Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Different angles of a Car running on Water ... !!!

The car fiasco continues. Today, we have more to hear from Dr. Atta again followed by some encouraging comments from Dr. Qadeer Khan who took it more empirically and asked to put all claims to test ignoring for a while whether it seems scientifically plausible or not. His tone was rather encouraging in a general sense. He pointed towards inventions that were once thought impossible.  We also have comments from a solemn and serious PCSIR official who tells us how they are supporting Engr. Agha in his efforts. 

I do not want to comment on the  technical aspects of kit. Lets wait for the kit to be put to real test. I would like to highlight some other dimensions attached to the issue and the way it is being portrayed in the national media. 

If someone from PCSIR appears to talk about a project, they have been working, we would expect them to tell us briefly about the current status of the project. What did they expect initially as the output, where they stand now and any results that have that can be shared with the public. None of this appears in the interview. Why in the first place PCSIR chose to support the project? Does it have a history of financially supporting such independent claimants? If so, do they have a a criteria?? Or did they just supported it out of blue as they had some directions from someone in higher ranks of government ?? 

In most cases, a project of this magnitude can be divided into a number of phases and/or components. We have reports and results for each of the components at each phase. This way we have a clear understanding of what we are upto and what we need to work more upon and more importantly what we must abandon at a particular stage. 

If an idea has potential worth and is worth putting more effort into, what are we waiting for since 1st July. Why don't we bring some funding agency like ICT R&D into action and issue funds for further discovery. Why we still don't have any views from a scientist/engineer who is working specifically in the related field. Asking just for opinions of likes of Dr. Atta and Dr. Qadeer does not decide the fate of a technical problem in the first place. We need to see the real results no matter who says what. 

For the media and anchors who seem determined to make a case of supporting a landmark invention, why can't they resist the temptation to predict the probable causes of death before the actual post-mortem. If they are so keen on offer their services to the scientific community, why it never occurred to them to highlight with the same zeal some real research efforts going in some of our universities. 

As regards Agha Waqar himself, he is so religious about the issue. He has 'guts' to challenge all the achievements of one of top notch scientists of the country with his trick question 'Do you even where we get Hydrogen from?'. Then he has to explain to worthy Dr. what is H2O.  Again, why he don't dig a little into biography of Dr. Atta before challenging him on what he has done for the nation. To quote  Veena Malik, "Ye Kiaa Baat Hui", Dr. Sahib. Aaap humain yunhi reject kia ja rahy hain. 

Let's talk of general public like me. We have something to rant about now. For us this is a political conspiracy. It is the whole Pakistan against a Sindhi inventor. For us, here is the  Dr. Atta who is jealous of achievement of Mr. Agha. Now we have another reason to call all others 'Duffers'. For us this is the downfall of Rental power plants. For us this is a topi drama of media and allows to fabricate more dramas around it. But as Dr. Atta and Dr. Qadeer both mentioned, the 'proof is in the pudding'. 
It feels exactly like a mini-Kalabagh being generated out of this issue. We better stick to the proof of pudding than make it a political deal. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Car running only on Water ??

A farmer has a tube-well which runs on electric motor. The electric supply to the motor is from the distribution system of WAPDA. The farmer has to pay a hefty amount of charges to WAPDA every month. A friend of a farmer comes with a brilliant idea to  save the farmer his bills. The motor runs on electricity and produces 'fast' flowing water. Why does not he use the water to run a generator? The generator will produce electricity from the flowing water that we can give to the motor.  Now we can run the tube-well in a self-sustaining manner without any need for WAPDA supply whatsoever, except for first time to kick-start our freely running tube-well and the extra-generator off course. Brilliant. Damn all the scientists and engineers out there. Why the hell they can't come up with such simple ideas and perfect solutions to problems.

National media is abuzz with news about the invention of a water-kit by a Pakistani Engr. Agha Waqar. The kit is claimed to run any type of car or a generator using just distilled water and do this in a damn cheap manner. WaO... !!! All the problems of world about the fuel, resources, transportation, electricity shortage solved. All we need is distillation water plants and the magic water-kit. The national media is gone crazy as regards reporting this ground-breaking achievement. The news has even reached Iranian Press TV and Khaleej Times. 

The claims of Agha Waqar have been taken seriously by our government. According to Federal Minister Khurshid Shah, as reported in  Capital Talk by Hamid Mir, the government is seeking expert opinion on the matter. A demonstration was arranged to the big players in vehicle market to experts from NUST, LUMS, Suzuki Motors, Toyota etc. They were very interested in knowing more about the invention and asked a lot of questions, initially. The experts have been requested to submit their views on the feasibility and business potential of the kit but still have not responded.

