As Janet and RPM have noted, the mothership has initiated an “Ask A ScienceBlogger” feature – a weekly question that us SBers will (briefly) tackle. This week the question is “if you could cause one invention from the last hundred years never to have been made at all, which would it be, and why?”
Like Janet, my first impulse was to answer “cell phones” and (also like Janet) I then realized that it wasn’t the phones but the idiots who use them (loudly) in public or when they should be concentrating on something else (driving, child care, listening to people …). RPM’s answer – nuclear weapons – is good, but an argument could possibly be made that they have stopped conflicts (I don’t necessarily agree, but that was at least Leo Szillard’s original impetus). I though of television (that sucker of souls) and, frankly, the internet (I think it’s killed the ability of many of the young ‘uns to read, critically analyze, and express themselves, and has resulted in tendencies to instant gratification). Below the fold, you will find my final answer – one word, no justification required.