Friday, January 27, 2006

Iron Age Technology

At my desk are countless writing implements at my disposal. Several types of pens, in varying colors and styles; a variety of highlighters; permanent markers, in both fine nad broad tip; even mechanical pencils. But despite all the variety, I'm consistently drawn back to the simplicity of the solid #2 pencil. By all accounts, the other options are far superior, no need to sharpen, constant flow of ink, less smearage, bright colors, everything. Yet I still keep pencils around, and actually go through phases where I love writing with them. I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's the simplicity of it... the fine point of a freshly sharpened pencil... the convenience of the eraser when things go awry... or just the distinct feel and sound of the pencil graphite scribbling on the paper. Nothing else is quite like it.

Why does it matter? It doesn't. I just find it interesting that technology can't improve upon it. No doubt the rocket scientists at NASA still keep countless pencils around for the astronauts to use in space, because it's one thing that isn't affected by changes in gravity in the slightest. The only improvement that could be made would be a pencil that never needs sharpening... but still works and feels exactly like a normal graphite pencil. Perhaps someday our space age technology will figure that out... until then, I'll stay back in the iron age.

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