mercoledì 10 febbraio 2016

I, Pencil By Leonard Read

I, Pencil By Leonard Read
  • Parla una matita: I am a mystery
  • I am taken for granted by those who use me,
  • Chesterton: "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders."
  • Una strana semplicità. not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me
  • Innumerable Antecedents
  • a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon.
  • Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs
  • numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors;
  • The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California.
  • Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems
  • The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces.
  • How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires? Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Yes, and included are the men who poured the concrete for the dam of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company hydroplant which supplies the mill's power!
  • Once in the pencil factory... each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop— a lead sandwich, so to speak.
  • The graphite is mined in Ceylon. Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships.
  • The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process.
  • Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow—animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid.
  • treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats.
  • My cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all the ingredients of lacquer?... growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil
  • the labeling...applying heat to carbon black mixed with resins.
  • My bit of metal... persons who mine zinc
  • Those black rings on my ferrule are black nickel.
  • La gomma? Da dove arriva? An ingredient called "factice"... product made by reacting rape-seed oil from the Dutch East Indies with sulfur chloride... there are numerous vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy; and the pigment which gives "the plug" its color is cadmium sulfide.
  • No One Knows
  • There isn't a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.
  • Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me.
  • exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants.
  • No Master Mind
  • There is a fact still more astounding: the absence of a master mind
  • the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity
  • Conoscenza dispersa. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation's mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil.
  • Lezione (anche) morale:  the lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson.
  • Difendere il miracolo della matita significa difendere la libertà.