500 Words To Save The World


When I started this blog eleven months ago, I had a short list of loose goals:

  1. Talk about creative problem solving
  2. Share stories that were both entertaining and insightful
  3. Create a community where like-minded people could discuss challenges and solve problems together

Certainly I have succeeded on numbers one and two, but number three has remained somewhat elusive. So, I am doing something to change that.

feynmanStarting tomorrow, I will be posting a single problem followed by a solution in no more than five hundred words. I will do this for at least ten days and problems.

The famous physicist Richard Feynman was once asked by a Caltech faculty member to explain why spin 1/2 particles obey Fermi-Dirac statistics. He gauged his audience perfectly and said, “I’ll prepare a freshman lecture on it.” But a few days later he returned and said, “You know, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we really don’t understand it.

Einstein has been quoted as saying, “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.” My research shows that he never actually said that, but I like the sentiment and it is a logical simplification of what Feynmen said, and as such, proof of its own point.

I will only be addressing problems for which I can offer a solution in five hundred words. It could be something as simple as:

How to improve the water pressure in your faucets and showers


Or as complex as:

How we could reasonably reform our federal tax system


Nothing is off limits, and because of that I need your help.

Send me the problems that keep you up at night, whatever gets you really fired up, and I will take on the ones where I can offer a reasonable approach within the constraints of the exercise.

Now, to be clear I am not going to be offering the only, or even the best solution to any of these problems. My goal is to offer a clear, straightforward, logical approach that could be explained to any human being with the ability to read five hundred words.

My hope is that what I write will inspire discussion, debate and meaningful, civil banter.


I am certainly not the guy with all the answers, but eleven months, 108 posts and more than 200,000 words later I do have the platform on which we can execute this grand experiment.

Don’t hold back. Bring on the tough stuff. You can post the challenges here, email me directly at steve@stevenazarian.com or contact me through Facebook or Twitter.

I have a topic for tomorrow, but beyond that I would really like to take on whatever you throw at me. After I publish is when the real fun should start. Challenge me, challenge each other and bring your very best ideas.

Let’s talk about it! If we’re lucky, we just might make history.


By the way, this post is exactly five hundred words. Well it is now.


Copyright © 2015 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.(500 Words)

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One thought on “500 Words To Save The World

  • Hey Steve,

    It has been a while since I have read your posts so today I will indulge in them during my off period. Being a parent yourself please tell me, how do I get my 5 year old and 3 year old (both girls) to get along for more than 5 minutes?

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