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Philosophy/Do ballpoint pens defy physics?


Does the ballpoint pen match current theories of physics, or does it defy pressure, conservation of mass, etc.?

I have received responses from forums that suggest that the pen makes a thin line and thus doesn’t use much ink.

Maybe this is just crazy.

Maybe the ball point of the pen makes more ink by spinning ink?

The pen I was using does appear to eventually run out of ink, but it seemed to take way too long to run it out.

This is really a materials science problem, not a philosophy problem, but I'll answer it.

There is a fixed amount of ink in a ballpoint pen. There is no mechanism for manufacturing ink. It's just a ball, a socket, and a stick of ink in a metal cylinder. When it runs out of ink, it
it's  useless. All ballpoints eventually run out of ink if  they're used.




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Charles K. MacKay


I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)



BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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