The minister expressed concern about the security of the engineer and our own Hamid Mir was quick to highlight similar achievements in recent history and dire 'consequences', say sudden death or imprisonment on some other charges,  of such endeavors for the inventors. The new technology poses serious threat to the existing manufactures of vehicles and as per the conspiracy. 

Pakistani are not unfamiliar with such hoaxes claiming big discoveries or certifications at very early age. In the race to break the news first, the reporters, actually anchors to be precise, do not wait to verify the authenticity of claims from the related experts. 

Talat Hussain, in his program dared invite famous Dr. Atta ur Rehman for the comments.  Now we are talking to someone who qualifies at least for basic comments about the scientific standing of the water-kit. Referring to very basic principle of conservation of energy, Dr. Atta declared all the fiasco as non-sense and making fools of the masses. It is impossible to generate more energy out of a system than what is provided as input. 

It is worth to mention here that Agha Waqar holds only an Associate Engineer Diploma and a B.Tech degree. A reader even little acquainted with basic science can have a feeling of how 'confidently' he is defending their invention in a 'scientific' manner and how questions are posed to Dr. Atta.

I invite the reader to think about the typical invention cycle. In case, one comes up with such a grand idea and happens to demonstrate it physically, does one to media and ask for funding for mass production. It is alarming how rapidly the news is spreading across the social media without a hint of doubt about the feasibility of the idea. Very few people talk about how the idea violates basic laws of science just like the brilliant tube-well idea. We are rather coining new conspiracy theories as to how the price of water will rise now and how the guy will be put to death by some agents. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Partial Integration of India-Pakistan Social Media Mela

As of now, two-day India-Paksitan Social Medial Mela  2012 #SocMM12 is over . I had the chance to follow the highlights of the "mega-event" on twitter mostly today. I thought some Indian/Paksitani bloggers and tweeps are meeting to share their experiences and thoughts about different aspects of Social Media.  That sounded like a very positive move and I excitedly followed the later part. I tried the event's .com website but somehow it wont open. Probably, something to do with the DNS settings. I can browse  it now that everything is over. 

The only major thing I noticed on Friday was an Express Tribune report on how Rehman Malik swooped in to save the day. However, I took it as something in connection with MyKarachi exhibiton.  On the second day, I noticed some tweets about talk of Mohammed Hanif and Karuna . That sounded like some sorta  professional discussion is going on. More and more tweets poured in, some about the Indian tweeps out there. Later, few reports and and blog also appeared. 

At the very outset, I had a feeling the event is not about social media in general, rather, just a bunch of tweeps and journalists from mainstream media. The blog Social Media Mela or Twitterati kitty party? by Imaan Sheikh and the rather aggressive assesment by LUBP A critical assessment of #SOCMM12 point towards something similar. Birds of a feather flock together which makes newer birds  feel alienated rightly.  That may leave a hint about the how social the chaps in the social media can be in real life.  A casual look at Dawn's coverage and highlights of talk by Ghazal Pirzada have a similar case study to offer in terms of interns.

It makes no sense by the LUBP to claim as if PPP was left out of the event and tie the ShiaGenocide and killings to this issue. How would that fit to the mutual interest of Indian Paksitani bloggers in what I  suppose is their first gathering of the sort. However, the coverage by Dawn and the responses on the twitter present two different stories to me. Though people on twitter were claiming its all about tweeting  , there were tweets only about a few talks. Anyways the introduced the funny side of of Usman Saeed somehow, the only fun thing associated with a fun event along with some free goodies, I would say. MQM leaves no chance to exploit any such event to its advantage. For an hour of so, it flooded twitter with #WhyILikeMQM + #SOCMM12 hashtags. That's shameful in its very spirit. I wonder why no one talked about whether or not aunty Marvi Sirmed took Dr. Alvi to task for propagating the fake list.

When there are likes of Jehan Ara, Beena Sarwar alongwith entrepreneurs and bloggers, there must have been more useful and fruitful talks and discussions. Perhaps the event was arranged in a conference format, and most of the stuff was too technical for the participants to tweep the way, they would tweep a TEDTalk. 

I guess I missed most of fun. May be it will be compensated if more reports and videos of talks become available.... I still have a fundamental question:  What part was about the common concerns and issues of Indo-Pak tweeps and bloggers ??

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