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(Six-minute read)

Perception is at the heart of this question and of course, there are hundreds of inventions that could and should be mentioned if we had the time and space.

We began the 20th century with the infancy of airplanes, automobiles, and radio. We end the 20th century with spaceships, computers, smartphones, AI and the wireless Internet all being technologies we now take for granted.

However, the world is steeped in poverty with precious little in the way of humanitarian advancement. Image associée


The credit card:

Part of the fabric of modern day life. Credit no longer the prerogative of the elite. The ultimate symbol of the triumphant Anglo-American consumer culture. The modern manifestation of money. Allowed modern Banks to transcend national boundaries. Guarantees payment of debts.

Microchip: Fiber Optics: Microprocessor: Windows 

Created the Credit Card. The Internet and the World Wide Web.

Artificial Fertilizers: 

Enabled the further expansion of agriculture and pollution.

Internal combustion engine:

The why is obvious:

The pneumatic tire:

Did more for the engine.

The condom/ Birth pill. 

The why is obvious.

Nuclear Power:

Nuclear power has long provoked ardent policy fights, historically centered on the perceived safety or danger of splitting atoms to keep consumers’ refrigerators running.

Today, it’s not local or environmental opposition but economics that’s crippling nuclear power.

It may be very difficult to meet international carbon-cutting goals without the widespread addition of nuclear plants.

This still leaves the problem of waste, and a choice between nuclear waste—deadly but the concentrated poison that lasts thousands of years—and fossil-fuel waste—invisible, diffuse carbon pollution that in sufficient amounts will transform the Earth for thousands of years.

While nuclear waste is nasty stuff, so are the conventional pollutants of fossil-fuel burning.  Nuclear power avoids air emissions of over one million tons of sulfur dioxide and 650,000 tons of nitrogen oxides each year, as well as significant particulate emissions.

Since CO2 emissions persist for many years in the atmosphere emissions cuts made today are worth more than the same cuts made down the road.

The best invention may be Toyota’s Hybrid.

AK-47 Kalashnikov: M16: 

The twenty century can be characterized by mass warfare and mass killing- two world wars, Stalin’s purges, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Cambodia’s killings fields, Rwanda the list goes on.

No firearm of any kind has killed more people.

It is the weapon of choice for terrorists, rebels with 75 million in circulation around the world accounting for 20% of the entire global stock of firearms. Every year, small arms kill between 20,000 and 100,000 people in the world’s conflicts. AK-47s Kalashnikov accounts for a high proportion – and quite possibly the majority – of this human toll. In the 68 years since the first prototype was made, the AK-47 has probably dealt death to millions.

A Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle in the hands of a herdsman in Sudan

This is the decade of AI  (run by the Algorithm) I PAD, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook. Social Media. 3d Printing.

Will there use glorify peace? Not on the evidence so far.

Feel free to add yours and why.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.