Just a 100 years ago– in 1917– can you imagine how people lived without any of these ??!
Ballpoint pens, Colour TV, Disposable diapers, Hair dryers, Internet, Jet engines, Pop up toasters, Loudspeakers, Mobile phones, Microwave ovens and even zippers !
We were watching ‘Back to the Future’ last weekend and then its part 2 which is made in 1985 and set mostly in the immensely futuristic ‘far away’ 2015. Their ideas of what that amazing year would be like really made us laugh. They showed hovering skateboards, self- zipping and self- drying jackets and shoes and all kinds of gadgets and stuff.
Of course there continued to be bullies and greed and chaos and romance because that’s part of the human experience, no matter how much technology you have…. but then they did have a time machine which has always been on top of the wish list of humans for a very long time.
There are so many different lists of inventions from the last 100 years, but here is one list of the amazing inventions made BY women that changed the world.
If this list doesn’t turn sexist stereotypes on the head I don’t know what does! Women invented (drum roll here …) WiFi, Bluetooth, Beer, Computer software, computer algorithms, the fridge, Kevlar vests, monopoly and the medical syringe!!! Well, well, well…..
As you can see from these images I found on Google, not only are the women inventors invisible ( which is fine cos most things don’t identify the inventor) but even the women users are invisible if these are the only images that show up on page one of a search !
Anyway, what were the top 10 life changing inventions FOR women? Surveys reveal that this list includes the Contraceptive Pill, the bra, pregnancy tests, disposable nappies, jeans, contact lenses, freshly prepared food and of course the washing machine. Hans Rosling has a brilliant video where he explains how the ‘magic’ washing machine helped women have enough spare time to learn to read.
The medical field has had some other amazing inventions too that could change the way we manage patient care– with telemedicine, robotic surgery, artificial limbs, organs grown in laboratories. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible with nanotechnology to improve public health and medical care. https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/technology-and-society/10-ways-nanotechnology-impacts-lives
In the past decade we have seen wild new inventions that sounds like a far- out science fiction dream. As a routine part of our lives we now have genetically modified food at our tables, small children use e-readers and Facetime, working people use remote location video conferencing programmes and families gather around over dinner to watch Netflix ! We could soon start resembling the humans from Wall E 🙂 if it wasn’t for the standing and even swimming office desks !
Cutting edge inventions continue to come at us on a daily basis in scenes straight out of Orphan Black’s Club Neolution or Black Mirror’s dystopian world of conflict ridden human/ technology interface. If you have not seen either of these TV series, do see them. They will bend your mind and open more windows to the future and the human race than you thought your brain was capable of handling !
Just in the last five years we have had news of the bionic eye, the invisibility cloak, road testing of driverless cars, office employees voluntarily having chips implanted, ‘smart’ contact lenses and of course what we really needed as a civilization—sigh–flying drone phones to take air selfies.
Here is what their ad says: “AirSelfie is a revolutionary pocket-size flying camera that connects with your smartphone to let you take boundless HD photos of you, your friends, and your life from the sky. Say hello to the future of selfies.”
This is all we needed….really. Boundless photos …taken from the sky. Sigh.
( In case you want to read more about any of these inventions listed, and as proof that I did not just make those up!!, I put all the links here so as to not distract from the reading flow–http://www.businessinsider.in/Heres-what-happened-when-scientists-gave-blind-people-a-bionic-eye/articleshow/48026048.cms, http://time.com/4042506/invisibility-cloak/, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/15/driverless-cars-12-things-you-need-to-know, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4375730/Cyborgs-work-employees-getting-implanted-microchips.html, http://jolt.richmond.edu/2017/01/16/smart-contact-lenses-spy-gadget-or-formidable-threat-to-privacy/, http://www.airselfiecamera.com/)
There is also some work being done to explore if we can transfer our consciousness to a robot which could then theoretically be immortal. https://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-start-up-wants-to-transfer-your-consciousness-to-an-artificial-body-so-you-can-live-forever
There are obvious social justice issues here since the poor would never stand a chance at being able to pay for immortality. But that apart, when my daughter and I discussed this, we figured that both of us have such wild thoughts and such a roller coaster stream of consciousness, that we might short circuit the poor robot. The other problem was that we are foodies and who wants to be immortal inside a robot that can neither taste nor eat?! YOLO is good enough for us for now.
If you thought that was crazy talk, here is some terrifying news from Facebook in today’s news, which literally wants to connect to your brain directly. “Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world — speech — can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale.” http://gizmodo.com/facebook-literally-wants-to-read-your-thoughts-1794471569
So, what can we expect from the next generation? Going by the latest news, we have the possibility of 3 D printed ovaries being used to treat infertility and the very next week the uterus transplant carried out in Pune. My cousin said in cynical response to these news items —why don’t they just 3 D print the baby directly and save the women the troubles of pregnancy and labour ??
Fear not sister, that day is not too far in the future I am sure….. !