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A Better (or Worse) Eraser.

Brian Hayes of The American Scientist reviews A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution by Dennis Barron. This passage, in particular, struck me:

Baron points out that just about every other new writing instrument has also been seen as a threat to literacy and a corrupter of youth. The eraser had a particularly bad reputation, under the thesis that “if the technology makes error correction easy, students will make more errors.”

Each generation inherits new technology that is sure to destroy their intellectual and moral foundation—whether erasers or computers, televisions or video games, email or texting. Yet somehow each generation survives long enough to worry about the corruption of next one.

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