A Solution in Search of a Problem

A chrome-plated roach scuttles across the cracked vinyl reality. It drags a spool of ticker tape, its message a writhing serpent of nonsensical code. This, chums, is the solution. A problem-eater, a glitch-gobbler born in the reeking underbelly of the machine. But the world spins on an axis of human misery, a jukebox of anxieties wailing their broken tunes. The roach pauses, antennae twitching. Where’s the itch it was designed to scratch? The code unravels, nonsensical poetry spilling onto the greasy floor. Is it a prophecy of woes to come, or a desperate plea for a malfunction to justify its existence? The roach scuttles on, a silver ghost in a world prefabricated for despair, searching for the problem it was built to devour.


In the flickering neon jungle, a chrome-plated greaser with a shark’s grin hawks a vial of pulsating green liquid. This ain’t your daddy’s snake oil, chum. This is existential angst emulsified, bottled despair distilled to a radioactive fizz. It’ll cure the soul-sucking malaise you didn’t even know you had. Problem is, most folks are too busy drowning their sorrows in bathtub gin to notice the gaping existential hole in their gut. The greaser, slicker than a greased weasel, whispers of a world painted gray by monotony, a world craving a good jolt of cosmic horror. He rattles on about the hollowness gnawing at your reality, a hollowness this green elixir will fill with a satisfying dread. The question hangs heavy in the smog-choked air: is this the cure or the disease? The greaser just flashes a toothy grin, the vial glowing like a radioactive emerald in his grease-stained palm. Buy the fizz, chum. Buy the existential dread. It’s the future, baby, and the future ain’t lookin’ too pretty.


A chrome-plated beetle scuttled across the cracked vinyl reality. It wasn’t a real beetle, of course. Not anymore. It was a problem cast in insect exoskeleton, a glitch in the matrix twitching its metallic legs. In the corner, a man in a rumpled sharkskin suit, his face obscured by cigarette smoke and a fedora tilted at a paranoid angle, nursed a lukewarm martini. He was the exterminator, a troubleshooter for a world gone digital. The beetle whirred, its antenna twitching for non-existent radio frequencies.

“Another roach, huh?” the man rasped, his voice sandpaper on gravel. The client, a nervous fellow with eyes that darted like trapped flies, stammered an explanation.

“N-not exactly, sir. It just…doesn’t belong. It disrupts the, uh, flow.”

The man in the fedora chuckled, a dry, hollow sound. “Flow, huh? Now that’s a word I haven’t heard in a good long time. Flow’s a luxury in these parts, chummer. We deal in glitches, bugs in the system, solutions crawling around looking for problems to fit into.”

He reached into his coat pocket and produced a gleaming chrome fly swatter, more sci-fi weapon than household implement. The client flinched.

“Relax,” the man drawled. “Sometimes, the solution is just a good whack on the head. Resets the whole damn system.”

The beetle scuttled closer, its metallic legs clicking a manic rhythm. The man raised the fly swatter, a cold glint in his eyes that mirrored the chrome of his weapon. This wasn’t about extermination, not really. It was about maintaining a broken order, fitting a solution, however brutal, into a world constantly teetering on the edge of chaos.


A greasy spoon reality, neon signs buzzing with promises of instant gratification. A weary hipster shuffles in, trench coat slick with yesterday’s rain. He slams a chrome briefcase on the counter, the diner denizens flinching at the metallic clang. Inside, no wads of cash, no stacks of bills. Just a tangle of blinking circuits, pulsing with a cold blue light. “Here,” he rasps, voice laced with code-addled paranoia, “the ultimate answer. A world without friction, a solution for every itch you ain’t even scratched yet.” The waitress, a woman with eyes like burnt chrome, stares at the contraption. “What problem does it solve, pal?” she drawls, skepticism thick as the cigarette smoke curling from her ruby lips. The hipster leans in, his voice a conspiratorial whisper, “That’s the beauty of it, doll. It solves problems that ain’t even been invented yet. A future-proof cure for a non-existent disease.” He pushes the box towards her, a salesman peddling snake oil in a chrome dreamscape. The waitress shakes her head, a sad smile flickering on her lips. “Looks like you got a hammer, fella. But the only nails around here are the ones holding this joint together.” The hipster slumps back, defeated. Outside, the rain falls, a cold, digital drizzle, washing away the neon promises and leaving behind the gnawing emptiness of a solution with no problem to solve.


Dig this, daddy-o. You ever seen a hipster with a pocket full of bespoke screwdrivers? Yeah, that’s a “solution in search of a problem.” They walk around flicking chrome and muttering about “optimized torque” while the world crumbles in perfectly serviceable hex-less bolts.

Same goes for these button-down eggheads with their algorithms and flowcharts. They cook up these existential Etch-A-Sketches, lines of code swirling like smoke signals in a forgotten language. But what the hell are they trying to say, man? What message is this chrome-plated equation supposed to receive?

The world, it’s a junkyard of real problems, mountains of misery taller than any skyscraper. But these cats, they’re stuck fiddling with pocket change while the real loot walks right by. It’s like having a hammer for a head, everything looks like a nail to be pounded.

Maybe that’s the problem, huh? Maybe the solution is to smash these pre-fab problems, shatter them into a million nonsensical shards. Let the confusion bloom, let the world rebuild itself with questions instead of pre-programmed answers. Now that’s a problem worth a solution, wouldn’t you say?


A greasy spoon reality, neon signs buzzing like a hive of angry hornets. A lobotomized businessman in a rumpled suit sits at a chipped Formica counter. He pushes a chrome capsule across the surface, its surface rippling with a digital mirage. “Here you go, chum,” rasps the chrome-domed waitress, her voice dripping with apathy. “Guaranteed problem solver. Latest model. Eats inefficiency, devours delays, munches on mismanagement.”

The businessman stares at the capsule, its surface reflecting his tired eyes. Problems? He hasn’t had a good, meaty problem in years. The world runs on autopilot, a well-oiled machine lacking the glorious friction that used to be his bread and butter. He pockets the capsule with a sigh. It’s like having a chainsaw in a world made of marshmallows. Everything feels…soft. He eyes the overflowing ashtray next to him, a sudden, desperate glint in his eye. Maybe…just maybe…he can jam the capsule in there, create a little glitch, a malfunction. After all, a problem solver needs a problem, right? A shark needs water, a gambler needs a fix, and a man with a problem solver…well, a man with a problem solver needs a problem, dammit.

Failure Mode

Failure mode is a term that is commonly used to describe the state of an object or system when it is no longer able to perform its intended function. This can occur in a variety of contexts, from the failure of a mechanical system to the failure of a relationship. Understanding failure mode is crucial in identifying potential problems and preventing catastrophic failures.

The concept of failure mode is important in engineering and manufacturing, where the failure of a product can have serious consequences. In these industries, failure mode analysis is used to identify potential points of failure in a product or system. This process involves breaking down the product or system into its individual components and analyzing how each component may fail. By understanding the failure modes of each component, engineers can design products that are more resilient and less likely to fail.

Failure mode analysis can also be applied to human systems, such as relationships and organizations. In these contexts, failure mode can refer to the breakdown of communication, trust, or cooperation between individuals or groups. This can lead to a breakdown of the relationship or organization, and can have serious consequences for those involved.

One of the challenges of understanding failure mode is that it is often unpredictable. While engineers and designers can anticipate some failure modes, there are always unforeseen circumstances that can lead to failure. This is why it is important to not only understand failure mode, but also to build systems that are resilient in the face of failure. This involves designing systems that can withstand unexpected failures and quickly recover from them.

In addition, it is important to recognize that failure can be a valuable learning experience. When a failure occurs, it is important to analyze what went wrong and why it happened. This can help us identify potential problems before they occur and improve our systems to prevent future failures.

Overall, understanding failure mode is crucial in preventing catastrophic failures and designing resilient systems. Whether in engineering, manufacturing, or human relationships, failure mode analysis is an important tool for identifying potential problems and developing solutions. By recognizing the unpredictable nature of failure and learning from our failures, we can build systems that are more robust and better able to withstand unexpected challenges.

Firstly, it is important to understand how our current system fails. Whether it be in our personal lives or in the wider society, there are always ways in which things can go wrong. For example, a company may fail due to poor leadership, a relationship may fail due to lack of communication, or a government may fail due to corruption. It is important to recognize these failures and understand why they occurred so that we can work towards preventing them in the future.

  1. A mechanical system may fail due to wear and tear on its components, causing it to break down or malfunction.
  2. A software system may fail due to a programming error, resulting in crashes or incorrect output.
  3. A communication system may fail due to interference or signal loss, resulting in disrupted or lost messages.
  4. A transportation system may fail due to accidents, congestion, or weather conditions, resulting in delays or cancellations.
  5. A financial system may fail due to market fluctuations or economic crises, resulting in losses for investors or businesses.
  6. A political system may fail due to corruption, incompetence, or lack of public trust, resulting in political instability or social unrest.
  7. A healthcare system may fail due to shortages of staff or resources, resulting in poor patient care or medical errors.
  8. An energy system may fail due to supply disruptions, equipment failures, or environmental disasters, resulting in power outages or fuel shortages.
  9. A security system may fail due to breaches in cybersecurity or physical security measures, resulting in data theft or physical harm.
  10. A social system may fail due to discrimination, inequality, or social injustice, resulting in social unrest or disenfranchisement of certain groups.

Secondly, we need to understand how well our current system works in failure mode. When we are in a state of failure, it can be difficult to navigate our way out of it. However, it is important to acknowledge that failure can sometimes be a necessary step towards success. In some cases, failure can help us learn from our mistakes and improve our future actions. Therefore, it is important to have systems in place that can help us bounce back from failure and move forward.

  1. An elevator that is stuck between floors but still able to open and close its doors.
  2. A car that has a flat tire but can still be driven at a reduced speed.
  3. A phone that has a cracked screen but is still able to make and receive calls.
  4. A computer that is running slowly due to malware but is still able to perform basic functions.
  5. A printer that is low on ink but can still print documents with reduced quality.
  6. A clock that is losing time but still able to display the time with some degree of accuracy.
  7. A refrigerator that is not cooling properly but still able to keep food at a slightly above room temperature.
  8. A water heater that is not producing hot water at full capacity but still able to provide some hot water.
  9. A radio that has poor reception but can still play music with some static.
  10. A lightbulb that is flickering but still able to provide some light.

Finally, it is important to recognize that the mode of failure cannot be predicted from what we’ve seen so far. We may think we understand why something failed based on past experiences, but there may be underlying factors that we are not aware of. This is especially true in complex systems such as the economy or political systems. Therefore, it is important to approach failure with an open mind and be willing to adapt our thinking as we learn more.

In conclusion, just because we are operating in failure mode most of the time, we cannot take for granted our understanding of how our current system fails, how well it works in failure mode, and how the mode of failure cannot be predicted from what we’ve seen so far. It is important to be aware of these ideas and how they affect our daily lives. By recognizing failure, understanding how to navigate failure mode, and being open to learning, we can work towards building better systems that are resilient in the face of failure.