Thursday, April 2, 2009

Comic 563: Calculated Creepy

stop doing that
UGH randall why do you have to make everything creepy? I suppose someone could find this idea funny, but it's not like it's that bizarre an idea and once someone thought of it it's pretty easy to figure out the calculation, but I guess in some circles this passes as a brilliant idea that is just so damn funny. As it is, it's one of those comics that makes xkcd feel like Randall Munroe's Illustrated Picture-Blog With Odd Ideas. It's not funny, except perhaps in the sophmoric "oh my god he is talking about sex!!!" way. (incidentally, the fact that you had to add an example calculation link at the top also makes it less of a comic contained in itself and more of a presentation of an idea)

But then the second panel takes a lame idea and makes it just creepy as hell. Now, I'm not totally sure who the man by the board is talking to, as they are offscreen. But I think it's supposed to be a pair of people far away who are not having sex, but Randall is using his Math and his Probability to pretend that they are. Now, listen Randy: this part is for you:

Just because you can imagine some people having sex, this does not mean that you should tell them you are doing so. This is creepy.

Now I know you put some type of offscreen voice saying not to do this, but that doesn't help. "No statistical voyeurism!" sounds like a man telling you you are breaking the rules, like you aren't allowed to do that here. But next time, rather than be creepy, can you just leave the whole thing out? Please?

And lastly, Alt-Text: Holy crap, a your mom joke! that is so clever.

97 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure xkcd has been Randall Munroe's Illustrated Picture-Blog With Odd Ideas for quite some time.

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  2. Come on, Carl. You (and other contributors) have played the "THIS IS SO CREEPY RANDALL" card way too many times, and it was never a very good one. You're /supposed/ to think that the pervert imagining couples having sex nearby is creepy; it's not meant as some sort of sincere projection of Randall himself.

    In my opinion, this has been the case with most instances of your creepiness complaints. It's like saying that a qwantz strip sucks because T-Rex is expressing fallacious ideas. The author intends the character to appear that way.

    I enjoy xkcdsucks a great deal more than I've ever enjoyed xkcd, but it irks me to see you fall back on the "this character is creepy/stupid/etc." criticisms, since there are much better reasons to hate Randall's output.

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  3. This is why xkcd sucks sucks needs to update more readily. Come on Carl, you need negative feedback to grow as a overly analytic critic!

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  4. im gonna put commentary on this comic on hold real quick and note that the newest strip ('crossbows') is the laziest idea for a comic ive seen in quite a long time

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  5. I thought this one was really lame considering it was April 1st and all. Probability of people having sex? WTF is wrong with you Randall?

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  6. I think your designation of "creepy" is largely dependent on what you find as acceptable and unacceptable humor, so I would discredit that as a valid reason to call this comic bad. I really do like a majority of your reviews, but some of them are just trying too hard to say something minor about the comic is an atrocity. I don't remember which one(s) it was specifically, but you said something along the lines of "Back when XKCD was producing good content, this would've been a comic that you didn't laugh at, but it wouldn't be significant enough to call bad." I think this comic falls under that category. In addition, I like "your mom" jokes, they will never die (I'm a sophomore, so this might give reason for you to dismiss my sense of humor).

    In short: bland comic, exaggerated review.

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  7. Good Will Humping.

    Thank you and goodnight.

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  8. I would have at least expected him to come up with a more realistic equation

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  9. @Teapot Yeah, really.
    "-Slightly absurd idea-"
    "That's absurd!"
    "No, you haven't considered the implications."
    "Oh."

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  10. @Thomas: Best response to the comic so far, and also far funnier than the comic.

    More generally, this comic, although not good IMO, is not nearly as bad as the one for today.

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  11. Gabe: So, here's the thing. While I don't really agree that every time Carl has called Randy creepy it's been accurate, I don't think it's valid to say that Carl is "trying too hard." That makes it sound disingenuous, like Carl is just making things up.

    Nor do I think it's just that "you aren't willing to admit when you like new comics." Carl has liked some comics, though never a great deal. I've liked some. But I think it is a matter of perception.

