Hacking Rhetoric

Red Post – Sept 15 – Sean Draper

3 Comments

http://mashable.com/2012/10/29/tablets-ethiopian-children/

This story is quite old (Oct 2012) but it’s definitely a good one. Last year, a charitable organization called One Laptop Per Child dropped off boxes of Android Tablets to two remote Ethiopian villages with absolutely no instructions. Their goal was to see how the preloaded applications, ebooks, movies, etc could help the Ethiopians learn. Come to find out their performance far surpassed expectations. After several months, not only had kids in both villages learned the alphabet song, were spelling words, and could perform numerous tasks on the device, the kids actually found how to hack the device. The tablets were formatted in a way to prevent any customization and the camera function was also disabled. The kids in the villages figured out how to bypass those security measures and customize each device to their own liking. They also figured out how to use the device’s camera features. To me, this is perfect evidence for the fact that its natural human instinct to ultimately utilize the tools that we have at our disposal. When given something that is limited, we instinctively do everything we can to make that tool as useful and beneficial as possible. I believe that this situation helps demonstrate that hacking is potentially a natural condition that all of us on some level want to achieve. Hacking in many instances helps us to truly utilize the technology that is given to us.

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3 thoughts on “Red Post – Sept 15 – Sean Draper

  1. This article shows how even in the most remote places in this world, children still have capability to learn very fast and efficiently with the proper tools. The things they can absorb at their age are substantial. I agree that hacking is a human instinct that people do daily without realizing it. They use every tool at their disposal in hopes of making their lives better.

  2. Hacking is a human instinct that goes back as far to the first person who sharpened a stick or a rock to kill animals better, or the first person who realized that planting seeds in rows near your home would let you have food to eat every year. Hacking, when defined loosely, could be considered just as fundamental to species development as natural selection is.

  3. This is a very interesting article and concept. It proves that when given something, human’s have the innate ability to find other uses’s for it. This is also one of the ways we described hacking in this course. It makes me wonder, however, if One Laptop Per Child made it purposely easier to hack these tablets or if the kids were just that adventurous and found out how to hack the devices on their own.

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