Once again, the Journal of Forbidden Experiments is accepting applications for its Annual Realgedankenexperiment Grant, underwritten by the generous donations of the Van Tricasse family. A sum not to exceed ten million euros will be used to fund the conducting of otherwise legally, ethically, and morally forbidden experiments on one of our extra-
Preference is given to linguistic and psychological experiments. Philosophical experiments and physics experiments with interesting philosophical consequences have been and will be considered. Mathematicians need not apply. All submissions that do not call for the direct harm of the editorial team of the JFE or the Van Tricasse family
Please include your name, age, address, academic affiliation, and degrees held with your application. Your application should include a detailed description of the experimental setup, the number and ages of the required human participants, physical space requirements, and other material resources required. You should also indicate the approximate time scale of your experiment (in days, weeks, months, years, decades, or centuries). Make special note of any legal, ethical, and moral concerns or barriers; please note whether these restrictions are imposed primarily by your local government or community, or are in force at the level of a larger geopolitical entity (state, nation, or worldwide).
Submissions should be received by July 1, 2013, and may be sent in care of Speculative Grammarian.
Some of our past winners and their proposals are presented below. Many experimenters have requested that we use only their first name and last initial to protect their privacy. To read more about their experiments and results, subscribe to the Journal of Forbidden Experiments.
The Blind Brick and the Sightless Sphere, in which children are raised without sight, but with ample examples of cubes and spheres, to see how well they identify cubes and spheres upon having their sight restored, by William M. and John L.
The “China” C. elegans Nervous System, in which 302 humans are connected via wireless communication devices in an attempt to simulate the nervous system of a roundworm, by Lawrence D., Ned B., and Daniel D. (The JFE would like to apologize to Clive B. and the people of Popolac and Podujevo for the disastrous failure of their related and more ambitious “China Brain” experiment.)
The Curtain of Unawareness, in which fifty adults must individually and collectively determine the governing rules of a society before being permanently assigned random roles within that society, by John H. and John R.
Emergent Creolization, in which a number of families with children, having no language in common, are marooned for several decades on an island with reality-
Energy Extraction from a Novel Interaction of the Feline Righting Reflex and the Aerodynamics of Churned Dairy Spread as Applied to Radiantly Heated Breadstuffs, in which buttered toast, known to always land butter side down, and a cat, known to always land on its feet, are coupled in such a way that prevents landing, resulting in a perpetual motion machine, by John F.
Furiously Imbuing Sleeping Meaning into Colorless Green Ideas, in which a population of English speakers are isolated and events orchestrated such that sufficient semantic shift occurs to render the phrase “colorless green ideas sleep furiously” idiomatic and natural in a large number of contexts, by Leonard S. and Roger P.
An Investigation into Knowledge, Reality, Truth, Mind, and Meaning, in which several human brains in any of several physiological states are connected to any of several virtual reality machines for any of several periods of time, to test any of several relevant hypotheses, by Plat O., Z. Zhou, René D., Ludwig W., and Hilary P.
Live Cat, Dead Cat, Blue Cat, Red Cat, in which a cat is placed in a sealed chamber with a radioactive sample, a Geiger counter, a vial of neurotoxin, and several vials of colored paint, in order to induce a quantum superposition of a rainbow zombie feline, by Erwin S. and Dr. S.
Simians ad infinitum, in which a whole lot of monkeys are given a whole lot of word processors and their output evaluated for its literary merit, by William S., Émile B., and Arthur E.
Studies in Twin Duolects, in which twins are raised with minimal linguistic input in order to study the grammatical structure of emergent twin languages, by Poto K. and Cabengo K.
A Test of the Critical Period Hypothesis, in which adults are placed in child-
The Translation Room, in which the Chinese/
10,000 Hours To Go Before I Sleep, There are Wugs, and Snakes, in which a number of experimenters spend at least 10,000 hours practicing writing Realgedankenexperiment applications in order to become world-