Highlights from TEDWomen Session 1: finance in Iceland, Hans Rosling on washing machines, and how women + humor = change

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28 Responses to “Highlights from TEDWomen Session 1: finance in Iceland, Hans Rosling on washing machines, and how women + humor = change”

  1. bcsizemo says:

    I’m guessing Mr. Rosling is a realist then. Cause whenever I envision the future I see robots doing my laundry. Maybe not something out of I Robot, but a machine that’s fully automated none the less.

    Some days I have mixed thoughts on the impending robotic spread. I think it’d be nice some times, but most days I have a feeling it’ll never happen. Well at least not in my life time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For the people saying laundromat is a solution, it still means time wasted taking the laundry to the store and then possibly sitting for an hour waiting for the wash.

    My perspective from India follows:
    In India, the soapy clothes are either rubbed with a fist sized rock or beaten with a wooden paddle during the washing process. People still may hand wash underwear after the bath but that is about it.

    Now even the servants in many cities in India will not wash clothes and their accepting the job offers is conditional on the wash m/c being available (Dryers are simply not used). They expect to only hang the clothes out to dry on the clotheslines . The lady of the house loads and runs the machine before the maid arrives. The dried clothes are brought indoors during the evening visit if the maid visits twice a day. And this is a critical time saver for the maid who has to service 3-4 apartments in the building before her day ends.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Two, having a washing machine allowed him and his mother the time to enjoy things like reading books. Or more commonly, work outside the home. I would argue that if we were to measure productivity by HOUSEHOLD rather than by WORKER, we would find that much of the improvement in the second half of the 20th century was the reduced number of hours worked INSIDE the home allowed more hours to be worked OUTSIDE the home. Vacuum cleaners, permanant press, microwave ovens etc. are arguably responsible for the much greater percentage of women in the workforce.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Halla Tomasdottir was a favorite of WVFC’s as well (http://womensvoicesforchange.org/at-tedwomen-leaders-tell-us-how-women-can-run-the-world.htm) – we think her ideas on feminine values and embracing the “beauty of balance” are very interesting.

  5. foobar says:

    My penis does not prevent me from sharing those values, thank you very much. Nor do the lack of cojones prevent women from being just as brash, ruthless and self serving as any man.

  6. Aloisius says:

    I’m not sure about the whole government-ran-by-women war thing. I mean, does anyone believe that if Sarah Palin was President that she wouldn’t start another war. She has more bravado than I do.

  7. IG_HateyHate says:

    I’m wondering if washing machines have really saved people time. The way I understand it, people only had a few outfits of well-made clothes. Washing machines and cheap imports have allowed people to have huge wardrobes. I live in a house built in the 20s, and the lack of closet space has forced me to reduce my wardrobe. I would think the changes in cooking would have had a much larger impact.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “This means that, in a world with seven billion people, two billion have washing machines and the remaining five billion still wash their clothes by hand.”

    Is he not aware of laundromats?

  9. Mantissa128 says:

    Three: We export cheap, locally-buildable, repairable washing machine technology to five billion people.

    Four: …

    Five: Profit!

  10. robcat2075 says:

    She was “heating firewood”?

    I detect a problem right there.

  11. johnnyaction says:

    I think bringing wells to villages around the world, solar house lights and giving/selling them old style wringer washing machines does more good than one laptop per child dollar wise.

    Old wringer washers are proven, simple tech that can be hand/bicycle/electric run and repaired locally.

    • foobar says:

      One laptop per child would let said child build his own wringer washing machine from bicycle parts and publish instructions to do the same for all the other laptop children.

      Give a man a fish yadda yadda.

      • BadIdeaSociety says:

        >>One laptop per child would let said child build his own wringer washing machine from bicycle parts and publish instructions to do the same for all the other laptop children.<<

        Would these countries receiving the One Laptop Per Child also receive the WiFi or hard-wired internet infrastructure to allow them to retrieve the instructions to build a washing machine?

        Would the countries have the functional parts to build wringer washing machines Make:Magazine-style?

        I get the idea of teaching someone to fish, but you need a pond, a pole and fish to fish. Would all of these countries have the materials to make self-sufficiency and innovation possible?

        • foobar says:

          Would these countries receiving the One Laptop Per Child also receive the WiFi or hard-wired internet infrastructure to allow them to retrieve the instructions to build a washing machine?

          That’s a fair question to ask, though I don’t have the answer. Some of them certainly would – half of the worlds population lives in cities.

  12. Amelia_G says:

    I enjoy Hans Rosling–thanks for the heads-up! It’s hard to find time to watch all the TED videos I’d like to watch because they demand concentration. There are very few chores I can multitask with TED podcasts.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So here’s another take on washing machines: While many women washed their family’s clothing by hand, those that could afford to, paid someone (usually a woman) to wash their clothes. These women were often widows, and this practice was so ingrained in ninteenth century England that people would often take up collections when a woman’s husband died so she could afford the neccessary equipment. So there was an industry of women who made money washing other people’s clothing, and though they may not have made much, they made enough that they were at or above the poverty line.

    Now, the rich can afford washing machines, so they stop paying the women and, effectively begin paying men to design and build better washing machines. These women are out of jobs and are generally too old, or have too many children to take on work outside the home.

    So who benefits?

  14. bklynchris says:

    Why does this not excite me like the TED, TED conference? But instead fills me with a sense of nonplussed despair?

    Re-Women and war. If it were just women fighting a war, that war would be the bloodiest and briefest.

    • BadIdeaSociety says:

      >>If it were just women fighting a war, that war would be the bloodiest and briefest.<<

      And it would be for reasons related to a small incident several years ago that the other countries had no idea was a problem in the first place.

      Kidding

  15. Ernst Gruengast says:

    Also on that panel:

    Golda Meir
    Indira Ghandi
    Benazir Bhutto
    Tzipi Livni
    ….list goes on

    But then its a man’s world, no….

    If these are the conclusions drawn from this it just makes a laughing stock out of something as important as this event.

    Cripes…are people like Ted Turner the great minds of our times?

  16. Quaternion says:

    Next up, Ted Turner interviews Condoleezza Rice (Iraq), Margaret “Iron Lady” Thatcher (Falklands), Hillary Clinton (Afghanistan), and Sarah “Barracuda” Palin (you name it, she’ll bomb it) for a light-hearted yet surprising discussion of war and how to wage it.

    • Chrs says:

      Well, they’re the ones that get to the top right now. Why, it’s almost as if women in politics have to be war-friendly to be taken seriously!

      • Quaternion says:

        Good point

        • Anonymous says:

          This warms my heart, btw. Two differing points of opinion with a regular, plain spoken agreement over part of why everything gets so insane.

          In all fairness, I still support the case that women and men do still do some things a bit differently. It might be interesting to see the differences between a more matriarchal society versus are more patriarchal society. Note: my theory is that a balance between the two is more desirable because neither side is to be completely preferred.

          Also, let’s put this in in advance, any differences should never imply inequality but instead should be used as ways to inform ourselves over our values and biases.

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