Friday, March 1, 2019
Scientific proof of darkness
I hate shelving items on the bottom row. It turns a 2-step process into a 4-step process. On any of the other shelves I merely need to 1). locate the correct location for the book I'm holding, and 2). insert the book into that slot. But for the bottom shelf, due to my long history with back injury, step one (locate the correct location for the book I'm holding) is now followed by 2). in a controlled squat with my back held straight, lower myself down. Then is 3). insert the book into that slot. Which is finally followed by 4). carefully raise up, keeping my back vertical, into a standing position.
Prone, as I am, to a slightly over developed sense of injustice, I am regularly convinced that by some bizarre and slightly hostile trickery of a minor god, a far greater percentage of the books I shelve are on the bottom shelf than on any other shelf.
I was, as a matter of fact, feeling exactly this way about my shelving just a short time ago. And I was quite aggrieved. But then my deep, judicious thoughts cut in.
They said: Seriously, do we
a). exist in a world of small, mercurial gods and fairies where meaningless statistical events are all entirely personal?
Or, am I
b). simply a person who, naturally enough, emotionally reads mildly unpleasant events as being slightly larger than they are in scientific, objective actuality?
So I decided to run a test. I would shelve 20 books and keep track of how many were on the bottom row.
There are five shelves of roughly equally occupied books. A statistically normal account should produce four out of twenty books on the bottom shelf.
I shelved the 20 books. It was a lot of work! Eight of them were on the bottom shelf. I'll admit to a level of disappointed surprise. I was hoping for the sane, scientific explanation. Better that than how it turned out:
They really are out to get me!
Though fortunately they're not too serious about it.