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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


3.30.2004

Resistentialism 

From A.Word.A.Day:
Resistentialism: The theory that inanimate objects demonstrate hostile behavior against us.

"Resistentialism has long been used in our family to explain the inexplicable: Why light switches, fixed in place in daylight hours, elude groping hands in darkness. Why shoestrings break when we are in a hurry... The explanation for these and many more daily occurrences is that there is no such thing as an inanimate object. Seemingly inanimate objects actually resist those they are intended to serve."
Myron A. Marty; Hostile Inanimate Objects Have Their Murphy's Law; St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri); Sep 15, 1996.
The Clark-Trimble experiments present the evidence:
A convenient point of departure is provided by the famous Clark-Trimble experiments of 1935. Clark-Trimble was not primarily a physicist, and his great discovery of the Graduated Hostility of Things was made almost accidentally. During some research into the relation between periods of the day and human bad temper, Clark-Trimble, a leading Cambridge psychologist, came to the conclusion that low human dynamics in the early morning could not sufficiently explain the apparent hostility of Things at the breakfast table - the way honey gets between the fingers, the unfoldability of news-papers, etc. In the experiments which finally confirmed him in this view, and which he demonstrated before the Royal Society in London, Clark-Trimble arranged four hundred pieces of carpet in ascending degrees of quality, from coarse matting to priceless Chinese silk. Pieces of toast and marmalade, graded, weighed, and measured, were then dropped on each piece of carpet, and the marmalade-downwards incidence was statistically analysed. The toast fell right-side-up every time on the cheap carpet, except when the cheap carpet was screened from the rest (in which case the toast didn’t know that Clark-Trimble had other and better carpets), and it fell marmalade-downwards every time on the Chinese silk. Most remarkable of all, the marmalade-downwards incidence for the intermediate grades was found to vary exactly with the quality of carpet.

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