• Laurie Swigart

The Experiment

A reknowned research institution undertakes to document the spatial-cognitive processes of intellectuals in various professions. They recruit an architect, a surgeon, and a props manager. They construct three isolation booths, completely sealed off from external interactions or stimuli. They place one guy in each booth, and give each one a set of three perfectly-matched steel balls, about three inches in diameter each. They seal the booths and return in one week. The architect has constructed a geometrically-perfect pyramid with the balls, yielding insights into stress dynamics and materials tension. The surgeon has placed the balls in a formation that hints at the nature of the unexplored regions of the human genome, solving some fundamental questions involving genetics and DNA. When the props manager's booth is opened, the interior is a shambles and there are no balls to be found. Upon inquiry, the props guy says, "Okay, okay. I admit I DID lose the first ball. But I SWEAR I don't know what happened to the second one, and besides, you only gave me two balls to begin with!"

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