On various levels we all sleepwalk through the day making assumptions about things. As an engineer I may make a few less than other people, but I still make quite a few.
There is a sort of physical "shock" when our assumptions are proven wrong. Blood pressure, heart beat, general mental well being that day; all of these can change in a flash when one of our assumptions bites us.
Here's a "starter" basic everyday assumption list:
- We assume flipping a swich will produce light. There's many possible reasons I can think of instantly why a light might NOT go on. OK, you change the bulb, still no-go. Go see that all the breakers are on - still no-go. NOW WHAT? Your starting to get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because this isn't something trivial. Its starting to look like a real problem. Which leads to a second "Assumption"
- We assume the electric in our house will continue to work tomorrow as it does today. Is this a valid assumption? Not really. Systems degrade and wear. Switches fail, wall recepticals fail, breakers occasionally fail etc.
- We assume the brakes in your car will stop us. Its a real bummer when the pedal plunges to the floor and the car keeps going. There's so many ways a brake system can fail that people really shouldn't assume its going to work. If you are prone to tailgating people, this is something to ponder.
- We assume water will come out of the faucet.
- We assume our shoes won't fall apart out on the street.
- We assume our keys will work in locks
- We assume the spare tire is present and inflated
- We assume the pathetic little kit the auto maker provided will be sufficient to change a tire.
- We assume when winter comes the furnace will work.
- We assume there will always be food at the store.
- We assume there will always be gas at the gas station
- We assume the roof will get through another year OK.
- We assume the other drivers on the road will behave somewhat sanely. This can be a fatal assumption. I always assume everyone is trying to kill me.
- We assume that our own reckless behaviors will be non-fatal, when the experiences of others proves otherwise.
- We assume the coffee cup doesn't leak.
- We assume that food isn't poisoned.
- We assume the toilet will flush down a bowl full of crap and make it go away.
- We go to bed at night assuming our neighbors aren't Ted Bundy.
- We assume that little used cabinet over the fridge isn't hiding a monstrous nest of spiders.
- We assume the water will continue to flow after soaping up in the shower.
- We assume the power will stay on long enough to take that shower without being in the dark.
- We assume a book we buy will have all its pages and in the correct sequence.