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Melody
August 2nd, 2011, 11:52 PM
This theoretical law states:

"Problems cannot be created nor destroyed. There is no finite number of problems. Problems can be infinitely divided, multiplied, amplified, shrunk, moved, reassigned, converted and otherwise be discarded as part of a problem solution. A problem solution is any act taken to solve a problem which adheres to this rule"

Sue has three major problems in a day. She wakes up in the morning and the first major problem arises. What to wear. Since she's perky and energetic in the morning, incidentally her clothing reflects such. The problem has been 'solved' and redirected...anyone who objects to what she's wearing is probably just out to cause grief (It's their problem!), because she dressed nicely, cutely but conservatively and professionally while still managing to pull off some nice fashionable individual twists.


Sue's day continues on until lunch time. She is VERY hungry and in a hurry to make it to a meeting on time. She stops by the street vendor and buys a tofu dog, plenty of ketchup and mustard and relish, so she can -pretend- she isn't a vegetarian for diet reasons. Her boss finds her eating shamelessly, and speaks to her, startling her. She "eek"s in surprise and tosses the messy food item skyward unintentionally. Quickly she realizes, "What goes up, must come down" and it's headed straight for her boss, who she never expected to be in this neighborhood, let alone able to sneak up on her like that!
Heroically she playfully shoves him, out of the way of the plummeting food item...and is rewarded with a great ketchup-mustard-relish stain all over her cute new outfit! This saves her job, and makes for one hell of a story one can laugh about later with co-workers. Alas, the outfit is ruined currently and will need to see the cleaners before she can wear it again.

She has traded a bigger problem for one of equal value, but one that she can, not coincidentally, more easily handle because as luck would have it, she keeps a stain fighting wipe in her purse and knows very well how to be rid of stains like that without having to pay $200 on stain removal. Her mother had taught her very well... :)


The day wears on. It's 4:30PM, and the boss wants that report in ASAP! A co-worker under your guidance pops in and needs help with something. Gladly you help them, and put aside the report until tomorrow, surely your boss will understand...since he was the one who sent this co-worker to YOU for assistance. She has "saved" a problem for a time that it is more easily solved...if she tried to slap that report together in the 10 minutes she has left after helping said co-worker, it would be a terrible report and would thus invite more problems onto her plate. Knowing that her boss appreciates Quality over Speed, she is not inviting more problems onto the wagon so to speak.


That was just a limited sort of example...but do feel free to discuss and refine the theory. If you can refute it or prove it wrong, you may do so...but at least be smart enough to have enough anecdotal evidence to back it up.

Personally, I need not express my views on this theory...I am it's creator. But like all theories, they must be tried, tested and discussed before they can be accepted. Godspeed.

Overlord Drakow
August 3rd, 2011, 08:18 AM
Awwwww! You're so cute with your little theory and all.

-pet pet -

^_^

-----------------

Anyway, let's break this theory down and tackle each individual statement.

"Problems cannot be created nor destroyed."

I'm pretty sure if I walked up to someone and punched them in the face, I would be creating a problem for that person unless they are a masochist.

Furthermore, once a problem is solved, can it not be said that the problem is essentially 'destroyed'? Since a solved problem no longer exists it's the same as saying the problem is destroyed - even if it's a temporary solution, the accompanied destruction of the problem may also be temporary, but still destroyed for a period of time.

"There is no finite number of problems."

We live in a very sad world then. Admittedly there are an extremely large number of problems out there, but I wouldn't go as far to say that number is infinite, which is what you are suggesting.

"Problems can be infinitely divided, multiplied, amplified, shrunk, moved, reassigned, converted and otherwise be discarded as part of a problem solution."

This seems fairly reasonable to me. I don't see any real fault with this logic.

"A problem solution is any act taken to solve a problem which adheres to this rule."

It then follows that this is also reasonable to me.

OK so the next step is to refine the theory. Let's see what I can do here.

Pachy - Drakow Theorem: Law of Conservation of Problems.

"Problems exist in equilibrium. Problems can be infinitely divided, multiplied, amplified, shrunk, moved, reassigned, converted and otherwise be discarded as part of a problem solution. A problem solution is any act taken to solve a problem which adheres to this rule."

"But all you did was remove the first two sentences and add one of your own!" I hear you cry. Yes, yes I did. You see my friend, often in life the most effective of solutions are also the most simplistic In fact, I really like the wordplay of that so I'll add that to my list of quotes.

Anyhow that first sentence changes everything. What it means is that on average there is a constant amount of problems in this world. In other words on average, for every problem solved, a new problem is created elsewhere. Newly created problems are not necessarily related to former problems or solutions.

