Report #00003: The Cobblecog Curve Method

Gnomish engineering demands that the engineer have a mind that can handle complex mathematical thinking, an imagination that allows them to see the world as what it might have been or might become as well as what it is, and nerves and determination that allow the engineer to test his or her own work when no one else can be bribed, guilted, tricked, or otherwise convinced to be the test subject.

Quantum Mechanical Engineering requires many of the same qualities from an engineer. In Quantum Mechanical Engineering we break down the illusion of how the universe works, digging deeper to find out how it really works — no matter how difficult to believe or unsettling to accept that reality may be — and then devise ways to build another universe. We may need to someday… or may simply want to. If one universe is good, isn’t two better? And then wouldn’t five or more be absolutely fantastic?

The Quantum Understanding And Replication Kraftshoppe in Gnomeregan was the home of minds like Erni Catboxer, Maxi Plankbolt, and Rickitt Finespanner. It was also the home of Zizi Cobblecog… a brilliant mathematician who could also drink more than any other gnome I’ve ever known, myself included. It was Cobblecog’s drinking, in fact, that led to what the rest of us at QUARK called “the Cobblecog Curve method” of doing calculations.

This may be easier to explain if I give an example equation to work with. For the non-engineer who may be reading this report, do not be afraid! Engineers work with this kind of information all the time, and you won’t find more sane, well-grounded group of people in all of Azeroth.

Fizzy's example equation

That’s just a simple equation to help illustrate my point. The solution is fairly obvious, of course, but this isn’t a mathematics lesson… it’s about the Cobblecog Curve method. The only real tricky part to solving this would be finding out exactly what “Gnomeregan” is at any given point in time. I’ll walk you through the steps for solving it the way Cobblecog would.

Step 1: Leave the lab and head directly to the nearest tavern.

Step 2: Make a few suggestive comments to the barmaid.

Step 3: Order enough ale to keep a small encampment drunk until next Winter Veil.

Step 4: Drink it all yourself.

At this point in the process, the world around you should appear to be “curving” in an odd way, at an unnatural but not particularly unwelcome angle. If you are a dwarf, you may need to order enough ale to keep two or three small encampments drunk until next Winter Veil in order to reach this point.

Once you’ve reached that point, what you are seeing is the “Cobblecog Curve”. It was discovered by Zizi Cobblecog during a particularly long night of avoiding going back to work on a type of critter treat that would simultaneously please and displease a caged animal. (I believe DEHTA heard about that one and got the project shut down before Cobblecog could produce viable results.) Once one has seen the Cobblecog Curve, one need only gaze steadily past the oddly tilting horizon to find the solutions.

That’s what Cobblecog claimed, anyway. His “solutions” were almost always something to the effect of dancing naked around the Clean Zone, trying to argue with a Sparklematic, and grabbing the tailpipes of any mechanostriders that were ridden past. These were not what we considered valid results at QUARK.

I see some potential for valid application of the Cobblecog Curve method when I watch dwarven engineers work. I would advise working with the buddy system for testing, though. Just to be clear, that means your “buddy” should not drink nearly as much as you do for the tests. He’s there to watch your back.


~ by Fizzy Stouthammer on 01/03/2010.

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