Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wired - Ideas Bank - Pragmamorphism

Wired - Ideas Bank - Pragmamorphism

My first job for Wired magazine, for their Ideas Bank section. It was for a piece by Emanuel Derman, the South African-born academic, businessman, quantitaive analyst and author, on the subject of pragmamorphism, his name for the naïve materialism involved in attributing the properties of inanimate things to human beings. According to Derman 'being pragmamorphic sounds as though it might equate to being scientific, but it easily evolves into dully ambitious and unimaginative scientism.' There. so now you know!

On of the points discussed in more detail was Derman's criticism of some scientists overly-simplistic models of the brain, mind and behaviour. He states that one doesn't 'have to look far inside yourself to know that our interior is a tangled dark garden not easily amenable to naïve cause and effect arguments'. I took that as the starting point for this illustration, showing the creases of a brain as the pathways of a maze, with a figure lost within. I know, I know, Cliché Guevara! But hey, clichés are us illustrators' stock in trade!

I had to make a few changes (move the speech bubble, change it colour) but this is the original - I prefered the layout and simpler colour palette.


Panagis said...

Cliché Guevara? I lolled :P
I really like it, the big head is amazing and the brain creases forming a maze works really well with the whole idea of the mind and it's complexity.

Paul Bommer said...

haha! Thanks!
My partner Nick came up with that expression!