Feb 23 2007
Far be it from me to criticize the recently deceased, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the world would be like today if not for Robert Adler’s most famous invention.
Who was this 93-year-old man who died last week? What device did he set upon the world, changing us in so many ways?
Well, he was the inventor of the remote control.
Yes, Robert Adler invented the television remote way back in 1956, the year that mankind officially became a collective heap of saggy Jell-O sprawled across the sofa.
I ask again, what would the world be like if not for this invention?
Seriously, think about that. For one, we wouldn’t watch TV. Heck no. Something would come on that we didn’t like, and we’d be too lazy to get up to change it. Instead we would go out and construct monuments or come up with the cure for cancer. Why do you think Egypt’s pyramids were built? They didn’t have remotes! So they stacked chunks of rock.
Think about it: Goodbye Montel; hello society a better place.
Maybe I’m fooling myself. Maybe we would find other sedentary interests to fill our time, like watching leaves grow or exploring the great details on the surface of a pork rind.
Or more likely, someone else would have come up with the idea for the remote control instead. It might not have been as effective. Imagine if TVs came with a trained monkey who changed the channel for us. “No, not C-SPAN, you idiot! I’ve told you I don’t watch C-SPAN.” Or a long wooden dowel with a rubber finger on the tip.