The washing machines that give rise to books

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations

If you’ve not seen Hans Rosling speaking about the magic of the washing machine on this TED talk, you really should.  These machines produce books, you know.  It's instructive to listen to the audience's nervous laughter, as it realises where the argument is going.

The message in the presentation is that everyone should be freed from the drudgery of washing clothes by hand, liberated by the technology within the washing machine – and only hard-core miserabilists would demur from this – I wrote about one such character last year; my grandparents would have known him for the fool he is.

Use does not, of course, necessarily imply ownership of a washing machine.  Even in the developed West, ownership is unnecessary, especially, as all you really are interested in is clean clothes.  The Ellen MacArthur Foundation talks about new forms of leasing where what you buy is not the machine, but so many wash cycles.

There seems no sign of this being available on the High Street or in our Shopping Centres any time soon.


Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations


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