Saturday afternoon about five I just returned from a shopping spree with my family. I sank myself in a couch. I did not know what else to do. So to drive away the ennui I grabbed the TV remote and I switched the TV on. The first scene appeared on the screen was a talk show programme aired by Global TV. It seemed that someone had previously tuned in to the station. Yes, the programme is called “Asyiknya Bertani” (the engrossing farming). Actually it is not one of my fave programmes yet I was clueless why at that moment I could focus on the programme.
I do not know how the show kicked off but all of sudden I noted that the female presenter of the programme which is an Indonesian TV personality made a comparative slip-up, remarking (it approximates to): “Corn has more calorific value and less costly than rice”. Okay, let’s leave the economic facet out in that I am not too interested. Let’s focus on the calories produced by two objects. Can you see what is critically missing from the presenter’s remark above? Yes you are right, the units that should be applied to both objects are not there! How much corn is she talking about? a kilo of corn? Just a grain of corn? a cob (or an ear) of corn?? And how much rice is she talking about too? a grain of rice? a tablespoon of rice? a plate of rice? or is it possibly a kilo of rice? To make a comparison useful especially if we are talking about a quantitative comparison, interconvertible and well-defined units should be applied to all objects being compared. If we fail to do so the comparison will likely be futile, perplexing and misleading. Of course it is not just to compare the calorific values between a tablespoon of rice and an ear of corn. The rather fitted comparison might be between a plate of rice and an ear of corn but the most acceptable comparison is to use a mass or weight unit like kilogram, gram, pound, ounce and whatnot so the comparison can be analysed through a more fair basis.
The TV presenter is LK if I don’t mistake someone else for her. What rather surprised me is that she holds a degree in medicine. Considering a degree she holds she ought to make a better comparative remark than that she had. I would not be so taken aback if such remark came out of my domestic employees who did not pass grade school. But of course as an old cliché said: to err is human and slip-ups got nothing to do with a degree someone holds. I am sure I am prone to mistakes as well. I do not want to be something that borders on a cynic but this article rather reminds us to be very critical and analytical upon digesting a bit of information…..
After hearing out Kang Anggara‘s voluble address on ethical blogging in Pesta Blogger 2009, I decided to abbreviate the subject’s name. I realise that in the last paragraph of the post, it merely touches on subjective matters rather than the objective issue. So it is my mistake. It proves out that mistakes work on me too!