Dragonfly Thinking is a book authored by Bruce Oberhardt intended to help you develop superior problem solving skills.

ARGO: The Movie and the Problem

‘The movie was fake!  The Mission was real!’

ARGO, a thriller and historical film, now playing in movie theaters, is a dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.  See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024648/

This thriller has been much talked about for its suspenseful portrayal of a CIA operation kept secret for decades.  I came out of the theater with my wife, Mindy, thoroughly satisfied and with my heart thumping.  It was an exciting and powerful portrayal of this critical moment in history.

But the movie struck me anew when, a day or so after we saw it, Mindy said to me: ‘You know in ARGO they used Dragonfly Thinking to solve the problem!’

This got me thinking.  It only took seconds, and then I said: ‘Yes, indeed, I believe that they did use Dragonfly Thinking!’

The movie focuses on a CIA operative named Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck), who is exploring the problem of how to free US embassy staff members who evaded capture by the Iranians and were hiding in the Canadian Ambassador’s residence.  What Tony Mendez did was to study the problem of freeing the diplomats.

When he was talking to his young son on the telephone, his son was watching a Star Wars movie on television, so Tony turned on his TV set to the same channel and could see Star Wars characters ambling on a desert-like planet.  This may have generated a subconscious element which emerged as an idea to do a movie in Iran.  It seemed natural to go to Iran as part of a movie crew, since Hollywood movie directors and their crews travel far and wide to make movies.  Moreover, they are not seen as threatening in any way.

Upon seeking the aid of Hollywood contacts in the film industry to do this, he looked at many movie scripts and came across a script for ARGO – a science fiction movie in a Middle Eastern culture.  The script was ideal, setting in motion the next steps and the eventual rescue operation.

What Tony did was to make use of the Iceberg Principle, a subconscious association process that is a key element of Dragonfly Thinking.  See another blog that I wrote: http://autonomysingularitycreativity.blogspot.com/2008/11/iceberg-theory.html .

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