Thursday, September 23, 2004

Metaphorical cubes

I did a search in Google News for "rubik's cube" to see if there were any interesting cube articles. There was a long list, but many of the articles were not actually about cubes, they just happened to be using 'Rubik's Cube' as a metaphor.

Here's one that caught my attention: "It's a seven-sided Rubik's Cube, a problem with no solution." I didn't bother to read the article beyond this sentence because it clearly wasn't actually about cubes, but I thought it was interesting that cubes are so frequently used as metaphors.

It also started me thinking about whether there is a seven-sided Rubiks-like puzzle (I couldn't think of one). If there is, it's obviously not a "cube" as the author of the article implies. Perhaps the writer should have said "It's like a Rubik's Cube that's had a single edge reversed, a problem with no solution."*

* For any speedcubers reading this, yes obviously there is a solution which is to rip the piece out and fix it, but I think you know what I mean (ie. it can't be fixed in the usual way).

No comments: