Colourless green ideas sleep furiously

Posted by – October 8, 2010

I’ve sometimes been accused of being “anti-green” because I complain about how useless many green ideas are for any other purpose than signaling status and having fun. But it’s true! My new favourite example is sOccket (I like the funky capitalisation!). I don’t really have the words to transmit to you my disbelief at the shittiness of this idea, so I’ll let it speak for itself:

We are four young women who met in a Harvard engineering class in the fall of 2008.

Having all spent time in Africa, we wanted to translate the positive energy of soccer and children we had seen on fields and playgrounds in Africa to their lives off the field and into their homes.

The sOccket is a soccer ball that captures the energy during game play to charge LEDs and batteries. After playing with the ball, the child can return home and use the ball to connect a LED lamp to read, study, or illuminate the home.

Got it? It’s a generator that charges an internal battery with the acceleration of the ball. Wow. This device is

  • Worse than a proper hand-cranked generator with a large battery for generating electricity
  • Worse than a regular football for playing football
  • Made in tiny batches at great cost
  • Fragile and essentially impossible to repair or get spare parts for

It all works together so beautifully. Engineering women from Harvard designing an expensive eco-weenie toy for African children – that’s so right, because women are so caring! But they can still be engineers! And just because they have elite status from Harvard doesn’t mean they don’t totally get the problems of rural Africans! Phallocentric anti-nature engineering left standing in the dust! Men would probably have designed a toy gun or something for generating electricity!

What really galls me is the utter cynicism of these do-gooders soaking up charity resources for a completely useless vanity project to pad their CVs – and the sincere sense of moral superiority that they undoubtedly derive from it.

edit: turns out they aren’t actually engineering students, so they needed help with the execution part. But they provided the great idea!

1 Comment on Colourless green ideas sleep furiously

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  1. TJIC says:

    Perfect title for the post!

    I’ve ranted about this sort of broken “holistic” thinking by lefties before.

    Peanut butter is yummy!

    Steak is yummy!

    Chili powder is yummy!

    Apple pie is yummy!

    If I mix them all together, I’ll invent the best meal ever!

    Search my blog archives for my thoughts on the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project – EXACTLY the same sort of !@#$-ing idiocy.