No Capax Laurus (You Can't Win).

You Can't Win Theory, or YCW Theory for short, is a school of thought developed primarily by Curtis and myself this year, with particular bias towards fifth period AP Physics. Despite the seemingly original premise, this idea is actually well founded historically and has, in fact, been noted by many famous physicists and barbers over the course of History. In short, YCW Theory states the following:

Universal You Can't Win Theory

     You can't win.

YCW presents the ultimate paradox. Realize, first of all, that you cannot fight the entropic tendencies of life to screw you at every chance possible. This realization inevitably brings up the point that for you not to win (i.e. lose), somebody else must win. While this may seem contradictory to YCW itself, realize that YCW states only that you cannot win. It makes no assertations as to the likelihood of somebody else winning. In fact, if by the event of somebody else winning, you lose (and thus, cannot win), YCW is only reinforced. The concepts of "win-win" or "everybody wins" are in and of themselves contradictory to the definition of winning (as, for somebody to win, somebody must lose), and are thus fallacies and to be criticized.

If you are new to YCW Theory, you may fall into the trap of thinking how terribly pessimistic it all is. You couldn't be more wrong. YCW Theory is not pessimistic, it is cynical. Cynicism, you will find, is a powerful tool that that becomes available to those who choose to accept the fact that shit happens, and nothing can be done to prevent it. However, rather than incessantly whining about it, they masochistically choose to suffer it (which is actually not a choice) and be consoled in the pain it causes the rest of society. The pessimist says: "Shit happens only to me." The cynic says: "Shit happens to me. But it also happens to you, so we're even." (This statement is only semi-relevant to YCW theory, for it opens up the chasm of Nobody Wins Theory, still in the developmental stage).

Once you begin to accept and grasp the powerful force of YCW, you will find applications in nearly every avenue of life. While YCW itself offers no practical solutions to this apparent problem of not being able to win, it does explain it's prevalence. Actually, it does nothing to explain it. It simply states it, which tells you nothing more than you already knew. I guess you can't win.

For your scholarly pursuits and to assist researchers in their dissertations, I now present a brief progression of the history of YCW theory.


I wrote this on my binder, one particularly depressing day in Physics...

Cohn's First Law of Physics

     You can't win.
(Note: Though it went largely unnoticed, this was officially the first time YCW was stated in so many words.)

Corollary to First Law of Physics

     Physics always wins.

Bergquist's Second Law of Physics (Extension of First Law and Corollary)

     Losing feels like getting kicked in the balls.

Examples in History

Though well known, most people do not realize that Murphy's Law is simply a restatement (pre-statement?) of YCW:

Murphy's Law

     Anything that can go wrong, will.

Thermodynamicist Henry Bent unwittingly struck upon YCW Theory, while paraphrasing the first and second laws of thermodynamics:

Bent's Re-statement of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics

  1. You can't win. You can only break even.
  2. You can't break even.