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The Tinkered Mind
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February 17th, 2022
The search is often big, the solution, often small. Few problems require a gargantuan answer of immense complexity. And if if a problem appears as though it does need such a sizable answer, it’s because such a solution is a tapestry of solutions, answering complementary and myriad problems, each chopped and truncated into smaller pieces. But even with the smallest module of problem, the search for the equally small solution can still be outsized.
No matter how complex or simple one’s life, we have all experienced this. It’s as simple as looking for a misplaced item. The whole day can be spent tearing the house or apartment apart. And yet, when the missing item is finally found, the location is usually quite understandable. Of course, it’s right here, we often think. And this is much the same mixture of obviousness and foolish feeling as when a lesson is finally realized while learning something.
The solution is always simple - it’s the process of arriving at simplicity which can be complicated - or at least drawn out. This really makes persistence and an ability to endure the crown jewel of personal attributes. Everything gives way given enough attention and effort.
It’s almost as thought solutions hide in plain sight. Like diamonds mixed in with shattered glass. They often remain invisible because our lens by which we search for solutions is the problem itself, and the problem is usually poorly defined. Our search for a solution is often a process of refining the nature and composition of the problem itself, which in turn increases the resolution of our search for a solution.
A perfectly defined problem inevitably outlines its own solution. It’s not the answer we should seek, but the exact question to illuminate that unknown answer. It’s a kind of sleight of hand, but one achieved with a manipulation of perspective: understanding the problem in the right way makes the solution obvious, as if it was always there, right in front of us, waiting to be noticed.