Why The Washing Machine Pushed Humanity Forward

Once upon a time in the Western world, women lost countless hours heating up water and washing clothes. Then, an anonymous hero invented the electric washing machine at the beginning of the 20th century, and with it came freedom and progress for the entire human race. No, I'm not kidding.

The electric washing machine affected women directly, and everyone else too. Liberated from that hard tedious job, women got time to do other more important things than washing their husbands and children's clothes by hand. And with that, the planet became a better place, like world health and statistics exper Hans Rosling says in this video, an ode to the washing machine. Ten minutes well spent. [TED]


Comments

    cool!

    what he says about economic growth being more dangerous than population growth is soo true...

    we need to go green. because if the richest 1/7th of the population can't do it, the rest sure as hell won't! and if our level of pollution isn't killing the planet now (and, it is) it SURE AS HELL WILL when the rest of the world rises up. or more to the point, the resources will be depleted, and before that, cost a HELL of a lot more... for everyone.

    and those that say "well the poor just shouldn't be allowed to use electricity" you are dicks, and more importantly, powerless to stop them anyway... at very least, the Indians and the Chinese, and the South Americans... they are already on their way, and there is nothing we can do to stop them, except enlighten them in the benefits of green technology, before it becomes a REAL problem for ALL of us. fortunately they seem to be going about this development more intelligently than us anyway... they understand that 'green' energy is inevitably vital, and are already looking into it alot, the catch is, the thing that makes you go "well, if they are looking to go green, why aren't they for taxing carbon? and reducing emissions ect", its because their energy usage is exploding so fast, that even if they have miraculous developments and deployments of green tech, their use of fossil fuels is STILL going to increase.

    the simple fact is this, us in the first world going "well, why should we do anything, China and the other massive developing nations should have to cut emissions too!"

    remember, that is just as bad as saying "well the poor just shouldn't be allowed to ever use electricity"

    its not about consumption, it is about consumption per capita, and then remembering that China's per capita emissions are skewed by all their factories that make stuff, not for them, but for US!

    Brilliant video.

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