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"What Technology Has Accidentally Killed the Most People?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2020 9:49 p.m. PST

"Show me a museum of important historical inventors and I will show you a gallery of deluded mass murderers. I'm not talking about machine gun manufacturers or nuclear scientists—those people, at least, have some sense of what they're up to. I'm talking about the folks behind the printing press, the automobile, various kinds of boat technology. These people tried to improve the world, and succeeded, but also indirectly killed millions of people. That, at least, is the lesson of this week's Giz Asks, in which a number of historians wrestle with the question of which technological innovation has accidentally killed the most people…"
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14Bore16 Jun 2020 2:11 a.m. PST

Living life is dangerous, always has been.

Other than that my vote is cell phones.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 2:45 a.m. PST

Automobiles & alcohol

Dexter Ward16 Jun 2020 3:55 a.m. PST

Domesticating animals. Gave us Smallpox, Measles and many other infectious diseases which have killed more people than all wars put together.

tabletopwargamer16 Jun 2020 6:20 a.m. PST

I'm not sure domesticated animals are technology….

Legion 416 Jun 2020 6:41 a.m. PST

Automobiles & alcohol
Plus the tech to make mass production of tobacco products available.

Of course the automobile/trucks/the internal combustion engine created as many problems as it solved. However, it is paramount to many places in the world's modern version of survival. Don't leave home without it.

Extrabio194716 Jun 2020 6:46 a.m. PST

Key word being "accidentally" i suppose. So what technology has caused the most fatal accidents? I would have to agree with ZuluPaul.

It varies by source, but about 1.35 million people are killed in road accidents annually, worldwide.

SpuriousMilius16 Jun 2020 7:16 a.m. PST

I vote for metallurgy which gives us the ability to make all the items that enable us to slaughter ourselves efficiently by accident & by design.

ashauace697016 Jun 2020 8:18 a.m. PST

Norden bomb sight

Eclectic Wave16 Jun 2020 9:58 a.m. PST


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

Even if you lump together all of the people killed intentionally and accidentally by aerial bombardment during the few years when the Norden was in use, it won't be close to the number killed by any of the major accidental killers, like cigarettes and cars.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 10:17 a.m. PST

How about just "technology" itself. Having leisure time and spending a good part of it sitting on your butt are the intended effects. Becoming morbidly out of shape and killing yourself during leisure activities (especially ones you aren't fit enough for) as a result of technology "improving" people's lives has to be up at the top of unintended deaths. Or is that too general?

If we need a specific technology … the printing press.

Left to their own, most people couldn't care a cold bucket of farts on a rainy day about things outside their visual horizon, and care very little for most things inside it. People used to only hate the people in their physical proximity.

But the printing press, the genesis of mass distributed media, gave humanity a greatly increased of others upon which to spew their bile and vitriol.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 12:24 p.m. PST



14Bore16 Jun 2020 3:20 p.m. PST

Maybe its the combination- alcohol/vehicles or cell phone/ vehicles

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 10:02 p.m. PST

Maybe its the combination- alcohol/vehicles or cell phone/ vehicles

Texting while drinking can be bad for you, too, but it won't get you killed as fast as doing either while driving.

USAFpilot17 Jun 2020 10:40 p.m. PST

About 30,000 yearly, just in the US, die in car accidents. It won't make the evening news because it is so common; kind of like the daily murders on the south side of Chicago.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2020 9:17 a.m. PST

<a>Eclectic Wave 16 Jun 2020 9:58 a.m. PST

Yep -- that'd do it…

Roderick Robertson Fezian18 Jun 2020 9:34 a.m. PST

The wheel.

People were being accidently killed by/in wheeled vehicles long before the internal combustion engine was added.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2020 4:30 p.m. PST

Boats. They've been killing people for thousands of years.

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