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Thread: Lateral Thinking

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    moscow32's Avatar
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    Default Lateral Thinking

    I know that lateral thinking is essential to treasure hunts.

    I also know that my lateral thinking skills are right there with my nunchuck skills... pretty not awesome.

    I don't really understand the concept. Can someone with experience talk to me a little bit about what lateral thinking really is and how to develop some sweet skills in it?

    Thanks-
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    Other than the basic definitions, lateral thinking means . . . .

    getting out of the rut you are in on a problem We even do this on computational optimization problems. Take a big step in the assumptions and variables and try solving again to be sure you're not just solving for a local optimum. (i.e., you may be on the biggest peak, but are you in the right mountain range?)

    thinking outside of the box Literally and figuratively. You've done that puzzle where you connect the dots without lifting your pencil, right? Or looked at "what's wrong with this picture" where what's wrong is what's missing.

    creativity This can be stroke-of-genius stuff. But sometimes this means just using something for which it was never even remotely intended. Desperation can help provoke this.


    As someone in a discipline that really as a field got in a rut by emphasizing (for good reason initially) rule-following and orderliness, a lot of my education was designed to stifle lateral thinking. So, I try to use what I have to get around that. Some of it turns out to be surprisingly useful.

    For example, I was taught to solve problems by listing 3 things: what is known, what is sought, and my assumptions. Now, it is easy to see that for lateral thinking one should really look at those assumptions, and maybe change some of them to some really wild-hair things. But I find sometimes going back to what is known and what is asked for, and trying to change them up really helps, too. I may be solving a different problem, but sometimes in the process find the way . . . . or come up with something so interesting I no longer care about the original problem.


    Okay, gang, can more of you throw in some advice and explanations, too? Maybe some of you better at this lateral-thinking stuff.

    I can just see Brady in a job interview explaining how he has sought national input on improving his lateral-thinking skills.

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    Default more input

    meaning in ATT terms, don't only look for the 5x5 that was used before. You have to look for other ways too. Like the pg 66 use with the crosses from the starz clues, that is thinking outside of the box ( or the norm).
    Lindenmi


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    Lizzy, what do you do for a living?

    Carol

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    I'm an engineer.

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