Quantum Toilet Seat

Recently, some issues regarding bathroom tidiness have come up among the work crew. Besides the obvious issue, the fact that the little silver handle on the front of the tank is *not* intended to be solely decorative, another has come up – where the toilet seat should ideally be when not in use.

We will assume for the moment that approximately equal energy is required to raise or lower a toilet seat, as the bulk of the effort is in bending to reach it, and lowering also requires continuous action against gravity for the duration of its descent (to prevent the seat from making a loud bang or portions thereof shattering on impact). Ideally, every fixture would be equipped with a quantum toilet seat that was both up and down at the same time, and only collapsed into one state or the other depending on whether it was being observed or not; i.e., which way the user is facing. (Yeah yeah…I’m working on it…) In the meantime though, there should be some logic-based consensus on this matter.

Some (femi-nazis?) would insist that the seat be left down at all times. However, this is pointless and inefficient. Consider the worst case scenario, multiple consecutive “stand-up” operations. In this case, each user would find the seat down and be required to lift it before use, then lower it afterward – 2 changes of toilet seat state per use.

In a population of uniform gender distribution, each operation is statistically more likely to be a “sit-down” rather than “stand-up” operation. However, in a predominantly male environment, this distribution is skewed toward stand-up operations. Let us consider the idea of insisting on “seat up” as the default. Not only would this make more sense than seat-down in such a distribution, it would reduce or eliminate the common problem in which some members of the population (hereinafter, “lazy slobs”) believe their aim to be flawless and beyond the limitations of elementary physics. However, in the worst-case scenario, consecutive sit-down operations, this would also result in 2 seat state changes for a single operation.

It seems to me that the ideal solution, in terms of efficiency, would be for every user to set the seat the way they want it on entry, and leave it that way on exiting. This way, the absolute worst-case scenario is limited to one state change per use. The reduced energy consumption could then be re-invested into talking about sports around the water cooler, checking email or surfing Slashdot at work. It is believed that this approach, if consistently and uniformly adhered to, could stave off the heat death of the Universe by at least ten years.


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