Which number could correctly follow next in this extremely simple pattern?
065864 or 471867 ?
The answer is written here in yellow. Highlight to make it readable:
for every line has one more enclosed space
in the number than the previous one.
This was based on a math riddle which I read long ago.
It reminds me powerfully of the downside of having learnt to think in patterns, the downside of having education and of having learnt the tools of several trades. Economists learn to approach problems with a set of figurative "tools". Engineers have an altogether different tool set. Lawyers again are completely different. Physicists are different as well. So are programmers. And soldiers.
I learnt multiple tool sets in my life and took a glance at others. That gives me a somewhat powerful 'meta-tool set' for trying to understand the world and for trying to figure out solutions to problems (especially when more than one answer is required).
I suppose a software from 2040 would be able to discern which tool sets I was making use of while writing this blog. I know them and I can tell the influences show. (I suppose software could also determine quite well which books I've read, even many of those which I never referenced.)
It's also a burden. I wasn't able to solve the math riddle originally, though it was claimed that children could solve it within minutes. Education and experience had shut that ability off, likely forever.
Different backgrounds can quite explain different conclusions in many cases. Two disagreeing Nobel laureates from one and the same social science are often predictable in their conclusions about a problem once you've looked at their area of speciality within their science.
Different branches of the military lead quite predictably to different tool sets and different conclusions, too.
I suppose it's useful to remember how oneself is limited in the ability to make comprehensive judgements based on one's background.
If in doubt, remember the riddle...