Fork Spoon Puzzle Update

Almost a month back, I’d post­ed the Fork Spoon Puz­zle. As far as I know, only Ram­bodoc attempt­ed a solu­tion. He sent me a solu­tion I had also come up with, that didn’t sat­is­fy the real rules, so it again proved that we’re one of a kind!

That post wasn’t meant to be a pop­u­lar post that would get the high­est num­ber of hits, and appear on the Word­Press ‘Top Posts’ list. Why? Because nobody these days is inter­est­ed in sci­ence, in teach­ing ratio­nal­i­ty to their chil­dren, or learn­ing about basic sci­ence stuff all over again! “Oh my god, we went through this in school already, not again!”

But aren’t blog­gers dif­fer­ent from this pub­lic? The puz­zle doesn’t require any sophis­ti­cat­ed equip­ment, just basic kitchen stuff. It is not in any kind of spe­cial­ized domain like music or finance, where you need some back­ground knowl­edge. You apply sci­en­tif­ic prin­ci­ples when you load your lug­gage onto the air­port cart. Put the heav­ier and big­ger bags first, and towards the han­dle, then heavy bags next to it far­ther than the han­dle, then the lighter bags on top of them. We do it, because we need to car­ry our lug­gage; who needs to solve a puz­zle?!

But think about the sci­en­tists who go on exper­i­ment­ing and exper­i­ment­ing. How many years did Descartes spend exper­i­ment­ing with light? How many years did Nash strug­gle with math­e­mat­ics and play games to come up with Nash equi­lib­ria? How many years did our beloved Kalam spend try­ing to fig­ure out mis­sile tra­jec­to­ries that are now used by ISRO to send satel­lites in space?

We ordi­nary folks spend hours read­ing books about such great folks. We spend time writ­ing about our love of them. The blo­gos­phere is teem­ing with its love and praise for Kalam. Why can’t we spend a few min­utes try­ing to prac­tice what he and oth­ers preached?

This is not exper­i­men­ta­tion where you don’t even know if the solu­tion exists (which was what these pio­neers were most­ly faced with). It is a sim­ple puz­zle, with a known solu­tion.

Why I write so pas­sion­ate­ly about this is because I believe that only if we instill the sci­en­tif­ic spir­it in our­selves, can we pass it on to the next gen­er­a­tion. We’re becom­ing a pop­u­lace who abhors any kind of men­tal effort, rev­el­ing in pop­u­lar music, pop­u­lar cus­toms, pop­u­lar cin­e­ma, pop­u­lar beliefs, and so on. What about clas­si­cal stuff, that requires some effort? Isn’t it reward­ing? But I digress.

As I said in the puz­zle post, you can choose to cheat and find the solu­tion quick­ly using the Inter­net. You would then be miss­ing the whole point. Try to spend time and a lit­tle bit of effort. You’ll appre­ci­ate the results much more! Let us teach our chil­dren and the next gen­er­a­tion how to go about apply­ing the unqui­et mind.

I will reveal the solu­tion to the puz­zle in the com­ing week, depend­ing on the response to this post. Do use the com­ments sec­tion to vent out your frus­tra­tions, your ques­tions, your crit­i­cisms. They’re all wel­come!

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