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Problem solving? Let me just chug this fifth.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AlmostGaunt, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. AlmostGaunt

    AlmostGaunt
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    New research has discovered what millions of college students have known for decades - Mild intoxication aids creative problem solving.

    Focus: what creative solutions to problems have you devised while under the influence? What catastrophes / awesomeness were generated as a result?

    My favourite solution was back in the chaos days. Every Friday afternoon 10-20 people would arrive at my door, get absolutely blitzed on various substances, and have a good time. The house was the typical large ramshackle affair that people rent out to three 21 year old guys, and had a decent backyard which we equipped with a bbq and an above ground pool.

    20 or so of us returned from an all day rave about midnight, toasted out of our skulls. We wanted to frolic in the pool, but it was far too cold. We occupied ourselves by filling the house with fog and turning on strobe lights, and in the midst of this drooling, epileptic madness inspiration struck! My housemate was mechanically inclined, and he proposed this genius proposition:

    Step 1: Remove radiator from car.
    Step 2: Place radiator on bbq. Run hose from backyard tap to radiator, then another hose from radiator to pool. Use bbq to heat water as it flowed through the radiator, and then dump the hot water in the pool.
    Step 3: Profit.

    I should add that back in the good old days, when they were high the girls tended to make out with and motorboat each other in spas/pools. At 21, this was the greatest thing we had ever seen. To say we were highly motivated would be a laughable understatement. So we set about it. Now, I can just about change a tire when I'm stone cold sober, so this was never going to be my forte. To this day I can't believe that my housemate managed to successfully take out a radiator with his eyes rolling back in his skull. We washed it out (probably poorly, but fuck it), duct taped some hoses to it, and lit the bbq. And it worked. We actually filled the pool with hot water, and across the land there was much rejoicing and celebration.

    I don't think the radiator ever made it back into the car, but that was a small price to pay for pseudo-lesbian make out sessions.
     
  2. Frank

    Frank
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    My Junior year of college I had to write a 12 page paper to compare two different cafeterias. Seriously, think about how boring writing that paper would be, it's a major reason I switched to being a math major. Anyway so I was drinking at what I thought was a reasonable pace while writing it and after about four pages in I couldn't for the life of me think about what to write next. I kept drinking but nothing was coming to mind. Apparently I was throwing back pretty hard because the next thing I know I wake up in my bed on top of the covers with all my clothes (shoes included) on and it's morning. I figure I'm fucked because the paper is due the next day and I was all out of ideas. I go over to my computer and open up the paper, lo and behold I finished the whole damn thing after I blacked out. I was stoked.

    I didn't do a great job or anything, I got either a high C or low B, but there is absolutely no amount of stretching I could do to get all 12 pages sober.
     
  3. MoreCowbell

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    My opinion of my home state just plummeted. This is seriously a class that UNH offers?

    I've done this. It works. I mean, your actual code will be non-functional due to typos and sloppiness, but you'll come up with methods that you never would have thought of otherwise.

    Karl Marx is significantly easier to read when a little tipsy. John Maynard Keynes, the opposite. I'm not sure what this says about either.

    Proof based math is something that goes easier with a beer. Real analysis practically demands it.
     
  4. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    Honorary TiBette

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    Write drunk. Edit sober.
     
  5. lhprop1

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    I had an absolutely abhorrent class in college in which we had to read shitty books non stop for the whole semester and then write papers on them. One of the worst was "Beloved" by Toni Morrison. Being that I hadn't read any of that slop and that the paper was due the next day, I did what any self-respecting man would do: I got drunk and wrote.

    When it was all said and done, I'd skimmed through the book and picked out the language Morrison used for the characters and contrasted it with the ebonics used by Mark Twain in his novels and spun it to reflect the different attitudes toward black people in literature. The dumbass professor thought it was brilliant and gave me an A.

    On a related note. New Study Finds College Binge Drinking to be a Fucking Blast.
     
  6. effinshenanigans

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    I always found that I was a much stronger proofreader when I had a glass of whisky at hand. I think maybe I feel that I have to concentrate harder because I know I'm going to be drunk sooner.

    Conversely, I'm not that great of a critic when I've had a glass of whisky at hand and proofread something terrible. Just ask my sister, who sent me a string of awful papers in her junior year of college. I finally snapped and told her to give up because a blind ape hurling feces at a broken typewriter could compose a better essay.
     
