there is an error here

See if you can solve it before going on to the answer.

After reading the text, most people’s first assumption is that the maze must be unfinishable. They try the maze and it works. Frustration builds as they search for the error (which does exist, I’m not playing with you) but never find it. The problem has nothing to do with the maze, which is a red herring, but with the way we humans read. Scan the following text closely.

Did you spot the error yet? If not, read the text out loud word by word. Slow down the rate at which you speak so you say a word every three seconds or so. There. Did hear yourself speaking the error? Repeat it several times and you’ll eventually find the error.

The error – the double ‘the’ in the phrase “you will find (the) (the) error – is a mistake we all make. After years and years of reading, our brains have been trained to see the word ‘the’ and automatically move on, instead of reading it and processing it in a thoughtful way. This is called a heuristic, a rule we adopt out of habit to save time and energy. Our lives are made up of thousands of heuristics, repeated behaviours, and simple rules, most of which we are unaware. I hope the picture I drew was able to show you that these repetitive ways of thinking are usually helpful, but sometimes cause you to ignore the small little novelties in life. These little novelties are there to help you avoid getting caught up in those frustrating and repetitive mazes of your own making.


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