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Roger von Oech
Works at Creative Think
Attended Stanford University
Lived in Palo Alto
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Roger von Oech

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"Why do we say that we bake cookies, and cook bacon?"




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Try this in Saudia Arabia. But it works in NYC!
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SPERM: Is There Anything They Can't Do?
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How to Think Like a Wise Fool
Happy April Fool's Day! It's time for one of my very favorite creative thinking strategies, "Think Like A Wise Fool."

It's the wise fool's job to extol the trivial, trifle with the exalted, and parody the common perception of a situation. In doing so, the fool makes us conscious of the habits we take for granted and rarely question. A good fool needs to be part actor and part poet, part philosopher and part psychologist.

And throughout history, the wise fool has been consulted by Egyptian pharaohs, Chinese emperors, Greeks tyrants, Renaissance kings, and Hopi Indian chiefs.

• The wise fool will reverse our standard assumptions. He'll say, "If a man is sitting on a horse facing the rear, why do we assume that it is the man who is backwards, and not the horse?"

• The wise fool notices things that other people overlook. He might ask, "Why do people who pour cream into their coffee do so after the coffee is already in the cup, rather than pouring the cream in first and saving themselves the trouble of stirring?"

• The wise fool can also be irreverent. He'll pose riddles such as, "What does a rich man put in his pocket that the poor man throws away?" When he answers, "Snot," he forces us to re-examine the sanctity of our everyday rituals.

• The wise fool can be cryptic. He'll say the best way to see something is with your ears. Initially, this may seem weird, but after you've thought about it, you might agree that listening to a story conjures up more images than watching television.

• The wise fool can be absurd. Having lost his donkey, a fool got down on his knees and began thanking God. A passerby saw him and asked, "Your donkey is missing; why are you thanking God?" The fool replied, "I'm thanking Him for seeing to it that I wasn't riding him at the time. Otherwise, I would be missing as well."

• The wise fool will take the contrary position in most conversations. Whereas many people would agree that, "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well," The fool might say, "You don't have to do things well! Indeed, it's okay to do them poorly; otherwise you'll never let yourself be a beginner at a new activity."

The great benefit of the wise fool's antics and observations is that they stimulate our thinking. They jolt us in the same way that a splash of cold water awakens us when we are drowsy.

Question: Where has "thinking like a wise fool" helped you look at a problem in a helpful way?
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+Barry Kort Which is part of my point (in the novel). ;)
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Very Funny!
Earlier in the week, Obama dissed President Rutherford B Hayes' techno savvy (president from 1877-1881).
Here are the rejoinder picture quips.

http://j.mp/AkJZA4
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Happy Saint Paddy's Day!
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In his circles
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Roger von Oech

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If #SteveJobs had been named director of the Drug Enforcement Agency, would he have changed its name to IDEA?
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Photos from the "Go Topless at the White House" demonstration. Interesting cause.
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Mike S
 
Photographer clearly had a crush on the chick with the nose ring :)
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Puzzle. What's the pattern?
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I thought I was a programmer, but I guess I'm still pre-school material :-(. If you're looking for a puzzle that programmers will have better luck with than pre-schoolers, check out mine: http://antone.geckotribe.com/alpha-gecko/a-number-puzzle-for-you-geniuses/ -- if anyone solves it, I'll be thoroughly impressed.
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Interesting thought.
Here are my two premises (from a "T-Man" on the Althouse blog)
:
(1) Graduating from a place like Harvard, or any other Ivy, does not mean that you actually learned anything there.
2) Your alma mater is more of a signaling device that you are the type of person "good enough" to go to Harvard.

Given that, we should all skip the middle man. If students are accepted to a highly competitive college, they should just keep their acceptance letters. These have become the equivalent of the diploma. Employers get the same information, people can start careers earlier and save a boatload of money.

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Health Care Mandates vs Pizza Toppings
This 2 minute video makes a world of sense.
http://j.mp/HqP3zP
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Imagine if the government required every single female to go out on a man date.
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A very funny Tarzan and Jane joke
When Jane initially met Tarzan in the jungle, she was attracted to him, and during her questions about his life, she asked him how he had sex.

"Tarzan not know sex," he replied.

Jane then explained to him what sex was.

Tarzan said "Tarzan use knot hole in trunk of tree."

Horrified, Jane said, "Tarzan you have it all wrong, but I will show you how to do it properly."

She took off her clothing and lay down on the ground.

"Here," she said, pointing to her privates, "you must put it in here."

Tarzan removed his loin cloth, showing Jane his considerable manhood, stepped closer to her and kicked her in the crotch!

Jane rolled around in agony for what seemed like an eternity.

Eventually she managed to grasp for air and screamed, "What did you do that for?"

Tarzan replied, "Check for squirrel."
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People
In his circles
365 people
Have him in circles
1,758 people
Work
Occupation
Author, inventor, consultant, product developer
Employment
  • Creative Think
    Wise Fool, 1977 - present
  • IBM
    Data Base/Data Comm Rep, 1975 - 1976
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Palo Alto - Hamburg - Amsterdam - Seattle - Los Angeles - Columbus
Story
Tagline
If a man's sitting backwards on a horse, why do we assume the man is backwards and not the horse?
Introduction
Started the company Creative Think in 1977 to stimulate creativity and innovation in business. Have worked with clients all over the world. Have done seminars and presentations with well over a million people. (Clients have ranged from Apple, Disney, and NASA to US Olympic Swim Team, Sony, and Proctor & Gamble.) Author: • A Whack on the Side of the Head (translated into 22 languages), iBooks Link, Kindle Link• A Kick in the Seat of the Pants• Expect the Unexpected• Creative Whack Pack Inventor: Ball of Whacks, X-Ball, Y-Ball, and Star-Ball Creator of: Creative Whack Pack iPhone/iPad app
Bragging rights
Google recently purchased 5,200 of my Balls of Whacks to promote Chrome! It was a nice order.
Education
  • Stanford University
    History of Ideas, 1970 - 1975
  • Ohio State University
    History/Ancient History, 1966 - 1970
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Gender
Male
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Married