The Rubik’s Cube seems to be making a comeback, and I for one am all for it… because now it won’t seem so weird for me to announce in the middle of completely unrelated conversations, that I can, indeed, solve the Rubik’s Cube. Suddenly my apparent ego is culturally relevant. Solving the cube used to be a rare skill… used to be. Now with the introduction of the Rubik’s Mini, any idiot human or moderately intelligent primate will be able to make that claim. They’ll know the truth… especially the primates… but that won’t stop them from proclaiming away.
Now don’t get me wrong… I do not begrudge the Rubik’s company for expanding the product line… I don’t. They’ve done it before with great success. If you remember 1984, you certainly remember the introduction of the 4x4 cube… Rubik’s Revenge. Shortly thereafter, the 5x5… the Professor’s Cube. “The Prof”, as I used to call it, was to nerds in 1986 what the cell phone is to normal humans today. “Keys… wallet… the Prof. I’m ready to go.” Those two variations were both great puzzles… but they were great because they were more difficult than the original… not less. Obviously no one wants a 6x6 cube (duh… that would be ridiculous), so the pendulum has swung almost completely in the other direction. The 2x2… Rubik’s Mini. Sure… we all know it looks easy… but let me try to really put it into perspective for you. The original Rubik’s Cube had 43 trillion possible permutations… give or take. The Rubik’s Mini can be solved in a maximum of 11 turns. Maximum. It has to be a joke. I pray that everyone at the Rubik’s company is having a big laugh over it… because the other possibility is somewhat frightening. This other possibility is that maybe… just maybe… the Rubik’s Cube is a guage of human intelligence at the time… a cultural intellectual barometer if you will. The parallels are kind of creepy.
1980 - Original Rubik’s Cube is introduced.
1980 - Voyager I sends the first high resolution photos of Saturn back to Earth.
1986 - The Rubik’s Professor is introduced.
1986 - IBM introduces the first laptop computer.
2005 - The Rubik’s Mini is introduced.
2005 - The Kansas State School Board decides that evolution will no longer be considered scientific fact, but rather just a “theory”.
I can’t wait for the 1x1 cube… the Rubik’s Insult. No need to fire up the brain cells… it’s already solved.