Saturday, June 13, 2009

At home with the Black Hats

Inventor of the term "lateral thinking", Mild cigarettes (those tiny little holes around the filter? That was him) and all-round shit-stirring genius Edward de Bono is visiting our shores.

Kathryn Ryan has a word with him the other day on NatRad, while David Cohen is drooling over the anticipated mind meal in person at the Human Resources Institute gig. Fair point too. De Bono reckons the best thing NZ could do to help the Middle East situation is to export a few tonnes of Marmite to them, seeing how they need to zinc up their unleavened bread a bit.

But no-one has a monopoly on wisdom. This was apparent when Ryan basically asked him to the answer to the ultimate question and got a variation on 42. NZ are well-known Black Hats. In de Bono's Six Hats scheme of things, we are a nation of knockers. If there's a hole, we'll find it. If you need a cloud for your silver lining, come to us.

There's a quote I've been saving up for bloody ages. I was going to use it to start my never never novel, Kiwianatopia. It's from Richard Feynman when he came to Auckland University for the Douglas Robb Memorial lectures in 1979. It's about 20 minutes into the first lecture:
"I've been here three days. It's beautiful, there's not too many people. I thought you'd be happy here. But everyone talks themselves down. I dunno, something must have happened to it. At least you had Rutherford, so it's OK."
If only we spent a few more hours worshipping ideas and not bloody rugby, we might generate an easier way of life. Here's an idea, fresh off the lobe. Get people interested in science by hauling this guy from Oz across here one summer and have him perform with his Tesla coils down at the waterfront. That'll impress them.