Friday, July 30, 2010

"You were doing it wrong"

That's the title of a thread at AskMetafilter that has been keeping me entertained for days. The initial question:

What in life did it take you a surprisingly long time to realize you've been doing wrong all along?

"Crap, I've been doing it wrong." We've all had those sudden epiphanies where we realize we've been doing something incorrectly, ineffectively or just suboptimally our whole lives, in domains from handicraft to human relations to technical stuff to personal grooming. What have you spent large portions of your life doing wrong?
The first answer: "Tying my shoes." Many people have problems with words such as segue and epitome. Another answer up near the top is "It took me until adulthood to realize that courage, tenacity, and hard work get you a lot farther than plain old smartness." So there are all kinds of things posted here. I was pleased to discover howjsay dot com, an English dictionary of pronunciations. Just pronunciations, no definitions, and it is English, so "balmy" is pronounced as "barmy," and so forth. Another discovery would be this video, demonstrating how to tell when the pan is hot enough.

That video is extracted from a post at Houseboat Eats which explains the whole thing much more fully.

Then there's this mirror trick:

Mirrors are a recurring theme in the thread.

I learned of this from Prof. Althouse, who learned of it from her son John Althouse Cohen.

Metafilter mods are not pleased with the thread and might have killed it, if they had not been distracted, as is revealed in another thread called Doing it right.

1 comment:

Jack Radcliffe said...

Very funny video.

What's most interesting here is the obvious metaphor for the difference between observation and perception. "Seeing is believing" ain't necessarily so!