Wrong Way, Humanity!

There have been a few “innovations” I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks that have made me scratch my head and doubt humanity’s intelligence. Despite our success in paddling against the universe’s current of increasing entropy, every so often it seems we decide to do a U-turn and see if we can outrun the current and hasten our doom.

First up: Flexplay‘s dumbfounding EZ-D technology. The idea of EZ-D is simple: you buy an EZ-D DVD title for really cheap (like the cost of a movie rental), and once the package is opened the DVD slowly decays until it is unreadable by a DVD player. Why? So that the consumer doesn’t have to return the DVD, like they would if they had rented the DVD. Great, eh? Heaven forbid we have to get off our fat asses, hop in our SUV to return a video. Why bother using a DVD again and again, when we can use it once, and throw it away?

Second offender: the Browning Automatic Bicycle Transmission. Admittedly, it’s kind of a neat idea – except for the fact that it augments a green transportation technology with a computer and of course, a nice hunk of batteries. Come on! It’s a bicycle! It’s not like it requires a license to figure out how to operate the gears on a bike. Is this the kind of problem we developed a big meaty brain to solve?

My only consolation in the face of these abominations came from an author of children’s fiction, JK Rowling. This week it was announced that the latest installation of the Harry Potter series will be printed on 100% recycled paper. So, to summarize, the score for slowing our descent into oblivion stands as follows: advanced science – 0, authors of Wiccan children’s fiction – 1.