February 15th, 2008

'guana

Bowl selection algorithm

In our household certain things have very ritualistic protocols. For example, we have five cereal bowls and the scheme is that washed ones are placed at the bottom of the pile so that they all get a fair chance at being used; which wouldn't happen if they were placed on the top of the pile. What messes this up is that we have three black ones, one red one, and one blue one. I bought them many years ago and there were six, but one of the red ones broke. Robert thinks that I mistakenly picked a black one instead of a blue one, and that is probably a correct explanation since having the same number of each one is clearly the right way to go.

Now here is the big problem. I believe that one should just put the two bowls at the bottom in at random, whereas Robert thinks that they should be placed with the black one underneath so that the top two pairs each have different colors and thus we are never subject to eating cereal from the same color bowls. I didn't realize how serious this was until a few days ago I discovered that he had reversed the order of the two bottom bowls because for some odd reason I remembered the order that I had put them in.

What is completely revolting is that I seemed to have succumbed to his methodology, having at least twice recently placed them specifically in his preferred order.

Now, the major flaw to this method is that the usage of each of the 5 bowls is not even, since the black bowls get lower precedence. Each black one gets two uses for each three uses of the red or blue. If the two bowls were placed at random, then they'd get even usage over time.

This is a matter that may have to be seriously dealt with.