Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Worst invention ever

In California, all cars must periodically submit to a "smog check" to verify that the catalytic converter works and that emissions are within a certain range.

Today I bring my car in for the check. When I pick it up, I ask "Is the car ok? Does it pollute?" "Of course it pollutes," says the car technician guy who just charged me \$142.99 for ten minutes of work, "This [the car] is the worst invention ever made. It's destroying our planet."


  1. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/06/2006 12:05:00 AM

    Why did that cost $142.99? Did you get a side of crack with that? You can get a smog check for less than $30.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/06/2006 07:15:00 AM

    The car may be the worst invention and sure it will be destroying the planet in the long run but at present it is destroying you.

    Lance has a similar blog on influential invention in 2nd half of 20th century. Check it out. Complementing each other.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/06/2006 06:53:00 PM

    Yet, when I think about people in third world countries such as rural Tanzania, it seems to me that they need a car even more than a computer. One sees crowds tirelessly walking and walking and walking for hours in the heat while carrying heavy loads. What a waste of human energy and time, and what an enormous difference a few more cars could make to their lives and to their country!

  4. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 06:56:00 AM

    Once you have one car, everybody will want one, and everybody in Tanzania will end up fat and lazy. Or people with cars will shove around people without. Once they have cars, no one will care about pollution, everybody will want one, like in India, regardless of whether there are enough roads to hold them or not. I don't see why everybody in the world must follow western notions of progress. Sure, its hard work to walk around everywhere but that isn't the reason third world countries are a mess...its because of corruption, lack of civic sense and overpopulation.

    You may have made your remark flippantly, but i think it shows the attitudes westerners hold...whats good for us here will certainly be doing them a favor...

  5. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 10:11:00 AM

    Speaking as a real westerner (unlike Claire), I think what they need most of all is Jesus.

  6. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 10:22:00 AM

    You may have made your remark flippantly, but i think it shows the attitudes westerners hold...whats good for us here will certainly be doing them a favor...

    Actually, I think this comment is even more offensive. If you ask the average person in the third world whether they would want a car, the answer is likely to be "yes". So who are you to decide that the social optimum is for them to go without cars?

    Your statement is also highly hypocritical, unless you yourself do not have a car. In which case I'm guessing that you (a) don't have kids, and (b) are still in grad school. (The majority of people with kids and/or commuting to a job find cars indispensible.)

  7. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 10:37:00 AM

    Actually, Id rather see people using horses, camels or elephants instead of cars. They dont polute, they run on bio-fuel, and dont need paved roads.

  8. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 03:08:00 PM

    This is the poster who made the even more offensive comment.

    I agree with the anonymous above...besides haven't you heard of public transport? Oh I forgot...there are streets in America that don't even have a sidewalk. I guess that's the culmination of the plan to give everybody a car to save them from walking!

    Furthermore, I would not use my influence to stop the Tanzanians from getting cars. I just don't believe that handing rural Tanzanians cars will solve their problems, it might create more. If they want cars, they are free to develope the indigenous technology which they feel is fit to use with respect to their environment. The average person in Tanzania may want a car now and not care about these considerations, but 20 years hence after their air has been polluted because of old technology 'donated' to them by industrial nations, I am sure they will change their minds.

    Who are you to decide that pollution, dependence on gas and crowded roads are the social optimum? (And I don't really see how driving for hours in rush hour is convenient.)

  9. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/07/2006 09:15:00 PM

    The abuse of cars may be our eventual demise; but that should not hide the fact that in themselves, cars are a great invention. (And, as a technological invention, cars=trucks=buses.)

    I am against car-bashing but in favor of driver-bashing (for unjustified driving).

  10. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/08/2006 12:16:00 AM

    @anonymous from india

    Im from india as well. Ethical and moral viewpoints like yours are just plain inappropriate. As is western-mentality bashing. And did you just say tanzanians should develop their technology in house? Very flippant of you too. Im no expert on the country's literacy figures,but im guessing a large section isnt very prosperous or highly educated, given that they walk around for hours in the sun.

    Since you agree that nobody (not you, or your "western" colleagues) ought to decide what their social optimum should be, maybe you should let THEM decide. Im pretty sure they would love to drive around their lovely countryside in fords. And if YOU think thats bad for THEIR environment : its your opinion, deal with it.

    Societies should be allowed to grow as and how they please. Human needs (even if they are short sighted in your eyes) must be met as best as possible, so no one is underprivileged. Eventually, when things get skewed, some sort of equilibrium will be reached. If we want better traffic in india, we ought to use public transport. But let them address the problem when they get to it.

  11. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/08/2006 12:35:00 AM

    P.S. - Go Claire!

  12. Anonymous Anonymous
    9/08/2006 07:55:00 AM

    If it was so easy for them to drive around in fords, they would have done it already.

    And I never said I was from India.

  13. Anonymous Anonymous
    6/19/2007 03:27:00 AM

    i dont think the car is the one who destroy this world. we as the human being are the one. this is an irony,we invented something to destroy our world.
    that is so ridiculuos.......
    somebody might said that
    but unfortunately
    this is the fact

    as a conclusion, no invention in this world is a bad invention....
    every invention in this world have its own uses. but we, human tends to critisize it although we ourself uses it, same goes to most of you here.........
    you all critisize the car as the worst invention in this world but yet most of you are in fact using a car.........

    again, it is an irony.....
    you all really make me laugh

    the car is not the worst invention, no invention is anyway.
    the worst invention is you!!!!
    all of you!!!

  14. Anonymous Anonymous
    4/28/2008 01:03:00 AM



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