    See, people read webcomics not just because each one taken in isolation is funny. A few isolated funny comics helps, but really you read because after you've read a few, you start to learn a little something about the author, his style of humor. You come to expect certain things, and that helps you notice some subtle nuances that you would miss taking a comic in isolation.

    The same is true of disliking a comic. You get to know things about the artist you would miss if you were looking at it in isolation. You notice that Randy has some kind of creepy white knight tendencies. (I'm going to take a moment to digress parenthetically at length here. I have spoken to people who are in a very good position to know: Randall writes comics that are heavily inspired by real-life situations, and the people he writes about are kind of uncomfortable about it. Randall Munroe's Illustrated Picture Blog is based on a true story--it is a reasonable assumption to assume that Randy is writing about himself, and not being a brilliant satirist or creating characters.) You get the impression Randy is kind of a creeper after a while.

    Sometimes these nuances fail. Sometimes you read it wrong. Art (or, in Randall's case, an Illustrated Picture Blog) is such a subjectively interpreted thing; but everything has to be taken in the context not just of itself, but the entirety of the archives.

    Randall has his entire archives to answer for. While I don't feel this one is creepy (or at least, not in a 'Randall is a creeper' sort of sense), I think it's a justified comment in many situations--it's not that Carl is trying too hard, it's just that his understanding of Randall Munroe heavily entails 'creepy.'

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  12. Ugh the crossbows. SO FUCKING STUPID. It's like he's not even trying anymore.

    Oh, wait.

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  13. teapot, you are so wrong. That stupid laptop one is the laziest. Ever.
    Okay maybe you are not wrong, cuz I guess that was actually a while ago. Okay nevermind.

    thomas you have just been on fire lately.

    Rob for some reason my GMail must like you a lot or something because your comments always come in a separate email thread.

    I think again our problem is that there is no joke... Just, ha ha, look creepy mathy guy is creepy.

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  14. Back that comment up boy.

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  15. Amanda it does that to me too. I don't know why :(

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  16. it's ok, he wasn't saying that I, Carl, suck. Then it would have been "You suck, Carl" or "Carl, you suck"

    As "you suck carl" what he's saying is that you (YOU) suck, and the thing that you suck is Carl. Possibly me, possibly another one.

    (i do, however, suck)

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  17. So he may have a weird fetish for sucking people named Carl or assume other people do.

    What an odd man.

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  18. On a side note how long has http://xkcdsucks.com been around?

    I think it makes a reasonable effort.

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  19. Back that up? I hate people who use the name 'Carl'.

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  20. So, in addition to going around telling random strangers to suck a Carl, you also dislike someone not because you disagree with his comments, but because you don't like his name.

    What a extremely odd man

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  21. Maybe it's not a Yo Momma joke. I thought it's about how people try to delete their porn web activity logs when parents come to visit and may use the computer.

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  22. Wait a minute, let me see if I understand this correctly...

    You dislike the comic because it's CREEPY?!?

    THAT IS THE GODDAMN JOKE!!!

    Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean it isn't a good one. It just means that different people (shockingly) have different senses of humor.

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  23. "Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean it isn't a good one. It just means that different people (shockingly) have different senses of humor."

    I think you may have just stooped to the dumbest of dumb arguments - "everything is opinion...also, my opinion is right and yours is wrong."

    That is you. That is exactly what you sound like. You are a dumb person, and I hope you feel dumb.

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  24. Poore--Actually, he just said "Everything is opinion..." without the second half.

    Which arguably is a redundant and stupid statement as is, but putting words in other people's mouths doesn't make you look that much better.

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  25. I'll quote again, just to be certain you actually read it:

    "Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean it isn't a good one."

    This is asserting that, even if my (or anyone else's) opinion is that the joke is bad, it is somehow still an OBJECTIVELY good joke because (presumably) he believes it is. Thus, his opinion of "the joke is good" is right, and my opinion of "the joke is bad" is wrong. If you disagree, perhaps we have different notions of what words mean, and how meaning is derived from particular grammatical arrangements of those words.

    Now he could have meant to say "Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean that other people don't," which would have been fine. But that's NOT what he said, so that's not what I was responding to. I was responding to waht he DID say, which was, rearranged: "This is a good joke, just because YOU don't like it doesn't mean it is a bad one." Which is worthy of criticism, because it's a hypocritical assertion of the validity of one opinion over the other.

