I figured out the rest of panels, but stuck on this one. I think it's related to philosophy of language, but I can't pin down more specific answer for this one.
As far as I understand it's about a man who can't understand Chinese at all and the only thing he can use is some type of manual. So I've concluded it's mocking some kind of language theory I'm not aware about.
I've searched through author's blog, but it's already dead (link: link to the blog post in Wayback Machine). It's only accessible through web archive. Also googled key words and the only thing I found is Wikipedia page about "philosophy of language". I couldn't find more specific things, so I was wondering, maybe somebody knows more about it?
Please, point me in the right direction.
Also I'll add the full comic just in case:
If you're curious, I think other panels are about (I did some research):
- Allegory of the cave;
- Demon (thought experiment), more specifically Descartes’ malicious demon;
- Zeno's paradoxes;
- Veil of ignorance (moral reasoning device);
- Ship of Theseus.