The toaster, technology, globalization, and change

A toaster would cost you PHP700+ to PHP2000+. How’s that to you? Cheap, if you ask me, considering that “an ordinary toaster has more than 400 components and sub-components, made from nearly 100 different materials” and for one unit to be assembled, “global efforts of an uncounted workforce and the accumulated knowledge of the centuries” are employed.


Tim Hartford, columnist of the Financial Times and blogger, notes

the toaster should give us pause for thought. It is a symbol of the sophistication of our world, but also a symbol of the obstacles that lie in wait for those who want to change it. Whether attempting to deal with climate change, social deprivation, economic development or healthcare, improving faults in such a complex system is a task best approached with humility.


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