Saturday, December 22, 2001

I heard a Where-Are-They-Now type of segment on NPR's Car Talk this afternoon. They followed up on a woman who had first called in about a grinding sound she was hearing when she backed out of her driveway. She took it in to the shop and they thought they fixed it. When she drove away, the car was making the same sound. She took it back and they asked what she had done when she got back in the car: "I just started the engine, turned the air conditioning on..." Aha, it was the air conditioning. Living in a warm climate, she took it for granted. The mechanics turned it off to work on the car. The Car Talk guys had no clue it was the AC when the woman first called in. To me it illustrated how we take for granted certain fixtures in our lives, and look for only what we expect to see - as did the mechanics who turned the AC off and then examined the power steering. The AC wasn't on their radar. We all live in these grooves of worldview, out of necessity, out of numbness, but sometimes we need to zoom out.

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