Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thinking - What a novel idea

Or: it may look like brawn won the day, but it was really brains.

Yesterday I took some time off in the afternoon to watch the Blue Angels practice and the America's Cup multihull quarterfinals. Parking in the Marina/Crissy Field area was a mess and I ended up in one of the back roads in the Presidio. As I drove up, I saw a spot -- the last spot -- but, alas, there was a car in front of me. It drove into the spot, partly, then backed up and left.

I drove up to the spot and saw a block of cement with twisted metal bits in it, about three feet from the back end. I got out, grabbed the block, assessed its weight at about 100Kg, farmer-walked it to the berm, and got a parking spot.

Ok, so moving 100Kg or so doesn't make me the Hulk. What is my point, exactly?

There were at least two men in the car that gave up the space. They could have moved that block with ease. Instead they went in search of parking further into the Presidio; probably futile, if traffic was any indication. Why didn't they do what I did? Why didn't anyone before me (the parking areas well above the one I ended up in were already full as well)?

They didn't think of it.

Actually thinking is a precondition to problem-solving. Many problems I see are not the result of bad thinking but rather of the lack of thinking.