It takes a lot of background to fully appreciate today’s XKCD. First, you have to know who Donald Knuth is (the world’s greatest living computer scientist), and that he has a standing reward of $2.56 (256 pennies is a ‘hexadecimal dollar’) for finding errors in his publications, and that he is a few volumes into his magnum opus, The Art of Computer Programming, and waiting for him to finish it is kind of like waiting for Moses to come down from Mt. Sinai (if Moses came down every couple years with another, larger, set of stone tablets). And it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the presuppositional apologetic tactic of taking a materialist to task for unjustifiably making use of the immaterial laws of logic. OK, now you’re ready:
The real punchline is in the mouseover text
Dear Reader: Enclosed is a check for ninety-eight cents. Using your work, I have proven that this equals the amount you requested.
(Note also the conclusion on the chalkboard (), a reference to Logic’s fundamental Law of Non-Contradiction (which I was just able to mathematically typeset right there using WordPress’s native ability to compile — which is a typesetting system created by Donald Knuth, whose involvement in the typesetting community led to this interdisciplinary work!)
Ah, revel in the geekiness! And as enjoyable as that was, I’ve got more! Here’s a quote from DVD’s Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms (we’re going to have to just start calling that NL2K around here):
In the mainstream Western intellectual world perhaps furthest from home, the very prevalence of postmodern philosophy, with its insistence that theories are never neutral nor void of worldview-driven assumptions, makes twentieth-century Reformed figures such as Dooyeweerd and Cornelius Van Til, though no postmoderns themselves, look like prophets.
Hmmm. So what do you think of the similarity between presuppositionalism and postmodernism? OR, is presuppositionalism really just Christian postmodernism, because of “ its insistence that theories are never neutral nor void of worldview-driven assumptions”?