Sunday, 10 March 2013

Do all readers of spoofs realise that they are reading a spoof?
Objectively speaking, I might have been fooled by these articles if I did not know some science. It is very amusing for a person who does know some science, but assuming I did not recognise dihydrogen monoxide, I might have been convinced that it is a dangerous substance (as it of course is, in the contexts the article mentions)

Many of us are easily fooled  by versions of history, by news, by advertisements. Many times we do not know what the truth is.
So how do we recognise truth? Do we, on many occasions, believe in untruths and not know it?
Many times, I hear people stating something confidently as the truth, and if I do not have any alternate source of information, will believe them.

One context in which this can happen is when doctors misdiagnose confidently.
"I said that we think it is a Bamboo Pit Viper to which he says that there are none in India, that he is on some UN panel on toxicology etc. He says that it must be a krait viper. This blows my mind. His arrogance and ignorance is mind-blowing in the extreme; but … Look at our position."
 This story had a happy outcome, but  often, that does not happen.

April 17th op-ed in the Hindu has two articles. One  about the HERC and another about research in medical colleges. First the article abo...