Shared November 4, 2019
Get 20% off your first order with code: vsauce2
Thanks Mack Weldon for sponsoring this episode
Vsauce2 Store: https://represent.com/store/vsauce2
Play The L-Game: https://hwwmath.looiwenli.com/l-game
Could You Survive Ghostbusters?: https://youtu.be/hA0tOcNE4IY
Edward de Bono is a lot of things -- an author, an economic theorist, a physician -- but he’s also a thinker about… thinking. His 1967 book “The Five-Day Course in Thinking” included a game that’s one of the hardest in the world, yet also one of the simplest.
The idea behind creating the perfectly simple, perfectly impossible exercise that turned into The L-Game was to distill a 2-player experience down to a constant churn of critical strategic decisions. By limiting the board to just 16 spaces with 2 L-shaped tetrominoes and 2 neutral pieces, the board can’t distract from the core task. And with so few rules -- really, just that you need to move your L piece to an open space and then optionally move one of the neutrals -- the focus is purely on thinking several moves in advance.
That level of abstraction is way, way harder than it seems. But by using experience to identify and organize some strategic guiding principles to moving in the L-Game, it’s possible for both players to play perfectly -- and forever.
As de Bono demonstrates in his course, that’s the same sort of approach we apply to almost everything we value. We think strategically about the groceries we buy, the relationships we have or want… if it matters, we employ some form of strategy. And the better we are at strategic thinking, the more likely we are to get the result we need.
And it all starts with a 4x4 board, two tetrominoes, and a couple pennies.
*** SOURCES ***
"The L Game: Strategic Thinking". The Five-Day Course in Thinking by Edward de Bono: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...
"Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 2," by By Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John H. Conway, and Richard K. Guy: https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Ways-Y...
*** LINKS ***
Hosted and Produced by Kevin Lieber
Research And Writing by Matthew Tabor
Editing by AspectScience
Huge Thanks To Paula Lieber
Get Vsauce's favorite science and math toys delivered to your door!
Vsauce Snapback Hat
Select Music By Jake Chudnow: http://www.youtube.com/user/JakeChudnow
The Invention Of Blue
CARNIVAL SCAM SCIENCE- and how to win
The Banach–Tarski Paradox
The Card Game You Can (almost) Always Win
Oldest Technologies Scientists Still Can't Explain
The Battleship Algorithm
Strange answers to the psychopath test | Jon Ronson
This guy has a PROBLEM - Tech Hoarders
The Most Mysterious Boy In History | Random Thursday
The Dot Game That Breaks Your Brain
The unbelievable solution to the 100 prisoner puzzle.
Driving a Toy Car 24 Hours Straight
Charcoal in Cone Pit vs Drum Tort