Editor's note: In the 5/17/99 issue of Design News, we posed the following No-Problem Problem: Given a budget of $4.95, what is the most efficient, effective, and permanent way to destroy a bulldozer? Reader Ken Foote prepared this humorous analysis.
Environmental carnage and devastation has been the result of overzealous commercialization of "vehicles of mass destruction," specifically machines such as bulldozers, dump trucks, graders, and large-scale land movers. It is our sworn mission to preserve our delicate environment through whatever means necessary. This Greene-Piece Task Planner project deals with the systematic elimination of bulldozers. For a copy of our other Task Planners simply check our Web-Site: MotherNature.Com.
Given a budget of $4.95, what is the most efficient, effective, and permanent way to destroy a bulldozer?
The first issue involves the question itself, which is actually three separate questions. Why does the author assume that a single method meets the criteria for Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Permanence? For this reason, the Task Planner will address each section separately.
When considering extreme measures for environmental conservation, one must first deal with some pressing concerns:
Do we need to limit collateral damage and destruction?
Efficient dozer destruction
This topic deals with the capability to meet your Task Planner objectives, Dozer Destruction, with the allotted $4.95 budget. Perhaps the simplest option for cost-efficient destruction would be to place a "detour" sign on the highway, directing the truck carrying the bulldozer to drive over a cliff (this is analogous to the effective Acme Coyote/Road Runner methods employed by Warner Brothers).
Effective dozer destruction
This topic asks the conservationist to use methods that are effective in destroying the equipment cost is no longer an issue but still needs to be factored in as even Mother Nature abhors waste). Effective destruction can be defined as any method that positively renders the bulldozer inoperable (more specifically in our case the bulldozer must be destroyed). There are many methods to destroy a bulldozer and the following section lists just a few -- you are welcome to demonstrate some creativity here.
Parking the bulldozer on some train tracks. While highly effective this method has high collateral damage and destruction. Press coverage will be negative.
Placing a sign over a Natural Gas pipeline. The bulldozer will hit the line, releasing gas that will soon ignite and consume the dozer. Highly effective, negligible collateral damage and press coverage will focus on the gas fire versus the destruction of the bulldozer.
The issue of Permanent Destruction virtually eliminates any methods that do not render the complete vehicle destroyed. This criteria forces higher-level vehicle destruction. The resulting options, under retaining the $4.95 cost constraint, include:
Removing vehicle gas cap and installing a rag. Lighting the rag and running prior to vehicle explosion. Bulldozer explosion meets the qualifications for Permanent designation.
Placing a foreign embassy sign on the bulldozer and waiting for NATO peace-keeping airstrike. While this option qualifies as Permanent, the time schedule may not be optimal. Collateral damage will be very high, but press coverage will focus on the NATO actions.
The NoProblem Problem asked, "Given a budget of $4.95, what is the most efficient, effective, and permanent way to destroy a bulldozer?" The true response is that three separate answers are required as no single response provides the optimum solution for each of the criteria.
The answer is further dependent upon the environmental conservationist's response to the questions presented in the Project Issues section of this Dozer Destruction Planner, but clearly without further definition there are at least twelve factors that make this problem unsolvable.
PS: Given today's wage rate, the $4.95 budget would not even cover the cost of the labor required to perform the work necessary to destroy the bulldozer this no-problem cannot therefore be solved.