    Goddamn, people. I've been trying to become nicer, but you're making it really hard.

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  26. For the record, I thought "theoretically work it baby" was a funny line.

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  27. You seem to be asserting that YOUR opinion must be the truth. Even if you, specifically, aren't doing that, Carl certainly is. I don't see why your opinion should be given any more validity than mine.

    But, regardless, "I don't like the joke" is not a very good criticism of a comic. No one person should be allowed authority over which jokes end up being posted simply based on whether or not they "like it".

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  28. And, for the record, I never said whether or not it is a good joke. You may have interpreted "Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean it isn't a good one" as implying that the joke was a good one, but that's not what I meant. What I meant was that a joke being "good" was every bit as much opinion as "liking" the joke is.

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  29. is...

    "a joke being 'good' IS every bit as much opinion as 'liking' the joke is."

    That'll teach me to proofread my posts.

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  30. The example amount of sex per year is 80?!

    ...

    :(

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  31. Also I find it extraordinarily creepy that it's just using raw regional population density... with a sample average like that... WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

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  32. poore said "Goddamn, people. I've been trying to become nicer, but you're making it really hard."

    The problem is, at the moment you're in limbo - the Unpleasant Valley, in a sense. If you were more hateful, it would be less bitter and start being more ranty in an amusing way. If you were less hateful, then it would be less bitter because it would be less hateful.

    As it is, it's just hateful. Has crossed one line without crossing another.

    Still, keep on doing what you're doing, everyone. @Lint, haha!

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  33. Who wants to hear my latest conspiracy theory???

    Carl == Randall Munroe.

    It's the only thing that makes sense. Randall got sick of XKCD and wanted a new outlet for humor. Rather than disappoint all the loyal XKCD fans by saying that he's quitting, he decided to make new jokes out of it. So he stopped trying with XKCD and instead decided it would be more fun to write bad XKCD strips and then make fun of them on this blog!

    But he had to develop an alter-ego, because it doesn't work to be quite so venomous about your own work -- people would just get confused and say "Well then why did you make it?"

    And you don't want to spoil all the loyal XKCD fans out there. It's like when you want to be broken up, but you don't want to break up, so you be mean to them and hope they break up with you.

    I found you out, Randall!

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  34. You're not the first to figure that out.

    80 is pretty high if you consider that the rate includes children and other non-sex-having demographics. Half an hour is ludicrous, though, unless he's including foreplay.

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  35. Or the time it takes for the roofies to kick in!

    *rimshot*

    ...

    Randall Munroe is a rapist.

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  36. "For the record, I thought "theoretically work it baby" was a funny line."
    @Vlad

    Truth.

    I love this blog, but there has to be some truth here. Including today's comic about crossbows which is formulaic absurdity, though not involving pirates, ninjas, raptors, or some other thing made completely asinine by the Internet and prepubescence, he's been on a small streak. In golf terms I'd say the last three were par, par, bogey. Which is a streak considering his own personal rendition of Tin Cup that is http://www.xkcd.com/558/.

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  37. You... liked the crossbows one? Are you familiar with the term "drinking the Kool-Aid"?

    Fun fact: crossbows isn't the first time Randall has mentioned Higgs.

    http://xkcd.com/401/

    But again, the comic isn't about Higgs excitation, it's about you not knowing what Higgs excitation means. Case in point:

    http://digg.com/odd_stuff/Higgs_Excitation_What_the_hell_is_a_Higgs_Excitation

    "This seems like it would be funny if i knew what Higgs Excitation was!"

    No, trust me on this one...

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  38. i'll say it again: if someone can think of a way to prove I'm not Randall Munroe, I will gladly go for it. Perhaps someone can find his gmail account and gchat us both at once? I dunno.

    And yeah, that's an old, old theory. Hell it's on one of the FAQs.

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  39. Are Rob and Carl behind this?
    http://www.isxkcdshittytoday.com/

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  40. no, it has none of my usual subtlety and intelligence. But I heartily approve! Also I have nothing to do with a certain other website you may or may not have been to that has a url similar to mine but it is just like 3 crappy xkcd parodies, and he stole my name to try to steal my enormous popularity.

