August 26, 2013
10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Eraser Technology

It’s true, as Arthur C. Clarke said, that the most advanced technologies are indistinguishable from magic. It’s not true, however, that the world’s most magical technologies are all related to computers. What could be more magic, after all, than the eraser — the little wad of rubber that undoes your mistakes and changes, mark by tiny little pencil mark, human history? 
Erasers as we know them today are a relatively modern invention. But erasers as a general category are age-old. The ancient Greeks and Romans relied on palimpsests and smoothable wax tablets to ensure erasability. Those gave way, eventually, to White-Out and Photoshop’s “magic eraser” tool and, of course, the ultimate undoer of deeds: the delete key. But erasers are far from obsolescence — just as writing itself is far from obsolescence. 
Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]

10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Eraser Technology

It’s true, as Arthur C. Clarke said, that the most advanced technologies are indistinguishable from magic. It’s not true, however, that the world’s most magical technologies are all related to computers. What could be more magic, after all, than the eraser — the little wad of rubber that undoes your mistakes and changes, mark by tiny little pencil mark, human history? 

Erasers as we know them today are a relatively modern invention. But erasers as a general category are age-old. The ancient Greeks and Romans relied on palimpsests and smoothable wax tablets to ensure erasability. Those gave way, eventually, to White-Out and Photoshop’s “magic eraser” tool and, of course, the ultimate undoer of deeds: the delete key. But erasers are far from obsolescence — just as writing itself is far from obsolescence.

Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]

6:25pm
  
Filed under: Technology Eraser Erasers 
  1. ohthescience reblogged this from k-fresha and added:
    10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Eraser Technology It’s true, as Arthur C. Clarke said, that the most advanced...
  2. forwardthinkingeducation reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Brilliant.
  3. twenty-eight-street reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. ignoreddaisy reblogged this from tayarijones
  5. tayarijones reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    As I write my drafts w pencil…
  6. ringtales reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. mountainpass reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. relativityspeaks reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I’m just excited because I know what palimpsests are AND how to use them. I had a pretty interesting major, I think
  9. k-fresha reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Eraser Technology
  10. graphitenpixels reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. olddisabledautisticmofo reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. gmesick23 reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. soflanetworking reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. intenseblogging reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. cillnnagendra reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. ripplefactor reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. sandunicorn reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. citizenace reblogged this from theatlantic
  19. tassava reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Fascinating!