The Pointless Necessity of the Fidget Cube

People do their best thinking in the shower. To me this explains the lack of technological progress seen during the dark ages. Those people only washed themselves like once a year. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a single shower. Wash off 365 days worth of grime and experience an entire annual load of eureka moments? Tall order. At best it would’ve occurred to one of those filthy peasants, in a moment of shower-induced genius, that they should shower more often. Sort of the shower-thought equivalent of wishing for more wishes.

I definitely tend to find that inspiration strikes when I’m showering or driving. Maybe loofahs and steering wheels give us a direct line to our muses. Or more likely, the mind is at its most open and creative when occupied by a menial task. I have a really hard time doing deep thinking while sitting still. It feels like trying to sprint without moving my arms. This is problematic in a world where you’re expected to do creative work while sitting at a desk.

Enter the fidget cube.

I saw a few months ago that somebody made a kickstarter for this little thing with a bunch of smaller things on it that you can play with. That’s a vague description. Let me try again.

It’s a handheld plastic cube with features on each side that click, spin and toggle. Each one begs the question “What does this button do?”

The answer is the same for all of them: absolutely nothing. There is no light bulb that turns on when you click the buttons. No pac man that changes direction as you move the joystick. The cube simply occupies your fingers so your brain can tend to more important business. It’s like a bop-it that doesn’t keep score. You’re just bopping for bop’s sake.

I’ve had my fidget cube for a few days and it’s funny how, for something so thoroughly meaningless, I’ve already chosen favorite parts.

The smooth-gliding joystick deserves a shoutout.

The powerstrip-toggle-switchy thing offers a nice crisp “click” that I like.

But on one side, embedded in the cube, is its crown jewel; a metal bearing that glides like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter™, in any direction. It can also be depressed to give a fat, chunky, satisfying “click”. This is definitely my favorite part.

Unfortunately this glorious bearing shares its side of the cube with 3 miserable little gears that you could spin. Yea, I guess you could spin them, in theory. Don’t waste your time with the gears. They’re silent, lame and feel rough against my finger skins. Especially with that sweet little bearing a couple millimeters away. In fact, I’ve toyed with a conspiracy that the gears were installed only to make the bearing look even better by comparison.

Overall, I'm a fan of the fidget cube and I’d recommend it for anybody wanting to take their thumb twiddling game up a notch. It’s for the antsy Antwan who’s ready to graduate from incessant pen clicking to something more refined, the jittery Jennifer who’s done losing friends to her incessant finger tapping.

I do have one overall critique for the makers of the Fidget Cube. If we are going to truly solve humanity’s biggest problems (Feed the world, renewable energy, another album from The Postal Service) they gotta make this puppy waterproof so we can take it in the shower. Can you imagine the innovations that would be dreamt up by a nude Elon Musk standing beneath a stream of warm water, fidget cube in each hand? The answer is no. You can't. None of us could.