image description: Text describes Mary Anderson, the woman who invented windshield wipers. She invented them in 1903 but car companies wouldn't buy them bc they said they had no commercial value. The patent expired in 1920. Today they're standard on automobiles.

@caraellison I'm also absolutely certain that the car companies thought "a woman invented this, it can't possibly be useful, it's improper for women to drive." :angery:

@hezekiah let’s pause innovation and convenience and safety for TWENTY YEARS to spite this woman

@caraellison the fact that she patented it means that she held back windshield safety for ~17 years. How many people did this woman wind up killing because the auto companies couldn't build wipers without infringing her patent?

@jeffcliff I don’t understand. Companies are commercial businesses who pay hundreds of other patents for tech why not one for wipers

"What's so wrong about the mob? Hundreds of businesses in this city pay their shakedown money. Why shouldn't this cafe pay?"

It's a government-enforced shakedown that almost certainly lead to innocent people being unnecessarily killed. It's wrong if you value human life above people's ability to restrict the use of technology.

@jeffcliff hence my saying that the free market is bullshit? The original point?

@caraellison If her name was on the patent, yes, she bears responsibility for preventing others from building what she claimed patent over. She didn't have to put her name on it, but she did, and now history remembers that she did so. No getting around that now.

@jeffcliff Did you know that women are traditionally not paid for ANY of their societal labour and therefore mostly get trampled on and are poor for most of their existence for making things that men take credit for? This one woman was told her entire life if she was smart she should patent (BY MEN) and then she did do it and sexism still made her broke

@jeffcliff she is not responsible for a bunch of shite men put in motion and then men decided she shouldn’t have access to

@caraellison I'm sure she was told this by men, but that does not absolve her of delaying invention for 20 years any more than it would if she did it today. She is judged for *her* actions and not what men around her did or did not do. And sure, maybe she should get a little slack - it's hard to learn about these sorts of things, and would have been harder at the dawn of the 20th century.

@caraellison But to use her as an example in the 21st century as something other than someone who got in the way...is to encourage women to do the same today.

@jeffcliff no it doesn’t. Women still have to operate under capitalism. If they didn’t they would die. They would die?????

@caraellison "operate under capitalism" is not a 'get out of jail free' card for doing bad things. Millions of people alive then did not patent windshield wipers. Somehow they managed.

@jeffcliff no, it absolutely does deserve context. In 1900 you can’t just google ‘should I patent this’. And what this points out is that companies were not interested in the safety of their customers to the extent that if a woman had solved a problem for them they probably wouldn’t have even taken the idea for free? That is still the state of it today. That is still how society works. I have covered free games were people are like well this is clearly worthless because no one is charging for it

> if a woman had solved a problem for them they probably wouldn’t have even taken the idea for free?

Maybe, but we'll never know. All we can know is that they didn't want to put up with her bullshit, which given she had the power of the state behind her, there's no mystery why.

No one is charging for it or *no one has heard of it*? There's lots of reasons why games might fizzle unrelated to price.

@caraellison also : there's a huge difference between 'charging for windshield wipers' and 'preventing everyone else from using windshield wipers'.

@jeffcliff agree. Volvo patented the seatbelt, and then gave the patent away. They still patented it. It isn’t preventing anything. They still had to have the capital to implement it to see if it saved lives in the first place.

> They still had to have the capital to implement it to see if it saved lives in the first place.

Irrelevant to both whether or not volvo patented it, and whether or not she should have patented the windshield wiper. Either they gave the patent away or they didn't. It appears that they did, and they really did improve humanity, after at first risking delaying a great deal of progress. In her case she had already invented it, the work by that point was done, a sunk cost.

@caraellison it was irresponsible of volvo to patent it, but they made up for it later. She could have done that, but didn't.

@jeffcliff they did it because it made their corporate entity look good. She was one person who nobody listened to and paid no money to because she was a woman. Volvo paid to take on the seatbelt. Why did they not pay to take on wipers?

@caraellison As they should have. They should not have rewarded her for delaying progress of the world. They did the right thing by not paying her money, she didn't.

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@jeffcliff why would anyone give a corporation something for free

No, I’m an expert in games. People think free games with no community aspect are worthless.


To save lives, and improve the quality of living of the whole world?

@jeffcliff okay, sure. Why don’t we all invent stuff and take no fee so amazon, Microsoft and google can make money from us for it? Seems good. No wait, that is what happens, and it’s called exploitation? Why not give hours of your spec work and new engine to amazon for free? Until it’s not necessary to have money to survive people are going to die and that is the direct fault of systemic capitalism’s hierarchies.

@caraellison Because cars are a pain in the ass to drive without windshield.

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