Dzubay’s “An Outbreak of the Irrational” and “Alternative Math” by Ideaman

“An Outbreak of the Irrational”

The piece under analysis entitled “An Outbreak of the Irrational” is written by Sarah Dzubay. The article deals with the attitudes to vaccination that became a debatable issue several years ago. The primary point the author makes is the effectiveness of vaccination in establishing safe communities with no serious illnesses of the past. Dzubay (2019) states that after the production of the vaccine and inoculation of the population in developed countries, measles infection rates “were reduced to almost nothing” (p. 808). The author adds that modern people do not understand the devastating effects of epidemics of such diseases and tend to avoid their children’s vaccination, which is the reason for new outbreaks of measles.

To support her point, the author dwells upon such concepts as herd immunity, immunity threshold, and basic reproduction number. The author refers to scientific evidence regarding the spread of infections that may affect large populations if a considerable number of people have low immunity to it. Dzubay (2019) pays specific attention to the counterarguments to her point or the arguments anti-vaccine advocates give. She notes that the primary advocates against vaccination are middle- and upper-class individuals. They tend to refer to the research related to the link between vaccination and autism development, which is still rather debatable. This view is gaining popularity in the masses as many celebrities speak against vaccination. Another argument is concerned with seizures vaccines may cause in children. At that, the author also mentions the case when parents found out that vaccination was not the cause of epilepsy as they previously had thought, but it could trigger the disorder. Basically, the child would still have seizures with or without vaccination. The author concludes that more research and debate are needed, but the years without epidemics of measles show that vaccination works and helps people prosper.

“Alternative Math”

The short film under analysis is entitled “Alternative Math,” and it is concerned with some trends in the American educational sphere. The director’s goal for making this film was, apparently, to show that the modern educational system lacks academic integrity due to some people’s willingness to ‘liberalize’ it. Certain groups and individuals concentrate on bringing more flexibility and support to children, but these efforts often take strange forms. The director uses a humorous tone to draw people’s attention to this trend and its potential outcomes (Ideaman, 2017). The target audience is wide and includes parents, administrators, teachers, the media, policymakers, as well as the rest of society.

This video made me think about all those occasions I have witnessed in my life that are similar in some way to the described situation. I completely agree with the director of the film and believe such media products are necessary. This work shows that sometimes people forget about the essence of education or science try to find new ways. Hopefully, people will not actually question the correctness of the answer on a primary-school test in the future. However, now there are voices asking for more flexibility and less pressure on students. At that, there are many cases when there is only one correct answer that can exist even if it may hurt someone’s feelings. New generations should know all those answers to evolve and address the challenges humanity may encounter. The source is reliable as the video has all the necessary information about its creators. The video also includes the data regarding all the people involved in making it, which makes it a reliable source.


Dzubay, S. (2019). An Outbreak of the irrational. In R. Bullock, M. D. Goggin, & F. Weinberg (Eds.), The Norton field guide to writing with readings (5th ed.) (pp. 808-814). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Ideaman. (2017). Web.

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