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  41. I didn't find this creepy, but I think I may be using a different definition of creepy than you are. For me, to call something creepy implies something that causes my spine to creep, something that is deeply unsettling on a physical level. This isn't that.

    It's not particularly funny, either, but that doesn't have to be a problem. After all, there exists xkcdsucks to take up the slack. When xkcd is most disappointing, xkcdsucks is generally the most hilarious. When xkcdsucks is bland, that's usually because xkcd is rather good! Either way, we, the masses, get our morning chuckle.

    But not today. Today is one of the unfortunate occurrences where xkcdsucks and xkcd have chosen the same day to be crappy.

    I know it's just personal taste; I'm sure people who thought today's comic was creepy were falling out of their chairs.

    But then we also read the comic differently. You read the comic as a man telling a couple that he's imagining them having sex. This isn't what I read at all. I read that he is imagining *a* couple somewhere within the calculated area. That's what the calculation is about, anyway. It's about how far away the nearest sex is occurring, not the chances of any given couple having sex--that had to be estimated and fed into the formula, after all!

    In any case, I don't find it creepy, but I do find it crappy. Sadly, your rant hinged entirely on the acceptance of an idea I simply don't share, and I'd looked forward to hearing you rip this one apart.

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  42. @poore: you'll be wanting http://www.instantrimshot.com/

    also, there have been accusations of paedophilia and rape, but they haven't been specific ones, so today's Baby Murder Index is one half.

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  43. Chris: I agree that "panel 2 guy" is just talking to himself. But don't you think that it's a little weird that P2G gets his kicks from spying on theoretical sex?

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  44. Weird? sure. It's also weird that existentialist man think everywhere is a pastry shop. But without some sort of threat or implied danger, I don't get a "creepy" vibe.

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  45. I like the odd ideas presentations, for your information.

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  46. Fucking hell, shut up Chris. There's really no need to write so much.

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  47. Is this not a debate? Because I'm sure you would be wonderful in debating in the real world.

    "I would like to present my rebuttal: Shut the fuck up, you talk too much"

    Genius man, genius.

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  48. guys I want to say one thing: I think a lot of the critical voices in this comment thread are being more reasonable than the critiques we usually see, and we should maybe try to encourage them to stay and be friendly to them.

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  49. In the real world, "Shut the fuck up" has a much more direct, powerful effect on the lay person then a well-reasoned argument does.

    If you think formalized, high-school-style debate constitute "the real world", you're deluded. And also stupid. Have I called enough people stupid yet? I don't think so, stupid. I HATE YOU.

    So I'm in an angry, hateful mood. Fuck everyone who disagrees with me. xkcd is shit. Randall Munroe is a gay furry pedophile rapist motherfucker and I don't care if that's slander. All the well-reasoned arguments against me? Falling on deaf ears. I shit on the supposedly intelligent debates of the Cuddlefish masses. I wipe my ass with their rebuttals.

    TL;DR I'm drunk, bitter, and had a shitty week - fuck all y'all muthafuckas (except Amanda)

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  50. I'm reminded of the ancient Chinese proverb, "Those who throw the first punch admit they lost the argument."

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  51. Well poore seems to be lashing out with the speed and accuracy of a drunken football fan, so I'm not sure where that puts him.

    @Carl: I'd be happy to stay!

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  52. I, in turn, am reminded of something Voltaire once said: "A witty saying proves nothing."

    I say this because I strongly object to the idea of 'losing an argument.' It's so high school, seventeen years old, trying to show off how much smarter I am than everyone else. And it's not like I'm 'losing' when I randomly insult people. I find it amusing. I also find people who respond to it in a good-humored way to be much more agreeable.

    Also I don't consider this an argument. I am much more initially hostile to people who come with the whole 'I AM ARGUING ON THE INTERNET' attitude, some lone crusader against the tyranny of the blog. It's a thing.

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  53. I, too, am reminded of something somebody just said: "Shut the fuck up."

