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