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Electrical resisters (or potentiometers) are everywhere. Turn the dial on your iron for the correct heat, or on you heater for the correct .....errrmm... heat again. Another dial to adjust your fridge cooling etc.........
A device fitted to the power cord that was maybe a foot long and was "bendable"
(and would retain the bend till bent back straight) would have an inbuilt resister so that the more you bent it the more resistance you'd achieve. ---Just like kinking a garden hose to alter the water flow volume.
The idea is, you get better tactile feedback that you are resisting the flow of electrons in the cord if you physically have a sense of "choking off" the flow by kinking the cord.
||This is so wrong. Bimetallic switches are used for everything you mention.
But I am going to give a + for the image of a group of lighting technicians at a concert furiously bending cables backwards and forwards.