    An argument, debate calls it what you wants. You cannot have one if you're telling the other person they can't have their say. If what you say is pure crap and have to resort to "LA LA LA LA LA LA I can't hear you LA LA LA" then I assume you have no reason to keep posting.

    Point made, this comic blew.

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  54. This is what poore has been doing and is not conducive to any intellectual discussions.

    Before you whine, "Arguing on the internets!"
    remember this. It's the content, not the medium that's important.

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  55. You don't 'lose the argument' when you tell the other person to stop talking, though it certainly does bring the conversation to a close. The idea of 'losing' is an idiot high school debate mentality that just needs to go. If I piss you off and you start insulting me you haven't 'lost.' Somehow people have got the impression that emotions mean you lose, like if you get angry or upset or annoyed it means your ideas aren't valid. That's just not true.

    In poore's case, he's drunk and angry and is, in fact, clearly identifying that he's being drunk and angry because he's had a bad week. I don't think it's in any sense of the word fair to say 'YOU LOSE THE ARGUMENT,' especially since he is clearly not trying to have one.

    As to your (I assume? please start using names) assertion that 'the content, not the medium' is important: no, that's simply not true. As someone once wrote, the medium is the message.

    See, on a snarky blog (that's what we're on) you should come expecting snark, not debate. If you want a Serious Debate where people Win and Lose you should probably kill yourself, but if that's not an option you want a debate class. You want a staged arena. You want one of those internet debate forums. You want pretty much anything but a snarky blog.

    The same content delivered in different media becomes entirely different. You simply can't extricate the medium from the content. A blog is different from a book is different from a static web page is different from a comment thread is different from a forum post is different from an email is different from a play is different from a radio talk show is different from a television documentary. You need to create content which is appropriate to the medium, otherwise I will call you a fat idiot and cast aspersions on your ancestry.

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  56. i contented ur moms medium last nite

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  57. LINT I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT

    WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES AND I AM BLOG OWNER YOU WILL BE FIRST AGAINST THE WALL

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  58. There is a such a thing as winning or losing. Why you can't comprehend this is a conundrum. It's not hard. If what you are saying is true, there's no point in poore (or you, LOL) trying to make a point about xkcd sucking.

    When poore goes "Shut the fuck up! You're wrong because you're wrong!", he has lost. By trying to argue, he has one whether or not he wants it, and frankly, it's safe to assume he's lost.

    There's not much merit to a "snarky blog" if you can't have a valid position w/o resorting to base insults instead of actual commentary about what is being "blogged" about.

    On content versus medium, I don't have the time to go into that elaborately now, but I will shortly. (Not that you care, amirite?)

    as per your request:
    -Anonymous

    tl;dr: If you can't back up your opinion on why something sucks (like xkcd, which does), you don't need to have one. Like Chris Cosby. [r]

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  59. Ignorant cunt.

    (amirite?)

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  60. "There is a such a thing as winning or losing. Why you can't comprehend this is a conundrum. It's not hard. If what you are saying is true, there's no point in poore (or you, LOL) trying to make a point about xkcd sucking."

    No, see, there isn't. I'm not trying to prove that XKCD sucks. The target audience of this blog is not people who want to argue whether or not it sucks. They are people who either dislike XKCD and want to read a rant about it. Those who enjoy this blog are not those who are primarily interested in proving us wrong; similarly, those who write this blog are not primarily interested in proving ourselves right or arguing with those who are trying to prove us wrong.

    There are those who disagree with us! They do not try to come here and Prove Us Wrong. That is an idiotic high school debate mentality, as I have previously established. They instead come and politely point out why they disagree with us. This is where discussion comes from! We are not trying to win or lose, we are trying to have discussions. Not a debate, not an argument. A discussion.

    There is an important difference, and not just semantically. A discussion implies that the sides are not trying to attack one another. They might be disagreeing, and might be presenting arguments as to why they disagree, but it is not because they want to be right. A discussion is beneficial to all involved parties. It allows them to sharpen their ideas, and look at things from an exterior perspective--without worrying about idiotic things like 'winning' or 'losing.' A productive discussion is one where you come out of it knowing more than you did before, with broader perspective. Nobody's mind is expected to change. If it does it happens over a broad period of time.

