Thinking - Generally dissatisfied

Thinking is harder than you think.

Before I started 120 things in 20 years, I could count to 59 on my fingers. I thought that was quite clever of me.

It was quite clever of me.

But I thought I'd employ a technique that I'v been using in my life recently to see if I could count to 120, in the hope of getting parents all over the world to insist that their schools make it mandatory for all students to subscribe to my blog.

The technique I employed, and have been employing, was to be generally dissatisfied.

I still cant count to 120, but now I can count to 99.

The method I was using was to count 1,2,3,4 with the fingers of my right hand, use the right thumb alone as 5, then 6,7,8,9 are created using the right thumb(5) plus the right fingers. Then use the left digits for 10's.

The wacky thing is, it never occurred to me to do the same "thumb is 5" thing on my left hand. Crazy! Why should I be able to count to 9 on my right hand but not think to be able to count to 90 on my left.

It turns out it's a well known counting (and calculating - just add the digits then add the 10's) technique and it seems to be called "chisanbop" and appears to come from Korea. I had probably heard of it or seen it on tv before I "invented" it. For all I know it was an important part of my schooling. I really should have paid some attention.

The point here is once I knew something could be done with my right hand, for some reason I didn't expand the idea to include what could be done with my left hand.

Sometimes solutions are staring us in the face and yet we don't notice them. Often the solution is being used to solve some other, similar problem. All we need to do is look it up. Sometimes we can even use the problem as part of the solution.

My Favorite form of invention is when someone uses the force they are trying to overcome against itself. An example might be using a lever with a series of weights added to it to lift something. So using gravity to overcome gravity. Or using the fact that hot air rises to create a cooling breeze by building a tall glass chimney on the top of your house, and opening a window at ground level. (cooling tower)

I'm going to try to get better at this thinking business. In fact, I've already started.


  1. some cultures count in different ways!!! backwards to us

  2. Great blog so I decided to read the entire think from the beginning.

    BTW you can actually reach 1023 on your fingers using binary.

  3. Thanks!

    Sorry about the last few posts. If you haven't got there yet, you will know when you do :) I haven't been very well lately.

    I'd love to hear some feedback about the blog over the entire time from someone who has read all of it. If you're willing, let me know and I'll set up a way to email, or take a chance on my email address (you will probably be correct). I cant post my address because I get too much mail already from people who take a chance :)

    And as for binary...

    When you say "you" I presume you mean "they"
    I can count to 1 in binary, then get totally confused :)

    Actually I thought I'd just test that, and I couldn't remember how to count to one at all until I looked it up in Wikipedia :)

    Thanks again for the feedback


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