Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine


I haven’t seen a copy of the Sunday Times in a pleasantly long time but I presume their coverage of science is as top-notch as ever: gushing articles about the latest and bestest weapons for British soldiers made by British scientists.

I was reminded of this by today’s Dziennik, which has a page given over to science facing a page headed “economics” but really about — well, what is it really about? The main story is “Businessman’s Telephone: mobile phone producers are outdoing each other in phones for workaholics.” There is a picture of a phone that can scan business cards and store them in its memory: so much more convenient than an actual business card, I’m sure you’ll agree. Three other phones are featured in an accompanying graphic. So that no one can accuse Dziennik of lack of balance, each of the phones is produced by a different company. Naturally, if just one company’s products were featured the whole thing would smack of PR: the news article would in fact be no more than a sleazy advertisement and readers would skip it. But since no less than three gigantic multinational corporations are adverfeatured, everything is okay.

A column on the same page is headed “Hi Tech: Gadgets of the Day.” It too is a shop window for various companies with product to sell. At the bottom is an article about a case being taken against Yahoo China for – if the author is to believed (and I have no reason to doubt him/her) – providing information about web sites where you can download files for free.

There is no editorialising but the import of this page is clear: consumption is good, but only if you pay for it.

The next page is headed “Science” and here all frivolous consumer guides to nice things to buy is rejected in favour of a stern devotion to the rigours of the hard sciences. Most of the page is given over to the formula for mixing sand and water in the ideal proportions for making sandcastles. Another article announces that Robin Hood came from Sheffield, not Nottingham (at least we are spared a photofit of his face). The three remaining articles are very short. So that’s science and technology: sandcastles and gizmos.

Okay, it’s the silly season (or “cucumber season” as it is called in Poland) but why should the fact that parliament is not in session mean that readers interested in science be subjected to drivel about sandcastles? Global warming does not go to the seaside for summer: it brings the seaside to you.


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