|Simple and, as a result, lovable|
Technology isn’t to everyone’s taste. One ignored example is the automotive gearbox. Many think it simply makes the vehicle go faster and leave it at that. Tell them it takes advantage of varying levels of an engine’s efficiency and their eyes will glaze over. Explain it does this by linking cogs with different numbers of teeth and they’ll sigh. Attempt a mathematical reduction of these ratios and they’ll open a bottle of vodka. One-litre capacity. And you’ll be banned from further discourse. (Note to Avus: this post isn’t about your mnemonic digressions)
On the other hand, show them a plastic jar-top loosener that cost 50 p and works with a satisfying pop; they’re entranced. The difference is complexity vs. simplicity. The 27 km long CERN tunnel in Switzerland is so complex most of us are ignorant of its ultimate aims. But that loosener is so neat, so gadgety, so understandable.
My portable baby’s bottle (See Avert your eyes from risqué joke) delivers chemo continuously to my system while I’m away from the hospital. It’s described, somewhat ponderously, as an “Elastomeric pump for ambulatory infusion”. But don’t pumps require some form of energy to work? No sign of an electric motor or a steam engine in my crotch invader. Just a small balloon of fluid afloat in some other kind of fluid.
Yet there’s energy stored there, even if it’s invisible. The external fluid (I think; it could be the other) is under pressure. Open the tap to the thin tube leading deep into my chest cavity and the chemo in the balloon is squeezed out. After 48 hr it’s all in me and the balloon’s empty. Ingenious? Certainly. Cheap too. Since the bottle is probably disposable.
Honest, it’s nice to know how things work.