Saturday, January 24, 2015

The UN Touts the Importance of...Light?

Yup, light. As in "turn on/off the...":
The United Nations (UN) proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. It is a global initiative to illustrate the importance of light and optical technologies. The opening ceremony occurred this week in Paris
Light plays an important role in our daily lives. Through photosynthesis, light is necessary to the existence of life itself. While light-based technologies, such as optical fibres, have revolutionized society through medicine, communications, entertainment and culture. And most importantly, these technologies support sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. The importance of light reaches far beyond life on Earth. Light has helped us to see and better understand the universe. 
It’s easy to overlook the significance of light. We are so used to having light in our daily lives. We’re also often not aware of how light-based technologies affect almost everything we do. It is in consumer electronics (barcode scanners, DVD players, remote TV control), telecommunications (Internet), health (eye surgery, medical instruments), manufacturing industry (laser cutting and machining), defense and security (infrared camera, remote sensing), entertainment (holography, laser shows) and much more.
I dunno, seems kind of silly to me. Rather like proclaiming an International Year of the Laws of Gravity, no? On the other hand, it is an inoffensive, "motherhood" sort of thing to tout; who, after all, is not in favour of light?

That said, it's rather ironic the Paris, the "city of lights" is a rather dark place these days, what with all those conspiring to make it Lights Out (the title of a book by Mark Steyn) in that city and others where freedom yet prevails, however tenuously.

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