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"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Alcoholic Reliever  
  A mechanotherapy device that cures (or palliates) alcoholism.  

Elwood Caswell has a number of problems, but sales clerks have their own ideas.

"Now this," the clerk said, "is the new Alcoholic Reliever, built by IBM and advertised in the leading magazines. A handsome piece of furniture, I think you will agree, and not out of place in any home. It opens into a television set."

With a flick of his narrow wrist, the clerk opened the alcoholic receiver, revealing a 52 inch screen.

"I need-" Caswell began.

"Therapy," the clerk finished it for him. "Of course. I just wanted to point out that this model meet never cause embarrassment for yourself, your friends or loved ones. Notice, if you will, the recessed dial which controls the desired degree of drinking. See? If you do not wish total abstinence, you can set it to heavy, moderate, social or light. That is a new feature, unique in mechanotherapy."

From Bad Medicine, by Robert Sheckley.
Published by Not known in 1956
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