This post has been brewing in my mind for two weeks. Truth be told I considered not writing it for fear that my revelation of my own stupidity might render me unemployable.
But I must come clean, if only because sharing my own story might help others: for 39 years I have been under the impression that toasters know how toasted the toast is.
For example: I dial the “darkness” dial up to 3, put in a slice, and wait. The toast pops up, and it doesn’t look dark enough, so I dial up to level 4, put the toast back in, and assume that the toaster is smart enough to take the darkness from level 3 to level 4.
In other words, I simply assumed that (somehow — I really have no idea how) the toaster could “read” the toast, judge how “toasted” it was, and react accordingly.
I have really, honestly, wholeheartedly believed this since the day I was born.
It turns out that I have been wrong.
Toasters have timers in them. The “darkness dial” simply sets the length of time the toast stays toasting: the higher up the dial, the longer amount of toasting time.
While this might seem like minor-league revelation — I didn’t see Mary’s face in bowl of corn flakes or anything — my world has been rocked. Mostly because I now have to re-examine my assumptions about every other piece of technology I use on a daily basis. Not such a bad idea, actually. But it does put my relationship with the physical world in a bit of flux.