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Letters to the Editor

Picking the Wrong Battle

I find it disturbing that Mr. Vyas aims to force his ethical considerations onto the greater MIT community through a ban on Coca-Cola products (The Tech, Feb. 28). If Indian and Colombian consumers still demand Coca-Cola and make it economically possible for the company to operate in those areas, despite being cognizant of “receding water tables” and other considerations, Mr. Vyas should not presume to speak for them or impinge on their rights to freedom of choice. Neither should he attempt to reduce the freedom of choice for the MIT community, either, as that would have detrimental effects by creating inefficiencies and an effective monopoly for the other soft drink giant.

One reason why socially responsible movements such as Fair Trade Coffee have been successful is that they offer viable alternatives to products and compete in the marketplace; they do not reduce choices and hurt consumers adversely. The Coke I get from vending machines on campus is not made in Colombia or India. If Mr. Vyas feels so strongly against Coke, he may be better off searching for a job in Pepsi’s Public Relations department, as opposed to attempting to force his individual opinions on a community that cherishes freedom of choice.

Sameer Riaz ’06

Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are

Something seems amiss when people complain about the lack of hacks at MIT (The Tech, Feb. 28). We are, after all, a university filled with engineers. Anyone who wants to carry out a hack — well, what’s stopping you? It can’t be lack of talent — after all, you’re here, aren’t you? All that it takes to pull of a good hack is inspiration, a few friends, and a big dose of courage. Don’t be afraid to start small: it doesn’t have to be on the dome to be widely noticed and long remembered. And if you aren’t out there pulling hacks, you’ve got no right to complain.

Jake Beal G