The Secrets of the Speedcubers

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Have you ever watched a master solve a Rubik’s Cube?

In a flash of fingers and a whirl of colors that lasts mere seconds the master cuber is able to solve a puzzle that leaves most of us puzzled for tens of minutes (or giving up altogether).

Image: Rubik's Cube
Source: Pixabay

If you haven’t seen a Rubik’s Cube solved in a matter of seconds, don’t worry (you’ll get to see that today), you have probably encountered a Rubik’s Cube before. It’s a cube, each side of a different color, made up of smaller cubes on each face that you are able to scramble. To solve the puzzle you must unscramble the smaller cubes so that each face goes back to containing only a single color. (It’s a bit complex to explain, but they give a great explanation in the video).

Where I went to college, it was pretty common to see somebody absent mindedly solving a Rubik’s Cube in the dining hall, or while studying in the library. Some people would even be holding conversations as their fingers, as if on autopilot, moved to solve the Cube.

I always appreciated the complexity of what they were doing, but never fully understood what was going on in their brains, or how the Cube even worked.

That is until I stumbled upon the video we’re sharing with you on Ever Widening Circles (EWC) today. This great piece from Vox really puts into context what exactly makes the Rubik’s Cube so complex to solve, and how in the world master solvers are able to solve it in just 5.25 seconds!

Via: Vox 1

Liesl, you say, how does knowing how to solve a Rubik’s Cube prove it’s still an amazing world. Well, I think that it’s not necessarily solving the Cube that proves it’s still an amazing world, but the community of people that have grown up around solving it. The shared hours of practice, the community of learning, that is incredible.

As they mentioned in the video, solving the Cube in record time is a building process, with each generation passing down its knowledge to the next. Creating a distinct culture of collaboration across generations and, very often, countries. And I think that that speaks to one of the most wonderful characteristics of our interconnected global community.

We are only as isolated as we choose to be these days. Reaching out, collaborating, learning, becoming engaged with a global community is right at our fingertips, all we have to do is engage!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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