Saturday, October 24, 2009

Top 10 List

I have a sort of list that I carry around in my mind of 10 inventions or ideas that have actually made our lives better rather than worse. It is a fuzzy list with items falling off and being added as the mood strikes me but normally looks something like:

10. Ball Point Pens - If you've ever had a fountain pen you'll understand.
09. The bicycle - The perfect urban transportation machine
08. Plumbing - both for sewage and fresh water delivery
07. Mechanical or chemical energy - Electrical, internal combustion engines, turbines and such
06. Telephones (Excluding cell phones)
05. Refrigeration as the agent of air-conditioning and to preserve food
04. Canned foods
03. Modern Medicine - especially vaccines & antibiotics
02. Air travel
01. Paper - and the associated printing presses it enabled

I also have a list of technological inventions or ideas that I believed have harmed civilization far more than they've helped it:

10. Cellphones/Mp3/diskman/walkman type things - Zombies-R-Us
09. Television - Encourages us to be lazy
08. Electric Can openers - the ultimate symbol of a decadent society
07. Socialism - Has killed more than 800 million people since 1917
06. McDonalds - God how I wish I had a Big-Mac and fries right NOW!
05. Computers - It seems to me they often make more work than they save.
04. Automobiles - A major cause of social alienation but oh so convenient
03. Motorcycles & Scooters - I think cars are less of a menace.
02. The Environmental movement - Only communist kill more people
01. Public education - More on this one later

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Socialism has killed 800 million people? I think you are confusing socialism with communism. Communism is what they had in the USSR (sorta). Socialism is what they have in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, etc. China, of course, has neither communism nor socialism, but state-run capitalism.

Mobile phone bad, land line good? Tell that to people in much of sub-Saharan Africa, (or Sweden)where land lines are unavailable because of geographical or infrastructure problems and mobile phone technology means people have access to communication.