, while eating fresh sea urchins and drinking terrific Montrachet.
Where do new ideas come from? The answer is simple: differences. While there are many theories of creativity, the only tenet they all share is that creativity comes from unlikely juxtapositions. The best way to maximize differences is to mix ages, cultures, and disciplines.
My goal is not selling laptops. OLPC is not in the laptop business. It's in the education business.
Digital living will include less and less dependence upon being in a specific place at a specific time, and the transmission of place itself will start to become possible.
This is just the beginning, the beginning of understanding that cyberspace has no limits, no boundaries.
The process of debugging, going an correcting the program and then looking at the behavior, and then correcting it again, and finally iteratively getting it to a working program, is in fact, very close to learning about learning.
The ability to make big leaps of thought is a common denominator among the originators of breakthrough ideas.
It's not computer literacy that we should be working on, but sort of human-literacy. Computers have to become human-literate.
I'm not against paying at all. What I'm against is the complexity of paying. And you very often go to a website and you try to click on something and sometimes it will even say it's free, but you have to fill out this form.
Programming allows you to think about thinking, and while debugging you learn learning.
In Uruguay, the President of the country announced that this would be his legacy, "One laptop per child.".
It bothers me when people spoil the market.
What's the difference between obsolete and cutting edge? Obsolete works.
If you were to hire household staff to cook, clean, drive, stoke the fire, and answer the door, can you imagine suggesting that they not talk to each other, not see what each other is doing, not coordinate their functions?
You can see the future best through peripheral vision.
Taxes will eventually become a voluntary process, with the possible exception of real estate - the one physical thing that does not move easily and has computable value. The US has a jump-start on the practice, in that 65 percent of local school funds come from real estate taxes - a practice Europeans consider odd and ill advised. But wait until that's all there is left to tax, when the rest of the things we buy and sell come from everywhere, anywhere, and nowhere.
The best way to guarantee a steady stream of new ideas is to make sure that each person in your organization is as different as possible from the others. Under these conditions, and only these conditions, will people maintain varied perspectives and demonstrate their knowledge in different ways.
Juan Enriquez will change your view of change itself.
Nature is pretty good at networks, self-organizing systems. By contrast, social systems are top-down and hierarchical, from which we draw the basic assumption that organization and order can only come from centralism.
One of the arguments here at OLPC is, if 100 million kids could have an Asus running Windows, is that better with two million kids running the XO? And the answer is yes. We want kids connected and the largest possible number is the goal.
Machines need to talk easily to one another in order to better serve people.
I'd like to describe a sort of life 20 years ago as being a fried egg. There was a yolk and a white and the white was maybe work, and the yolk was life. Today, it's more of an omelet. It's more mixed and it's more interspersed and I think that that's a more interesting state of being and for some people, they'll say well I want the crisp, fried egg approach to life.
The computer provides the only way to give students a real foundation in 21st-century skills.
Key is the question of where do new ideas come from. Historically, four places: government labs, big corporations, startup companies, and research universities.
Give One, Get One generated about 100,000 zero-dollar laptops. Somebody else paid for them, but from the recipient's point of view, that's zero.
Computer science departments have always considered 'user interface' research to be sissy work.
I grew up with free television. Now, it wasn't free, there was these commercials, and so the economic model was driven through commercials and through advertising.
I had come to a stage in life where I didn't need to earn an income, I didn't need to earn a reputation, I didn't need fame, I didn't need any of the things you might want in your early career.
I'm not good at selling laptops. I'm good at selling ideas.
Think of it: the lowest common denominator in being digital is not your operating system, modem, or model of computer. It's a tiny piece of plastic, designed decades ago by Bell Labs' Charles Krumreich, Edwin Hardesty, and company, who thought they were making an inconspicuous plug for a few telephone handsets. Not in their wildest dreams was Registered Jack 11 - a modular connector more commonly known as the RJ-11 - meant to be plugged and unplugged so many times, by so many people, for so many reasons, all over the world.
Cell phones were more popular in Cambodia and Uganda because they didn't have phones. We had phones in this country, and we were very late to the table. They're going to adopt e-books much faster than we do.
To compare books to computers, I mean, computers are the way to get books. That is the medium for distributing text because it doesn't require paper.
Even in the developing parts of the world, kids take to computers like fish to water.
It's hard to propose a $100 laptop for a world community of kids and then not say in the same breath that you're going to depend on the community to make software for it.
But just as elevators have changed the shape of buildings and cars have changed the shape of cities, bits will change the shape of organizations, be they companies, nations, or social structures.
Learning by doing, peer-to-peer teaching, and computer simulation are all part of the same equation.
Industrial design in 50 years will be less about looks and more about personality of artifacts.
Remember that the military used wind-up radios for years.
I've spent my whole life worrying about the human-computer interface, so I don't want to suggest that what we have today is even close to acceptable.
Rote learning is a killer for most of us and for some people, it really excludes them.
When we go to school, very often, we don't see that passion because the way school is run, the disciplinary nature of it and the rote learning are so, sort of, offensive actually, that children sort of lose that passion more often than not.
You go to developing countries today and you'll find automobiles that you haven't seen since you're childhood and that's because they really are valuable, they're taken care of, they're repaired, and when something breaks, they just don't buy a new one, they actually fix it.
In the world of computers and just devices in general, the lifespan, or the shelf life, is relatively short just because technology moves so fast and the costs drop so quickly and the power, whether it's computing power or memory rises very, very quickly.
The wild, the absurd, the seemingly crazy: this kind of thinking is where new ideas come from ... The people capable of such playful thought carry forward their childish qualities and childhood dreams, applying them in areas where most of us get stuck, victims of our adult seriousness. Staying a child isn't easy.
My advice to graduates is to do anything except what you are trained for. Take that training to a place where it is out of place and stimulate ideas, shake up establishments, and don't take no for an answer.
When things are digital, they're all 1's and zero's, and so they commingle in ways we didn't anticipate and you could do things that were not like publishing or television, or computers, but were some intersection of those and that got known to be convergence, so between the switching, or trading of places and the convergence, you have today's media.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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