Google Finds a Grand Metaphor for the Future in a Toy From 1974

No, not the Pet Rock

Life is like a Rubik's Cube, says Google.

A new ad pays homage to the classic puzzle game by featuring its Hungarian inventor, Ernő Rubik, and by leveraging the toy as an ambitious metaphor for the importance of cultivating problem-solving skills among the species's next generation of potential geniuses.

The commercial's rah-rah voiceover, including use of nonwords like "awesomest," occasionally turn an otherwise smart message into the potentially off-putting sort of smarm that is often a hallmark of contemporary techno-enthusiasm. But it's hard to argue the substance of the spot. Rubik's own commentary speaks well for itself, and even the editing style offers a charming nod to the cube's iconic three-by-three matrices.

It is too bad, though, that the creators couldn't come up with some more clever ideas for the next great invention. Nobody's ever going to actually build a time machine. And anyone who's convinced that the world really needs an easier way to make grilled cheese probably isn't a visionary.

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