When you think about life-changing modern technologies, you probably think of advancements in medicine, computing, or communication, but have you ever thought about the humble washing machine?
Think about it, when was the last time you washed all of your clothes by hand?
The washing machine is one of the most important technologies to become widespread in the 20th century. Across the globe, it is responsible for giving women (the people traditionally seen to be in charge of laundry) an unprecedented amount of freedom.
This time-saving miracle technology has made an enormous impact on the lives of those fortunate enough to afford it. So, what about the rest of the world? It turns out, looking at how washing machines are distributed across societies can force us to answer some important questions about our collective future.
Here’s a marvelous TED Talk from the incredible thinker, Hans Rosling, on the impact the washing machine had on his own life and will have on future generations.
Don’t you love it when you are given a new perspective on the world? I will certainly never look at my washing machine the same again (or ever take it for granted).
I love when my assumptions about the world are challenged; when I learn something new that shifts my way of thinking ever so slightly. Whether we are talking about the future of population growth, exploring new hopes for energy production, or simply learning about the innovations that have changed our lives, the more we know, the more we see the world in terms of possibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we certainly can’t predict what will happen in the future. But challenging ourselves to learn something new every day definitely gives us the power to shape it.
Stay beautiful & keep laughing!
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- Rosling, Hans. “The Magic Washing Machine.” TED. TED, Dec. 2010. Web. 04 May 2017. <https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine>. ↩