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> I asked him how he knew to reconfigure bike pumps

This is the most interesting part of the story.

Why do smart people come to weird conclusions such as "I have the wrong pump" rather than "This pump has a simple tweak to work with both popular valve types"?

And then "This was not obvious to me, and thus it is an obscure piece of knowledge, so anyone who does know it must have some weird experience" when really anyone who's used a bike pump knows this, especially if they've read the box.

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