January 7th 2019
Today I brought the Rubik’s cube out of retirement. It’s part of my New Year’s resolution to learn a new skill and, although solving a Rubik’s cube is a skill I already possess, I want to improve my solving for two reasons:
- It takes me about 90 seconds to complete the cube, and that isn’t fast enough for it to be an impressive skill. 30 seconds would be great.
- Committing to learning new algorithms in order to speed up my times will be good commitment-practice for when I want to learn an actual new skill
Basically, I want to re-teach myself to appreciate the art of practice. I’m trying to get better at golf, I’m trying to learn piano, and to do those things is going to involve a lot of practice. And so I need to be determined to practice, even when it gets frustrating.
And so, working on the Rubik’s cube — which is a skill at which I am already accomplished — will make for less frustrating practice sessions, which will teach me to appreciate the art and act of practice. Does that sound like it makes sense? Because it makes sense to me.
Basically, for me, the first step in learning how to play the piano is by solving a Rubik’s cube. Solving a cube basically just involves memorising a string of moves, and repeating them in a specific order. And that kinda sorta almost sounds relevant to piano playing, right?
Also, I’m training myself to spend time away from digital stimulus: i.e., my phone, my computer, my PlayStation, and the television. Repeatedly iterating the same 8-turn move on a Rubik’s cube might sound like a waste of an evening, but so does mindless television watching. It might not be super-productive, but it’s a baby step in the right direction.
Also, I did have a brief look at the method for solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded and it’s not actually as hard as it sounds. It literally is just a repetition of a predefined set of moves, just in a slightly different order based on the original orientation of the scramble. (I realise that that description does not make it seem simple)
Until tomorrow, we’re still a while away from blindfolded.