Natural Is Relative Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Natural is Relative

In his essay "From Pencils to Pixels," professor and author Dennis Baron wrote, "We have a way of getting so used to writing technologies that we come to think of them as natural rather than technological. We assume that pencils are a natural way to write because they are old…" (51). When assigned to develop my own writing technology, however, I discovered that this common human conception is wrong. Dead wrong. And the word "natural" - as we use it today - is relative.

My mission was to forego modern writing tools (pencils, pens, paper, chalk, etc.) and write 20 words or less with natural materials of my choosing. The word "natural" was debatable, however. Produce, for example, is considered natural, but to use an apple that has been picked, cleaned, packaged and then sold at a supermarket is arguably less natural than using an apple straight from a tree.

I wanted to aim high and avoid the quasi-natural, so I settled for pine needles. They were abundant at my parents' house and easy to break apart in order to form letters, I reasoned. Due to an excess of winter weather, I would have no choice but to spell out my text in the snow.

Winter was in full swing during the afternoon I trekked outside to complete the assignment. I could not manage to do more than 30 seconds of "writing" without a huge icy gust of wind passing through and taking my project with it. I needed something a bit heavier, and I decided to use small sticks.

Just the process of gathering twigs was a somewhat tedious one. Each stick had to be thin and relatively knob-free so I could break it easily, but if it was too thin, it risked being blown away. I was developing my technology and attempting to craft it to perfection - or at least effectiveness - much like the early creators of the pencil. "The engineer Harry Petroski (1990) portrays the development of the wood-cased pencil as a paradigm of the engineering process, hinging on the solution of two essential problems…. Pencil technologies involve advanced design techniques…" (Baron, "Pencils" 39).

Since I was to share my project in class, I wanted to write something fun and random. I was all set on Monty Python's "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" quote when I squatted over an expanse of snow with my handful of twigs. However, my hands were raw from the cold a mere 60 seconds later, and I had barely created three letters. Already I ached for the warmer surroundings and 90-words-a-minute convenience of Microsoft Word. I decided that "Hello English 328" would be a more practical undertaking and rearranged my first few letters accordingly.

The letters themselves were about two inches in height and very crude-looking. Ordinarily curved letters and numbers became choppy and rigid because my sticks were impossible to bend. The writing material prevented any sort of uniqueness in style, which made me wonder how I would be perceived in the 17th century when, "Like a speaker's accent,...

Find Another Essay On Natural is Relative

Dating Methods Essay

1382 words - 6 pages sediment.(Comas 455) Absolute Methods Relative Methods Potassium-Argon Biostratigraphy Flourine Analysis Paleomagnetism Carbon-14 Fission-Track Three Important Dating Methods used in Physical Anthropology Potassium is a element that is very commonly found around and near the earth’s crust. Natural potassium cantians a small and constant amount of the radioactive form called potassium-40. This 40K is the isotope that

The Natural Law by Thomas Aquinas

2146 words - 9 pages abortion. The “natural law is appointed by reason” (Aquinas IV, 94, 1) and given to everyone. This is very contrary to popular belief that right and wrong are relative; however, the idea of an absolute right makes sense. For instance, it is naturally understood that it is wrong to murder. This fact does not need to be argued over; it is innate to everyone. Furthermore, reason does not oppose the claim that murder is wrong. In fact, reason supports it

Truth

519 words - 2 pages reason or our common sense. However, I can not prove my senses to be accurate, but I do rely on them the majority of the time. I believe it is a natural truth. When a claim is logical and I am able to relate a reasonable effect to the cause, I can ponder its truth.The question I believe a philosopher would ask is -- how would someone discern between a natural truth and a learned truth. A learned truth being something tought and excepted without

What is evolution and what is natural selection?

1160 words - 5 pages conclusion derived from these principles and observations is that there will be a natural selection in favour of those organisms that possess the most advantageous traits and behaviours relative to those possessed by other organisms. Natural selection is not only the process through which new species evolve it also explains why poorly adapted species become extinct.b.what reasons do we have for believing that there has been evolution of life on earth and

Where Would Someone Look to Find Information on Natural Health News and sScientific Discoveries?

