The difference between 0 and absolute 0


You ever play the lotto? Hold on to that thought. We’ll get right back to that.

First, a comedic interlude.
What’s the difference between Barnum & Bailey’s Circus and Playboy? …..one’s a cunning array of stunts, and the other, well….

Anyway, if you play the lotto, mathematically, you basically have 0 chance of winning. They say the odds of winning are like 1 in 30 million. That’s a chance of about 0.0000000333….but it’s still not 0.0000000000; but it may as well be. If you don’t play, then it is absolute zero. Then you get your 0.00000000000000. Ok, so let’s say you buy 10 draws at a time. Now your odds have improved by a whopping factor of 10 to 0.000000333. You see where I’m going with this?

So now the part where it becomes relevant to moi. and drinking. The Rapist, and AA, and everyone says (the whole world is persecuting me!!!!), you may not ever drink again. If you drink, you won’t be able to stop, blah blah blah. That’s absolute 0. Me, I’m still stuck on 0; ok, a little bit more than 0 actually. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve had anything. 3 beers. A couple weeks before that I had 4 jello shots. A couple weeks before that it was something equally benign.

What do you be after you be eight?
Why was 6 afraid of 7?

But I am starting to buy in to the system a little I guess. I had the opp to buy a six pack last Friday but I didn’t b/c I was honest enough with myself to know I wouldn’t have had just a couple in one sitting. I feel like I could down the whole 6 pack at once if you let me.

But that brings up another interesting point. In engineering, there’s something called Control Law, and what I just described about the 6 pack above is something akin to starving for an extended time, then binging, then back to starving, etc….

In the graphic below, let’s say 0 is the steady state behavior of the system. Wait, I can already see your eyes glossing over. Let’s start with some definitions. And don’t worry about the different colored lines, we just really care about the red one.


The System = me
Steady State Behavior(SS) = normal behavior (drinking level; note that right now it’s pretty near 0, however, previously it was up around 10 per night) Perturbance

(P)= something that makes the system behave outside its normal parameters (drinking)

Error Correction (EC)= activities which bring the behavior back to normal (AA, The Rapist, etc…)

I contend the following:
– For a system who’s SS was 10 drinks per night, the longer the EC forces it down to 0, the easier it becomes to maintain 0 until the system become used to being 0. However, for some period of time, SS will try to return to the old 10; as that was its natural tendency for so long.

– After some time period (T) of achieving a SS of 0; after having been at 10 for an extended period of T; any P introduced to the system will have a greater effect as the EC will be slow and ineffective at first to return it normal SS (starve and binge)
– However, the longer T the SS=0; the greater effect the EC will have with respect to T to mitigate the P and the return SS to 0.
– To summarize, while T is still small after modifying SS from 10 to 0; P has a greater effectiveness and may be more unstable while EC seeks to normalize it (starve and binge)
– In addition, after T grows past some arbitrary number the system adjusts to, EC becomes great enough that P may be minimized (starve and binge becomes more normalized to just consume as required)

So, in the future, if you ever need something to put you to sleep, just remember this post. Engineering Yo.

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~ by sobriety6923 on October 18, 2010.

3 Responses to “The difference between 0 and absolute 0”

  1. uh-huh…snore snore, just trying to keep up with this one.

  2. OK, however you need to justify this to your enginering mind but the bottom line is NO ALCOHOL!

  3. but the bottom line is how much I give a shit depends on what time of day it is.

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