The next time your sitting on the sofa and turn on the TV or change channels or, most importantly, silence a commercial look at the device in your hand and think of Eugene Polley, its inventor. Mr. Polley died on Sunday. Yes, it's sadly true that he got paid only a thousand dollar bonus by his employer Zenith (capitalism, anyone) & his invention was replaced by one more like the remote in your hand developed by another Zenith employee, Robert Adler. It has also, as the NYT suggests, "caused decades of domestic discord." (We solve that problem by having two remotes.)
Ultimately Mr. Polley provided his own eulogy (NYT again): "The flush toilet may have been the most civilized invention ever devised, but the remote control is the next most important. It's almost as important as sex."
Let's applaude the creator of one of the only twentieth century inventions that doesn't kill people or bring down the economy. Something very rare indeed.