Sunday, 26 November 2017

Characterisation through Rubik's Cubes

I owned one in the eighties (who didn't?) but was never interested enough to solve a Rubik's cube.

According to an official-sounding website : 'In 1974, a young Professor of architecture in Budapest named Erno Rubik created an object that was not supposed to be possible. His solid cube twisted and turned - and still it did not break or fall apart. With colourful stickers on its sides, the Cube got scrambled and thus emerged the first “Rubik’s Cube”. It took well over a month for Erno to work out the solution to his puzzle. Little did he expect that Rubik’s Cube would become the world’s best-selling toy ever. As a teacher, Erno was always looking for new, more exciting ways to present information, so he used the Cube’s first model to help him explain to his students about spatial relationships. Erno has always thought of the Cube primarily as an object of art, a mobile sculpture symbolizing stark contrasts of the human condition: bewildering problems and triumphant intelligence; simplicity and complexity; stability and dynamism; order and chaos.

Well, in our household it seems to illustrate not just stark contrasts in the human condition, but start contrasts in character.

Presented with a cube each, they have responded in very different ways.

Gilby has spent hours meticulously researching solutions. (I suspect that Father Christmas might even bring him a book on it.) He takes it in logical stages and is making good, if somewhat slow, progress. His eight-year-old mind wants to understand this thing.

Eddie has...ripped the stickers off and made the whole thing black so that it is perpetually 'solved'.

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