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Traditional Reference

Think inside the box

  • Think inside the box.
  • Think outside the box.
  • Think under the box.
  • Think over the box.
  • Think around the box.
  • Pretend the box isn't there.
  • Pretend it is.
  • Is it really a box?
  • If it is, there might be a prize inside.
  • Or is the prize somewhere else?
  • Did the prize fall out?
  • Maybe a colleague can help you find it

Really?

“I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”



Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet