A parting gift to Afghani and Iraqi children - pre-loaded tablets

A parting gift to Afghani and Iraqi children - pre-loaded tablets

Summary: It would be a gift that keeps giving...education, medical info, and much more.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

As US  forces leave Afghanistan and Iraq, I have a proposal: Give every child pre-loaded tablets filled with apps and Western culture, so that they can see we’re not all bad. 

Fill an iPad mini, (or any other tablet) with top Hollywood movies, books, music, Wikipedia, medical information,  and loads of learning apps. Also, load an unerasable copy of the Koran into them so that they can’t be destroyed.

Put a lot of Taliban literature in it too. Let the Taliban have an app in all the AppStores.

And let the new tablet owners decide for themselves which culture has the most to offer them. Or they can pick and choose from a huge range of ideologies and religious interpretations.An Internet connected tablet is truly a window on the modern world in a way that no other single device has ever been able to achieve.

It’s a high definition media delivery device and it’s a high-definition media broadcasting device. It’s a mobile Gutenberg press and it’s the paper.

There’s never ever been a product like today’s camera equipped tablets — they can be used to create important media, and display it.  It’s both sides of the screen at once.

They are a creation of this extraordinary media age that is permeating into every nook and cranny of society. Afghani and Iraqi kids should be offered the choice of joining in this unfolding modernity, the cost to entry is small. And there’s lots of advantages.

Young girls who face problems in getting the education they need would be able to study behind closed doors at home. Everyone would benefit from the factual and medical information they contain. And everyone would get a chance to sample our rich Western culture, which has succeeded in attracting people all over the world.

NGOs can build the supporting infrastructure of Wi-Fi and recharging stations. I hear Mark Zuckerberg is keen on bringing connectivity to under-developed parts of the world. How about a joint-funding with Bill Gates’s fund — every iPad is distributed with a mosquito net and a polio vaccine pill. Jeff Bezos can deliver each one along with a free Amazon Prime membership for every family, and before long there’s many other brands that would love to hop on, with small gifts of their own. We could win the war with a shower of love, with what our society loves — high-quality materialism. It works for us so why wouldn’t it work for others too?

The iPad gift basket for kids program wouldn’t cost much given the billions of dollars already spent. It would be a thoughtful parting gift that says, “Sorry about all the other stuff, we meant well if even if it didn’t always seem that way. Enjoy your iPad and gift vouchers.”

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • iPad?

    To be very frank, that is an absolutely ridiculous idea.
    I suggest you undertake more extensive travel (i.e. out of the US) and travel to the backwaters of the world and you will then agree with me.
    There are far more important needs than iPads.
  • Simple Fact

    Hi Tom
    Just Want remind you that Iraq was have one of higher percent of educations before War . Same thing for Afghanistan . My self I was teach By Iraqis in College .
    The Simple Fact is Wars make People pay less attention to education because their life always in danger . so we can't blame student not study while their school destroyed within that war .
    By the way most of children will not benefit this iPad electricity not reach their houses .
    • You can't be serious

      Afghanistan under the Taliban was a brutal repressive society where a girl trying to go to school would get beheaded. Iraq was a brutal oppressive society that employed rape squads to keep the locals in line.
      • Lack of historical perspective

        The U.S., in the case of Iraq, and the U.S.S.R. and the U.S., in the case of Afghanistan, are the latest in a very, very long line of invaders. And just before the U.S., there were the British, French and other western European powers as well as the U.S.S.R. In modern-day Africa, the modern-day Middle East and modern-day Central Asia, the most recent occupying powers (see previous) created arbitrary polygons without any regard to culture. More here:



        So much for 'Christianity' and 'modernity' ...

        P.S. Mesopotamia is often described as one of a number of cradles of civilization. Art. Science. Culture. Ever heard of Hammurabi's code?

        P.P.S. The Taliban are an abomination that were created by the vacuum that existed in Afghanistan after the invasion by the U.S.S.R. (which was cheered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski) and the subsequent asymmetric war between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. resulting in the withdrawal of Russian forces.

        Here's your reading assignment:

        "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East"
        by David Fromkin
        Avon Books, 1990
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • A parting gift....

    A better parting gift Tom, would be to rebuild and repair the damage caused by the war. iPad as a gift so they can 'sample' your rich western culture (cough, cough, excuse me) is an insult to their own culture. I am sure you have no interest in theirs (that is obvious) so why would they want to see yours?
  • Western culture...

    culture out of context likely wouldn't be well received.

    'everyone would get a chance to sample our rich Western culture'

    Shirley, you can't be serious.
  • And in about 45 seconds, those devices will

    be in the hands of the local warlord. The only thing that annoys me more than fools who think America or western culture is the problem in the world are the naive who are absolutely clueless as to what kind of world actually exists outside of western culture.
  • iPads with Holywood

    movies about how we liberated Iraq and Afghanistan and made their lives better while being heros to the folks back home. Not to forget th ose feel good 911 movies where paper passports of the Arab terrorists survived but tall buildings of steel and concrete fell to earth at near free-fall speed because of a little jet fuel burning, but don't tell them about building seven and all the gold that vaporized along with the evidence on all the insider trading om Wall Street.

    Yeah, that will make them feel better about everything ;/
  • A typical American approach to solving someone else's problem

    Pre-load them with Hollywood movies and music? You must be kidding! Have you ANY idea about the culture in the countries you're talking about? For a moment, let's forget the Taliban and Saddam's totalitarianism: those countries have ancient cultures which are not founded upon our western principles of individualism and consumerism; they are not commodity-driven societies.

    Yet that's what you want to turn them into, to make them more like perfect, God-blessed USA.

    You're living in la-la land, Mr Foremski.

    Whatever you think about our western culture, why should it be forced upon them? What good is going to come out of showing them a scene of greed and wanton, abject consumerism?

    Perhaps we should pipe in MTV and have those teenage Afghan girls twerking in the streets - that'll improve their lives no end.

    American cultural colonialism... and still you wonder why half the world hates you?
  • You're Kidding, Right?

    So give them tablets? Most live an itinerant lifestyle brought on by the warlords. Just where exactly will they recharge these tablets?

    Give them food and medical supplies. That's what they need more than tablets.
  • Final insult

    So our final gesture on the way out is one last show of total cultural insensitivity?

    Well, I suppose we might as well stay in character and reinforce stereotypes of the Western world.
  • mafia commerce

    They will sell them almost inmediately in the black market, in exchange of more basic items. (maybe just tobacco) Afterwards, all these tablets will go to another country or will return to USA and sell cheap.
  • pre-loaded tablets filled with apps and Western culture, so that they can s

    well, maybe just plain stupid