The Little Things in Life

The blog site motto "The Keyboard is Mightier than the Sword" is awfully cheesy. Prof Yoo, if possible, please use your influence at PBL to change it :]

Anyways... my blog today was inspired by a trip to the public bathrooms on campus. I am a true appreciator of the disposable toilet seat covers and was shocked to see how full the dispenser was. I mean seriously. Why is such a hygenically wonderful tool not being taken advantage of? It got me to thinking about other little inventions that are out there, revolutionized my life, and yet are so simple and unnoticed. Among a number of things I thought about loofahs, pore strips, carpet, and then it hit me -- the mechanical pencil.

I don't know about other people but I live by mechanical pencils. I refuse to use the regular, crappy #2 graphites and hate ballpoints. I just have to have my mechanical pencil. This is a PERFECT example of ubiquitous technology. Think about it. They have revolutionized my life and yet, are so grossly underappreciated.

Reasons why mechanical pencils rock:
1. They always have a sharp point (instead of eventually wearing down)
2. They write smoother
3. Their erasers even erase more effectively
4. You don't need to go out of your way to get up & sharpen
5. They save money (b/c they last forever)
6. The old pencils required too much work
--> remember the sharpeners attached to the walls in elementary school? you had to churn the wheel forever, it didn't work on short pencils & the point was always crooked on one side... they were also incredibly noisy (as was the electic sharpener which ate the pencil)

The technology may not be complex but who said it had to be? Just as the mechanical pencil disappears into daily life, the same should occur for other great technologies in the future. We actually gain more power and control from the mechanical pencil b/c it doesn't bother us and b/c we aren't controlled by the frustrations of the regular #2's any longer. Innovators need to take inspiration from them and design in a fashion that will help us, not hinder us. That will ease frustrations without intimidating us through the use of a more efficient, cheap alternative.

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Cheesy Blog@Case Motto
Excerpt: The blog site motto "The Keyboard is Mightier than the Sword" is awfully cheesy. Okay, I fess up. My fault....
Weblog: Jeremy Smith's blog
Tracked: October 20, 2005 02:28 AM

Comments

I don't know if I have any influence to change the motto... but, I enjoyed reading your blog. There is a notion called micro mobility. This is how easily we can mobilize small devices and artifacts in our everyday activities. Papers are good example. Pencils or mechanical ones (in your case) will be another example. Mobile phones are getting there. Palm Pilot was one of the first technologies that understood this notion and became a huge success. iPod would be another example. Just making small wouldn't do it.

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