Skip to main content

A life without pencil erasers?

This morning, I got a good dose of philosophy from the newspaper. It isn’t very often that you get to read unique articles and this particular one definitely made my Friday morning a thoughtful one. It was the ‘World View’ column with the title “Pencil Erasers may be the ‘devil’” that caught my attention. It got me thinking about the process of unlearning taught to us at school.

A lot of questions popped up. Why do we hide our mistakes? Why isn’t it okay to make mistakes? Why are we taught to make up for a mistake? Why aren’t we taught to look at the mistake and learn from it? Why do we erase a mistake? Why aren’t we being naturally ourselves? Why do we need an eraser?

The last question is what instigated me to write this post. What if Edward Nairne had not invented an eraser by accident? What if we were never introduced to the concept of the eraser at school!

I should admit that the little wad of rubber that undoes all the mistakes made by your mighty pencil is indeed a great invention but is the philosophy behind it morally flawed?  Questions keep popping up and I love topics that make me think! So, I decided to do some thinking rather than a research, where google does most of the thinking. (We have to learn to live without google, for heaven’s sake!)

Picture sourced from here

If there was no eraser,

… My notebooks would be shabby
… My grades would be below average
… I wouldn’t be my teacher’s pet
… I would be labelled as a clumsy person
… My handwriting would be beautiful
… My attention to detail would improve
… I would be a better decision-maker
… I would not be afraid to make mistakes
… I would be more creative
… I would learn to respect the shortcomings of others
… I would learn to be myself
… I would be learning from my every mistake
… I would not be making as many mistakes
… I would turn out to be a sportive person
… I would be conscientious
… I would learn to be more positive
… I would eventually get good grades
… My notebooks would eventually look neater

… I wouldn’t be perfect but I would be a better person

I could think of multiple instances where, had I not used the eraser, what could have possibly happened. I am pretty sure; I must have become a creative genius. Some of you might think how absurd it is to think of dismissing such a genuine invention. Imagine if there was no delete/ backspace keys in the keyboard. You probably wouldn’t be reading this post till the end.

Now, however, our brains are programmed with the idea of erasers. Erasing/ editing/ making better/ being perfect/ neat – all of this are bare essentials to be successful, anywhere.

But think about it, what if we had dismissed the idea at that time? Would we have the technology that we have today? Would the world be any different without erasers?

It is not just erasers; every invention comes with a price to pay. But, as human beings we have the intellect to choose what is wise.

That's all folks!

You can read the original article here: Pencil Erasers may be the ‘devil’


  1. Interesting post. We use erasers to hide/delete our mistakes from others.Another philosophical question. We can erase our mistakes. But can we erase that from our mind? Just fyi. Art pencils do not have erasers.

    1. Thank you, SG!!! :)
      That is another great question! certainly doesn't erase it off our minds... :)
      //Art pencils do not have erasers.// :O oh yea! I have never seen one with erasers... that is pretty cool :)

  2. I agree without eraser we would be more conscious of our actions. :) Wonderful thoughts.

    1. Yo Princess! :) Thank youuuu :) eeee

  3. Interesting post to say the least.Never thought of it this way!
    Off to read the article nw:D

    1. Hey Red! Good to see you here :) :)
      Thank you so muchhh! :)
      The original article is a pretty interesting one! B-)

  4. Wise words... Nice thoughts...
    Agree with you... Cheers!

    1. :) Heyy!!! Thank you!!!
      Just an inspiration from what I read... :)

  5. While I agree that we need to make mistakes and learn, why do you think it's not OK to correct our mistakes? We have made a mistake, we realize it, so we correct it using an eraser. What's wrong with that?

    Destination Infinity

    1. I was just wondering how it would be without erasers, we can correct our mistakes even without them.
      To give you an instance, imagine how a strike-through could be better than completely erasing a sentence when editing a post. It would help us 'track' our mistakes/ retrospect over stuff, which wouldn't be the case if we completely erase them. Just my thoughts, here :)
      And, yes, it is absolutely OK to correct our mistakes :)

  6. Very good post! Gets me thinking about the editing I have to do to a precious little story I wrote :-( hate the whole erase concept! Thank you....Annette


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Make Up and Me (Not Me)

They say people who don't know to dance have two left feet. Although, I might have two left feet myself, what is more interesting is I might actually have two left hands.

Okay, I understand that's funny but here is why:

If you are a girl or a boy or a boy who looks like a girl, you would probably know that it is a thing now to have a makeup blog or vlog or youtube channel in your name. I bumped into this world of cosmetics, beauty blogs and tutorials only a few months ago. For those who don't know about it, let me tell you, it is a crazy, ruthless and unbelievable world.

Heard of these? Snail slime masks, Placenta hair masks, Seaweed bathing creams, Microblading.... and endless other such insane stuff. These are insane but quite popular among beauty enthusiasts and they even swear by the benefits of such products.

These are otherwise cringe-worthy products in my world. I use gramflour+tumeric face mask, Coconut oil hair mask and  a normal, cheap bathing soap and my skin i…

Ever Yours, Vincent.

Never in a thousand years did I think I would be obsessed with a late, delusional psycho who was also an exceptional artist and a noteworthy character with a peculiar interest for romance.
My affair started around 8 years back; a time when I had started writing and blogging for the first time. I visited this pop-up museum of contemporary art which showcased Vincent Van Gogh’s choicest documentaries. Many of his famous paintings were also on display. That was the day I fell in love, with his art, with the way he loved, with the way he expressed himself before he fell into life’s inevitable trap.
The beautiful yellowish hues that dominated his paintings, the sunflowers, the potato eaters and the starry night which comes alive in my dreams every night. Those letters he wrote his brother Theo with care, love and a pinch of attitude. That unconditional brotherly love, that aimless love he showed his friend and mentor Gauguin, that love he showed the random women he saw and painted, that lo…

'Yo-Yo' Tribe - A Meme

OK. Time for some fun, folks! Walk down the streets of any city, you are sure to find weirdos of all kinds. I am not being judgmental here, but trust me, there are a bunch of people who think of themselves as the coolest tribe on earth and the cool-ness is defined by their hair-dos and hair styles.  Let me give you some examples here...

Beginning the meme with a Zen-like look. I should admit that this look is more 'yogic' than weird. But only until he doesn't untie that bun on top! I name them the Zen tribe! :D
This style screams attention; attention from railroad signals to be specific. There are so many parallel tracks for trains to ply! The Awesome Railroad Tribe!

Well, well, I only get to see between my strands of hair and this is called 'Looking- through-the-hair-look'. "Are you smiling? winking? blushing? I don't have a clue!"

"Fine, I am growing a pine forest in my head and yes, it is fall time and some trees are starting to change color. I be…