Okay, so I’m obsessed with this guy Cesar. It’s like he’s given me the red pill and now I realize I’ve been living in the Matrix. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if you think your appliances are doing something smart only to learn that they’re really dumb, it kind of shakes your world.[singlepic id=209 w=320 h=240 float=right]
The classic example is the blender. Someone figured out a long time ago that people would buy more blenders if they thought the blenders were smarter. So instead of power level 1-10 to indicate the actual function–changing the power (and hence the blade speed) from 10% to 100%–someone decided to name the settings:
Now of course these words are all synonyms more or less for the same basic thing and it’s actually far less accurate than power level 1-10, but lo and behold, as soon as they changed the name of the setting, they started selling more blenders. It all boils down to this: People just liked to think that their blenders “knew” what they were blending. And so an industry was born.
Here’s some appliance settings that I thought did something intelligent and here’s what Cesar says they really do:
|Function||What I thought it did||What it really does|
|Sanitize/sterilize||Filters out bacteria||Uses hotter water|
|Defrost (microwave)||Targets water molecules||Lowers power level|
|Defrost (toaster)||Heats from the inside out||Lowers power, extends time|
|Recirculate air||Purifies air and pumps it back out||Closes outside vent|
|Large load||Recalibrates weight sensors for even spin||Lowers spin speed|
|Pots and pans||Special jets target the bottom of the pot||Wash cycle runs longer|
|Convection cook||Turns on a cyclone||Turns on a little fan|
|Reheat (toaster)||Cooks from the inside out||Turns power very low|
|Delicate||Gently tumbles clothes||Lowers temperature|
|Crystal/china||Buffs and shines glasses and plates||Lowers temperature|
There are lots of other examples but I can’t write about them right now. I have to go frappe a smoothie with Cesar.