Saturday, September 27, 2008


In a survey I conducted recently, I asked over 50 people from different walks of life, “If you could un-invent one thing, what would it be and why?” I received quite a few interesting responses.

Initially, I intended to publish the top 10 most common responses, but then, I realized that of all the people I asked: most knew tons of things they wanted to un-invent in a New York minute, but could not put their fingers on any one pesky matter; some had quite a few interesting responses, but stuck with their strongest; while, others stated their only response vehemently.

To trigger off what I anticipated would be a host of provocative responses, I added my own as fuel for thought. What would I un-invent? The ATM, because I believe it’s the location of a crime waiting to happen.

In the end, I decided to publish all of the responses I received. They are all unique and thought-provoking. Some are just flat out hilarious.

Here are all of the responses I received. The first 10 are my favorite!

What: “Red light cameras.”
Why: “Do I really need to explain why?”

What: “Automatic weapons.”
Why: “We should only be allowed to fire one bullet at a time.”

What: "Guns."
Why: “People have enough ways of hurting each other.”

What: “If it were possible, I would un-invent hate.”
Why: “I believe most (99%) of the problems in this world stems from this terrible emotion: differences in race/culture, religion and politics…which in turn breeds elitism, intolerance, poverty and crime. It is a shame that the gift of free God gave to each one us is often used to belittle, degrade, enslave, torment, and kill rather than uplift our fellow man.”

What: “Viagra”
Why: “This little blue pill has caused more problems than it's worth.”

What: “Money.”
Why: “Because it has been the one thing that has been the most destructive force in the universe. Every problem in the world can easily be traced back to a money issue...nearly every so-called moral issue can be traced back to money. Almost every situation of destitution in humans can be traced back to money and almost all so-called crimes. 98% of problems revolve around money.”

What: “I would un-invent the idea that it's okay for men to NOT raise their kids.”

What: “Outsourcing.”
Why: “Do you know that when you call about your gas and phone needing repairs that they are in Bahia some dang where?
While they are eating up American dollars with their products they are taking American jobs to cheaper countries.”

What: “Kool-Aid.”
Why: “Probably the reason why I can't sit still now. Still burning off all of that Sugar!”

What: “UNVENT the cell phone and text messaging...PLEASE!!!!!!!!!”
Why: “it wasn't that long ago (early 90s) when cell phones were basically unheard of and when they were introduced they were cumbersome. yes today they are befitting and smaller, but they have transformed us into addictive clones only interested in the latest/high tech one. we even walk around with mini-objects with a neon blue flashing light in our ears ready to take the next incoming call at the most inappropriate, restaurants, libraries, movies, relaxing at the beach, etc. And, they have distracted us from the simplest pleasures in life: socializing with good friends, dinner with that special someone, an engaging lecture/presentation, a long drive with a scenic view...we are too distracted by the bells and whistles of a device that can never take the place of friends, lovers, and life!”

What: “What's going on with vanity publishers such as Infinity, AuthorHouse, and Publish America?”
Why: “Because they are seeking to rip off talented people.”

What: “Potato Chips.”
Why: “You know why.”

What: “8 hour / 5-day work weeks and replace it with 9 hour/ 4-day work weeks.”
Why: “Shorter work week.”

What: “The Republicans.”
Why: “Because they are working my everlasting nerves right now!!!!”

What: “Nuclear Weapons.”
Why: “Because they cause Mass-Destruction.”

What: “E-mail.”
Why: “It’s made communication between folks very impersonal.”

What: “Cell phones and texting.”
Why: “Dangers while driving and walking.”

What: “Texting.”
Why: “It’s so impersonal and dangerous while driving/walking.”

What: “All breakthroughs that become a fixture of the American landscape spawn social problems, but probably none more than the personal computer.”
Why: “While I think it is one of the greatest--if not THE greatest--invention of all time, it is also the one most likely to be used to steal, spy, bully, exploit (children and young women), find deadly information (how to make bombs, etc.), financial manipulation, and engage in criminal enterprise (identify theft, robbery, etc.) It has also made us too reliant on technology, in particular as far as nuclear safety is concerned.”

What: “High Fructose Corn Syrup, which has us addicted, unable to correctly determine when we're full, has us diabetic, and/or overweight, and is killing us.”
Why: “Unfortunately, it can be found in most of what we eat and drink, even when we can't taste it. This product has made it cheaper to produce food, and it's sweeter than sugar and easily transportable. But it is devil spawn.”

What: “Automated phone systems.”
Why: “You can never reach an actual LIVE person on the phone!”

What: “Automated voice services.”Why: “They call you.....don't allow you to answer....when you do they don't understand. If you ask for customer service they ask can they help and it all begins again. It's an inconvenience when you want to talk to a person for anything that is not on the recorded message. Also the automated call service that calls you although you paid the bill and the customer service representative explains that "the computer called you. Useless in my mind and frustrating.”

What: “Debt.”
Why: “Because if it wasn't created, maybe I would be rich or at least have a lot more money in my pocket right now.”

What: “Bleaching for food.”
Why: “So the benefits of eating these foods would be present.”

What would you un-invent? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

1 comment:

Marc A. Medley said...

Marketers/Marketing has done a wonderful job creating "needs" that are really "wants." Most of the "uninvention" list are useful tools that have been taken to the extreme. Fire can cook a man's dinner or cook him and unfortunately we are allowing too many of our inventions to cook us. The cell phone is one great example of this. While I admit they are convenient, I also admit there is not that much having to have someone get in touch with you in the world. I agree with one of the respondents where he or she is talking about us walking around now with these appendages to our ears and hips. We actually act as if we will die if we don't get that next call. We need to give it a rest, we are not that important.