Monday, July 9, 2012

Higgs boson and Indian TV media

"We have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson."

Thus declared the director general of the CERN research facility. CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which "operates the world's largest particle physics laboratory". In a nutshell, Higgs boson is that particle that provides mass to the other elementary particles. Basically - it is the core of our universe; it is why our universe exists. Nobel prize winning physicist, Leon Lederman named this particle as the "God Particle". 

Higgs is the name of the scientist who proposed this theory. Bosons are sub-atomic particles defined in the Standard Model. Bosons are named after the Indian Scientist Dr. Satyendranath Bose, in recognition of his immense contribution along with Albert Einstein. That is a brief summary of Higgs boson, also called as the God Particle.

Just a brief summary is prompting us to ask so many questions! Who is Dr. Bose? What was his contribution? How come he never won a Nobel Prize? How come we have seldom heard of his scientific genius? How exactly does CERN function? What is the laboratory that they operate? 

What does the deputy editor of CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose do? She asks this:

So how many passionate Twitterati out there believe the ‪#God‬ Particle is a pseudo secular conspiracy?

Mind blocked? Are you thinking "where in God's name did secularism come into the picture here?" ! That's what the TV media did - Obfuscate yet another topic. She doesn't stop there

Essential reading for Twitterati on a day god particle discovered: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Bible of scientific atheism

You see that? Essential reading is not about the science behind Higgs boson. Essential reading is not about the research of Dr. Bose. Essential reading is a "bible of scientific atheism". 

She went ahead and argued with people asking her questions (even deriding some of them for genuine queries). She has deleted all those tweets, but nevertheless those tweets clearly exposed who was the intolerant amongst the two. And if you think this was just on twitter, you are mistaken. Now, she goes ahead and announces a show on this. 

Have we caught a glimpse of God? Special reports and scientists views on Higgs Boson tonight on Face The Nation 10pm CNNIBN

At first glance, the title and content of the show seems reasonable right? Here's the follow up tweet

Face The Nation 10pm: Big Bang theory vs religion.Scientists and religious leaders speak on whether science undermines belief in god

This was supposed to be a day of triumph for scientists. This was supposed to be a day of learning for viewers/readers. What we expected was a little more effort into explaining the science, it's impact on laymen. More importantly, it was a day when Dr. Satyendranath Bose was to be remembered and his legacy cherished. Instead what did we get? Religion and Science. 

The Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN asks this

Hated physics is school. Must confess to remain dazed by all the reports on the Higgs Bosen particle. Where can I find a SWOT analysis?

No - I am not saying he should know everything. But he is an Editor-in-Chief and I presume he is expected to know what SWOT means? But how does one give a "Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat" (SWOT) analysis on a particle in physics? And the irony - no program on his channel to give this "insight"! 

If you think this phenomenon was restricted to CNN-IBN, nope. Here's NDTV's CEO Vikram Chandra:

This week the Big fight will be discussing the ultimate question. The existence of God and the nature of the universe.

Is there a conflict between science and religion? Between creation and evolution? Send in your comments! ‪#god‬

In my opinion, this is the worst

Have scientists "seen" the God particle? Boson named after Satyendranath Bose brilliant Bengali physicist of Bose Einstein statistics ‪#CERN‬

Bengali Physicist? What next? C.V.Raman is a "Tamil Physicist"? 

Higgs boson --> God Particle --> Religion and Science --> Internet Hindus --> Abuse and Trolls. This is a chain that can be developed only by our media. 


Gujju by Heart said...

Anyhow these traitors should be brought under control. They are damaging the nation.
We need a leader who can bring in strong laws to stop this kind of stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I love your analysis

Unknown said...

Clearly we are seeing the signs of cancer, and I fear it may be a case of a little late detection, the ones who should be part of the cure are the ones who have turned cancerous, having a few pseudo-seculars is essential in the sense that it can regulate the too virulent fanatics, but when they start to uncontrollably expand it is dangerous, cause they start to eat away at the good parts too.

Vyomvaani said...

Hahaha.. very good observations Mr. Sudhir... Media is getting worse these days especially the Lalu-Rabri jodi of Twitter

Anonymous said...

awesome ! keep them coming.

