Have you ever had a problem that has you absolutely stumped … and you ask a co-worker for assistance or post a message to an online forum (like a midrange.com mailing list) for assistance.
Then, quite soon after you ask for assistance, you finally discover the answer yourself?
This is what I call the ‘Cardboard Analyst’ phenomenon (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Rubber Ducking”) … where the person (or people) you are asking for assistance don’t necessarily provide direct assistance, but force you to look at the problem from a different perspective.
It’s my theory (which may or may not be backed up by research) that forcing your brain to break the problem down into terms that you can describe to someone else, gives you a new perspective on the problem and new insight into what the problem actually is.
Personally, I’ve found that if I just try to explain what the problem is to someone (even my wife, who’s not super technical), I’m able to find the solution I want. Occasionally, I’ll be explaining a problem to someone in my office when my voice will trail off and I’ll start thinking about another avenue of exploration. Often I’ll thank the person I was talking to for their assistance … to which they will respond “Glad I could be of no help”.
Oddly enough, the person I am talking to has to be able to respond … often asking me questions that make me think about it. I once tried using our cat as a cardboard analyst … but it didn’t work .
So next time you’ve got a problem that’s got you particularly stumped … try explaining it it someone. You’ll be surprised how much help someone can be even if they don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.Categories
This is a repost of an article that appeared on the IMHO blog.
Illinois, and the majority of other states, are under mandatory “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” orders. Here in Illinois the order is (currently) in place until the end of April. What happens then is anyones guess.
The big question is …
When will life return to normal?
I have a theory that’s not going to be very popular … and probably be viewed as cycnical.
I had a good time, got lots of exercise, met some interesting people … and got involved in a cause that both directly and indirectly effects me.
I raised $3380 … which made me an “Ultimate Champion for Diabetes”. I got a fancy shmancy gold medal and, theoretically, a champions riding jersey (although that didn’t arrive on time, so I wore a red riders jersey). The medal was kind of silly, but I would have liked to have been able to wear the jersey.
Riding helped me in many ways … there’s the obvious cardio benefit, which helps keep my diabetes under control, but it also helped me deal with the stress of my mom’s illness and passing. About three weeks before the ride, my co-worker Marty and I were planning on doing a 35 mile ride (following the Tour de cure route), when my mom was moved into the hospice unit at St. James Hospital. He asked if I wanted to cancel our ride, but I told him that I needed to ride.
I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me on the ride … your support is greatly appreciated.
This post could also be titled: Why Carl Kasell is the greatest guy in the world!
If it hadn’t been for my mom’s passing last week, this Sunday would be my parents 50th wedding anniversary.
My brother Mitch, the really creative one in the family, pulled out all the stops. He got a letter from Senator Dick Durbin, a card from Barack & Michell Obama, and to top it all off … he arranged to have Carl Kasell to record a special greeting for the event.
The original plan was to do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” (WWDTM) format game during the anniversary party (which had been scaled back from a big even to a much smaller affair, for obvious reasons) … and Mitch thought that the only thing missing was Carl Kasell’s intro. So he sent an email to the producers of WWDTM, explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to get Carl to record a message, and they agreed.
For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I’m sad to announce that my mother, Leah Gibbs, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.
It was a long time coming and we were (more or less) prepared. None the less, it was very hard.
The funeral was held last Thursday and, despite bad weather, there were a tremendous number of people in attendance … they even had to open up the partition in the synagogue to accommodate the number of people. It was a heart warming testament to the number of people who’s lives intersected with my moms.
Although I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, I did speak at the funeral service … here’s what I said:
I am participating in the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure event this year. I am asking you to join me in the effort to Stop Diabetes by making a contribution to support my ride.
The dollars we raise for the American Diabetes Association fund research, provide services, and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. I believe in the work they do, and I invite you to join me in this effort. More than 25 million Americans live with diabetes, and your support can and will make a difference in their lives.
Please help by making a donation – large or small – to support the work of the American Diabetes Association. Or, why not join me on the day of the event? Become a participant and side by side, as teammates, we can work together to Stop Diabetes!
Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.
Thank you for making a generous contribution to this cause that is so important to me!
This post started out as something very different … many months ago. In fact, the original post still sits in my ‘draft’ list … but will never be posted.
Most of those who know me well understand that I have a lot of opinions (who doesn’t) … and I’m sometimes not afraid to express them.
The original blog post started out as a discussion of religion, politics, and how my views differed drastically from those of my co-workers, friends, and colleagues in the IBM i industry.
But, as I started to write the post (which, I might add, had an incredibly clever title that Ginny helped me come up with), I realized that the content of the post would probably offend a lot of people that I have to work with on a day to day basis, and others that I interact with quite frequently.
What is said on the internet, stays on the internet … forever