Friday, June 15, 2012

PO - The Tool To Lateral Thinking

What is Lateral Thinking?

For any job at hand, there are methods, methods which have been formed and moulded into shape. There are ways which look straight, there are tracks less explored. The ones that have set foot have been created out of experience, experience of repetitive success, experience of not choosing other paths and choosing the one that has worked well so far. This is the logical way of doing things.

There are also ways around the mould to achieve the same goal, however quicker, or slower, or easier or harder or safer that detour might be. You will have to get out of the regular path, and attempt to take the path less travelled. It is not guaranteeing you a success, but it is guaranteeing you something new, something useful - if not for this task, for some other. To go for such paths, is the basis of lateral thinking.

For any logically true path to have come to the fore, there were paths tried out. Lateral thinking helps you choose the right path for logical thinking to take you ahead. Lateral thinking opens up doors to new ways of doing a task, logical thinking methodologically takes you ahead in a chosen path. Lateral thinking allows you to take risks, as it doesn't care about mistakes, while logical paths have a set path with no choices.

Lateral thinking is there to help you come out of methods, clichés, patterns, foregone assumptions etc, and allows you to think beyond what is already set and known.

PO - The tool

There are quite a few ways by which you can practice lateral thinking. The best way is by making use of the language tool - PO.

What does PO mean?

Logical thinking has "NO" as a tool for rejection of an idea, or suggestion. Lateral thinking has "PO" as a tool to consider that very idea or suggestion, ignore any negative implication that may have caused its rejection in logical thinking, and go ahead and see how the approval of the idea may have taken the thought process further.

Usage of PO in a language pauses normalcy, and triggers alternative possibilities of moving ahead; lateral thinking sets in.
Among various usages of PO, and the respective concepts of lateral thinking they relate to, here are three major ones :-

PO delays judgement

Usage of PO does not defend or disagree with an idea. It merely lets the idea bloom into something better. It delays judgment. How often have you rejected something, only to regret it later? You might've ordered your pizza toppings, rejected olives, only to later realise that they would've gone well with the Italian seasoning. If you had thought for a bit longer about olives and the seasoning, maybe you would've wanted to have it.
PO protects a thought from immediate judgment.

PO generates alternatives

PO takes you out of the patterns and clichés. For the moment, you may ignore that the process you had been following all life and try out another way. It is what kids do when you don't watch over them. Parents teach you how to climb down from a bed, but kids always want to jump, slide and fall. You know the goal, and you know what is right (the method). So, there is nothing wrong in exploring another way, something that may help you some other day (if the legs of the bed are greasy and not suitable to be used as a step?).

PO is provocative

There are divisions cut out in almost every field. PO explores ways in which you can use both the poles and generate ideas out of them. It explores the division to create ideas. Also, PO can be used to generate ideas around a single word, or a phrase or a sentence. Random. When a group of ideas flutter around a central word/phrase, you get something out of it.
Usage of PO in its provocative sense can be sometimes humourous.The above mentioned usage is bound to be funny if you have 8 people talking on a monkey's tail, for example.

Usage of PO

1. Generating alternatives.

"PO the tree has branches" may lead to a discussion about trees and branches, why branches appear on trees, why they branch outward etc. It gives an alternative perspective of the situation. 
"PO you need fork to eat noodles"  will diverse into ways of using a fork, and ways of eating noodles differently, and trying to figure out why forks were used to eat noodles.

2. Provocation

"shoe PO food"- shoe and food are seemingly unrelated. By inserting PO between the two words, you deliberately extract ideas that relate to both shoes and food. Maybe, pizza delivery guy? How shoes have helped deliveries faster on foot. Or, why shoes are not worn in some kitchens, to keep kitchens clean?
"Black PO White" must be a famous one.
"PO advantages of buses"- here, PO is used to discuss a topic, a phrase. Just like, how it would be for a single word, for example - "PO newspaper". You get people to bring out anything related to the word. This helps people to relax from stress, helps put a smile, maybe bring out laughter once in a while. It leaves your mind fresh for further decision making.

3. Protection from judgment

Anytime you are about to hear a "NO" or "NOT", bring out the tool "PO".
"This is not the right way to dress to an awards function"- here, the thought of wearing something casual would be rejected immediately. If you say "This is PO the right way to dress to an awards function", then the dressing is discussed - what should be word, what occasion suits casual wear, what dress suits an award function. This may cause a change in how the speaker and the listener had initially perceived the situation as. This would not have been possible in logical thinking.