Deepak said...

Superb mastaru. As usual. :)

Anonymous said...

To me, her sweeping comments and theatrics appear as a classic example of "Intellectual Arrogance" backed by 1)freedom of expression guaranteed by Constitution 2)Immunity from Throttling due to proximity to Corridors of Power,3) Indifference to critical reviews due to Political Patronage by Ruling Lobby.

Anonymous said...

I have observed the timeline of Sagarika Ghose in Twitter. She has lot of pride about being a Bengali. If you see her timeline, you would think she is the campaigner-in-chief of Pranab's candidature for President. In one tweet, she said, time for Sandesh(or some Bengali sweet, I don't remember) in Rashtrapati Bhavan, so Mamata should support Pranab.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. Sagarika is one nincompoop journalist who wears her lack of intelligence on her sleeveless arms. I am sure Sagarika flunked her High School science tests and thus drags all science-related matters to religion. How delusional can she be!

CodeNameV said...

Editor-in-chief is Sardesai?

Anyhow, it was extremely entertaining to see these set of tweets from Ghose lady. What her views prove is that she doesnt even have a fig of an idea on "just what the hell is Higg's Boson!"

I think Indian media should patent this improvisation process. It is so flexible:

"NASA lands first man on Moon"
NASA Landed first man on Moon -> Both moon and Mars part of religious worship -> Religion -> Hindu Right -> Internet Hindu -> Troll. QED.

"Humans start first mining project Moon for Helium-3"
He-3 present on Moon -> Moon and God -> God and Religion -> Religion -> Hindu Right -> Internet Hindu -> Troll. QED.

Such improvisation are infinite but I guess they are not as funny as those framed by Sagarika.

If there something like Razzie award or Ignoble in Journalism, Ghose lady would win every year, hands down!

Raja Pundalik said...

When 'ridiculous' becomes the benchmark, 'the more the merrier' is the rule. Unfortunately, the shouting-brigade currently ruling the air-waves (and eye-balls by extension) has not had any rooting in any serious journalism. I doubt if even 10% of them can seriously research a story. But we have ourselves to blame for this situation. We have indulged them into believing that what they sell sells. Their 'demi-god' status is our own gift to them!

SK said...

I weep for my nation...

prashhanthkpp said...

Hahaha Sudhirji., you could strip her off her already stripped blouse piece had she been face to face with you. There is a limit to ignorance but Sagarika is the heights of it. Neither does her IQ nor does her Editor-in-Chief husband help her in somewhat understanding the pros and cons of this invention. Her half baked tantra will suit her like minded viewership. Unless you want to loose your sense and sensibilities watching her, it would be a safe bet to let her conduct her foolish and laughable show to the ridiculous conclusion it would derive with i.e. an imperative alternate for God.

Shazoor Mirza said...

This was really hilarious. Especially that 'Bengali Tweet". Pity on journalism. Here is another pitiful media episode.

learning golf game said...

Nice Analysis,Good job.

Anonymous said...

Great work. I am highly obliged that you are sharing current affairs of 2012 with us. I really like that you are posting on daily basis and that too with good typical news which i didn't get from anywhere i.e on god particle. If this become a success then its going to bring a big boom in our world but you know media. Being IAS aspirant at, i really appreciate your work

Anonymous said...

i am non religious and from a very small town, guess what my friends asked me when they learned about the discovery of god particle, look they now have proof of god, you cant deny now.

Anonymous said...

Well it is true that it is a day to recognize and commend the scientists who put their sweat and blood but is also not a bad time to look at the facts of the matter. Science is all about discovering the work of God and I think the scientists definitely deserve much more than what the media bestows on them!

Varaprasad said...

Anna, I liked this article. Its real good.

zincoshine said...

Funny that #SagarikaForPm should deride hindus (internet hindus) when hinduism is the only religion that has closely managed to explain the existence of Universe! As per abrahamic religions, we humans did not even evolve from Monkeys. Dinosaurs did not even exists!

Dan said...

Lol! You completely tore them apart!

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