    "When poore goes "Shut the fuck up! You're wrong because you're wrong!", he has lost. By trying to argue, he has one whether or not he wants it, and frankly, it's safe to assume he's lost."

    Nope! Thanks for playing. Also if you missed the obvious sarcasm in poore's post you are a sad individual.

    "There's not much merit to a "snarky blog" if you can't have a valid position w/o resorting to base insults instead of actual commentary about what is being "blogged" about."

    Haha, oh man. You clearly have never read snarky blogs before!

    Snarky blogs are primarily a humor-based medium. Wonkette is a prime example. Many of their stories are pretty much nonsensical and bear no relation to the stories they are based on. I enjoy Wonkette dearly and their commentary is frequently good, but nobody goes to Wonkette looking for debate and discussion and detailed analysis.

    Their content, posted on most other media, would simply not fly. They are not those other forms of media. They are a snarky blog.

    (Nice scare quotes, by the way.)

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  61. "So, in addition to going around telling random strangers to suck a Carl, you also dislike someone not because you disagree with his comments, but because you don't like his name.

    What a extremely odd man"

    Is there something objectionable about this?

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  62. Wow, It may be my first time here but are arguments always this heated, and not about the comic itself?

    Do people always admit to being douches who will insult you because they aren't having a bad week or because they consider it part of the fun?

    What a strange group of people... Although I notice Carl isn't getting involved, which says quite a bit about him

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  63. ARE having a bad week, ARE. Not aren't. An edit button would be nice. Damn.

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  64. This is not unusual for this blog, though it is unnecessarily confusing since SO MANY PEOPLE REFUSE TO SIGN THEIR NAME. Who does Anonymous think is an ignorant cunt? And which Anonymous thinks it? I can't tell!

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  65. Rob, how can I possibly be the first against the wall with all these Cuddlefish's moms around?

    In any case, the winning-losing mentality is a pox on arguments themselves. If people go into an argument with that mindset, EVERYONE LOSES. The idea of some judge sitting on the side and says "Your argument totally rocks, you win" is just beyond absurd. The only way to "win" an argument is to convince the opposition who disagreed with you that you are right. If both sides are 'playing to win', the 'loser' is either going to get angry/uptight and shut out the person trying to change their minds, or give up and say they can't come up with 'better' arguments - their minds unchanged, just feeling unable to debate the subject. If you 'know' somebody is wrong it doesn't matter how good an argument you come up with and post if you can't convince them to agree with you.

    btw rob you are totally winning this argument.

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  66. don't ask questions they confuse me also I WIN YES

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  67. I will say, xkcdsucks.blogspot.com, despite my disagreements with it (which I should probably start couching in absurdist pseudo-postmodern prose rather than angry rhetoric... but hey, we're all angry and drunk once in a while) --

    Okay, what I was saying is that this blog is infinitely better than xkcdsucks.com, which appears to be the kind of idiotic, hate-filled, anti-intellectual crap that you fellows only occasionally flirt with (I kid, I kid).

    Also, on the topic of creepy, Rob, could you point me at an explanation of this "white knight" concept. You've mentioned it a few times, and I suspect I disagree with it in some fairly complicated ways, but I wouldn't want to judge it based on wild, half-cocked assumptions. I mean, what is this, a comments thread on a blog?

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  68. It is a fairly simple concept. White Knights want to be the hero, usually by saving the damsel in distress.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Just two things: When people say it's fine if Randall is creepy sometimes, they're right. But Randall is not creepy just sometimes. It's the difference between your cool friend who also makes dead baby jokes sometimes, and that drooling kid in the corner who *only* ever talks about dead babies.

    And crossbows, what the fuck? I took a look at the forums hoping for an explanation, but I found:
    a) The joke is "Haha some guy on some research team is much less intelligent than the others". This is not funny. This is commonplace. It's not like overall intelligence is a strict prerequisite for scientific work anyway, it all comes down to effort at one point.
    b) The joke is "Haha there will be a resonance cascade and shit will come out like in Half-Life!" This would be mildly funny if it was done right (really mildly if it's velociraptors coming out) but it's slightly fail, because if you're gonna make HL jokes, you use crowbars and zombies. Crossbows are not unique enough to HL to prime the right response.
    c) The joke is "Haha it's just like cow tools!" which... Also doesn't work because if we begin to check xkcd strips for possible cow tools, we'd probably get from 50 to 300 positives.

