|Thursday, July 21, 2005|
What can be better than when solutions are creatively crafted, by people who need those solutions the most. Solutions that ease the burden of day-to-day life. Solutions that make use of limited resources available. Solutions that work, despite little encouragement, aid and 'technical' know-how. Solutions that are adapted to the environment, in most cases, solutions that are eco-friendly.
While they are getting recognition, I wonder whether much is being done to nurture them and create micro enterprises out of them. Do they threaten large enterprises and governments, by the suggestion of wresting away control and power?
There is a Sci-Tech special in the recent Outlook - Gram By Microgram - which covers innovators across rural India. These are stories of individuals, practitioners of rustic science that is compelling, practical and applicable. Many ideas there tailored to the environment - some of the innovations featured :
- zero-head water turbines
The common threads through these nine stories----
Here's the whole set of individual stories in the feature:
Balram Singh Saini & Prem Singh Patiala Haryana, Nripen Kalita Jiakur Assam, Raghava Gowda Murulya Karnataka, Bhanjibhai Mathukia Kalawad Gujarat, Sanket V. Chitagopakar & Prashant V. Harshangi Gulbarga Karnataka, Sheikh Jabbar Nagpur Maharashtra, Arvindbhai Patel Vanch Gujarat, Remya Jose Nenmani Kerala, M. Saidullah Mathia Dih Bihar.
Worldchanging, where I'm going to cross-post this at had also linked to a feature in the BBC News earlier this month on some other rural innovations, including - a motorcycle-driven field cultivator, a seed-cum-fertiliser dispenser and a bicycle-mounted sprayer.
6:32:25 PM comment  trackback 
Hostility in Blogs
Neha and I were chatting the other day about Indian blogs and how vicious and hostile bloggers and commenters can be. Am not going into a heavy link-fest here - I suspect anyone who reads Indian blogs might have noticed it too. I've personally felt under attack [see No. 13] several times, and not always for reasons I can comprehend. A short excerpt from a personal attack which rankled way back in 2003:
Comments at some blogs run into several scores - and many times it is one group vs another - each speaking over the other - and shouting as loud as they can to be heard. I must confess that I've been party to a few such 'discussions' myself. The author of the blog is often forced to defend his or her case in a tone and manner that isn't otherwise their style, and makes them so uncomfortable. Many have closed comments as a result of this viciousness. Others are reflecting on what strategy might they adopt to keep healthy and constructive discussions going.
So what's happening here? Is it that there are just some rotten eggs? Is it that they are perverts and sicko's? Or spineless cowards who go under the name Anonymous (several Indian blogs are on Blogger and this is an easy way out for commenters)? Or is there something deeper that makes us want to shout out loud - you are wrong and I am right?
Perhaps it is time to reflect. Its probably got a lot to do with how we are coping with this relatively new medium. We come from a society that's so hierarchical in nature, that has very strong rules and sets of do's and don'ts, that has power balances rooted in tradition, that has little concept or value for personal space, and that doesnot always encourage team play.
Let's just be conscious that it is a new medium, and we're in a transitional phase - the blog world is toppling and threatening many of our traditional structures, giving open voice and power to many who hitherto had none. It is a world that is not hierarchical, one that encourages an even-playing field for free speech and debate no matter what gender or age or race or religion you belong to, it does not have many pre-ordained rules and prescriptions, it is one where we need to learn to respect personal space, and to embrace team play that can be so rewarding.
Maybe we're in a state of Anomie - we're all learning ... let's deal with these issues in ways that make us more comfortable --- for some, it is to close comments (which is such a pity), for others it is to simply ignore obvious 'flamers', and not engage in a debate. I personally prefer the latter. When you don't engage someone, they may knock harder for a while, but soon, they will go away.
It's also obviously not just an Indian online phenomenon - there's some wisdom in this post by Chris Allen on Extrapolative Hostility in the Online Medium - where he quotes Mick LaSalle, in a column :
Chris goes on to say :
UPDATE : Neha picks up this thread, with her reflections :
11:08:05 AM comment  trackback 
Copyright 2009 Dina Mehta