August 21 2012
So anyway, while I was away this weekend (family getaway out in Montauk) — one of my nephews came up to me with a well worn Rubix Cube with all sides solid. Done. First off, I was surprised to see this relic from the 80′s reappear in present day — but he apparently could solve it too.
I asked him if he finished it himself (something I never did) or took it apart and then snapped the pieces back together in order (something I often did)– he told me to mix it up and give it back to him. I did. Within minutes it was done. Right in my face…
In my day, I remember the few kids here or there that could do Rubix Cube.. One kid, Danny, would be able to do it lickity split– but he could also write Pi to the 100th digit on the blackboard in 4th grade and beat adults at chess. It made sense.
And there were a few others here and there who could do it. Like kids who went to secret classes that were invitation only, kids who wore robot costumes to school on days other than halloween, and kids who liked bugs. But here was my nephew (none of the above) zipping through it.
And then my other nephew came along and told me he could do it too! It was no big deal for him either! He took the Rubix and gave it back to me in checkboard pattern. It was surreal. I still struggle with one stupid side (as a grown up adult person no less!) And both these kids had it locked down easy? They’re both very smart– but that smart?!
It made me wonder if solving Rubix isn’t as big a deal anymore. Like, is it possible ALOT more kids kids can do it now? Half? More? And if so, what changed?
SOoo I’m coming to a scientific conclusion based on no information whatsoever (which ironically also brings back memories of my school days) — either my nephews are standouts OR kids are just way better at puzzles now. They’ve become naturals.
I’m guessing things have changed because of video games. They’ve been doing puzzles in video games since day one. So I’ve determined that their brains have grown smarter puzzle-wise in this new generation. Better wired for puzzicular foresight. There’s gotta be some side effect from growing up on an overdose of games that require problem solving skills from day one, yea?
So it’s safe to assume that generation to generation is going to be smarter and smarter with puzzles at an startling fast rate — which is coolio. I like evolution you can see. But it also means that 50 years from now when this website is oldtodd.com– my great grand kids will probably think I’ve gone senile because I can’t finish a “pre-school” Sudoku puzzle…