The New Problem Solving



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Riding my new bike this weekend, I started with a problem. My last bicycle was 20 years old, with the gear shift down on the frame. The new one has modern shifting right in the handlebars. I felt like Rumplestilstkin getting on this bike and dealing with 20 years’ advanced technology.

My problem? I could shift one way, but not the other, though I had successfully done this a month back while trying bikes out at Landry’s Cycles in Boston.

Could I ask a passing cyclist for help? There weren’t many on this March day. Instead, I consulted Google on my phone. After rephrasing my query I found a question similar to mine ("How do I shift with a Shimano 150?") and the answer.

What I did was unusal five years ago and unthinkable a decade ago. Still, most of us are not "wired" to think of using these tools this way.

I’m reading Don Tapscott’s "Grown Up Digital," which states the younger "Net Generation" is wired this way. As a Gen-xer, I’m fascinated how we are adapting to this new world.

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Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message to go to my fundraising page– and thank you!

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