Following a collective decision isn't the best choice in cases like this; asking a lot of people is fine for cases where everyone has similar knowledge levels (guessing beads in a jar), or for coordination problems where the fact that a lot of people decide a thing is in itself important (things like on which side of the street to drive and social norms like that).

That's true; I figured, though, that people on LessWrong would probably be equipped to make this sort of decision, and I further figured that if no one thought I'd get some rare and terrible d... (read more)

Is it okay to take toilet-pills? / Rationality vs. the disgust factor

by Hul-Gil 1 min read25th Jul 201138 comments

4


Well, I've a chance to prove my commitment to cold, hard rationality, unswayed by emotional concerns... I'm just not sure which route really is the more rational (assuming a desire to stay healthy).

In doubt as to the most logical course of action, I thought I'd get some LessWrongian input. To back up a bit and explain: I opened a pill bottle and was shaking one out into my hand, and since I'm a klutz the upshot was three pills in the (thankfully flushed) toilet. I fished them out, because these are three out of my last four pills; I take half a tablet a day, and don't get a refill until a week from now.

Now they're sitting on a dish in front of me, soaking for a few minutes in 91% isopropyl alcohol. Does LessWrong think they'll be okay to take? The alcohol should kill most germs, but I know it doesn't get all of them. What about viruses? Should I attempt to scrub the tablets to remove them? I've also always enjoyed informing my friends about various surfaces with more germs than toilet water (keyboard, phone), but that doesn't mean toilet water isn't horrifically toxic...

 

You decide. I promise to abide by the collective decision of LessWrong in this matter: should I take the toilet pills?