I Just Want to Cut

When we pulled into the garage the other day after running some errands, my 6 year old piped up, “Dad, when we get in can I use scissors?”

“To do what?”

“I just want to cut.”

For an adult, scissors are a tool to make something else happen. For a 6 year old, scissors are an end in themselves. Whatever he does with them, it’s enough that he’s using scissors.

I just finished reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which talks about the Curse of Knowledge, the idea that “once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what is was like not to know it.” The Curse of Knowledge means that the way I use certain tools or practices (say, TDD or continuous integration) is now so familiar to me that I can sound like my son when I’m coaching a new team.

I need to remember what it was like to see these things for the first time and what it was that initially won me over because it’s different from what matters to me now.

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