Triggered By a Pencil

It is not very often that I am offended by something, Yet the other day I was offended by a slim yellow utensil, a pencil. It’s mere presence was offensive to me. We live in a digital world. I have written hundreds of little bundles of bubbles by simply tapping my fingers. When I actually scribe letters and numbers, I use a stylus on a screen. Yet in front of me in an institution of higher learning was a container filled with yellow number two pencils.

50 years ago yellow pencils were quite common. Most of them had the Indian logo on them. I was told the pencils were manufactured by Indians of the native type. I thought that manufacturing pencils would not be very lucrative, and I probably was right. It did not take long before the Indians got into the casino business. I imagine that was far more lucrative. Probably a good thing they got out of the pencil business when they did, nobody uses pencils any more. Except for schools, they live in the past. The only place students students use pencils is in class. I have to say those that teach, live in the past. I see students are quite proficient in Google documents. I really wonder if using Google documents would be better than a pencil and paper test.

I did not enjoy my schooling. There has to be a better way. I like to say “use the proper tool for the job”. These days is the pencil the right tool for the job, or simply a usless artifact from my past. How necessary is calligraphy in the days of computer generated fonts. What would handwriting analysis provide today, a need for change? If we want to be relevant in today’s society, we need to be relevant in contemporary communications. For me, pencils are just not it.

It is not very often that I find something disturbing. So I started asking people about their opinions on pencils. My first finding was artists still use them. I can understand that. Yet I was recently drawn to an image created by AI that won an art competition. I downloaded the original resolution and spent some time studying it. I was fascinated. We are in a digital transformation. Still I had many people tell me pencils are necessary. In my view they are struggling to hang on to the past.

When I was young I rember Indian pencils. Supposedly they were made by Native American Indians. A Google search showed some Blackfeet Indian pencils, but I don’t think that is what I was thinking of. Anyway Indians went on to operate casinos, much more lucrative than making pencils.

Just a final thought before I get carried away. If you go to teach someone to drive a car, do you make them ride a horse first?


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