When I first opened the Principles of Uncertainty and saw a large picture of a Dodo bird on the first page I was pretty confused, so I checked the syllabus to make sure I didn’t buy the wrong book. When I matched the authors name on the syllabus to the authors name on the front cover of the book I was even more confused. Did Dr. Ellis really give me a picture book and expect me to respond with a literary analysis? As I navigated through the pages, something odd happened. My confusion turned into sheer frustration. “What does the mean? What is the point of this? How am I supposed to analyze that?” are all questions that ricocheted around my mind. I tried to make sense of each page, but when I got to the June section and read the words “My brain is exploding,” I turned to my roommate and said “no my brain is exploding!” while I closed the book shut.
I decided I would give the book a second chance after I did something mindless. So, I opened my laptop and fake shopped on the internet. After an hour, I picked up the book again and decided to read it like I was fake shopping. In other words, I read Principles of Uncertainty without thinking there had to be a purpose behind it and I ended up loving every page, even the paintings of Austrian bedroom with quilts folded into cones. I realized each painting or narrative did not have to have a deeper meaning or purpose. They were meant to be wonderful on their own. And I think this is a point Kalman is trying to make. As Kalman guides us through her stream of consciousness, we notice that the world just doesn’t make sense. She may communicate this through darker commentary such as “the sun will blow up in five billion years” or she might remind us with paintings of sofas on streets. Regardless, her message is the same, uncertainty is okay.