Saturday, June 25, 2016

Making the Earth Move


In our reading group at work recently we looked at Are Your Lights On? By Weinberg and Gauss. Opinions of it were mixed but I forgive any flaws it may have for this one definition:

  A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived.

It's hard to beat for pithiness, but Michael Bolton's relative rule comes close. It runs:

  For any abstract X, X is X to some person, at some time.

And combining these gives us good starting points for attacking a problem of any magnitude:
  • the things
  • the perception of those things
  • the desires for those things
  • the person(s) desiring or perceiving
  • the context(s) in which the desiring or percieving is taking place
Aspiring problem solvers: we have a lever. Let's go and make the earth move for someone!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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