shkrobius (shkrobius) wrote,
shkrobius
shkrobius

Making the world a better place. Missing the point

One of the commenters to the previous post suggested that the surest way of making the world a better place is for all men to stop missing the urinal in men's restrooms. As is the usual thing with such ideas, this specific program of improving the sublunar world puts the whole burden on men, including the very young, the dizzy, the myopic, the old, the unsteady, the one-legged, the blind, those with shaking hands, the feeble minded, poorly coordinated and unduly careless, the ones that cannot unzip their fly, the ones dropping their sunglasses and all kinds of other less-than-reliable shooters. On the other hand, if the fraction of the ones who miss is (let's be optimistic) 1% instead of (let's be optimistic) 10% the end result of the improvement will be pretty much the same: the offensive mess on the floor and someone who needs to clean it up. Simple logic suggests that even the most draconian enforcement of zero tolerance aiming rules (such as, say, mess-activated machine guns in public restrooms or, as a humane alternative, the activated cameras producing a mug shot of the offender and publishing it in the newspapers) cannot solve this residual 1% problem. It is still the same mess to clean. It has to be 100% reliable or it is not worth the trouble. BTW, state taxation on the underperformers has already been tried by emperor Vespasian and it did not work, in case someone is thinking about the common approach.

Given that making the world a better place hinges on this challenge, I'm intrigued. I like it when people do not beat about the bush but tell exactly what the problem with the world is and the expected ideal state. At least, it makes it possible to test whether reaching this ideal really makes the world a better place, which is almost never the case in general.

What can possibly be done about it? Here are a few ideas: Idea 1 is to equip every men's room with mandatory disposable plastic hoses. Idea 2 is a robotic urinal with a motion detector and sophisticated software guessing the direction of the onslaught and quickly adapting. Idea 3 is a water stream flowing under the urinals that carries the mess out. Idea 4 is like idea 3 with a litter tray. Idea 5 is the urinal that pees on you if you miss. Idea 6 is an electrified ring that corrects the jet. Idea 7 are mandatory school lessons in aiming, ages 5 to 18. Idea 8 is an absorbing roll on the conveyor belt that goes under and wipes the floor every 5 minutes. Idea 9 is making awfully big urinals that cannot possibly be missed. Idea 10 is the total national ban on using urinals that are smaller than these awfully big ones. Idea 11 is bonuses to those who succeed. Idea 12 is a vaccuum urinal sucking everything within the radius of 3 m. Idea 13...

Yes, I have many ideas. But what precisely is wrong with the idea of a person who mops the floor once in a while making a buck in the process? None of my ideas seem to be cheaper, better, less wasteful, or preferable to what we already have. Perhaps I am not alone, because this is what we see. If there were a better solution, we would see this solution. People went to the Moon, invented iPhone and commutative homological algebra, discovered the genetic code and New Trade Theory, orated about worshiping an awesome G-d in the Blue States and federal agents in the Red States -- and still they are making a mess in the loo which is mopped by a guy who does not mind.

Is this world in danger of not becoming a better place?

I'd like to know how this problem is supposed to be solved to make the world a better place, because it is, jokes aside, precisely the kind of a problem that humiliates the mightiest minds. How to bring this particular kind of perfection about?

Tags: puzzles
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