This book is about problem solving, but what is problem solving, exactly? When people use the term in ordinary conversation, they often mean something very different from what we mean here. If your 1997 Honda Civic has blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, is idling roughly, and has lost fuel efficiency, this is a problem that can be solved with automotive knowledge, diagnosis, replacement equipment, and common shop tools. If you tell your friends about your problem, though, one of them might say, “Hey, you should trade that old Honda in for something new. Problem solved.” But your friend’s suggestion wouldn’t really ...

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