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Changing assumptions

April 10th, 2007 (09:27 am)

current mood: amused

This weekend I got my kids Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day, which I loved as a kid. It's full of cheerful drawings of people (well, animals) living in Busytown, working in (rather simplified) bakeries, flower mills, and steamships.

After I'd read the kids the last story in the book, I said something like, "You know, the people in Busytown are certainly busy, but they also make a lot of silly mistakes. See, here's the cheese delivery mouse falling off the pier; here's the deck steward letting most of the food blow overboard; here's the mice getting onto a ship whose captain is a cat...". They found this funny, so we went on a hunt for mistakes. In the frontispiece, there's a picture of lots of activities in Busytown. Someone has gone into the bank, and spilled her coins. I said, "OK, there's something wrong at the bank." Look, look...Elizabeth spotted it, and then added, "And you don't go into a bank!".

And she's right; we don't. Our bank is non-local, so we access it by mail and Web; the closest we come to the inside of a bank is the ATM vestibule. But it was funny to realize that she'd internalized that as the norm.

(I explained to her that it used to be that you had to go into the bank. I didn't get into the technology changes that made the difference.)