In any discussion, before rejecting an idea, use PO, and look at what might happen, if the idea was taken ahead. What if it were assumed to be right and taken ahead. It may be such that the job works well in the successive stages, but not for this stage. So, you hold the idea, and explore alternative ways to help reach the stage from where that idea fits into the plan. Hence, the idea that may have originally been disposed off, has helped bring out a solution.


PO creates diversion, reduces over-reaction by removing emotional attachments reserved to polarized sides of an argument. PO is counteracting, but not arrogant. PO never takes sides, but always gives room for generating alternatives.

To sum up, PO helps challenges established patterns, and extracts information trapped in pigeon-holes and brings out alternative arrangement of information.

Lateral thinking is always going to be in use. If you are looking for ideas to go ahead, employ lateral thinking to find one. If you have an established method, explore new methods to improve upon what you already have - satisfaction is not an end point. If man was satisfied with postal services, emails would have never been a reality.

For more about PO, and all about Lateral Thinking, read "Lateral Thinking" by Edward de Bono.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bagrat's Sci-Fi Movie Debut

It is a dark night. Rain pours down. No evil creatures can be seen. No good creatures can be seen either. The cameras are either wet or fogged. You can't see anything. Only spooky background music playing without being in sync with the howls of the two stupid dogs. A man knocks on....


Oh, sorry, introduction to the post...

What? Why do you flinch? Your sci-fi movie also gave introduction like this only...

Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Peter, Ram, Ramdin, Andrei, and Ron are making science fiction movies. I must too. Basically, I need a story. That's all. The rest is automatic from thereon. You feed the script into one washing machine like thing, and you get full fledged movie with weird looking creatures, imaginative locations in outer space, imaginative two legged aliens etc automatically. Well, it's the same standard thing. Aliens will feed bad if they had one leg less or more.



The man knocks on the door. (Tense feeling should now fill the theatres) Then he realises he has the key to the house. he walks in, makes dinner, sets the table, starts eating. What he didn't notice, though, was that a bug fell into his soup and he drank it without noticing.

He soon belches it out. This mutant bug suddenly starts flying, comes. and sits on table. It suddenly grows wings, legs, and a head shaped like a human's. It gives an evil laughter (that sounds like Ajith from Mankatha). But then, the head suddenly blasts into pieces on its own. The driving point is that humans are killing bugs, and themselves multiplying. Soon, by the year 2076, there may not be any bugs left at all. So, bugs will now try to seek revenge and kill all humans. But that will happen in the third sequel of this series. What happens in this movie, we shall see.

Man goes to sleep. Next day, big baseball game to attend. His college team is playing a pointless end-of-season game. But he has to be there. It would be his 1000th game in a row in attendance. People call him the "Jobless Baseball Lunatic". JBL, in short.

He wakes up next morning, does his usual morning stuffs. He skips breakfast, like on all the game-days. He is about to reach out to the car-door, when the car suddenly transforms into a huge robot, standing on two legs and talking in Radio Mirchi, Mississippi Station version. The man is puzzled. How can this happen? He was NOT in Mississippi. Puzzled man reaches for his mobile phone to record this.

Sensing danger, the neighbour's car transforms into another robot, and they both start fighting. what...bham...kaboom...dishoom dishoom... (the good car seeks a time out, runs to the man and says in cool telephone answering machine voice "You must eat your breakfast, or Kabookies from Planet YdGH29685 will come and kill the entire human race tomorrow."

But he never made breakfast on game days. Who were Kabookies? Why was Mississippi Station playing here? Our hero is super confused. He feels this has to do with the baseball team, which had the name "Racing Mantador". He assumed that the Kabookies were some gang based in the city of their opponents', riling him up before the game.

First innings, Racing were batting. The keeper signals something weird to the pitcher, pitcher nods with evil smile. JBL thinks suddenly, "Where have I seen that look before?" The pitcher shoots the ball at the batter, the ball suddenly changes colour, splits a crack on one side, grows teeth and eats the batter's head off. It suddenly grows so huge that it eats the whole of the Racing team alive. Bloddshed. Pure bloodshed. But then, an airplane comes and falls on the field and kills everybody. Including the crazy ever-grown ball.

JBL survives, though. Hey, he's our hero. Your hero survived in outerspace without oxygen supply no? My hero survives crazy ball and airplanes also.

What JBL didn't notice was, that the airplane was a space-ship. From YdGH29685. Yes. What were the odds, huh? Well, in my movie, 1: It Happens.

