People Debate The One Invention They'd Eliminate From History To Change The World Forever
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It's hard to imagine that one invention could change the course of world history forever, but if you stop to think about it—there have been quite a few!

Imagine, for example, if we had never figured out large ships?

What would the world look like with only kayaks, rafts, and other smaller crafts?

What wouldn't it look like?


Reddit user NoBand2201 asked:

"You can eliminate one invention from history to change the world forever. What do you eliminate?"

Reddit users had plenty to say about the subject—starting with the most clear and present danger in our times; social media.

A Soapbox

"Facebook has given the village idiot a soapbox and megaphone."

- I_likem_asstastic

"Facebook and the company itself is the worst offender, but social media in general was advancing to its current state way before Facebook."

- aztechfilm

"The village idiots migrated from AOL town square chat rooms to Facebook and Twitter."

- MysteriousBrays

"Could even still be MySpace? Can you imagine the level of background animations, glitter gifs and music a 15 year old profile would have?"

"Also, people are inherently stupid, they would find a way to ingest nonsense."

- Tiemujin

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The Trolley Problem Is Horrific In Real Life

"I would be interested in seeing how the world would’ve turned out without the atomic bomb."

- tomi210210

"The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were basically a real life application of the trolley problem."

- shiny_xnaut

"Agreed. Regrettably so."

"In the near term, it would have been disastrous for Japan."

"From "What If? Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been" The US and allies already had plans to shift their strategic bombing campaign over to Japan's rail network and other transportation networks in Sept or Oct. Japanese civilians were already on reduced daily caloric intake."

"With US B-29s, along with other US and British bombers operating off Okinawa (and US and British Naval aircraft) hitting all the transportation network, etc... we would have seen nation wide famine throughout Japan."

"Millions would have died brutal and agonizing deaths."

"Then calculate for all the tens of thousands dying on a daily basis throughout the Asian/Pacific theater of operations."

"Then very likely another major war in Europe between the USSR/Warsaw Pact and NATO."

"Many who just oppose 'the bomb' somehow think that if the Manhattan Project had failed, or we had dropped the bomb on a deserted island as a demonstration; that all military actions would have been put on hold."

"Not even close."

"They forget how truly brutal and savage WW2 was; especially on certain fronts like the German/Soviet front and the actions in the Pacific and China."

"A proposed naval blockade would have eventually brought Japan down, but certainly the loss in life would have been far worse - in the millions."

"Few people know that in Europe, after the German surrender in May 1945, another 1 - 2 million died from disease, starvation, the cold, etc."

"That was in an area where the Allies had a far greater ability to bring in food, medicines, etc for the civilian populace and POWs. In Japan, we would not have had anything like that logistical footprint to work with."

"Severely slashed food intake combined with the onset of Japan's winter months .... you are talking nationwide famine on a historic level."

- Rogue1371

"At the time, half of Japan's military leaders were in favor of surrender, while half were against it."

"But even the surrender group was split between the 'surrender now for best terms' camp and the 'make the war as bloody as possible to force the US into more favorable terms' camp."

"And the anti surrender camp was so strong that there was a battle fought to keep the emperor's decoration of surrender from being broadcast."

"So the question of whether or not the bomb were needed is a question historians will be debating for centuries."

- PiLamdOd

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Plastics

"I'm very interested to see what todays world would look like if plastic wasn't invented."

- llama606

"The medical world would suffer, I think. Most everything else would be able to cope."

- PG67AW

"I don't know. We started using plastic in all of our vehicles in the 1940s. Cars would be completely different."

"And every computer part ever made needs it - so that's two really huge parts of the world just obliterated right there."

"This would also mean no trash bags, no plastic grocery bags, no scuba gear, no space craft, no fire extinguishers, no air conditioning, no microwaves. Humanity would've persisted but wow it'd be a mess."

"But hot damn it would've been good for the planet."

- origional_esseven

"Nah, all those plastic pieces would be replaced by some sort of metal equivalent or glass if it needs to be clear."

"Flexible plastics would be replaced by rubbers"

"Plastic is literally just a cheaper and easier-to-make alternative to already viable and more recyclable materials. Greed is why we use it."

- musicalrssnroulette

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This Punderful Thread

"The wheel"

- azmetrex

"Some men just don't want to watch the world turn.'

- LongFeesh

"Someone would just reinvent it."

- toKenblaKKman

"This would have devastating consequences."

"I mean, without the wheel, what would Jesus take?"

- Ekaj__

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The Smaller Ones

"Cigarettes"

- corgiheavenlavender

"Early tobacco manufacturers, selling cigars and pipe tobacco:"

" 'He wants us to stop selling the smaller ones? Hokay man, whatever you say!' "

- CAustin3

"Only difference is there would be more pipes and cigars. People have smoked tobacco since around 4000 B.C."