Unfortunately due to the nature of this world, there is a fundamental breakdown of this theory - in that it lacks consistency. Consider first a mathematical theory. Such theories are widely accepted because the logic of sound mathematics is incredibly difficult to refute. Such is the beauty of mathematics. Anyone can use a mathematical theory and achieve the same result (providing that each person uses sound mathematics). However, the same cannot be said for the Pachy - Drakow theorem. The reason boils down to human point of view. What one person considers a problem is not necessarily a problem to someone else. Actually now that I reconsider, I don't think this is a flaw so much. Different people in theory will have different points of view which should lead to different subsets of problems in their mind. The Pachy - Drakow theorem however should still hold for each individual as the three sentences which make up the theorem can be independent for each individual. I was going to delete this chunk of text, but I will keep it in with cross out writing.

Esper
August 3rd, 2011, 08:50 AM
"There is no finite number of problems."

You should add a kind of "law of decreasing relevance" to this statement as a person with lung cancer and a brain tumor isn't going to be as broken up over a stain on their outfit as a person without the cancer and tumor. Problems get prioritized, more or less, and smaller ones become non-issues when there are larger ones. 'Cause a problem is only a problem when it's a problem for you, right?

But really it seems like you're just talking about choices. Every choice you make leaves a choice you didn't take and all the associated possibilities of the choice not taken. I don't see why they need to be labeled "problems."

Melody
August 3rd, 2011, 12:40 PM
They're labeled 'problems' for simplicity's sake. The example was just an oversimplification of the idea.

As for Drakow, if I expand on your point of a problem being relative to the person, the problem inherited from Scarf's lovely example isn't any longer your problem, you've transferred the problem to them. (They've got injuries now) You didn't CREATE the problem, you just transferred it. The fun thing about punching someone is that they can punch you back, thus transferring the problem of pain to you. If you continue to reuse the solution "Punch back, so I feel better about an achy jaw...", then it's just one problem making many round trips.

Gumball Watterson
August 3rd, 2011, 02:34 PM
Philosophically and logically, I cannot have a full take on this, as you have not defined rigorously what a "Problem" is according to your theorem. You do not accept the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus if you know what a derivative does but you have no clue how to exercise it and its Integral counterparts. Same thing applies for a "Solution". If you cannot provide a rigorous definition, you do not have a theorem.

Melody
August 4th, 2011, 02:49 AM
Philosophically and logically, I cannot have a full take on this, as you have not defined rigorously what a "Problem" is according to your theorem. You do not accept the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus if you know what a derivative does but you have no clue how to exercise it and its Integral counterparts. Same thing applies for a "Solution". If you cannot provide a rigorous definition, you do not have a theorem.

Then I challenge you to make edits to the theorem until satisfied. This is a thread for refinement and such as well as discussion

That being said, I view a problem as any situation which requires human or other similar intelligent interaction to come out to a favorable outcome.

Åzurε
August 4th, 2011, 12:40 PM
That being said, I view a problem as any situation which requires human or other similar intelligent interaction to come out to a favorable outcome.
What of serendipitous accidental problem-solving? Say, a situation wherein a mugger or thief is approaching a person with the intention to cause them harm, and the threat is dealt with by the environment, either a falling object or tripping and being rendered unconscious? While unlikely, it's not unheard of. It does follow that the amount of problems in the world remain roughly the same as the original problem, the threat of harm towards the person, is replaced by the problem of caring for any injury inflicted upon the thief. This however does go further, as it becomes a problem for any medical staff who help care for said injury (unless occupational situations don't count as "problems"), and the revelation that the injured thief was intruding and intended to harm the person causes problems for the thief, all people involved in any legal action (which probably means jury duty as well, which may cause or contribute to a whole host of problems in the lives of the ones chosen to participate in the jury and the people involved in their lives, and so on), including the original victim.

I would say this: the number of problems in existence is relative to the number of minds able to comprehend them. Unfortunately, my brain threw this up and I haven't really contemplated upon it yet so I'm unable at the current time to expound further.

Melody
August 4th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Such situations are still solutions because you were "In the right place, at the right time"

Most solutions like that were set into motion by someone anyway.

twocows
August 4th, 2011, 06:05 PM
Oh, here's one. It's called "twocows' law of conservation of bull****." It states that if you have a problem, and you come to me to try to make it my problem (thus dividing the problem), I'll kick you in the nads and steal your wallet. Then you'll have two new problems and I'll have zero, thus conserving both your bull**** and my stash.