Thing Explainer

If you can’t explain something simply to a toddler, you don’t understand it well enough

I’ve been a fan of xkcd since the bobby tables days.

Exploits of a mom comic

A co-worker one December got me the Thing Explainer book as a secret santa. Somehow he knew it was up my alley.

Honestly, I flipped through it a couple of times, but never actually read it until years later when my daughter started asking me “why” a lot.

What is a pencil

As a parent, having a book that explains complicated things using only the 1,000 most common words is great practice.

What is a phone

As an engineer, both (kid and book) have forced me to think harder about what it means to be understood and how to translate hard concepts in a way that others can understand. If you work in technology, sometimes your brain gets so deep into the matrix that you forget that many/most people don’t have a mental map for how all of these magic boxes work.

Whether you understand these concepts deeply or not, this is great book for gaining shared understanding with those you care about.

Edward Romano Written by:

I dabble in, and occasionally obsess over, technology and problems that bug me