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  71. Oh, and sorry guys, I forgot "bow zone". Granted, maybe that's better left forgotten... It's not like he even says "boson" in the comic, come to think.

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  72. Well, what's wrong with being a hero?

    Although I gather from your previous uses that it isn't so much the goal as the assumption that they will completely misread the situation, assume a stance of martyrdom while putting the girl on a pedestal, and make an awkward social muck of things in general, yes?

    So they should just be less incompetent and more socially aware, then. And if there is any truth to their ethical aspirations, they'll get past that phase without seriously hurting anybody. Making people uncomfortable is not that big a deal.

    Delusional white-knight-ism could be a serious problem, although this is true of most delusions.

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  73. This might get a bit long, so if you want the Cliff Notes version, you can just read Randall's convenient explanation.

    White knighting is all posturing, and it's not honest. Take this from someone who both knows white knights and is a former white knight himself - it's a way for people who don't know how to interact with members of the opposite sex to attempt to attract them.

    It works like this: there is a girl and a male who is not a relationship interest (though not necessarily a friend.) He wants to be closer to her, so he pretends to 'defend' her in various ways, usually by knowing what's best by 'fending off' or at least not approving of men who won't treat her well enough. Of course, he does this because he expects something in return - namely, a relationship where she defers to his judgement and recognizes him for the real friend he's been all along.

    This is blatantly narcissistic and manipulative. First, the male always thinks that any other man she chooses can never be as good as the white knight - he's the real friend, which nobody else could ever be. Second, he never actually has her best interests at heart - it's always about how much he wants her, and any selflessness he shows is just so he can impress her. Third, the unspoken assumption is that relationships work just like financial exchanges - he's given (or sacrificed, or spent) this much time and energy for her, so she's only obligated to do the same for him. The more he gives, the more she needs to give back. This is not how relationships work in the slightest.

    In short, as you say, white-knight-ism is a problem because all white-knight-ism is, by definition, delusional. That is the problem with white-knight-ism - it is inherently delusional, not to mention unethical.

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  74. I would love to say that I only made my drunk, angry rant in order to spark up a meta-argument about what the point of arguments really is in the first place, but that'd be a lie. I was just drunk. And angry. But now I'm feeling better, so...yay?

    Also, Lint is right - arguments should not simply be intellectual pissing contests. It's about discussing something you feel strongly about (even if it's as dumb as whether or not you think a particular webcomic is funny) in a critical way in order to sharpen your own understanding of your position AND to expose yourself to alternative viewpoints on the subject which you would have not otherwise discovered without the aid of someone on the other side of the argument.

    TL;DR MY penis is huge and you all suck.

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  75. isxkcdshittytoday.com is actually run and "operated" by a friend of mine. At one point he just decided xkcd was always shit, put that site up, and called it a day. I think he still reads xkcd for the Schadenfreude though.

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  76. Fluffy, that is pretty cool. Can you send me his e-mail address so I can tell him he's awesome/ tell him from me that I think he's awesome?

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  77. I'll just point him to your comment. I'm not sure he wants me just giving his email address out willy-nilly.

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  78. Poore--a few days later, and I didn't read all of the messages since, so if this has been addressed already I apologize.


    "Just because YOU don't like the joke, doesn't mean it isn't a good one." != "This joke is good even if you don't like it."

    He is saying that the fact that you do not like it does not NECESSARILY make it bad; nowhere in that sentence does he call it a good joke.

    Maybe you should stop being a snotty bastard and read it yourself, kthx.

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  79. poore ilu <3 stop tryna be nicer, it makes it sooo much more special when you're nice to me! I am glad you are better and hope you have a better week! Go get some duck sawse.

    Many of you need to learn how to link things too btw. PLEASE okay?

