I love a good counter-intuitive thesis. The Sunday newspapers today carry reviews of a book entitled 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang that is definitely on my reading list. Ha-Joon Chang is a critic of capitalism, but he is not opposed to it. On the other hand, he is fiercely critical of the way economics has been, as he puts it ‘positively harmful for people for the past three decades.’ Chang’s reported intention is to show how capitalism actually operates, rather than as it is pictured by economists and politicians. So I come to that counter-intuitive thesis; according to Chang, the washing machine changed the world far more than the internet. I did a double-take when I first read that but the more I think about it the more I see that it could be true; the washing machine, that is, together with disposable nappies… ‘Discuss,’ as they say.