8 Jan 08

Jan 08 2008

No outdoor adventure this week. Instead, an inner adventure.

I’m two days into The Five-Day Course in Thinking, a book Edward De Bono wrote forty years ago. Isaac Asimov wrote the Foreword. It’s a malnourished paperback, barely a hundred pages long. The edge of the pages are that odd dusty Martian red that seemed so popular in paperbacks of the sixties and seventies. The cover proclaims “Astound Yourself! Be a Genius! Play Your Way To Greater Brain Power!”—and I don’t know if it’s serious.

I could read it through in an hour or two, but I’ve decided to resist that urge. I’m going to take my time and process it. Fully. Get my money’s worth out of it, if you will.

The first day’s exercise: Take three empty soda or beer bottles, and place them equally apart so that you can fit a regular dinner knife between each. Now, take four of those dinner knives, and arrange them on top of the bottles so that they form a platform that you can rest a glass full of water on. None of the knives can touch the surface on which the bottles rest.

As with most things, there’s a twist to this. It’s not about finding the answer (there is one). Observe how you try to solve the problem. What do you try first? What do you do?

I’m kind of surprised that there aren’t more books/videos/websites/whatever about mental athletics. (Yes, I’m aware of Brain Age). Isn’t this important?

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