I recently read Gulliver's Travels Part three. Here are some of my questions and thoughts on the section.
The first subject I thought about is the intelligence of the Laputans. They seem to be very primitive in some ways, but are very advanced in others, as in the floating island. Also, the Laputans' singularity and conformity are also worth noting. For instance, they all carried flappers, reclined their heads to the left or right, and wore similar clothing. Moreover, in order to speak, listen, or sometimes see, they had to be tapped on the ear, mouth or eye with a flapper by another member of society. I was intrigued that even though members of society had short attention spans, they always remembered to "flap" their fellow men. Could the ability of Laputans to only focus on one item at a time be considered one dimensional?
Also I was curious as to the reason why food was always presented in geometric shapes. Maybe this was to show the high interest Laputa had in Mathematics. Yet, it is curious to note that these people had a contempt for practical geometry.
Next, I thought it was interesting that, even though many people in Lagado were in poor condition waiting for "improvements" from the Academy, they still thought badly upon those who, in our terms, were more efficient. Also, it was ironic that when Gulliver entered the Academy and saw the research, most of the research would not really improve the way of life for the people of the city.
Finally, I am curious to understand the makeup and physics of
Laputa. I noted that at one point, Swift stated that when moving
the island, one would have to be careful as not to move it too
low and hit a mountain or sharp outcropping of rock and then damage
the island, yet later in the book it is mentioned that as punishment,
the king could crush the people below by setting the island down
upon Balnibarbi. Also, why is it that the island can only move
so far North, South, East, and West when the magnetics of the
Earth should be the same where ever one goes?