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The phenomenon that is the human brain is one of the most incredible things on this planet. We are the only species that has been able to create amazing feats, like transportation, technology, arts and entertainment. Humanity has the potential for so many amazing inventions.

Humans also have the ability to create things of our own destruction or demise. As brilliant as cars can be, they have been known to cause a few accidents. Smartphones and television has given us access to infinite information and entertainment at the touch of a button. Over time, these devices have been known to cause some serious health problems.

We went to Ask Reddit to find out what inventions we are just simply better off without.


Redditor numbnerve asked:

"What is one invention that we'd be better off without?"

Let's try not to get too worried over this list of terrible inventions.

Landmines shouldn't be used anymore.

"Landmines. I'll tell you why:"

  • "They render large tracts of land completely unusable."
  • "They are expensive and difficult to remove safely because there is seldom documentation of where they are placed."
  • "They are cheap, plentiful, easy to place, and deadly."
  • "They kill/maim livestock and wild animals."
  • "They kill/maim innocent people decades after conflicts have ended. Many times the victims are children because they can't read or don't understand warning signs."

- RichardDune91

"This is a great answer. They really are truly horrible, and hurt people long after whatever stupid war has gone down."

- appleparkfive

"I was going to say Twitter but I have to admit this is worse."

- Jeheh

"You're not wrong. Twitter is the landmine of the internet. You said something stupid when you were younger but as you grew older, you realized your stupidity and changed for the better. Great right? Then bam, your tweet from years passed gets used against you. And you have people freaking the f*ck out like they never did or said stupid sh*t before."

"But landmines really do suck. There's actually a country in Africa that has rats that detect land mines. They're friggin adorable."

- sneekerpixie

We all love to hate 'em.

"Robocalls."

- c_fritz

"You mean, autodialer services that scammers use. Companies exist to provide autodialing phone services. F*ck them."

- ArmchairFilosopher

"A smaller but related issue is calling different businesses and hearing a robot on the end. To navigate through all their hoops, especially when it's a voice response system, and only find that you landed in the wrong section and have to do the whole thing over, is extremely frustrating."

- supremekimilsung

"For questions about your account, press 1. Oh your question was about billing, you should have pressed 2 for billing. Oh, your question about billing is why you were billed twice, you should have pressed 3 for dispute resolution. Oh your dispute was due to a processing error, you should have pressed 4 for bookkeeping. Oh bookkeeping only has access to your account for records and inquiries so we can tell you your payment history and the like, so if you want to know why you were billed twice... you should have pressed 1 for questions about your account."

- atigges

"Then once you finally get to a person they send you to someone else who then puts you on hold."

- Mrtooth12

"And then your call just magically loses connection."

- The_Grubby_One

​A lie detector test is so inaccurate.

"YES! There is no device that can "detect lies". Having a device monitor your pulse and heart rate is not a lie detector test, it is a device that monitors your pulse and heart rate."

- Dan514158351

"Or a printer. One of my favorite scenes in The Wire."

- kepleronlyknows

A truly unsustainable practice.

"Seafloor trawling..."

"It destroys the habitant of fish just so we can squeeze every bit of a fish from an area..."

- memmoria91

"That seems counter productive."

- Dewahll

"Sometimes fisherman will just toss bad nets into the ocean. If they're in an area with a strong current they'll move on their own and become whirling nets of death. They'll catch anything they come into contact with and kill it. Divers have reported seeing these nets with the skeletons of thousands of sea life still stuck."

- dirtybrownwt

"Commercial fishing nets make up 50% of ocean plastics. And yet the industry got everyone focused on drinking straws instead..."

- 1sttimeverbaldiarrhe

"I'm pretty sure it's all because of that video with a straw stuck up the turtles nose. There are a thousand better things to cut back on but straws it is!"

- dirtybrownwt

So many people suffered... for a specific kind of ceiling?

"Asbestos in popcorn ceiling."

- tessamp

"Asbestos in general too many people (including myself) have lost grand parents or parents to mesothelioma."

- orio_sling

"Fun fact (actually not fun at all fact): you are more likely to get other lung cancers than mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma just is a slam dunk for lawyers since you basically can only get it from asbestos exposure."

- bayou_chemist

"Technically, mesothelioma isn't a lung cancer, although it typically develops in the tissue that holds the lungs in place. But you're not wrong, it's almost guaranteed that the cause was asbestos exposure, and there's a good chance that exposure was due to or precipitated by some degree of corporate negligence or dishonesty. Sadly, due to the various types of asbestos that were predominantly used, and the diverse range of exposure sources, a lot of mesothelioma restitution ends up with corporations fighting it out over how much each of them should be liable…and often, after confirmed diagnosis, the plaintiff has at most a very gross and painful year or two left and in my experience seldom lives to see a decision made in their favour."

"The problem is, the corporations aren't necessarily wrong to dispute their varying degrees of culpability, and often it's like they're saying 'yeah ok we were all beating on this guy but you were the one who got all crazy and brought out the lead pipe, and I think that's when you killed him'. And when you factor in splitting hairs over which cancer is the main boss-cancer, it gets even hairier."

"Mesothelioma tort law was the saddest thing I've worked with I think, and it's why I abandoned pursuing a career in law."

- OG_ursinejuggernaut

Subscriptions for products you pay for already.

"Any product that you pay for, and then have to pay a subscription to use."

- Free_Moose4649

"Subscriptions for any service that absolutely does not need to be a subscription. And by that I mean Microsoft Office."

- queen-of-carthage

"Adobe is fully subscription. You don't pay an initial fee for the software. That said, f*ck Adobe and subscription models."

- cat-meg

Though some of these inventions are minor inconveniences, some of them have serious consequences or are actually life threatening.

Over time, humans will continue to evolve and reinvent what we know the world to be like today. The question remains though: Do we actually need any of this? Just because it makes our lives more convenient, doesn't mean we need to have it.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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