1293 words - 5 pages looking for sites which disprove many of the government studies one is dominant in a google search, the Natural News website. This website is made possible by a concerned citizen who has created a website to expose the truth about what is and isn’t healthy through their own scientific research. This site is easily navigable and has zero pop-ups compared to other sites of similar nature. Mike Adams is the founder and operator of this extensive

Statistics 101

2053 words - 8 pages the natural features of the researchers observed subjects (Bennett, Briggs, & Triola, 2014). In this example the political pollster simply reports the natural findings in which he observes. 5. Select the study that is most appropriate and EXPLAIN WHY it is most appropriate for the study. A. Is the aspirin produced by a particular pharmaceutical company better than that of a competitor at relieving headaches? Which of the following would best

Agnosticism

1216 words - 5 pages accepted as evil to hear of a baby, so young that it cannot even make choices for itself, die in some natural disaster. Here, there is no use of free will, because if there was any sort of free will, most will agree that someone would choose to save the life of this defenseless child.Proponents of this argument for the existence of a God will often say that in order to recognize the concept of good, because it is a relative term, there must be

My Funny valentine

1168 words - 5 pages imitate natural speech; the more easily they are understood.As we move away from the lyrics and song structure, we move into the harmonic structure of the piece. The original key seems to be C minor, with a shift to it's relativeMajor in the "B" section. The harmony seems to be simple yet catchy. When looking at the lead sheet, the key of the tonal content sticks to c minor and progresses to its relative key, Eb major. As a result, the piece is

Natural Rights

892 words - 4 pages that everyone is born with these God-decreed rights. These rights, he said, are the essence of humanity. Thomas Jefferson agreed that natural rights are self-evident and unalienable because they are part of human nature. They are self-evident and unalienable because nature and providence have entitled these rights to every human being and they may not be taken away. Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, "all men are created equal" and

International Trade Concepts Simulation, Economics 372, University of Phoenix

1098 words - 4 pages restrictions, and nationalistic appeals have offered protection occasionally, and are beneficial at times. Unfortunately, those same tools are harmful to the U.S. and its trading partner when used in retaliation.Fiscal and monetary policies affect exchange rates. One variable affecting the price of one currency relative to another currency is a difference in relative interest rates between nations. In the U.S. when the Fed increases the money supply, the

Applying International Trade Simulation

1059 words - 4 pages opportunity costs of producing goods differ among countries then potential gains from trade are made. Differences in comparative advantages exist because each country has a different mix of natural resources and factors of production. Comparative advantages develop from many factors such as natural resources, availability and relative effectiveness of factors of production, and the state of technology. These can also change over time, which is why

Similar Essays

Mechanisms That Give Rise To Rise To Absolute And Relative Pitch Perception

1241 words - 5 pages the neural coding of absolute and relative pitch. To investigate the flexibility of pitch processing in songbirds we plan a series of behavioral experiments with European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) using natural song excerpts that have been digitally shifted to create many versions with altered pitch; this stimulus set is designed to eliminate the relevance of absolute pitch as a diagnostic cue to song recognition. Subjects will be trained on

Importance Natural Resource Economics Essay

1702 words - 7 pages Welfare theory is about the benefits the society derives from natural resources as an economic good. This theory asserts that institutions performance should be measured in line with whether they provide economic goods in the quantities that are in line with the people’s relative need for those goods. Natural resources are needed by the people and an efficient management ensures that they are available to the coming generations. 3. Resource

Th Oil And Natural Gas Industry's Effect On Oklahoma

1034 words - 4 pages The Oil and Natural Gas Industry’s Effect on Oklahoma Oklahoma's oil and natural gas industry is giving us unstoppable progress for energy solutions, but the other parts of the nation are still searching for theirs. While providing jobs for the thousands of people who live in Oklahoma, the oil and natural gas industry not only donates to America's petroleum production, but it also produces millions of dollars for our state’s economy, schools

Evolution And Natural Selection. Essay

620 words - 2 pages environment. It can only occur when genotypes differ in fitness. Fitness is measured by a genotype's rate of increase relative to other genotypes in a population.Artificial selection, undertaken by animal and plant breeders, has commonly been used as a model for the action of natural selection. However, there is an important difference between the two processes. Natural selection has no purpose. For any given generation it results because of