  7. Treble

    Treble
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    The highest I've ever been was at the end of my freshman year of college. I'd just bought really good pot for the first time ever (I think it was Grandaddy Purp or White Widow or some fucking debilitatingly-strong strain of weed), and a quarter ounce of it. I was very excited about this. Getting in the way of me and my Hayao Miyazaki marathon, however, were two fairly extensive papers, one for a Music Lit class and one for Philosophy. I decided that writing 25-30 pages sober would be boring, and doing the same very high would be fun, so I smoked an unreasonable amount of this pot. Probably enough to comfortably cover the palm of my hand all ground up. 30-45 minutes steady inhalation. I woke up in the morning, and lo and behold they were finished! Except the paper for Music Lit was mostly about the development of Einstein's relativity, and the Philosophy paper was a play. I shrugged and handed both in--both got As. I read the play carefully later and it even made me tear up a little. This landed me on Texts from Last Night, too, and that was back when that website was still new and funny.

    Moral of the story: if you don't smoke a lot of pot, try smoking a lot of it all at once and then writing something and you'll come up with some crazy shit. If you do smoke regularly though, it's just going to be business as usual--you'll probably end up watching Adventure Time/listening to Wagner/doing whatever it is you usually do stoned instead.
     
  8. cinlef

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    Marijuana and math are spectacularly compatible, even absent their delightful potential for alliteration.
    I discovered that marijuana helps me with math about a year ago. I was taking a course in graph theory, and was just plain not able to think about the subject properly; following the proofs was just fine, but ask me to prove some (relatively simple) fact? Not happening.

    So, when my friend asked me if I wanted to grab a smoke before class one day, I figured "Why the hell not? It's not like I could get any worse at this class."
    And I didn't.
    I was the fucking Rain man of graph theory that day; couldn't focus on writing notes because I was too high, but I *could* figure out slicker ways to prove results and actually understood what it is I was doing.

    Since then, I habitually toke up while working on problem sets/research. My advisers tend to prefer the work I do while stoned, and, particularly when working with more abstract concepts, I feel like the amount of time it takes me to actually internalize an idea is dramatically reduced if I spend some time working on it while stoned. In short, pot helps tremendously with certain types of creative thinking.

    Alcohol just makes me social, and gives me an unwarranted sense of self-esteem. Tragic.
     
  9. lostalldoubt86

    lostalldoubt86
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    I was having this conversation with some classmates in my Ed Philosophy class the other day. My one friend in the class as to design a lesson plan around teaching students how to think like an artist. His solution is to create an "artist's space". Which is basically scattering beer cans and art supplied around the room.

    Focus: I wrote one of my best stories while polishing off a bottle of wine. I remember I wrote it while intoxicated because it's mostly about getting drunk and taking bar flies home at the end of the night. I handed it in to be workshopped. One of the major plot points is that the guy my main character sleeps with has a penis that is too big and he tries to surprise her with butt sex. I got an A.
     
  10. Guy Fawkes

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    If I need to get something very time consuming written I will spark a nice fat joint and get to it.

    The key for me is to stay on the task at hand for the first 15 minutes no matter how boring. Do not allow my stoned self to break away and enjoy web surfing, videos, podcasts, etc. Just sit and focus.

    Before I even realize it I'm usually half way done and the technical proposal I'd been putting off all week is well written and to the point.
     
  11. lust4life

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    Hemingway, or Fitzgerald?
     
  12. Pow

    Pow
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    I tried this in college with little luck.

    I'd be working on differential equations or a programming project on a friday (or tuesday) at 5pm (or 10am) and someone would offer me a beer. I can't say no. We would drink for fifteen minutes (or ten seconds), and I would go back to work.

    I would stare at my work for a while, try to add to it, stare, try, stare, figure out I had no idea how I got to where I was at, try to figure out where I was going, read the problem again, think about how to solve it, look at my code, stare, look at the problem, look at my work, think about it again, and would be completely confused. Then I would have another beer. And then four more. No work was done.

    That's not to say I didn't write entire essays on the motivational aspects of Office Space while drunk, but there are some things you just can't do with less than 100% of your soberness. Which makes me sad.
     
  13. Crown Royal

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    I once devised that if you're going to drop-kick a sign, make sure the freshly fallen snow isn't covering up the fact that's actually lag-bolted into the sidewalk.