The Incompetence Opera (including the Dunning-Kruger song)

Here’s video of the premier performance of “The Incompetence Opera”: “The Incompetence Opera” is a musical encounter with the Peter Principle and the Dunning-Kruger Effect. And with the word “so.” This opera premiere was part of the 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, September 14, 2017, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University. The opera is composed of three […]

Preview: “The Incompetence Opera”

The 2017 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will include the premiere of a new mini-opera: “The Incompetence Opera.” It’s a musical encounter with the Peter Principle and the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s about how and why incompetent people rise to the top — and what that implies for everybody. Music by Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, John Walter Bratton, and Anon. Story […]

Podcast 82: “The Best Life — Act 3 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 3 — the spectacular finale of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces the thrilling conclusion of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize […]

Podcast 81: “The Best Life — Act 2 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 2 of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces Act 2 of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard’s Sanders […]

Podcast 80: “The Best Life — Act 1 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 1 of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces Act 1 of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard’s […]

A song for the peoples of Britain, in their hour of dismay

This song, called “Harmonious Misunderstanding”, is the thrilling conclusion to “The Jargon Opera“. The mini-opera premiered as part of the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, at Harvard University. That first performance starred singers Margot Button, Jane Tankersley, and Michelle French, and pianist Greg Neil — accompanied gamely by Nobel Laureates Richard Roberts, William Lipscomb, and Dudley Herschbach, and David […]

The new opera about each and every species of life

A new opera, called “The Best Life“, will premiere next week — as part of the Twenty-Fifth 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Here’s the story line of “The Best Life“, as explained in the program that will be handed to all 1100 audience members in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre: The story: It’s the day before the greatest competition […]