Oblique Strategies

Posted by on Jan 23, 2009 in Blog | Comments Off

You probably don’t remember ‘Lateral Thinking’. I do, cuz I’m old. It’s amazing how many schmarmy catch phrases end up getting slapped onto the general purpose concept of ‘Oh, shit, we need a ‘Plan B’ .

Lateral Thinking resurfaced a few years ago, this time packaged as ‘Thinking Outside The Box’. World + Dog (and particularly Management Consultants) grappled onto this Exciting New Concept©® (or at least the catch-phrase) with the same limpet-like enthusiasm it received in the ’70′s. Popular culture and its’ semi-revolutionary approaches to problem solving…Waddayagonnado?

Then, as now, there were actually some people who truly understood the process:

Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt first assembled and published the Oblique Strategies in 1975 as a deck of reference cards for use during creative dilemmas. Ex-Roxy Music (’70′s Prog/pop band with atrocious fashion sense…ask your parents), Eno is the guy widely credited with having invented ‘Ambient Music’. Schmidt is an extremelyBritish water colourist who has provided cover art for lots of Enos’ phonograph recordings. Although optimized for use during music composition and production, the cards can be an invaluable source of alternate approaches for your consideration during problematic endeavours. This little javascript accesses the text of the original first edition Oblique Strategies deck randomly or sequentially. I use it regularly.

Think while reading.