March 2011 Archives

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Rationality and the Taping of Moving Boxes

By Michael Fumento

I have long been fascinated by both aberrational and irrational human behavior, at least since I documented a mass outbreak of hysteria regarding the so-called "heterosexual AIDS explosion" that wasn't GOING to take place but allegedly already had.

More recently, I documented that the whole Toyota flap was mass sociogenic hysteria in the same category of the missing children and Satanic abuse in the day care centers hysteria. This notwithstanding that I've been unable to find a single publication willing to print what I show is clearly obvious. Editors don't think anybody is interested that this is America's greatest mass hysteria in many years, and that such mass hysterias usually cause tremendous and lasting damage. And maybe they're right.

Mind, "irrational" and "aberrational" are by no means synonymous. Often enough, irrationality rules the day and it's rationality that is aberrational.

The irrationality that interests me the most is my own. That's allowed because relative to other Americans, I don't have a very large ego. I readily admit when I do dumb things and I ponder why. Such is the case as I've been packing boxes for my forthcoming move to South America.

I found that with flattened boxes I was consistently flipping them so that I first taped the bottoms, filled the boxes, and then taped the tops. But what's a "bottom" and "top?" Silly! It's determined by the writing on the boxes! But who cares what the writing says? Top and bottom are whatever you make of them. So I was being irrational and wasting a bit of time in making sure the lettering was upright.

Or was I?

Fact is, while I SHOULD be packing as if the box is going to be tossed and tossed and tossed, probably part of my brain is assuming this box will be kept upright. Certainly when it's in my possession it will be. That's an important part of the time. And my guess is that while many movers will simply toss boxes about (more roughly, of course, if they're marked "fragile"), that a certain percentage will also be affected by the lettering on the side. Even if that percentage is quite small, spread across a large number of boxes (Too large, "Groan!") it could result in reduced breakage.

So the "irrational" turns out to be not so irrational after all!

Now, with a rub of my lucky rabbit's foot and a four-leaf clover in my pocket, I'm back to packing.

March 9, 2011 01:05 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Ponderings