Friday, March 27, 2009

Bullshit Being Fobbed Off as Genius

There are, occasionally, questionable stories that come up in the media especially when star-struck reporters and editors do not bother to check up on a story's antecedents. This happens most often with media outfits that promote a specific ideology, and, India's Communist newspaper, "The Hindu" seems to have fallen into this habit with this story: http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/28/stories/2009032854610700.htm

While I do not wish to slam some young kids for a fraud that has, almost certainly, been perpetrated by some crooked science teacher in their school, I wonder how difficult it would have been for The Hindu to figure out that such a design was mooted by an African NGO based on tribal designs that have been used to keep food fresh in that part of the world for centuries? Or that Treehugger had slammed an attempt by a US based business that wanted to patent this same idea in much the same way that this school wants to? Here is where Greenwashing is clearly at play with a liberal dose of BS piled on top by a newspaper out to prove a point. The sad bit is that there are many two bit Communists and jingoists in India who would cheer and applaud at this unfunny joke. A sad state of affairs to say the least!

4 comments:

Ram said...

Hi,
But how do u know that the so called electricity less fridge does nt do what s ir s been designed for ?

Mohanakrishnan B said...

Great work Mehul! Its good to know the truth. But if you look at it from another angle, everything is old wine in a new bottle. It was already there perhaps in a slightly different form before somebody decides to put it all together again. I dont think the kids can be blamed and I doubt very much if the teachers would know anything about what was going on in Africa. All I can presume is they were operating on basic principles and got lucky. The blame would lie with the newspaper for publishing this article without doing their homework. But even the `Hindu` is not immune these days. On the rare occasions that I glance over a copy borrowed from someone while travelling I have noticed typos, grammatical errors etc. Quite a shame for a newspaper that was the yardstick for all others as far as the English language was concerned.

Mehul Kamdar said...

Mohan,

The so-called "technology" in question has been mooted as a cheap way of preserving vegetables by UNESCO. I am certain that the school that got this idea got it from some of that communication - teachers are sent reading material etc by the institutions.

My objection to this is that the school in question talks about patenting the technology - it is as ridiculous as someone claiming that they are going to patent the wheel.

Mehul Kamdar said...

Ram,

It does do what it is claimed - the method has been used to do this for at least five or six centuries. That said, it is not a "fridge" by any means. Just a method of keeping vegetables cool by using water evaporation.

Cheers!