# General Problem Solving

Problems and conditions:

The first step in solving a problem is to determine whether the problem is truly a problem, as many situations that appear problematic are indeed conditions. A condition has no solution, it simply is. A most obvious example is fitting a quart in a pint bottle; this is only a problem when you cannot realize the condition that a one pint bottle cannot contain more than one pint. Unaware of this simple notion, you will continue to search for a way...

Determining impossibility:

Some true problems have one or more solutions, but certain conceived solutions are impossible. Look for these first. Ask: "Why won't this work?" before asking: "How can I make this work?". This can save much time toying with impossible solutions. It is man's basic nature to hold onto treasured solution-ideas, desperately trying to make them work, simply because the first step was omitted, usually due to a built-in bias toward the treasured idea.

Conditions of impossibility:

Impossible solutions are again, conditions, and must be recognized as such. As these conditions of impossibility become evident, they should be collected conceptually into a more accurate total picture of the problem. If possible, the relationship of the impossibilities to the problem should have a mathematical precision to them, conceptual or preferably numerical, to better justify the declaration of impossibility, yet further defining and clarifying the problem.

Solution optimization:

Once more than one solution has passed the impossibility test, optimization, or a selection between possible solutions is required. Further, even a single solution could conflict with other situations, outside of the initial problem. This leads to the notion of conflicting solutions.

Conflicting solutions:

Although one or more solutions to a problem may exist, most often the potential solutions lead to further problems. At this point, return above to "Problems and conditions".

Exercises:

How do we solve global hunger?

How do we solve global warming?

Hey, do the math...

How do we solve global warming?

Hey, do the math...