    JAY I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE YOU GUYS PLEASE JUST PUT DOWN A DAMN NAME IT IS ESPECIALLY HARD TO UNDERSTAND YOU WHEN YOU ARGUE AMONGST YOURESELVES TOO

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  80. OH MY MATH MAKES ME HORNY LOOK HOW COOL AND OFFBEAT I AM

    does anyone like me now?

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  81. @ all the arguing bastards who think Carl should stop posting:
    You're asserting that he's wrong automatically unless he agrees with you. Therefore you think he should stop posting, and therefore you are a conceited pig.

    Carl, on the other hand, has simply created a place for people who agree with him to talk about how much they think XKCD sucks. They did nothing wrong to you. They didn't try to tell you that you're wrong.

    See, I (imho) think people's opinions should be respected. I usually take a neutral side on most issues. Sometimes I argue just for the sake of an intelligent argument (it doesn't always work, lol). If you think I'm wrong, that's fine by me, until you start to TELL me that I'm wrong. THEN I get pissed, because not only are you now being a total ass, but you are placing yourself in some sort of "higher" position than me, because you're ALWAYS right for some reason. So now there's not much else to say, because you're just going to fall back on "Well, I'm right and you're wrong!!", so the best we can do is to say "Shut the fuck up and stop telling me what to believe".

    In a nutshell, GO AWAY.

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  82. If you can make an intelligent, well thought out argument for why the joke is a bad one, I would be glad to listen.

    Right now, all I can see is "well, it's creeeeeepy! I don't like creepy!" But, the thing is, that is precisely the joke. You may personally dislike the joke, but you didn't give people who originally liked the joke any reason to reconsider. You didn't tell us "well, it's a rip-off of another joke" or "it's been done way too many times" or "it was badly drawn" or anything like that. All you said was "I don't like the joke, SO THERE!" That's not an argument.

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  83. OK: There's barely any joke there. There's math: He wants to figure out how far away people are having sex, so he goes to find some variables for his particular area and he calculates it. Then he imagines it. That's only funny if you think sex is always funny on its own, in which case this post is funny because it mentions the word "sex" three times.

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  84. I just told you the joke was in the creepiness, which is exactly what you say you dislike about it. In other words, you dislike the joke because you dislike the joke. Okay... so what? Should a comic artist really expect their entire audience to laugh at every single one of their jokes? People have different tastes.

    Granted, it wouldn't be as effective if it were about something other than sex, but that's because of the horniness aspect of the joke (the man gets horny imagining that someone nearby is having sex), not because the joke is "hahaha he said SEX!!!1!!" (which it isn't).

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  85. Just being creepy isn't a joke. As far as I'm concerned it's not a good thing at all.

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  86. My comment on your comic 559 review: (because no one will see it if i post it there)

    Seriously guys, I can't believe this. After visiting this site I became more critical of Randall's comics, but a particular comment (i.e., where comic proves that Randall is a pompous bastard) you guys bought was just BEYOND STUPID. It is making me rethink your intelligence, that maybe you're just allowing your hatred to blind you to ridiculous levels.

    Firstly, from what I've read, I have reasons to believe that what that stick-figure is doing does not necessarily reflect Munroe's life. I mean, shit, isn't this quite obvious? We have seen many crazy stuff happen in the comics and it's unlikely that Munroe really experienced it. Some are reflective of his actual life, some are not. Point? WE CAN'T KNOW. So stop pointing your fingers accusingly, as if knowing for CERTAIN that Munroe is telling a story about his life.

    Second, this is a fucking joke and as such, some elements may be exaggerated. Maybe in real life it happened (but it may not have, see above) and lasted for a minute or so; saying three hours is just a way to get a point across. I mean shit, most yo mama jokes are based on this same exaggeration. So you guys claiming that Munroe thinks he's so great to leave someone baffled three hours is just FUCKING STUPID IDIOTIC AND MORONIC. If only one person said it I'd leave, but tons of you defending the emailer's view is ridiculous.

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  87. I agree with you, Anonymous.
    Carl is a fucking loser.

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  88. Better than a loser who is NOT fucking!

    OH!

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  89. ha ha ZING that means i'm cool!

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  90. by definition, no one has the back of a loser.

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  91. Therefore you are not a loser

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