After decades of coming up empty, scientists finally found a surprising answer to the long-elusive question of whether something can be made out of nothing.
The answer is yes, it can. The surprise was how simple it was to find the solution.
“The breakthrough came when we read the news,” says one jubilant researcher. “As soon as we noticed the articles about the Iowa caucuses, we realized we were on to something.”
The Iowa caucuses are a peculiar, meaningless anomaly in American politics. Every two years, in January, a small selection of the US population loiters in public venues, talking, arguing and eventually casting a vote that results in no delegate selection, no binding agreement, and no actual benefit to any candidate. Yet during each caucus season, a flood of news articles spins this nothing into something.
According to researchers, articles about the Iowa caucuses are only one example of the media’s ability to make something out of nothing. Upon further reading, scientists discovered millions of other “news” reports with similar success. Celebrity hairstyle changes and failed marriages, which occur with the same frequency, were the most abundant nothing-to-something conversions. Interviews of overpaid athletes who dislike the games they play (though not the money they make) came in a close second.
Some scientists are chagrined to realize the news media has been light years ahead of them in fabricating a successful method for making something out of nothing. Others plan to study additional, as-yet-unexamined sources of the phenomenon, such as the US Federal Reserve, which they suspect has also been creating something out of nothing for years.