Johnny and Julie

“Johnny and Julie” who live in the forest and they also have a little dog living with them. One day the dog starts barking and runs into the house and next minute we see pieces of glass and water on the floor of the living room and Julie is dead. What happened?

Elicit responses from the audience.
They can ask me question and you should answer yes or no only.
They come up with all sorts of crazy concepts… and usually have a very hard time figuring out what happened.

After enough answers, continue with the solution.

The solution is that Julie is in fact a fish – and she was in an aquarium which the dog pushed down from the shelves – the aquarium broke and Julie died.

The story nicely illustrates how you assume that Julie must be human – which is a distortion and generalization. It can help people realize how stuck we are with our maps.

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