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‘You can stay here, but you can’t stay now’
For the second year in a row the Inevitable University sent its intrepid team of Reality Testers to The Secret Garden Party.

Once again the testers introduced gardeners to the Fundamental Hypothesis; all things are real, only some things are more real than others and proceeded to examine test subjects under this premise.

The range of reality confidence displayed by the test subjects astounded Dr Short and his colleagues; in more than 98% of experiments decision space was collapsed and an individual element from the binary pair was declared ‘more real’ (see toves paper on Reality Vectors and Rabbit Space).

A total of 104 complete tests were recorded between Friday 22nd July and Sunday the 24th. This does not include the 63 completed enrolment forms which have finally been passed on to the admissions department for processing.

Reality Test Results from The Secret Garden Party; July 22nd – July 24th 2011:
A preliminary study of the test results suggests that test subjects tended to deploy one of five story metrics to collapse decision space.

This adherence to story metrics may account for the reality confidence observed, however this is but a preliminary analysis and it could just as easily be a result of the reality index of green.

The 5 Derived story metrics:
The concept of purity

This metric is applied most frequently (although not exclusively) to colour pairs.

Yellow was frequently cited as more real than purple as it is a primary colour, and thus more ‘pure’. One particularly ingenious test subject argued the case with his fellows that surely purple is more real as it is created from two primary colours, thus should be doubly real, invoking a kind of purity mathematics unique to that one experiment. This was however, according to Dr Short a classic case of the exception proving the rule.

The purity concept is underwritten by that of origins, or chronological precedence, a kind of inverse Darwinism closely related to another common story metric, that of ‘natural’; although green is a secondary colour it often charts a higher reality index than red because it is ‘the colour of nature’.

One particularly confused subject declared green more real than red as ‘you can smoke green, but you can’t smoke red’, but I digress.

The concept of accuracy

According to this concept a phenomena will evoke a higher reality index if it is more definite, less vague than another. Thus carrots are more real than sticks as a carrot is a highly defined concept – a small tapering cone which is edible and orange, whereas a stick? How big is a stick? A stick it would seem is piece of unprocessed tree and could be of any shape, size or hue.

A similar logic apparently finds pictures more real than words as they are apparently less prey to interpretation.

The concept of numerical superiority

This metric is arguably the most frequently deployed of all; yellow is more real than purple as it is more readily seen in the world, there is more of it.

A more interesting example of the numerical method was witnessed with respect to vampires and unicorns. The alleged fact that vampires appear in more works of fiction than do unicorns was a surprisingly strong determinant for many.

I say that this is more interesting purely due to the explicit reference to stories – a tenet close to the core of the reality test dept, as a result of the flat world conundrum.

The concept of personal significance

Arguably the simplest reality metric employed by test subjects is personal preference.

This is by far the least interesting to the testers, as it usually boils down to ‘because it’s my favourite’. Why is purple more real than yellow? Because I prefer it. Some test pairs are more likely to be met with this reductive response than others. Anything for which the subject may be expected to have a taste will often meet with this solipsistic logic.

The salient example at this year’s SGP being music or sculpture. Music by this measure was more real (4:3), which should hardly be surprising given that the tests were conducted at what many would describe as a ‘music festival’.

One does find oneself questioning the wisdom of the senate in including this pair.

The concept of pessimism

Perhaps the most problematic of measures (certainly for this paradigm) is that of pessimism.

There was a very definite consensus amongst subjects that something would be more real if it was more bleak, more harsh; thus wrong turns out to be more real than right.

One could find oneself being depressed by the prevalence of such reasoning among such charming and educated subjects, save for the inherent optimism of the subjects having volunteered to take the test in the first place.

To take a reality test displays an imaginative courage, a willingness to enter into a situation where the subject is vulnerable; they could just as easily be the focus of some practical joke as the crucial element in a significant investigation into the construction of reality, and for that courage and inquisitiveness The Inevitable University is eternally grateful. Thank you.

Have a nice day.

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If you graduated at SGP, have any test data, or photos of the White Rabbits please email the Reality Test Dept. of the Inevitable University here .