Tag: problem solving

Why does turning a device off and on again fix most technical problems?

This is possibly the best answer to this question I’ve ever seen. Found via @SaraBWarf on twitter via the excellent Labnotes newsletter. Embedding the Reddit response below and the plain text in the event it disappears in the future below.

Imagine you live in a huge, ancient city with winding streets that have many twists and turns. You want to get from your house to the grocery store. Somewhere along the way, you aren’t paying attention, and take a wrong turn.

Now you’re lost. You don’t recognize any buildings. What do you think is more likely to help you — going around and around in circles, or magically teleporting back to your house and starting again from the beginning of the route you already know?

That’s what power cycling does. It takes a device that’s trapped in some kind of problem, picks it up, and puts it back down at the starting line again.

“Ah, the starting line,” it says. “I know what to do from here.”

KDY_ISD on Reddit

Dates with people you don’t know discussing books you’ve not read

Woke up this morning with remnants of a dream in my head. I present it to you now.

You go on dates. But you don’t know the other person. On the date, you read books. Discuss books? Books play a big role. So it’s people you don’t know discussing books you haven’t read. That’s the headline.

And there’s a number. 2 books? 9 dates? Dreams are weird and foggy afterwards. There’s some specific number if books and dates. And some reason both are important.

You are both knowledgeable enough about the book to discuss its merits and the problems it presents. You’re looking for solutions. The books are the way to those solutions. This is about dating and problem solving.

Maybe it’s a way to determine compatibility between people. Can they solve problems? Can they hold a conversation without shouting or bullying? Are they problems solvers at all? Or do they simply talk about or around the problem in front of them?

No idea. It’s a dream. Dreams are weird and I rarely remember mine. And this one was coherent enough to capture what I have. So here it is. Enjoy?


Running around fires makes you feel good because you’re solving problems and you’re busy. But you’re not solving problems. You’re dealing with the unsolved problems that caught fire and need your immediately attention.

If you were solving problems, you wouldn’t be fighting fires, you’d be watering down dry wood and putting matches away. Look for potential fires. Stop them before they start.