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Re-inventing the Wheel

Updated on October 16, 2016

How to approach problems and recognize solutions

One way to approach life's problems is to separate and classify the problem into three categories.

1. The answer is black and white and easily solved given sufficient resources. Sometimes, the answer is already established and yet some just won't recognize it and keep searching...

2. The problem is not easy and may have various solutions depending on what your goals are. For the sake of easy identification, we will call these problems "grey".

3. There is no answer to this class of problems at the moment and no amount of resources will change that. We need to avoid wasting time and resources on this and concentrate on number 2.

- Sept. 2014

A caveate

This is not to rule out new solutions to old problems.

Any new ideas and discoveries can improve the results or even change the classification of a problem type. A good example of this is human flight. Before the invention of the airplane, the wheel was the most efficient way to move people from place to place. We had the automobile, and trains that rides on wheels. With airplanes, a new paradigm was created. One can move from A to B with lift and much faster. Not to say the wheel is obsolete but improve upon it. After all, the airplane still needs wheels to take off and land. The wings just added a new dimension to solving the old problem of movement from A to B.

Some examples of class 1 problems (or solutions)...

  • The wheel - a great invention (solution) to move heavy objects.
  • Electricity - a great way to harness and distribute energy.
  • Free market capitalism - best econimic system to produce prosperity.

Some example of class 2 problems...

  • Illegal immigration.
  • Energy dependence.
  • Public education.
  • Medical care.
  • National defense.

Some example of class 3 problems...

  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • Global warming.
  • Race relations.

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      dekato_ceo 9 years ago

      I agree with your 3 approaches methodology. I think a lot of people and organizations may unnecessarily devote a lot of effort and resources towards trying to re-define approaches to type 1 and attempting to solve type 3.