How Inventions Change History (for Better and for Worse) [5:14]


This video begins with a discussion of the the cotton gin at the beginning of the 19th century.  Slaves were used for this incredibly labor intensive product, before the gin.  After it, an individual slave could produces dozens of times more cotton.  One might imagine that this meant less slaves were needed, but the opposite became the case.  The video ends discussing the larger questions of unintended consequences.

Discussion Questions

  • Is science, technology, and innovation itself good or bad?
  • How might we try to avoid the negative, unintended consequences of introducing new technology?

Keywords: innovation, technology, inventions, society


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