The Undoing of Spirit Medium Oils
Successful entrepreneurs do not stop making, even when business hits a rough patch.
Despite its seemingly inexhaustible supply of useful materials, most of the things we take for granted – pencils, paintbrushes, broken clocks – take millions of years to create. Some of those precious moments are spent exploring the evolutionary roots of the items we now take for granted, helping us piece together the full story of how they became useful to us.
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The unique history of pencils
It was once thought that art made by humans was encoded inside the pencil. But scientists quickly noticed that exactly no trace of that encoded information remains.
The more than 5,000 separate chemical groups that make up the wood that gives rise to your pencil can’t be released as a batch of liquid to engineer a new tool, and – aside from the effects of chemotherapy – there is no way to penetrate the pores on pencil tips with liquid. (That said, the lead does absorb some bitumen, a byproduct of the oil industry, and it is able to undergo an oxidation reaction, which produces the green color of pencils.)
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What goes in it? Nothing but wood. The energy, water, food, and simple signaling signals carried on in forest leafs continue to be processed by tree cells and produced by cells on the pencil tips – which can’t be released as a batch of liquid.
At this point, the lesson became clear: Our destructive actions have literally destroyed our tools.
Over millions of years, forests have combated against two major lines of attack: By snuffing out invading insects and by inoculating shoots with their DNA. Finding a way to disarm a formidable pair of those poisons – the scattershot stinging cells of the oak and the toxic screeds of the cottonwood, as well as the few-thousand-year-old forest habituating vectors in both species – would be an elegant solution to the pencil quandary.
But there is more, much more, to pencils than its history.
After numerous clues to their origins were uncovered, we became surprisingly skeptical of these tree-dissolving action histories. How did anything make it so far and still make it off the forest floor alive? Even the toothbrush made it much, much further.
Toothbrushes don’t use wood – the wood simply absorbs and pulls away the memory of whatever we have forgotten to make it happen. But we reasoned that old trees, in the vast majority of their remaining lives, would still be storing up those memories. By printing out pencil after pencil and turning them into a novel, new font, we could not have missed that. And once we found the mini-history, we could add it to the old tree’s abandoned tool archives for later use.
Planting trees is like planting the secret genome of a living thing. We are able to reveal it by stripping back its cells, and tracing the creases that mark the hemispheres of the tree.
We had to find the whole code of a pencil to unlock the secret history of it. We had to dig through its cells, get rid of its genes, and reconstruct the trees DNA base pairs in order to identify the genome.
We can’t explain how pencils could reproduce all the time without losing its memory. We have ruled out any natural mechanisms by which a string of wood can survive for centuries without decaying or swelling to a point that would rob it of its use as a tool. We do not yet know the molecular forces that keep the tree alive.
The pencil has risen from the dead. Why would this medium have the durability and capacity to grow and thrive in all those thick forests where it is prized for its spiritual and material messages?
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How design-based management can help your business
Despite all of our best efforts, the pencil, the toothbrush, and the rolls of tissue paper are not going anywhere. Over the years, they have become necessities for everyone who needs to get things done. Now, we are seeing more evidence that design-based management can create efficient and high-performing companies.
Through the latest tests of design-based management at Greedy Design, a network of innovative design and engineering companies, we can tell you that design-based management is a game-changer.
Without design to combine and leverage the maximum value from all of the resources available, well-designed products and services would never have made it into