Tag Archives: Decisions

Speaking of making decisions

Since the session is winding down, I thought I would make a post about a show that I think is superlative, brilliant, topical, intelligent, and pretty dang funny to boot. It’s Futurama, created by the same guy who developed The Simpsons, and what makes it great is that it has actual Ph.D.’s on the writing staff, including one in mathematics that discovered and proved a mathematical theorem that was worked into an episode! There are also writers with Ph.D.s in chemistry and computer science, and one with a law degree.

Futurama doesn’t do lowbrow. Science and technology are intricately woven into every episode, it’s one of the reasons I hold it in such high regard. While so many television shows strive to make us stupid, Futurama strives to make us smart.

Witten's Dog, a corollary to Schroedinger's Cat, and it tastes like grapeade

Witten’s Dog, a corollary to Schroedinger’s Cat, and it tastes like grapeade

So what does this show have to do with class or making decisions? It turns out that there is an episode (episode 9, specifically) of Futurama from their ninth season titled “Free Will Hunting,” and the whole premise is that the Robot Bender discovers he has no free will and therefore lacks the ability to make decisions, after he lectured Fry on the importance of each decision one makes every day. Indeed, it is the seemingly small decision Bender makes to wear his ‘nerd glasses’ that sets off a chain of events worthy of Scorcese. It is brilliantly written, moves very quickly at first, and  really offers an interesting commentary on the importance of making decisions, and the ramifications that can result.

It’s available on Netflix if you have a subscription, or if you know someone who has it it is definitely worth watching. I also thought about having an on-line episode viewing, but I suspect getting everyone together online at the same time is unlikely. But if you get the chance, don’t miss it!

Going Up