Oblique Strategies

A deck of cards to help give the Muse a nudge: Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt created Oblique Strategies in the early 1970s. As Eno describes them:

These cards evolved from our separate observations of the principles underlying what we are doing. Sometimes they were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated. They can be used as a pack (a set of posibilities being continuously reviewed in the mind) or by drawing a single card from a shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case the card is trusted even if it appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident.

Much like Tarot cards, an Oblique Strategies random suggestion can help rotate the viewpoint. A few examples:

  • "Ask your body"
  • "Do nothing for as long as possible"
  • "Only one element of each kind"
  • "Lowest common denominator"
  • "Use an old idea"
  • "Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do"
  • "Reverse"
  • "Repetition is a form of change"
  • "What would your closest friend do?"

... all meta, obvious, and often overlooked!

^z - 2022-01-08