I enjoy reading the piece. It is intriguing. I went through an emotional reverse when I read it. I held a high expectation to it, but the “nonsense” shown later astonished me. But it also excited me that I feel a strong intention of the author.
The author Alan Bigelow is a professor in the Interdisciplinary Studies. “Interdisciplinary” would be the theme through the whole piece. Here to learn more about Bigelow: https://www.medaille.edu/alan-bigelow-phd
Walkthrough & Analysis
The first part is “strip”.
It uses comic strips to answer “deep philosophical questions”.
The opening comic is quite interpretative. A woman or man always says, “I am leaving you and finding the real meaning of life.” THEN they slip away with the other man or woman and falls in a new loop. “What is the right answer of life?” that is a philosophical question that has never ever been answered. The starting page reveals the theme of ” strip” part. It speaks of those” nonsense” and tricky questions that we try to but fail to answer in the life.
When we read those questions in advance, we would really think of those philosophically. Whereas, the author gives us a “… “. It is really creepy that we might feel ” a load of bull”, but they are so true that we cannot say they are wrong. The author gives us an interdisciplinary perspectives. He questions what real philosophy is. Should it really base on Aristotle, Schopenhauer or Kant? His answer is NO. Philosophy is about life. We saw things from angles, we got disparate interpretations. Those questions have never ever had “right” answers.
Those strips from the Gloden Age of American Comics are recreated and be given different understandings. #Reconstructing Mayakovsky. It breaks a regular literacies and reconstructs old literature in a new way.
The next part is “Brain”. This part is ” science of idiot”.
The title is a paradox. As the reader asked above:” Who is the idiot?” Who is the author addressing? The idiots could be science itself or the one who believes the “science” is the science. If those scientifical elements have no meanings when they get together, what does the fact really do to us? The author reminds of us reading what behind the “facts” and do not be fooled by “idiots”.
Interestingly, you cannot go back after finishing a topic. I feel like it is a deliberate design. We do not look back what we read as they are nothing. We should feel what we read and remember the astonishing moment. It is a sensation that let us ask WHY? What is the author want to tell us? When science is not presented traditionally, should we accept it traditionally? When things go out of expectation, can we fit in immediately? Can we turn our mind to identify what is it?
That is also a rule in reading elit. We cannot predict what will happen next but we should keep going and exploring.
The last part is “S“. It speaks of ” Higher Math.”
Those ” Googleplex”, “Geometry”, “Irrational Numbers”, ” Addition”, and “Subtraction” are not talk about mathematics. Rather, they applied to explain “values” things. But is it really “valueless”? or how do we define the “value”? Bigelow plays a tricky game with us. He let us hold a high expectation to that stuff. But he fails us. “If you are too serious with them, you are out.” He intends to involve us in playing and enjoy the electronic tour. Science and math should belong to everyone.
Bigelow is not the first one who jokes the science. It reminds me of the Ig Nobel Prize.
According to Improbable Research, Ig Noble Prize awards unusual and imaginative achievements in science, medicine, and technology. Click to know more: https://www.improbable.com/ig/.
Let us learn more about Ig Nobel Prize 2018:
Finally, here is a math test for you.
Again, DO BE SERIOUS. Whatever you choose, the result would be the same.
All in all. Bigelow shows us the possibility of playing knowledge and language. The philosophy, science and math are humorous but satirical. They are connected with politics, ethics and social problems. They are thought-provoking and let us ponder what the real issues behind. They are presented as the powerful language that raises new awareness. The interdisciplinary reconstructing demonstrates more possibilities of elit.
What do you feel about the piece?/What the most intriguing topic to you?