Oblique Strategies (subtitled over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas) is a set of published cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt first published in 1975, and is now in its fifth, open ended, edition. Prior to Oblique Strategies, Schmidt created "The Thoughts Behind the Thoughts"  in 1970, a similar collection of "55 sentences", in an edition of 100.

 The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of “Evening Star” and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno’s “Before and After Science” and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original releases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure – either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you’re running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking – to jog the mind.

Brian Eno had this to say by way of explanation:

The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation – particularly in studios – tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you’re in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that’s going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn’t the case – it’s just the most obvious and – apparently – reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt *this* attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt *that* attitude.”

It's really just a means by which to easily direct yourself to use lateral thinking, which is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

anyways, these cards are often usefull in creative situations and intellectualy refreshing to the casual user. And you can access  them in digital format online. I have included a link to them here...

Besides, Eno appeared on "Father Ted". Brilliant!


  1. haha, that dude looks kinda like Legalos from LOTR. Very interesting stuff from this blog, as usual.

  2. He DOES look like Legalos...

  3. Is Brian Eno legalos?

  4. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Totally looks like Legalos!