Sunday, 27 January 2008


We, as a species, have made some great inventions and discoveries over our brief time on this planet. The written word, antibiotics and standing on our hind legs all come to mind. But we have also made some real big mistakes. One of the biggest comes from our arrogance and self-importance. It is the invention that I hate. It actually makes me physically sick. It is the Automatic Door.

Automatic doors seemed like such a good idea, as anyone who has ever watched Star Trek will testify. They open - for you! They sense your presence, and they should be just so cool!

But this is wrong. This is wrong because the automatic door never works properly. They are always broken, opening when they shouldn't because of a strong breeze, or remaining closed while you stand infront of them. They just dont work.

This is even more annoying to me, because the door is the perfect invention. I dont want to simplify this; doors have evolved over time, with the intoduction of hinges, pivots and door-frames. During the renaissance, doors began to be used for effect, creating ambience in a room. Doors have, over the centuries, evolved. But the electronic door is a monstrosity.

Opening a door requiers minimal effort. Attempting to force my way through a broken automatic door requiers more effort. They dont work. They are allways broken.

Inventions do need to evolve. Take, for example, the simlest invention: The Wheel. The wheel has grown up. One wheel can give you a wheelbarrow, or a unicycle. Combining a wheel with another gives you stability, combining it with a combustion engine allows you to travel faster, combining it with brakes allows you to stop, combining it with suspension gives you a better ride. The wheel has evolved, so far as to to the point of introducing tyres and tyre pressure, one of the most complicated sciences imaginable. It led the way to a whole new batch of inventors and inventions.

The door didn't. It could be adapted, used in new ways and perfected. But it didn't need this radical overhall, it didn't need to become something new. It is what it is, and I prefer what it is.

Inventions change. Things evolve over time. But sometimes this is not a good thing. Sometimes it is. The automatic door is not yet perfect, and until it is, I will hate it. Does this make me a bad person?

No comments: