Mirror Image

Monday, 2 April 2001
An odd row of Rummikub cards (Bol.com/...) lays in front of me: 9-wildcard-7. Suzanne looks at me with pride. Didnít she just do a great job?

To me these cards are in the wrong order. But who am I to comment them? This is a special kids-Rummikub. The maximum age for this game is 10 years. So, I should be glad that I am allowed to play at all. The official kids-rules do not specify anything about the sequence of the cards (and neither does the one for grown ups .../instruct_rummikub...).

In Taipin, last January, Iíve read an interesting book by Steven Pinker (mit.edu/~pinker/...): How the mind works book: How the mind works (Bol.com/...). It is a very nice book. One of the subjects is the human ability for pattern recognition. The human mind succeeds in recognising patterns, even if

  • the light changes continuously. White in the shade looks white. And so does white in the sunshine.
  • things are bigger or smaller, closer or further away
  • are things sometimes mirrored
All of these have been extremely convenient qualities for our ancestors. They needed to find food, and stay away from predators.
    A lion is still a lion:
  • whether the sun shines or not,
  • whether the beast is close or far away,
  • and whether the animal approaches from the left or from the right.
So, it was a matter of life and death to treat mirrored images like the originals. The sequence 9-wildcard-7 is good. I should just shut up.

Funny how kids easily swap left and right. It makes me sometimes jealous. Another half year, and this little lady will go to the 3rd grade at school. Sheíll have to learn unnatural things, like the difference between

  • b and d
  • p and q
  • s and z.
Ridiculous, which idiot has designed this life threatening alphabet?

A few moments later the Rummikub game is over. Iíve won the game, but only just. Suzanne is a good runner up and lays her final card immediately after me, with great pride. It is asif I look to a mirror image.

,keew txen lliT
Nut

Saturday 31 March 2001: Suzanne Piet passed her B diploma swimming!