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5 May, 2005

Bikes are best?

At least in the opinion of a self-selecting sample from a small, specific subset of the population (and other alliteration), the bicycle is the most significant invention since 1800, by a huge margin.  Almost 60% of participants in a BBC Radio 4 poll (phone-in?) voted for the bike, the next most popular being the transistor with a mere 8% of the total:

Bicycle – 59%
Transistor – 8%
Electro-magnetic induction ring – 8%
Computer – 6%
Germ theory of infection – 5%
Radio – 5%
Internet – 4%
Internal Combustion Engine – 3%
Nuclear Power – 1%
Communications Satellite – 1%
This seems to exhibit exactly the complacency I'd expect from a Radio 4 audience, who apparently regard electricity generation and antibiotics as secondary to a jolly old cycle ride through the tranquil lanes of middle England. A quarter said they'd like to 'disinvent' GM foods, which is further than I'd go – I don't have an inherent problem with the concept of GM, just the way it's being implemented. Rather depressingly, 19% wished nuclear power had never existed, which merely displays ignorance, in my opinion.
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