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Smarter and Faster. How to think several steps ahead.



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in the mid-1970s Erno Rubik invented the

rubik's cube but that doesn't mean he

knew how to solve it it took him a few

months to figure it out by the time the

first world rubik's cube Championships

were held in 1982 the winner he could

solve the cube in a little less than 23

seconds and these days well there was a

new world record holder in our area and

he's only in high school 15 a jerk Allan

burns solving a Rubik's cube in 5.25

three seconds this is world record

holder Colin burns and today we find out

how he did it

it could last another week it could last

another few years the the previous

record lasted for over two years

but with especially with single solve

you just need to get lucky or at least

that's a big part of it

Colin tends to downplay his skills but

it's worth noting there are two types of

world records the way speed keeping

competitions work is that volunteers

will scramble the cubes according to

instructions that are generated by a

computer so the competitors all get the

same scramble they do five solves and

the three middle scores are averaged so

Colin holds the world record for a

single song but the world record for

average is held by a 19 year old in

Australia so college record is a huge

steal at the competition where we met up

with him kids were asking him for

autographs he's now being sponsored by a

cube company and buy a cube retailer

which are paying for him to travel

internationally and he wants people to

know you can do this too the biggest

misconception about cubing is that it's

difficult which it really isn't pop

culture treats the rubik's cube like

some sort of IQ test but it's not at

least not anymore i recently bought a

cube online and it came with

instructions from beginners if you

memorize those you could solve the cube

in a couple of minutes it helps us

understand the design of the puzzle at

first glance it looks like it's a cube

made out of cubes right three layers

nine but if you look closer you'll see

there aren't actually any cubes here so

that tells you that the corners will

always be corners the edges will always

be edges and the middle pieces determine

the color of that face speed cubers will

buy special cubes they can lubricate

them and adjust the tension but the real

key to their speed is efficiency they're

looking several moves ahead and they use

fewer moves to get the same result

so there are 43 quintillion possible

arrangements for the cube a few years

back some researchers borrowed computing

power from Google to find out that any

scramble can be solved in 20 moves or

less they call it God's know

but humans just aren't that good the

beginners method that I learned uses a

hundred to two hundred moves speed

cubers use more around fifty to sixty

moves and they can do that in part

because of the knowledge gained by the

previous generation of speed cubers when

the cube first met around the world back

in the 80s people had to learn through

trial and error this was happening a lot

of math departments and campus clubs

people were discovering the cube at the

same time and they were sharing what

they learned the method that Colin uses

was developed by Jessica Friedrich she's

an engineering professor who was a

college student at the time it starts

with a cross on one of the faces and

that face becomes the bottom layer then

what they do is solve the corners of the

bottom layer and the middle layer

simultaneously so you can see now all of

this is solved and for that final layer

they're choosing from dozens of

algorithms that they've memorized and

those are sequences of moves that will

mess up the cube temporarily to move

pieces into place and then put the rest

of the cube back where it was the

rubik's cube is made a comeback in

recent years along with that same ethic

of sharing tips and strategies so all

the resources you need are there there's

just one other thing practice this is

Colin nearly five years ago world

records are not built in a day