Surprising? Yes, quite a number of inventions have been made by kids
Can you trust technology when it’s in the hands of whiz kids and weirdos, wonders an old-timer.
AD: Hi, where were you?
BC: There was a technology exhibition in the neighbourhood school.
AD: You — in a tech exhibition? Hopefully, the school has taken a photo of the moment and will display it in its hall of fame.
BC: I went there because my grandnephew was participating. But it was quite interesting — they even had a separate section on robotics.
AD: I bet it must have taken you right back to your childhood, to Johnny Socko and his Flying Robot.
BC: Don’t be ridiculous, I was working when that series was aired. If you’re trying to make fun of the technology back then, don’t forget that we had movies featuring man on the moon a long time before he got there.
AD: Ok, enough of your glory days. Did you learn a thing or two about technology, at least from the kids?
BC: Stop being so condescending towards them… You’ll be surprised at the number of things that were invented by kids.
AD: Besides a million reasons for not doing their homework, you mean...
BC: Guess you’re speaking from experience. Kids have several key inventions to their credit, from crayon holders and magnetic wallpaper, to toy trucks and trampolines.
AD: Those could have been sheer accidents.
BC: How does that change things? Even adults have invented so many things quite unintentionally.
AD: You mean like trying to invent a TV, but coming up with a radio instead because the video wasn’t working?
BC: I don’t know about the television, but the microwave was invented by accident when the Raytheon Corporation was experimenting with a magnetron.
AD: And what did they do to celebrate? Roast popcorn in it?
BC: They actually did, but not to celebrate. They wanted to see if it would work. And speaking of corn, cornflakes was another ingenious invention that came about by accident.
AD: Great, so what you’re saying is that one half of our inventions were by kids and the other half, by sheer accident. If that’s the case, what exactly have our famous inventors been doing, besides cashing their royalty cheques?
BC: They were perhaps busy creating and evolving the technology that you speak so highly of.
AD: Look, technology is about working smart — it’s not about bumbling your way through, as if you’re part of a Pink Panther movie.
BC: But technology is also about thinking smart — can you imagine making millions by selling virtual electronic pets that had to be looked after and fed? These pets simulated living animals in every way, from making sounds to having untrained potty habits.
AD: Sounds crazy!
BC: Yes, but they were a big hit in the 90s and could be carried around or reared at home.
AD: C’mon, this is making a mockery of technology.
BC: But technology does have a long way to go — until then, it’s pretty much a joke.
AD: I don’t get it — when exactly will you agree that technology is a lifesaver in today’s day and age?
BC: The day my car doesn’t break down when I’m rushing somewhere, or when my computer doesn’t crash and delete all my data just after I’ve painstakingly finished a project or…
AD: But that’s inevitable — haven’t you heard of Murphy’s Law?
BC: Well, until Mr. Murphy can be challenged, technology will remain a mute spectator while things continue to go wrong. And if you’re into Bollywood, you would understand why it’s called Barfi’s law.