TED Conversations

Hans Rosling

Director, Gapminder Foundation


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What are your thoughts and questions on "the magic washing machine"?

I will be answering questions on my new TED talk today at 11.30 -1.30 pm EST.
Please join the conversation!


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  • Mar 21 2011: Hi Prof Rosling, thank you for the interesting talk which highlighted something we usually take for granted.

    I was wondering to what degree washing machines are a metaphor in your talk. How much time does washing take each week for someone without a machine? Are there other labour-saving devices you think are of similar importance?
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      Mar 21 2011: Hi John,
      It is a metaphor, but a metaphor with substance. My grandfather and father were industrial workers and washing their cloths was hard job as it was to wash children cloths before the disposable napkins arrived. I have really asked my audience over the last years, many thousands of people and they all, ALL, use washing machine, so it is really a very good metaphor for all the good things we got from the industrial revolution. I have a simple mind. A thing that 100 % use much be a great benefit in peoples life.
      • Mar 22 2011: Thank you for your talk and I have truly been awakened by this force (obviously I don't do my own laundry in my household, I am embarrassed to admit), but is there a time when doing laundry is eclipsed by better or cheaper garments? Disposable clothes? Forever garments? What then, will there be a class who still does laundry and another who buys new? Will ever this be a reality?

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