#1 daughter and I went out to lunch yesterday and did not talk about work. Instead, we talked about families, personalities, current events, and philosophical issues.

Then we went to a couple of fabric stores, looking at fabrics with which I might redecorate my living room, once my SWAP is complete.

It was fun. Strolling around chatting and petting fabrics is always pleasant, and we had conversations in which we noticed that I generally like comp0lementary color schemes and she prefers monochromatic ones.

We also discovered that we think of color quite differently. The image here shows how I am thinking about the colors for my living room. I’m thinking of green right at the edge of blue, and across the color wheel you will find orange-red, and the particular shades I’m thinking of are in a certain neighborhood. Any colors in those neighborhoods will work for me.

The image below shows how #1 daughter thinks of it:


And then, rather unwillingly, this:


Unwillingly, because she would generally put that copper with… well, I have several shades of brown in leather and wood in my living room already, so she would feel that there is already a riot of color. In fact, I have some black furniture, and she thinks I should get rid of that entirely.

I hadn’t realized that difference in our ideas about color, even though I have admired many monochromatic rooms #1 daughter has created.

We also discovered a difference in our thoughts about thought. I was sharing another cool idea from Michio Kaku’s latest book: that the most fundamental difference in the human brain is our ability to think of possible outcomes. It is this, I suggested, that causes us to think of things like buildings. How cool it would be, we think to ourselves, if we thought of a way to —

At this point, #1 daughter stopped me. It is not, she says, that we think how cool it would be to make a building. Rather, we think how unpleasant it is to be in the rain, and find a solution.

In general, we don’t know how other people think. We go around assuming that everyone thinks roughly the way we do, because that’s all the information we have.

When we got back to my house, there was a nice big box on the porch, containing handbags I had bought for the two of us.

smith dartmouth This was serendipitous. We continued talking for another hour or so, and then I returned to my sewing.

No work, you’ll notice.