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.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 2, 2005 - 19:13 Permalink

DerekMac — just curious about your “you can’t copy and paste from this site” comment. What do you mean?

John Boylan's picture
John Boylan on December 2, 2005 - 19:48 Permalink

Hi Peter,

I’m not sure what DerekMac means, but when I try and copy a section of text in one of your posts or in the comments section I have no luck. I’m doing a left click, attempting to highlight a particular bit of text in order to copy it. It ends up highlighting random chunks of the text accross the entire page. I’m using a windows box with Internet Explorer for a browser.



Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on December 2, 2005 - 19:49 Permalink

Wow, you must burn a lot of toast.

Peter, I think what Derek is referring to — regarding copying on your site — is an IE thing. It’s difficult if not impossible to select the text you want. Doesn’t seem to be a problem in Firefox.