"Crisps have a sacred role in office culture. They are the perfect mid-morning
pick-me-up, the moreish side to a light sandwich lunch, or the fuel that keeps
us going when meetings run past mealtimes.
But in Taiwan, one particular brand of crisps does more than keep hunger pangs
at bay. Many of the island’s machines – from cash machines to radio
transmission towers – seem to rely on the presence of green bags of puffy,
coconut-flavoured corn crisps to stay in tip-top condition.
People see these crisps as amulets – or good luck charms – that, if used
properly, will ensure that technology behaves well and doesn’t break down. They
place bags of this humble snack, known as ‘Kuai Kuai’ (or 'Guai Guai'), on or
around vital machines in many of the island’s laboratories, banks and even
hospitals to ensure the machines continue to do their jobs.
But how did this savoury product end up assuming near-mythical protective
properties and, in a technologically advanced society that supplies most of the
world’s semiconductors, why exactly do people buy into it?"
Via Esther Schindler.
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics