Monday, April 25, 2011

New Rubik's Cube World Record!! And Other Cubing Affairs

This title is the superset of what appears in 10% of all forum posts on Speedsolving.  Recently, many world records have been broken on the Rubik's cube, including Feliks' new WR single.  Although, these new records are great, there are myriad of illegitimate posts about new world records in the future.  People are concerned about what the limit is.  Below are my thoughts about world records and other cubing stuff.

  1. People can muster 20 tps.  20 is God's Number.  So if people can solve optimally and turn at record pace (which is bound to change), 1 second can be achieved.  Of course, this is unrealistic due to inspection, lock-ups, and the fact that 20 tps is insane.  However, 10 tps can be comfortably achieved, and so 2 seconds would be the new number.  Furthermore, getting God's Number on a solve is nearly impossible.  It's safe to say that even in the future, 30 moves will be necessary.  Thus, the future world record/limit is, in my opinion, 3 seconds.  And actually, this makes sense.  There have been 4 second solves recorded; with new methods and better turning, who's to say 3 seconds isn't possible?
  2. Why does it matter?  Let it be well known that no more than a handful of people will ever achieve this status.  20 tps is insane.  Most people would be happy with 12.  A maximum turn speed for a solve would be 7 at best.  If you can turn at maximum speed for an entire solve, you might get 4 seconds, and we all know that's not going to happen.  Cubing is difficult, and there's no use thinking about limits if you're still trailing the world record by 20 seconds.
  3. CUBES ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT.  This is something I see on the forums all the time.  There is some abstract notion that a better cube will improve your time.  If you go from a dollar store cube to a LunHui, fine, you win.  But, honestly, if you have a GuHong, and you're averaging 30 seconds, there are other things besides your cube you should worry about.  Remember this, historic world records were set with "crappy cubes."  If you can't beat that with a GuHong, you need practice, not a better cube.
  4. Lubrication (har har).  No one can really help you with this because no one really knows.  There are a few main lubricants - Silicone spray, lubix, shock oil, and Maru lube.  All of these work.  So why can't people help you?  It depends on how you apply it.  If you're using one drop of Maru lube on a 5x5, you can't expect great results.  You just have to sort of experiment by yourself.
No, this was not a structured blog, but you'll live.  In summary - concentrate on your own technique.  Time is better spent practicing than obsessing over nonexistent world records.

Thanks for reading,

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