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Who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

by David MacQueen | Apr 01, 2015

The interwebs were awash today with April Fool’s joke press releases, here are a few of my favourites:

Many of these joke products are actually already in the market as real products. MS-DOS of course has been around for many a year, and although it was a joke I think quite a few people may prefer MS-DOS to Windows Phone. Nokia’s joke already exists as a real product, “FitBark” amongst many others. Sony is basically parodying itself, having earlier filed a patent for the “SmartWig”. Opera’s ad network is the essence of Facebook or LinkedIn, just paid for rather than paid by advertising. Domino’s delivery system mirrors Google’s autonomous cars and Amazon’s drone delivery (yet to take off, if you pardon the pun). What’s a joke product, and what’s real? Who is the butt of the joke when it comes to some of these real products? The venture capitalists that fund them? Hence the question, which the scientists at CERN reminded me of: who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?


And speaking of Amazon, what I had assumed was an April Fool’s joke actually turned out to be real – the Amazon Dash Button, which I can only describe as a rampant venture capitalist’s wet dream of the Internet of Things and connected home, turned into an environmentalist’s nightmare. For me, Amazon has won April Fool’s this year – it may be a real product, so the humour may be unintentional, but to quote the great satirist Jonathan Swift: “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.”

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