Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boycott Israel Properly!


Blogger Theophrastus said...

Israel is a true fount of invention and creativity, but it did not invent all those things!

January 28, 2009 9:06 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

You know I think there is a little bit of a stretch, but not too much. I actually checked a few of these. Which things do you think they did not invent?

January 28, 2009 10:31 AM  
Blogger Theophrastus said...

Well, for starters, most of the development of Microsoft software is in Redmond, Washington -- there is a small Israeli office (and certainly, Microsoft hires many Israelis all over the world), but claiming Windows and Office as an Israeli invention is really stretching things. (E.g., one of the largest responsibilities of the Israeli office is supporting right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.) One could more easily Windows and Office were inventions from India!

Einstein never resided in Israel -- he was famously offered the Presidency of the new state, but preferred to keep his position at the Princeton Instituted for Advanced Studies.

The integrated circuit was invented by a number of individuals, none of whom was Israeli. See here.

There is a similar story with microprocessors.

This does not take away from the incredible inventiveness of Israeli developers, who arguably, in the last 20 years have had more impact on technology (particularly electronics and computer science) than vastly larger countries with well established universities and technology centers (e.g., France).

There was also an unfortunate tendency of the video to conflate Jews and Israelis.

I didn't watch all of the video, so this is not a comprehensive list. I love its spirit, though.

January 28, 2009 11:11 AM  

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