Countless inventions have changed the course of civilization. Many were initially viewed as helpful advances but later turned out to have a dark side or become obsolete. After asking the internet for their opinion, here are the ten top-voted worst human inventions.
1. Land Mines
For those who are too innocent, a land mine is an explosive device concealed under the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets. These can range from people to vehicles (even tanks). Once a person walks over one, they go kaboom.
And not in a fun firework way. The bad thing about land mines is that even after a war, they are still active. So innocent people (and kids) can accidentally get injured or killed.
2. Social Media Algorithms
Ahh! The good ol’ MySpace days. They didn’t have any algorithms, nor were any extremes allowed. It was the last unbiased social media experience we had. Now, you open Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube and get bombarded with one specific type of content. That causes polarization of people’s views and leads them into an “echo chamber.”
The hate only increases. We will automatically be more open-minded if exposed to all kinds of content. Someone suggested, “Hopefully, Elon Musk can make Twitter a little bit better!”
3. Leaded Gasoline
TEL (Tetraethyllead) was first mixed with gas in the 1920s as it allowed them to raise engine compression substantially. However, it’s incredibly harmful to the environment. Thankfully, its reign of terror is now over, as this additive is banned worldwide. Unfortunately, this ban took many decades to pass.
An interesting fact about the inventor of leaded gasoline, Thomas Midgley, is that he also invented the first CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). Two of the world’s most harmful inventions. He can be called one of the most harmful inventors in history.
4. The Lobotomy
Also called leucotomy, it is a type of psychosurgery that involves putting a knife into the brain and severing connections in the prefrontal cortex. It was a barbaric practice that started in the 1930s and has since been replaced with medications.
They would lobotomize the mentally challenged to make them “soft,” or sometimes they’d lobotomize a “defiant” wife. Interestingly enough, the guy who invented it, Dr. António Egas Moniz, won a Nobel Peace Prize.
5. Chemical Warfare
While nuclear bombs are horrible, killing people with chemicals is on another level. Chemical warfare involves using toxic substances to incapacitate or kill the enemy. VX is one of the deadliest chemicals and is classified as a nerve agent.
Nerve agents are the most poisonous and the most rapidly acting agents. Someone shared, “It’s one thing to get vaporized with a nuke instantly, but seeing a child’s face slowly peel off, leading to a painful death, is pure torture.”
6. Social Media
Yes, the algorithms are bad, but the vehicle is the problem’s root. People have become so addicted to social media that they’d rather die than be embarrassed in front of people who don’t care about them. People spend a significant portion of their day looking good in a story or post. As a result, social skills and the want to acquire them have become a thing of the past.
The happiest people on social media are almost always the most depressed on the planet. We need a sweet spot where we prioritize our real lives and relationships over people on the internet because we cannot stop using it altogether.
7. Single-Use Plastics
They’re everywhere because they’re so cheap to manufacture. If only we had used biodegradable materials to make packaging from the beginning. It takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill.
And even when it does decompose, it doesn’t break down completely. Instead, it turns into microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment. Microplastics are shown to reduce fertility in almost every species. We could become extinct if we don’t find another way.
It’s obvious why. Would you keep your mouth over the exhaust pipe of a 1950s Ford truck while it’s running? Well, that’s what you are doing if you smoke. That’s just a giant cigarette. Nobody needs to be told about the multitude of health problems smoking causes. If they don’t scare you, please stop smoking for other people. One elaborated, “You and your breath stink!”
9. Planned Obsolescence
In economics and design, it means creating something that will no longer be useful after some time. Companies use this tactic to keep customers returning and spending more money.
For example, a cellphone manufacturer may decide to use parts in their phone that last five years when they could’ve easily used parts that last 20 years. Subscriptions can be called a type of planned obsolescence.
Glitter is a nightmare invention. It never goes away! You can send a glitter bomb to people you don’t like in the mail. A final commenter noted, “Glitter should be reason enough to stop using plastics.”
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