I came upon an article that described ten innovations which have changed the world. Some I agreed with but some I didn’t. I think the problem I have with this list is that it should have a longer title and should be Ten innovations which have changed the world for the better.
The list started with the Model T Ford motor car created in 1908. There had been cars before the model T but with this car Ford designed new, faster production methods which massively reduced the cost of the motor car and made it accessible to more people. I’m not personally convinced that it made the world better but I can’t argue that it did change the world.
The discovery of Penicillin in 1928 was also on the list and again I really can’t argue with that one but I think I’m struggling a bit to see that the introduction of the Sony Walkman was of any particular importance or indeed the first flight by Concorde.
I have to agree that the invention of the World Wide Web is an important one. Without that I would be sitting here now doing this. But I find The iPod, Dolly the cloned sheep and Nuclear power debatable, in my eyes at least.
I Googled around and found some which were downright silly. The Daily Telegraph, who should really know better, include TV Dinners, Trainers, Social networking and Microwave ovens in their list. None of these have actually changed the world, they are simply ways of doing things easier then we were able to do them before.
But perhaps the silliest and most far fetched claim I came across was PC Mag’s claim that the HDMI cable and the function known as CEC was an innovation that had changed the world! Have you heard of CEC? No, me neither. On further reading it seems that what CEC does is to enable several devices of a home theatre network to all be controlled by the same remote control. That’s it. Nothing more. An HDMI cable is a connecting cable that enables me to plug my Blu-Ray player or my PVR into my TV. It is an update on the old SCART system that was all the rage 10 or 15 years ago but is a digital carrying cable rather than the older analogue type. Is an HDMI cable with CEC capability something that will change the world? Not really. But they do make great skipping ropes!