Friday, January 7, 2011

Tickle your noodle.

Since I started this blog I have shown you some projects and introduced a little psychology into the mix.  I have added a coupe of rants and a few comparisons but I havn't put out anything fun, so I thought that I would tickle your noodle a little bit with some thinking and a Survivology 101 lesson at the same time.

The other day when I put my son down to sleep and turned off the light he asked how that worked.  How what worked? I replied!  The light; he said.  After thinking for about a second, I said well thats magic, if you flip it up the light goes on and if you flip it down the light goes off.  Well being that I always look back and anayize everthing that I can remember, I had an apiffany.  Although I explained the mechanical operation of the actual light switch I didn't actually tell him how it worked.  But then, thry this on a five year old;

There is a constant electrical current traveling through the walls in the wiring, this wiring passes the switch which creates a break in the current, when you throw the swith, that is to close it you allow the current to pass through the circut and travel to the light fixture.  At the fixture the negative and positive currents follow separate paths that meet in the middle at the filiment.  When they meet the elecrons rub together on a microscopic level creating a friction that generates two energies.  The first is heat and the remainder is photons,  the energy is too great to be contained by the vaccume of the bulb and the energy passes through it and is dipearsed around the room.  The heat is small and dissapates quickly but it keeps the bulb hot.  The photons are not as afected by the resistace of the air so they bounce around the room creating the illusion of light.  The photons bounce off the surface of the objects in the room  and shatter into the various colors of the rainbow.  Depending on the properties of the surface some of the colors are reflected and some are absorbed, the reflected colors blend and that is what creates the images and the colors that you can see.  If you flip the switch down it breaks or opens the circut so the current can't reach the light fixture and the room  goes dark.  This is actuallly way to simplified but you get the point on how hard that would be to explain it to a five year old in a manner that he could really understand it.  I dont even think that it is possible.

Now grranted that is too much information for a child but he can understand that its magic.  Better than that he can understand how to use that magic when he needs it and the outcome is predictable even for a child with limited knowledge and experience.  In time, given a new situation and a new environment he can understand how to use that magic perfectly to accomplish a task that is totally new.  He may even learn to recognize different light switches and even dimmer switches.  He may even learn to use a clapper effectively by discovering that sound is the on and off switch. Now that is magic, wait no its not, its just technology, there is nothing magical about technology.

With that said look back at my post about analyzing patterns and predicting the outcomes or manuplating them to your advantage.  It is magic.  We, like the child do not need to understand all the complicated processes that make it work in order to use it to our advantage.  We only need to know that it is there and know how to initiate it and what the likely outcome will be.  So I guess that in that line of thinking, Magic is the technology of the gods, and we are not even capable of understaning all of its complexities but we can sure as hell use it if we know what to look for.  Now trouble shooting why it didn't work that time is not quite as easy as changing a light bulb but it will be learned in time and increases the effectivness of the magic for future uses.

I hope that was fun for you to think about,  remember that the cornerstones of survivology are doing, recognizing, anayzing, and cataloging the outcome.

If you go through the day and learn nothing at all then you did it wrong, that in itself is a lesson.

1 comment:

  1. Very Good! When my sons were young I amazed them with magic tricks, but when ever the asked a question on how something works, like the light bulb an in depth answer was all that was acceptable.