Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Einstein: guilty of misleading the American public?

In a post titled The great Baby Einstein scam , Mira Shine noted:

The New York Times reported Thursday that Disney is offering a refund to buyers of its ubiquitous “Baby Einstein” videos, which did not, as promised, turn babies into wunderkinds. Apparently, all those puppets, bright colors, and songs were what we had feared all along—a mind-numbing way to occupy infants.

Mira continued:

So why were we so quick to seize on Baby Einstein videos as technological tutors?

Call it the perfect storm of parenting. Who doesn’t want to believe that there is a magical, wondrous, no-parental-guidance-required product that will turn their kids into Mensa members?

Switching gears to stem cells and California's Proposition 71 and CIRM, who doesn't want to "believe" that stem cell research will offer wondrous cures to people with disabling diseases? But, as with Baby Einstein, there was a tremendous gap between induced expectations and reality. See for example

Did campaign ads for Proposition 71 violate fair trade laws?

Ad campaign for California's Proposition 71 as a bait and switch?

But, then go full circle, and examine a case wherein someone, metaphorically, "called out" an (asserted) purveyor of falsities,
as in the use of the phrase "guilty of misleading the American public" discussed in Groden v. Random House, 35 USPQ2d 1547. Or, to go to more recent times, contemplate what happened to Dr. Bruce Flamm in the Cha/prayer/JRM matter. After an ordeal, Flamm's right to comment was upheld, but (IPBiz believes) the offending journal article in JRM was never retracted.

«Der Urquell aller technischen Errungenschaften ist die göttliche Neugier und der Spieltrieb des bastelnden und grübelnden Forschers und nicht minder die konstruktive Phantasie des technischen Erfinders.» Albert Einstein


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