This will be a talk for the Logic and Philosophy of Science Colloquium at the University of California at Irvine, 15 March 2024.

**Abstract**. With a simple historical thought experiment, I should like to describe how we might easily have come to view the continuum hypothesis as a fundamental axiom, one necessary for mathematics, indispensable even for calculus.

The paper is now available at How the continuum hypothesis could have been a fundamental axiom.