I’m sure most of you reading this is familiar with the game of “would you rather” in which you are given two choices and must make a decision as to which one you would rather pick.
I’m a fan of this game because it demands critical thinking skills and quite frankly I think that critical thinking skills are being sorely under developed especially in the United States. That rant is for a different time, however.
I’ve decided that once a week I will head over to Either.io and take a question and break it down here on Random Catastrophe. I will also put up a poll allowing you the chance to make your choice.
Here is this week’s question.
This is an interesting question because both inventions transformed the world for better and for worse. The wheel made it easier to move goods from place to place but it also made it easier to fight wars.
The Internet has given the world access to a wealth of information and creativity but has also done wonders for exploitation industries such as child pornography.
The question says that I would get credit for either of these inventions. It does not say that I actually get to profit from them. So I’m not being paid a fee by internet users or ISPs and I’m also not getting a penny from every produced tire or other wheel.
Getting credited with either invention also means that I would be assigned the blame for all of the ill that would be caused by either invention. I think it is this reaization that has helped to inform my decision on this matter.
There were a couple of factors that led me to this decision. The first is that the wheel has a much better reputation than the Internet.
Even though the wheel has made it much easier to fight wars, wheels are never given blame for the brutality of war. Without the wheel a drunk driver could not exist and yet when a drunk driver kills an innocent person by getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t, the wheel never gets blamed for the accident.
The drawbacks of the Internet are a lot easier to quantify. While the Internet gives the world access to the wealth of human knowledge some have argued that the Internet has actually made people dumber instead of more intelligent. There are also some forms of terrorism and crime that exist now and will in the future that are made possible entirely by the Internet. See my review of ‘Future Crimes’ for more on this.
As easy as the Internet makes it for me to stay in contact with people I might not have otherwise, it is likely doing as much to divide us as it is to unite us. This is an idea that came from a book titled ‘The Filter Bubble’ by Eli Pariser which is in my library and on my to read list sooner rather than later.
In the end though it came down to one simple realization. I was born in 1981 and did not get access to the Internet until 1997 and not regular access until 1999 when I started college. This proves that I was able to survive just fine for 16 or so years before the Internet came into my life. I could manage without the Internet. Losing the wheel would be another matter entirely. So that is why I would rather be credited with the invention of the wheel.
Feel free to leave a comment explaining your answer. If you decide to blog this question yourself, share the link and I will do a follow up on this question in next week’s post!