Saturday, 16-Apr-16 14:55
Playtime

Today my 5-year old daughter asked me, after a visit to the nearby swimming hall, why the showers stop working while people are still in them and suggested that we should build showers that work only when someone is under them. It would save water too.

So I asked her, how she would build one. "We could put in pressure plates", she exclaimed! Walking home, we found other solutions too, including some scary ones (cameras in the shower).

And this is why I encourage her to play games (like Minecraft). Not because it improves problem-solving skills, but because complex games teach that the world is malleable. If you know the rules, you can play outside them. You don't have to just accepts things as they are: you can always go fix things. Games throw obstacles in your path, whereas the life of a sheltered western kid in a modern welfare society is pretty much a level grass field. Games reward creative solutions, and failing is cheap - you can go try things as many times as you like. Play is practice.

The difficulty, as always, is at the border of virtual and real: When to move the theory into practice? When to stop brainstorming and start working? When do you play, and when do you go all serious? How do you transform the lessons from play into the real world, and how do you turn your real-life experiences into play? We need to cross the grey area between these two all the time: The playtime to dip into our creativity, and the serious time to ship stuff. I believe that a lot of conflict in project work comes from a common lack of understanding where this border lies, and it seems to be a common source of conflict between parents and children as well.

But while I'm trying to grasp this stuff, I'm going to join my kids in their Minecraft world. If they don't kill me outright, I might learn something new.

Sunday, 10-Apr-16 21:23
Why are you ruining our dinner time, evolution?

Watching my kids eat - or to be precise, poke at the food very suspiciously and declaring that it is a) awful, b) horrible and c) that they never want this and why we can't eat normal food - it strikes me interesting how the older we get, the more varied our taste becomes. I just accidentally spread some adult toothpaste on my kids toothbrushes, and even when I rinsed them thoroughly, they still complained that washing teeth burns and hurts.

So perhaps it was evolutionary beneficial that kids are extremely picky and eat only "safe" foods, whereas older people who have already had their kids can go around, eat whatever and don't taste anything. Because a dead kid isn't good for tribe survival, but an old person who eats random stuff is a nice signal to the rest of the tribe what can be eaten and what not.

Of course, some googling reveals - now that I actually had the time to do so - that there's some science around this topic.

So yay, science of the everyday life! Now eat the f*ing fish.


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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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