The uneducated public, feeling increasingly disconnected from the intellectual elites, grabbed hold of Quigg's simple language and his ability to turn abstruse concept into cogent prose. The Explainer had come! Why should a Brechan commoner give himself a headache trying to wade through a dense Engineer dispatch when the same information could be consumed in a predigested fashion? The masses also realized there was lots of ego-potential in thumbing through a copy of the Dabbler's Dissertations in public places, preferably in a kind of disinterested manner as if it were all old hat. The books became popular as eye-catchers around the house, discussion-starters with bachelors, and stepping stools when a bit of height was needed. Whether anyone actually bothered to read the books is nugatory—many copies were sold and oofite was begot.
The format of all Dabbler's Dissertations books are the same: simple sentences, usually one or two per page, accompanied by an illustration explaining those sentences. Here's a passage from one of the Dabbler's Dissertations explaining consensus reality:
- Imagine yourself sitting in dark room. You're staring at one of the walls.
- Imagine a lamp behind you, shining brightly.
- Imagine between you and the lamp, a performance.
- A puppet performance! Skilled puppeteers! The illustration accompanying this text is of the sitting reader, head turned in joy to the puppeteers behind him.
- But you don't know they're there. Forget them! The illustration shows the reader facing the wall, sad.
- Behind you the lamp still shines brightly. It casts shadows on the wall you so intently watch.
- The shadows of puppets! How wonderful!
- But remember, you've forgotten the actual puppets exist.
- Naughty! Don't turn your head! Don't!
- What do you see in the shadows on the wall?
- Look! A mystical cronford!
- Look! A craahfe bush!
- Look! A hermit in the Hakamagin Desert!
- But is it really a cronford, a craahfe bush, a hermit? Or just your perceptions? In the previous three illustrations, we see only the shadows as they appear on the wall. On this page, we see what the puppeteers were actually doing, none of which had to do with cronfords, craahfe bushes, or hermits.
- If you told other Daks of your perception, do you think they believe you?This illustration shows three additional Daks sitting in the room, staring at the same shadow on the same wall as the reader. The shadow sort of appears to be a hermit in the Hakamagin Desert, and speech bubbles for the four individuals are "Why, it's a hermit! In the Hakamagin Desert!", "A hermit?", "Yes! I see it now", "Of course!" respectively.
- If they believe you, does that make your perception real? The truth?
- Of course! The more people who believe, the more truthy it becomes! The last two illustrations depict the blurry shadow becoming more and more delineated, until there can be no doubt: it is a hermit in the Hakamagin Desert.
- But what about the original puppets? The puppeteers are show now, dejected. Having done their best reenactment of wassailing festivities, they amble slowly from the dark room. They may never perform again.
A few select titles from the Dabbler's Dissertations series:
- The Dynamical Projection of Historiographical Orthogonalities and Coloring Fun!
- Gongoozlers and Bamboozlers, Crooks and Gobbledygook: Criminal Theory in Rhyme! And Coloring Fun!
- Hedonism, Hirsute Hobbledehoys, and Hegemony: A Common Thread; and Coloring Fun!
- Adam Sith's Invisible Limb: Pecuniary friend or foe? And Coloring Fun!