May 31, 2010

"Having these all on the same list is kind of like saying, 'You know what my pet peeves are? People who crack their knuckles, genocide, extreme poverty, and shopping cart wheels that get stuck.'..."

"... I mean, OK, but the juxtaposition is a little insensitive."

Jac is offended by TIME's list of the 50 worst inventions.


Pogo said...

No way!

What I dream I had, dressed in organdy

Clothed in crinoline, of smoky Burgundy

Softer than the rain

c3 said...

TIME throws spaghetti against the wall and hopes for something to stick (with readers)....

neither of them was interested

ironrailsironweights said...

The very worst invention of all time: women's razors.


Brian Day said...

I'd like to see DDT moved from the worst invention list to the best invention list. Rachael Carson's characterization of DDT was a fraud.

From the article: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT... In little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable."; and, It is believed that [malaria] afflicts between 300 and 500 million every year, causing up to 2.7 million deaths, mainly among children under five years.

edutcher said...

Criticizing an article like that does not require such high dudgeon.

Hate to say it, but his pet peeves sounds like the Playmate of the Year's Turn Offs.

Greg said...

What Brian said, I would put Rachael Carson on a list of 50 people who should never have been born.

bagoh20 said...

I will go to war to keep my plastic shopping bags. I can carry a week's groceries by myself with one trip to the car and they make fine poop bags for your dog. Just make them biodegrade fast and we have a perfect item. How hard can that be? They are made from recycled plastic. They are nothing more than a raisin's worth of material, very strong, water proof, and reusable. Amazing little invention.

I like Crocs too. They are not dress shoes, but are a wonderful improvement over sandals or the awful flip flop.

The Time Magazine writer? Now there is a failed product.

rcocean said...

Yep, worst invention: the "Flip-flop".

lemondog said...

The concept of socialism.

Thank you

Brian said...

I knew I made a mistake when the guy on the phone said I could get a year of Time Magazine for like 20 bucks. The only reason I did it was to help out the Special Olympics.

George Grady said...

Saying that asbestos is a bad invention is kind of like saying kudzu is a bad invention. Nobody "invented" it.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Nuclear bombs, guillotines, fiat money, cigarettes, the United Nations, the Ford Pinto, and Thalidomide were all lousy inventions.

Bob_R said...

Very bad invention: Time Magazine.

El Presidente said...

Only the most ignorant tools in the world would put DDT on a list of worst inventions. It has only saved millions of lives.

It is like putting the seat belt on the list because you don't like that it wrinkles your shirt.

Brian Day said...

Quoth MaggotAtBroad&Wall:
"Nuclear bombs, guillotines, fiat money, cigarettes, the United Nations, the Ford Pinto, and Thalidomide were all lousy inventions."

I won't speak to the other inventions, but Thalidomide has been a key element in fighting my cancer. Thalidomide is not a lousy invention, but using it as a morning sickness drug was a lousy application of the drug.

Joe said...

One again the problem of idiot journalists attempting to be intelligent about things they don't understand.

Besides the fabulous invention of DDT, the Segway, while dorky, uses extremely cool and useful technology.

A bigger problem is that many of the things listed aren't inventions at all, but engineering efforts and some are just things that evolved over time.

The article should the titled "things the moronic editors of Time happen to not like".

(CFCs are an excellent invention and like DDT, unfairly maligned based on horrible science.)

Joe said...

Besides total ignorance, the other problem with the list is that the worse inventions are rarely, if ever, heard of anymore. For example:

Foot X-Ray machines.
Atomic bombs to build roads.

Ann Althouse said...

"Besides total ignorance, the other problem with the list is that the worse inventions are rarely, if ever, heard of anymore."

I have the opposite problem. There should be many more things from the distant past. If things are really bad, people will stop using them, so most of the things on the list should have been left behind long ago. Otherwise, it's more pet peeves.

Ken said...

Blogger MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Nuclear bombs, guillotines, fiat money, cigarettes, the United Nations, the Ford Pinto, and Thalidomide were all lousy inventions.

Nuclear Bombs ended WWII saving tens of millions of lives by preventing the need to invade Japan; then they stopped the advance of communism saving tens of millions of lives. Still seriously think nuclear bombs were a bad invention?

The guillotine was invented because it provided the least painful way to execute somebody causing a death that was pretty much instantaneous. Now if you have a problem with executions, say so, don't pansy around.

Cigarettes provide pleasure for hundreds of millions of people.

Fiat money is responsible for the sharp rise in productivity over the last few centuries by making the flow of capital much easier. Seeing as how most lives in the world are far better off today than just 30 years ago because of fiat money, do you still think this is a bad invention?

I agree that the UN has been a bust. I mean commissioning Iran on women's rights!

The Ford Pinto? Seriously? You can't think of anything worse than this, like say communism? Fascism?

I've got nothing on Thalidomide, but Brian seems to spank on this one too.

One out of seven. Of all the things you could have chosen as the worst invention, only one is really bad and it's not clear how bad the UN really is, so much as a waste of time.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Corsets, foot binding, blood letting, lobotomies; it's like Time couldn't be bothered to think.

Paul said...

Back in the days when every wall in a public bathroom was covered in little rhymes and comments, one of the most frequently seen was:

Those who write on bathroom walls
Roll their s--- in little balls
Those who read these words of wit
Eat those little balls of s---.

Substitute "Those who write for Time Magazine" for "Those who write on bathroom walls" and you'll have my considered opinion of the matter.

Paddy O said...

I'm offended by the little pop-up ads and permanent network stamps that are on just about every television show now.

I think "worst inventions" should have a mix of importance. Nuclear missiles kill people, but getting a drip on a forehead all the time is also bad. A lion is vicious, but mosquitos were a lot more troublesome to me this past weekend.

We are bothered by what is most present to us. A constant irritant is bad, so is a rarely experienced evil. Constancy versus enormity.