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Background for Ham Radio Problem Solving Concentration is a disarmingly simple card game which is played by two or more people. The 52 cards of a well-shuffled deck are laid out on a surface face down. For this introduction we’ll assume there are two players, Romeo and Juliette. Juliette wins the coin toss and goes first. She picks up two cards at random and if they match she take the pair and places them down if from of her and selects two additional cards. If she doesn’t produce a match she put the cards, face down, into their original position and Romeo selects two cards. When there are no longer any cards face down the player with the most matches wins the game.

Here is a friendly piece of advice, if you’re an adult don’t even think about playing this game with a five year old unless you can handle total humiliation. A 52 card deck has 26 possible matches and a five year old frequently captures 20, or more, matches. How can this be and can a study of this phenomenon help us learn anything that might be helpful with future ham radio problem solving challenges? What Have We Learned? First, let’s reject any thought that the five year old is just lucky with the first game because they will bash us consistently. What property do they possess that the average adult lacks? The answer is total concentration. Youngsters don’t have a multitude of seemingly insignificant thoughts running around inside their heads. We adults are burdened with thoughts about relationships, how to explain to the boss that we’re about to miss a deadline and so on.

Some people claim that a regimen of yoga permits focusing on a single topic. I never was able to reach such an exalted level of mind-control. However, I did discover a way to harness very high levels of concentration quite by accident.

I didn’t enter a college classroom until I was 46 years old. My initial reason for taking a college course was to learn how to program a computer. Like many people I thought computer programming was about syntax but it’s not, it’s primarily about logic. Early on I was wrestling with a pesky problem. My program compiled successfully meaning the syntax was correct but the program seemed to have a mind of its own and refused to do what I wanted. It’s a clique in the computer field that a program does what you tell it to do not what you want it to do. One night an interesting thing happened. I was thinking about my elusive program as I was falling asleep. Several hours later I woke up with the solution to the problem. I want back to sleep thinking I had accomplished a major breakthrough. The problem was in the morning I remembered waking up in the middle of the night with the solution but I didn’t remember what it was.

From that point on when I had a programming problem I kept a listing of the program on my night table and if I awoke in the middle of the night I made notational solutions on my program listing. I also kept a pocket notebook on my night table in case I came up with the solution to a non-computer problem. After several months I additionally discover I no longer had to make notes on my listings in the middle of the night, I remembered them in the morning. That was about 40 years ago and I practice this same methodology today. Conclusion What was the mechanism allowing me to harness my nocturnal creative problem solving abilities and could it be reproduced by others? Over this ensuing 40 year period I have exposed the "problem solve while you sleep" methodology to countless numbers of people and only a few could not duplicate my success.

I’ll leave the explanation of this modality to those infinitely more qualified with the working of the mind than I possess. From a simplistic layman’s point of view I think that when we sleep we regress to the mind set of that wonderful five year old who whopped us at Concentration. I also believe, based on much experience, that we can train our minds to take directions for nocturnal subject matter selection.

How does this apply to ham radio in general and ham cramming specifically? When using this website try and do a study session and test session every day. When going to sleep thanks about the associations you made connecting the questions with the correct answers. I’ll wager you a cup of coffee you start processing the relationships while you sleep within a few nights.

Create Ham Cram Study Session - Alternative Study Methods - Create an Elevator Pitch
Beginners Guide to Repeaters - Repeater Finder & Radio Interface - Expert Mode - The Art of Memorization
Join a Ham Radio Club? - Your First HF Antenna - Should You Learn CW? - Cloud Burner Antennas
Nocturnal Problem Solving - Vanity Calls

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