I think I have been brainwashed into remembering my DOB.
Well, I discovered just by accident just how easily I can let slip such personal information while coding up something at work. I needed to test a part of my code by filling in dates, to see if I was handling those dates correctly.
As a sanity check I just filled in some defaults and ran the test. Unsurprisingly, the 0/0/0000 stubs didn’t exactly get through the “is sensible date” screening, and almost by habit, my cursor again hovered over the numbers and changed them. I wasn’t even watching what I was doing… just typing, tabbing between windows, and running.
It ran successfully.
Sanity test over, I thought I’d go back, and check if the “random numbers” I’d filled in could be changed to a ‘real’ date, hopefully expanding to use a set of dates to test certain boundary conditions.
Imagine my surprise when there staring back at me was a living, smiling, little DOB… and not just any DOB, but mine.
I actually got a fright! It’s not that I wouldn’t – or haven’t ever – used my own DOB as a test case in similar situations before… but it was the complete and utter disconnectedness with my thought-processes that got to me.
In fact, this experience does indeed convince me that brainwashing does work. If by repeating that one number so many times in my life, it can be made to feel “a part of me” so much so that I can reveal it unawares, then how scary would real brainwashing actually be?