Three persons are discussing about how to found a School of Comparative Irrelevance..
Belbo and Diotallevi are explaining to Casaubon their aspects about the necessity of “Reformation of knowledge”.
“This is Diotallevi” Belbo said, introducing us.
“Oh, you’re here to look at that Templar thing. Poor man! Listen, I thought of a good one: Urban Planning for Gypsies.”
“Great!” Belbo said admiringly.
“I have one, too: Aztec Equitation.”
“Excellent. But would that go with Potio-section or the Adynata?”
“We’ll have to see,” Belbo said. He rummaged in his drawer and took out some sheets of paper.
“Potio-section…” He looked at me, saw my bewilderment.
“Potio-section, as everybody knows, of course, is the art of slicing soup. No, no!” he said to Diotallevi.
“It’s not a department, it’s a subject, like Mechanical Avunculogratulation or Pylocatabasis. They all fall under the heading of Tetrapyloctomy.”
“What’s tetra…?” I asked.
“The art of splitting a hair in four parts. This is the department of useless techniques. Mechanical Avunculogratulation, for example, is about building machines for greeting uncles. We’re not sure, though, if Pylocatabasis belongs, since it’s the art of being saved by a hair. Somehow that doesn’t seem completely useless, right?”
“Please, what is this story?” I begged.
“Well, Diotallevi and I are planning a reform in higher education. A School of Comparative Irrelevance, where useless or impossible courses are given. The school’s aim is to turn out scholars capable of endlessly increasing the number of unnecessary subjects.”
“And how many departments are there?”
“Four so far, but that may be enough for the whole syllabus. The Tetrapyloctomy department has a preparatory function; its purpose is to inculcate a sense of irrelevance. Another important department is Adynata, or Impossibilia. Like Urban Planning for Gypsies. The essence of the discipline is the comprehension of the underlying reasons for a thing’s absurdity. We have courses in Morse syntax, the history of Antarctic agriculture, the history of Easter Island painting, contemporary Sumerian literature, Montessori grading, Assyrio- Babylonian philately, the technology of the wheel in pre-Columbian empires, and the phonetics of the silent film.”
“How about crowd psychology in the Sahara?”
“Wonderful!” Belbo said.
“You should join us. The kid’s got talent, eh, Jacopo?”
“Yes, I saw that right away. Last night he constructed some moronic arguments with great skill. But let’s continue. What did we put in the Oxymoronics department? I can’t find my notes.”
Diotallevi took a slip of paper from his pocket and regarded me with friendly condescension. “In Oxymoronics, as the name implies, what matters is self- contradiction. That’s why I think it’s the place for Urban Planning for Gypsies.”
“No!” Belbo said.
“Only if it were Nomadic Urban Planning. The Adynata concern empirical impossibilities; Oxymoronics deal with contradictions in terms.”
“Maybe. But what courses did we put under Oxymoronics? Oh, yes, here we are: Tradition in Revolution, Democratic Oligarchy, Parmenidean Dynamics, Heraclitean Statics, Spartan Sybaritics, Tautological Dialectics, Boolean Eristic.” I couldn’t resist throwing in.
“How about a Grammar of Solecisms?”
“Excellent!” they both said, making a note.
“One problem,” I said.
“If the public gets wind of this, people will show up with authoritative manuscripts!”
Extract from the Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco.
The necessity of founding a school dedicated to Greek design leads the Octo Greek Design to the procedure of creation of a “think-tank” that will give focus on the qualitative conditions of a high level school.
Octo Greek Design and Leading Brands Agency invite you to take part of the discussion that starts on Monday 4 August 2018 at 18:00 in separated platform. If you would like to share any of your aspects regarding the foundation of such a school, please send us your personal information in the e-mail address below and we will invite you to an extremely creative discussion!