- DontUpvoteNotWorth

"There's an ungodly amount of boutique and other fine cigars."

"Without the smaller cigarettes, you wouldn't have had the Affordable ads that addicted the world."

"Cigars remain a luxury good instead."

- Helphaer

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Gender Reveal Crossbows

"Gunpowder. I wanna be able to carry a saber everywhere."

- Specialist-Ad475

"Then how are we going to kill everyone at a gender reveal?"

- TackYouCack

"Gender reveal crossbows"

- Youpunyhumans

"I came here to say this. Imagine what the world would be like without gunpowder."

"European countries wouldn't have colonized everything and many countries would have been allowed to advance and use their own resources as they see fit or at least have a chance to protect their homes."

- all-boxed-up

"You can have the guns but I want my fireworks!!"

- inval1d_name

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Thomas

"Thomas Midgely adding lead in gasoline. One of the single worst ideas ever."

"Lead is extremely poisonous. I’m sure you’ve heard of lead poisoning."

"And it stays around a very long time. Everything- and I I mean everything - has dangerous amounts of lead in it."

"The grass, water, food you eat, even your body has at least 50 times the natural amount of lead because for 60 years every car on the planet spewed lead out of it’s tail pipe until it was discovered that it is killing millions across the world."

"Lead made engines run a bit more smoothly. That’s why it was put in to petrol in the first place."

"But nobody would admit to how dangerous it was until the 1970’s. The lead is still here to stay though."

- cjheaford

"That guy went on to invent CFCs for an encore, and punched a hole in the ozone layer."

- Tariovic

"Yeah lead poisoning is related to developmental and learning disorders as well mood disorders."

"The affects of lead poisoning on society and on discourse in society is rarely talked about."

- Ser_Dunk_the_tall

"Adding this guy onto my to-kill-list when I get a time machine."

- Parano78

"Not sure you could do a better job killing him than he did of killing himself."

"After being left with severe disabilities after contracting polio, he devised a pulley and rope system to get himself out of bed. One day he got entangled in the ropes and was strangled to death."

- Tariovic

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Punishment From A Greek God

"Those impossible to open plastic things that holds in stuff"

- differentiatedpans

"Scissors in the clamshell packaging seems like a punishment a Greek god would dole out."

- MyKarmaHitMyDogma

"I've got scissors specially designed to open clamshell packaging...... that came in clamshell packaging!"

- KriegerClone02

"I don't understand why band saw manufacturers don't cash in on that market."

- hitmannumber862

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We're Not Cars

"Cars."

"Our cities are ridiculously car-centric and not made for a human being. But guys, here me out :"

"We are not cars! We are humans and we made an environment suited for something else entirely!"

- Commercial_One_4594·

"100% agree."

"Humans have been caged to sidewalks which are too narrow to walk side by side, left crumbling, and often vulnerable to 2 ton weapons that can end your life in an instance while letting the careless driver more times than not to walk free."

"Also 75% of the urban fabric in cities are dedicated to cars and their storage and everyone is just okay with the waste of space and the lack of sensible design and potential to house people where those asphalt deserts lay!"

"It's absolutely maddening."

- SwimmerNos

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Mass Communication

"Movable type is the answer. Nothing else would have remotely as big an impact if you wanted to change world history."

"The first form of mass communication allowing thousands of minds to consider the same problem with the same information and distribute each of their answers to everybody else... how to dig mines, how to build bridges, how to improve crop yeilds, which metal treatments and alloys worked better."

"And also how to build warships carrying guns, how to train troops to use guns, which gun designs worked best, new ways to make guns."

"Gutenberg's invention of the BUSINESS of printing allowed/caused one section of the world to not only re-work every aspect of it's own society but to conquer the entire rest of the world."

"Every single aspect of our world is a consequence of this and we are all members of the resulting civilization -- Published Civilization."

"We're going through another similar, though not quite as profound transformation currently."

"Ever since Gutenberg, mass communication has required resources like patrons, publishers, etc. and consequently those roles created gatekeepers. Smartphones and social media have allowed ANYONE to say ANYTHING and reach a world audience with zero resources."

"There were always 'flat-earthers' but when their mass communications were the mimeo machine prints they could run themselves and convince people to read, they remained insignificant."

"Now the one-in-a-million are all talking to each other and consequently there are thousands of them able to organize.

"People need to remember that Gutenberg also gave Europe 500 years of bloody religious war."

- Oknight

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It's your turn, fam.

What's an invention you think might have changed the whole game?

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