Inventions we can do without

The human race has evolved in part through ability to be innovative, to adapt in order to survive and of course because we can invent ways to solve the insoluble. Nobody could have thought thee hundred years ago that replacing major organs in a human body would become almost a routine procedure in major hospitals, or that we could travel around the planet in as few as 24 hours? At an accelerating pace, human inventions are changing the way we live, eat, sleep, procreate and entertain ourselves. Thousands of new patents are registered daily around the world and the inventiveness of the human race does not look like slowing down any time soon. There are however some truly stupid and perhaps even unwise inventions that could end the world as we know it.

The Bomb

In the early days of WWII scientists were already advanced in the understanding of the nature of matter. As the pressures of war and the need for new and more effective weapon systems progressed it soon became apparent that to harness the power of an atom and release energy in one controlled process would result in the construction of a weapon so feared that any nation under the threat of it’s use would capitulate with no further need for loss of life. In August 1945 this enterprise came to its ultimate fulfilment with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing. Devastation unprecedented yielded further terrifying and unexpected results with thousands dying because of radiation poisoning. The ground is still polluted to this very day and with history as we understand it Japan was so weakened by August 1945 the necessity for demonstrating this new invention in such a manner is in question.


The invention of automobiles necessitated the requirement for networks of roads, streets and highways on a national as well as international scale. The means to pay for this infrastructure was rather well planned and beautifully fair in its simplicity pay for fuel and registration, contribute a proportion in road tax to fund road construction and maintenance. More and more cars than ever before now choke our cities while major interstate and international highways make speed over vast distances easy and convenient in our modern air-conditioned vehicles.

With more vehicles on the road than ever before, more tax floods consolidated revenues yet recently greedy governments discovered a new way to bleed even greater amounts of cash from motorists tollways. This invention is as reviled as it is unnecessary and if bloated ineffective governments actually used all the tax collected from fuel sales and registrations our nations could be paved with gold and still have cash in the bank. Nothing will change a government addicted to entitlements and privilege therefore it seems we are stuck forevermore with the evil of tollways.

Eight Track Tape Players

Music has been part of human development that reached its ultimate refinement with the invention of sound recording. Advances through the 20th century bought us portable radios and magnetic tape recorders that reduced in size to around the same dimensions as a cigarette pack. Miniaturization produced some incredibly high quality personal music systems yet engineers strived to work further in the science of making our listening experiences an emersion into a sound environment. Separating mono to stereo was the first step that continued through to a fleeting experimentation in quadraphonic vinyl records yet the music cassette industry fast eclipsed vinyl in sales and performance.

This lead to the invention of eight track systems that were not only unsightly in size, they were questionable in overall performance and proved a short-lived flirtation in sound environment control. The problem was technology had not caught up and when the compact disk came on the market sound engineers realised the days of magnetic tape were over. The eight track really had no place for sound enthusiasts, and today on our 21st century planet we can play studio quality recordings on mass-produced compact disks costing a fraction of cost in relative terms to what an eight track magnetic cassette recording sold for in its time.

These are three inventions that had an impact on society both great and small that I would describe as inventions we can do without. For those nostalgic veterans who still own and play eight track recordings I salute you but please note we have moved on now!