DIARY: Caught in the middle of a chain reaction ...

Let me tell you about a short film. It's called The Way Things Go and it was made by Peter Fischli and David Weiss in 1987. Here's what happens in it:

A twisted bin bag on a hook is allowed to unwind, knocking a tyre as it does so. The tyre is then set in motion. Eventually, it rolls into a wooden board, which, thanks to a complex set-up of weights and balances, swings around 180 degrees on its axis.

The swinging board knocks the tyre, pushing it back into a gentle roll, which ends when it bumps into a stepladder.

Following a sequence of moves too complicated to describe here, the stepladder eventually makes contact with a bottle of washing-up liquid and, in the process, disturbs the balance of a precariously positioned table. This then falls forward and nudges a mattress, which dislodges a pole, allowing a twisted bin bag on a hook to unwind and knock a tyre as it does so.

The tyre is then set in motion etc ...

This chain of events has been painstakingly set up to happen of its own accord, without any human intervention.

Isn't it nice when things just work?


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