One alien walks out and runs to JBL, and tries to befriend him. JBL looks at the alien. Green, two thin bent legs, long arms, pointed skully head, three eyes, nostrils, mouth. He saw the friendly eyes of the alien and took his arm forward, to shake hands. The alien opend its mouth and a gooey thing came out of it, with tip like that of a hand, and shook hands with JBL with it.

A young Kabookie, who lost an eye while playing Kabookieball

Both go home arms on shoulders, talking about inter-galactic football.

They become good friends. JBL doesn't know the alien is from YdGH29685. He doesn't know he has befriended a Kabookie. He knows nothing. His memory has been wiped off. Kabookies can do that. Well, Kabookies can also jump 17 feet on one leg, but we will use that attribute later, if possible.

The Kabookie and JBL are playing chess. Suddenly, Kabookie looks up in disgust, as it made a stupid move of not getting rid of JBL's knight, and then looked down to find JBL missing.

Spooky music gets zooms in slowly at the empty chair that was just a few seconds ago hosting JBL....

JBL's King piece on the chess board springs to life, and carves "INTERMISSION" on the chessboard.

Theatre lights switch on. People will not be allowed to leave the theatre. Low quality overpriced food will be served at your seat. They have to watch this super story fully.

Ok, you are also back aa? Shall we continue? Vokay.

Camera resumes zooming in on the chair. Suddenly, JBL gets up. The camera ends up focusing on the button over JBL's belly-button. JBL looks at the Kabookie and indifferently nods and says, "Darn, these shoelaces. They keep coming off time and again."

The Kabookie never showed emotions till then. Now, it started trembling. It sent out radio waves to YdGH29685. It sensed danger.

Why not?

JBL's shoelaces suddenly came off again, came out of the droves, became 20 times fatter, and flung themselves onto the Kabookie and choked it to death. Green gooey blood boiled everything near the Kabookie's chair. The Knight lying on the floor that got trenched in the gooey blood sprung to life, in life-size size and was about to chop JBL's head. But JBL sneezes, and his saliva splashes on the psycho knight and the knight freezes, shrinks and falls and breaks into pieces.

Camera pans to the skies. Extraordinary number of Kabookies head to the Earth in their space vehicles. They all fly without any visible propulsion exhaust, have funny arrangement of lights and can cut in random directions with super control. They are very eco-friendly. They don't need fuel to run, just blood, though, blood of any kind. Seems like they just fueled somewhere 257328957 light years away.

All Kabookies head towards JBL's place. It is midnight. 72 Kabookies enter JBL's hosue from 72 different locations. They make their own entries, of course. Stop finding logic in silly things. They speak to JBL in Kabooks, making weird hand movements. JBL sat back in his chair and watched them dance in amusement. Then Kind Kabooks slammed his foot on the ceiling, and sent shrill noises. Two windows broke because of this. A cup-board sprung to life and ejected red missiles killing every Kabookie in the house. King Kabookie alone survived.

JBL suddenly remembered something. He ran to the kitchen, drank milk and reached for Kellogs Chocos. Kabookie knew exactly what he was doing. He sprung to JBL, and snatched the box from JBL's hands. But, he failed to foresee that JBL never closed his boxed tight, and the brown sweet cereal flakes were floating all over the place. JBL dived like a penguin, and caught one of them in his mouch and crunched it between his teeth.

(the crunching sound ins played very loud. very, very loud, and it echoes.)

JBL had his breakfast. Thrilling waves go out from JBL's house. Every Kabookie suddenly turns blue, burns to ashes and falls down and the ashes disappear into the earth. Every Kabookie except King Kabookie.

The King Kabookie steps back, and rests his sword on the floor. Yes, he had a sword. You will see it when you watch the movie. He had it only to do this. He doesn't need sword to fight. He has a toxic tongue, you know. He went to JBL and explained to him, that only Kabookie brothers can kill every other Kabookie except their sibling. Hence, JBL should be his sibling. He asks JBL to take the sword, to prove that he is the brother.

JBL touches the black, heavy metal sword. It had something written on it. How do I know what was written on it. I don't know Kabooks. Nor do you. Only the car that turned into a monster knows to read Kabooks on Earth. Now that is gone, so, we are left with a rotten mystery here, sorry. As soon as he felt the sword's blade, JBL turned green, grew taller, thinner, and felt like as if his tongue was an arm.

He was King Kabookie's brother.

Both of them left the Earth, and rode their way back to YdGH29685.

But, is YdGH29685 in danger from the attack of the Gazikkabots of Yulunaland?

Screen fades away into backdrop, and the random meaningless quote appears :-
And then, the Kabookie-craft flies across the screen, cutting through characters, to leave the deeper message clear to the audience...