Pop and Me

My dad is this blue blooded scientist person so he always tries to infuse some of the critical scientific thinking skills into me… in short try to bug me. This time round it was no different.

He had a report work which had to be spiral bound. After searching for many hours on a hot Sunday afternoon we finally were able to find a shop which was open. For the lazy bug I’m as soon as we handed the shop guy the papers (a bulky PhD thesis on some technology transfer case studies in the Asia Pacific region) I immediately found myself a seat and started fingering my iPod. This kind of lazy laid back attitude pisses of my dad.

He thundered : “Come here and see how skillfully this guy is going about his job. Tell me any workshop trade you can do with such flawless perfection ” {Man! ppl have so many misconceptions about a JNTU mechanical undergrad} I was caught off guard by his question.My usually lightening fast chatter box was acting dumb. I tried recollecting the trades I had in first year- electrical wiring, some tin cutting, universal milling machine (for my final lab external, yikes!) and yes the ultimate foundry…the rest must not have been interesting so I don’t remember them. While I was lost in this recollecting process dusting old bitter-sweet workshop memories, He spoke again. ” See how much time that guy is taking for the spiral binding operation. Your are a MECHATRONICS engineer na. Design a automation mechanism which will carry out this process without any human interruption. A fully automatic spiral binding mechanism.” I was flummoxed. This was asking too much of my engineering skills. I agree we had a subject called ‘Principles of Product Design and Assembly Automation – PDAA ‘ but I had slept more in this period than in any other class in my four years. It was as if the spirit of PDAA was takin its revenge on me. Even before I could recover from the first impact of his words he began again, as if I had agreed to design and build it . ” The mechanism must be capable of handling huge work volumes and must be operator friendly. It must not include any costly components because it will push the cost up. The target customer base must be corporations which deal with a lots of spiral binding work daily. The initial cost of the machine will be high but you have to convince them that it is cost effective and you also must break even soon to reamin in the business. ” I din’t like where this discussion was headed and I was thinkin of a reply when he said, ” Make this your final year project. If it works out fine I’ll get you an investor who will fund your project so that you can commercialize it and you can realize your dream of becoming an entrepreneur.” Woha! Trust my dad to come up with mind blowin, out of the box ideas. I fell silent for sometime unable to answer. He asked me for a reply to his shocking mis-judgements about my exceptional Design and Automation skills, it was then that I put up my best ‘ Technology With a Human Face Act’I started off like : ” The primary purpose of technology is to aid its creators in the development and upliftment of the society. Technology must be used as bridge to overcome problems. Look at the economic and digital divide around us. For instance look at the volume of work this single shop is executing by being open on sunday when all the rest of his brethren are taking it off on a sunday. This is a innovative business strategy which also acts as an USP. The guy running this shop must be having a large family which he needs to support. Suppose using my extra-ordianry-mechatronics-skills I do design a automated spiral binding machine and release it in the market and corporations buy it. Think how many people like these I’ll be putting out of business because cost saving is what every company wants to achieve and what better than a machine that prevents out sourcing of work to a third party. So they will buy my machines and keep an in-house operator to run them. All these people will suffer and who knows, they may even go out of business if the individual customer base which they will carter to also dries up because of my invention. I can’t do it. It’s against my principles. I can’t bear the moral prick of conscience. ”

It was my dad’s turn to go red in the face now. He had no reply to give me {I suppose he was thinking – wat an ass i’ve for a son or man! what a morally rigid and philanthropic son i have}. Smart ass reply saves the day again.

5 thoughts on “Pop and Me

  1. >Aah… “Now” it feels like vacation!! chillax blog by… bohat pasand aaya…great going mate !!! You are making us 5-pointer, “JNTU-spoilt”, totally mislead and freaky guys, take proud in you… One really crazy ass answer that was…!!!

  2. >gr8 thot dude!The aim of technology should be to generate employment, ofcourse, easing the work, but not to the extent of creating unemployement.As the gr8 Mahatma Gandhi quotes:”If we feel the need of machines we certainly will have them. Every machine that helps every individual has a place, but there should be no place for machines that concentrate power in a few hands and turn the masses into mere machine minders, if indeed they do not make them unemployed.”Finally, it should be ‘ Technology for man and not man for technology’…if u want to know more.. I would suggest u to read this book’Small is Beautiful – A study of Economics as if people mattered’~ E.F. Schumacher.

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