THE ORDER OF INVENTIONS
The order in which inventions are made is very important, much more important than has ever been realised, because we tend automatically to think that later inventions are better than earlier ones.
A moment’s thought will show this is not so. If, for example, a solution to today’s urban traffic problems was proposed in the shape of a small man-powered two-wheeled vehicle which would make the motor car look like a complicated, inefficient and over-powered device, we would greet it as a great technological breakthrough.
“The bicycle makes the car obsolete!” we would cry. Unfortunately, the bike came first, so we shall always unconsciously see it as a simpler version of the car. Other things which may have been invented too early are the radio and the railway train.
Consider also the zip. Zips represent a technological advance on buttons, being faster and more complete. However, they are also more likely to come apart, break, malfunction, stick and catch. Buttons can only go wrong if the thread is faulty.
Even then, buttons can be mended by the user. Zips rarely can.
Mark the best choice.
1. Line 4, ‘this is not so” means that .
a) we should not think automatically
b) the order of inventions is not important
c) we should not accept inventions easily
d) later inventions are not always better than earlier ones
2. If the bicycle were invented now, .
a) people would not welcome it as they did in the past
b) people would still prefer cars to bicycles
c) it would be seen as an earlier version of the car
d) the car would appear unsuitable for Us purpose
3. Although buttons were invented earlier than zips, .
a) they are. still more reliable
b) they are faster than zips
c) they represent a technological advance
d) they malfunction easily