That's not the point I get from the article. It talks about people being literate and able to create tools. It talks about power, not locked down narrow use tools.
EDIT: "We would like the Dynabook to have the flexibility and generality of this second kind of item[paper or clay], combined with tools which have the power of the first kind[cars, television sets]." I'd say they were aiming for inspiration AND power. I'd also argue that inspiration without power is worthless...
But you have to be inspired to make great tools- the medium itself must be inspiring. That was the whole point of Dynabook, tools that are inspiring enough to want to change them, figure out how they work. I'm sure there are many young hackers looking at the iPad thinking, "man I want to make some great stuff for that!". I know I'm thinking that.
When I look at a shitty netbook what am I supposed to be inspired about? Tinkering with Linux is no future of computing- it's nigh time to get out of that pipe dream.
Though, I expect and look forward to Linux to be installed on the thing within two weeks of it getting to the stores ;)