“I, Pencil,” Updated

3 February 2010 at 10:15 pm 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

Like many instructors, I rely on Leonard Read’s classic “I, Pencil” to illustrate the vast network of impersonal, voluntary exchanges that make up the market system. One problem, however, is that many of today’s students have never seen a yellow wooden pencil. Thanks to Ed Lopez, I now have an updated version.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Teaching.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rafe Champion  |  4 February 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Yesterday someone casually mentioned something about drawing caricatures of the teacher on their blotter at school. I have seen a few pencils lying around (living with an artist can have that effect) but has anyone seen a blotter lately?
    In case you were afraid to ask http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blotting_paper

  • 2. Michael E. Marotta  |  16 February 2010 at 6:41 am

    In the 1906 dystopia SECRET OF THE LEAGUE by Ernest Bramah and in the 1922 novella THE DRIVER by Garet Garrett (both possible precursors to ATLAS SHRUGGED) the characters have pencils on them as a matter of course. As a collector of financial artifacts, I have a check from that era written in pencil and stock certificates with penciled annotations. Hence, the traditional admonishment to always use ink for important matters.

    However, a couple of years ago, I bought a pencil sharpener for the Dean’s office at the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Michigan University. Professors give us “scan-tron” tests but EMU has no pencil sharpeners in the classrooms.

    Not only do I still use pencils, I still have fountain pens. Nothing writes like a Scheafer, except, of course, a Mont Blanc.

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