Electrical Engineering?

Its march was so inexorable that electrocuting elephants could not stand in its way. Not even when it was Edison was the one throwing the switch. Of course Westinghouse's A.C. won, and it slowly but surely made its way into every home.

At some point before all this happening, there must have been a committee sitting in a glass panelled conference room trying to decide how to actually distribute this magical stuff into every room, hell, every wall of every room.

"We shall need 2 wires, Live and Neutral."

"Metal appliances will need to be grounded."

"Of course."

"Ok. Add one more wire. So, Live, Neutral and Ground."

"That's right. And we do it in such a way that Ground is optional. A triangular arrangement perhaps."

"Very Nice. Done. Put that down."

"What shape should the pins be?"

"Well, obviously its not a pleasant experience - to be electrocuted. We all saw that elephant. We should make them flat, so that not even an infant can poke its pinkie in."

"Good point."

"Just had a thought. In the future, they might try powerline ethernet. Do we need to add any features to ensure compatibility?"

"Alex. Stop playing with you damn time machine. And don't mix your stupid hobbies with work."

"Sorry... I just thought ... "

"I don't want to hear it!"

"Sir, What about placement? Where should these sockets be?"

"Since we have ensured that they are poke proof, we should place these sockets two inches off the ground."

"Two inches?"

"Yes, that's the optimum height. Just above the skirting."

"Whatever you say. You are the boss."

In this manner, ignoring the prior invention of the fork, knife, paper clip and all other flat metal objects, all electrical sockets came to be placed a couple of inches off the ground.

There is a reason I mention all this. If it wasn't for these gentlemen, my world would be a different place. Better perhaps, but different nonetheless. My table would push up flush against the wall and stuff would no longer fall off the back. There would be no reason to leave the gap between the bed and the corner that routinely swallows my arm. The toaster's wire would actually reach the socket. I could go on and on ...

Things could have been so much simpler. But they aren't.

I wonder why.


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