(This post was written some time ago; clearing out my backlog of posts which I delayed posting for a number of reasons. For example, the debugging post I delayed writing so even if somebody does figure out who I am, it's impossible to tell what clients I'm referring to. This one was delayed because I have rules against SVN commits, e-mails to clients, and blog posts while under the influence.)
...as a concept has one fundamental problem:
I am -happier- slightly intoxicated.
I am more productive.
I don't mind repetitive tasks as much.
...I could go on, I suppose, but I'm slightly intoxicated, and it seems unnecessary. Another point in alcohol's favour.
A slight buzz does not damage my cognitive abilities to any extent that anybody would notice, and I'd go so far as to say it makes me a -better thinker-, for the simple and expedient reason that I'm less likely to drift off into other avenues of thought.
I think Terry Pratchett hits something with a genuine reflection of reality with the concept of "knurd" - which is simply "drunk" spelled backwards, and is an implication of somebody who is, by nature, the opposite of drunk - which is to say, -too sober-.
I've taken exactly one IQ test in my life. I was above 180. I was estimated to be in the 220 range (IQ tests fail above 180). Yes, I know, lots of people make this kind of ridiculous claim. Believe me or disbelieve me as you wish. I will add that I was eight or nine at the time, that I was not -supposed- to take the IQ test, that I was given it "by mistake" by a school which was trying to prove I -wasn't- gifted and -shouldn't- be moved up a grade, and that they didn't even bother to give me the test I was -supposed- to have taken, to skip a grade, when my score came back. My IQ is probably considerably lower now, as it's a measure relative to your own age group, and I've grown considerably lazier in my mental processes since then...
Well, I'm drifting off topic. The short of it is, I'm a fuckin' genius. Yeah.
And I'm stating outright, here and now, that alcohol makes me -better-. Especially mixed with energy drinks or coffee.
Alcohol doesn't make me dumb. It might make me -dumber-, but it doesn't make me dumb. And at my intelligence level, it is actually easier to function in the world with a little bit of fuzziness to my thoughts. Because, let us face it, there's little practical application for genius. Not only is there little practical application for genius, it's a drawback in almost everything you can do.
I work with my mind for a living. My job is purely cognitive; everything I produce, I produce from my thoughts. And my job bores me to fuckin' tears. I prefer manual labor, to be honest; I'd do something physical if it paid as well as my current job. I entirely sympathize with the guy on Office Space, except I started with the manual labor jobs, and moved into an office job.
Alcohol makes me better at my job; I'm more focused. I used to drink small sums of red wine regularly throughout the day; I was extraordinarily productive in this arrangement. I was gaining weight on this plan, however, so I haven't done that in a long while, and my productivity has declined a bit.
This post? This post was written on a mixture of gin, vodka, grain alcohol (Everclear), and energy drink. Oh, and coffee, but that came later. It tastes awful, I have to say. But it gets the job done.
So yeah. I can see where alcoholics come from. There are some people - myself included - who simply function better with alcohol in their system.
I function better with a bit of tobacco, too, but I'm saving that for when I'm old and my heart is more likely to go out than my lungs. I'm not particularly concerned about my liver, as, while I function better on alcohol, the absolutely horrific taste means I rarely actually drink it. I prefer red wine because it tastes an entirely different kind of nasty which masks the taste of ethanol. (I can taste shit most other people can't, incidentally; I have a talent for identifying what spices went into a meal as a result. Ethanol tastes the way polyurethane smells, if you're curious and can't taste it.)