SMBC on madness...
It’s very easy to imagine a mad scientist: combine a bad hair day with a lab coat, surround with vats, oscillators, and other instruments, throw the mix into a cave and voilà!
It’s much harder to imagine a mad mathematician: bad hair and … what? Fortunately, SMBC has figured it out!
François G. Dorais wrote
Alexandre Borovik wrote an interesting commentary on this comic. Zach Weiner’s choice of gender for the two protagonists is very interesting, and Alexandre Borovik immediately connected this strip to previous comments on Women in mathematics. I strongly recommend reading these and other interesting posts at Mathematics under the Microscope, a blog which has been known to make me think very deeply about sociological aspects of mathematics.
Besides the main discussion, there are two things that I found very interesting, more precisely two choices of epithets. The first is the violent world of mathematics which I find to be a very fitting description of the basest aspects of mathematics. The second is the adjective caustic to describe the style of this strip. That word, or rather my mental image of an acid bath, made me react immediately but I again found the choice very fitting after the initial discomfort.
Guest replied to François G. Dorais
You may also argue that this comics refers to this issue. http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2245#comic SMBC is known to have gender “pokes” (Weiner is not shying away from gays, for example)