Geek Smithology

March 16, 2009

Gardening; not architecture – Oblique Strategies with Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt

Filed under: Craft of Dev by Nathan @ 10:01 pm

Everybody blocks.  Writer’s block.  Programmer’s block.  Lego block.  As with so many things, one of the things that differentiates the great from the average is how we break through.  I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and came across the idea of oblique strategies, an idea from producer Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt.[1]  The basic idea is a deck of cards, each with a pithy (or cryptic) saying on it that helps you reframe your thoughts, like the the one in the title of this post:

Gardening; not architecture.

What does that mean?  We all have our own interpretation, and while our left brained developer minds might not like it, every one of those interpretations is correct.

It has been said that the best metaphors often come from bisociational discord.  In fact, assuming we can bring it together, the further apart the two sides of our conceptual model, the more epic our epiphany when it comes together.

And if it doesn’t?  Who cares!  Pick another card and go again…

Not building a wall, but making a brick.

[1] There are various web resources for using Oblique Strategies: I use the iPhone application myself.

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