Monday, July 20, 2009

Comic 612: Bad formulaic estimates & humor

Today's guest poster is PERSON #1. have fun guys.

Hello everyone. It's me, randall Person #1! In todays exciting post I will be reviewing the latest xkcd comic! Let's just look at it first:

but i will never let guest posters take over my precious actual alt textOh. Ergh.

Awesome, randall. A windows joke. About the file dialog. Yeah, that's never been done.

Before I start reviewing, I want to post a little log of me and my friend rune:
(10:54:11 AM) Me: oh
(10:54:14 AM) Me: i just remembered
(10:54:19 AM) Me: I'm guest posting on xkcdsucks today
(10:54:23 AM) Me: i hope todays xkcd sucks
(10:54:38 AM) Rune: ...k, i have no idea what xkcd is
(10:54:45 AM) Me:
(10:54:54 AM) Me: actually
(10:54:58 AM) Me: you might not want to go there
Yes, I have found the one person who has never heard of xkcd. And I ruined him. Whose side am I on anyway?

Well anyway, the comic - I have kind of mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the joke is well-executed and there aren't any excess panels. It's somewhat funny, even. Didn't make me laugh, but it's not as bad as, say, firefly fanfic. There is semi-good art by the standards of xkcd, though it could really use a background, it looks like the car is standing like this. But I forgive you, randall. It's not necessary for understanding the joke, so I will allow you this ridiculous level of minimalism you like to strive for.

Now, on the other hand, it's a Windows joke. Another Windows joke. About something that has been made fun of since Windows 95. Congratulations, Randall. Your humor is over a decade old. I was trying to find some examples of other comics doing similar jokes, but I couldn't find any. Maybe I suck at googling, or maybe other comics have self-restraint. Yesterday I said that xkcdsucks was turning into a sitcom, but I think the same might be true for xkcd. Old jokes, heavy recycling of material and weak fucking dialog.

Speaking of recycling of material, has anyone noticed that in this comic people behave like machines? That has never been done before in xkcd. Take the functionality of a machine, apply it to a person, and you get humor. It's Munroe's Law! A guaranteed xkcd classic!

Let's see what the forumites have to say about this;

fenrir_darkwolf: Just got an external hard drive and am putting up with a lot of this right now... Yet again good job on reading my mind Randall.

Haha, what? How is this the first time he encountered a joke/humorous remark about that? I really didn't expect any "get out of my head" on this one.

Then a bunch of praises to randall and to themselves for how "look at me, I'm really really geeky" they are. (Which is pretty normal for randy's fanbase) Alright, the forumites are boring.

The alt-text:
They could say "the connection is probably lost," but it's more fun to do naive time-averaging to give you hope that if you wait around for 1,163 hours, it will finally finish.

Oh, uh, okay? This is classical randall-observational humor. Observe, retell, hope it's funny without a joke anyway.

Alright, that's all I have to say. Quite more than I expected, I hope I didn't bore you.


  1. The art is horrendous. It's a floating, poorly drawn car.

    I also can't believe the reddit crowd upvoted this like 2000 times. It's gotten to a fucking point where ANY reference at all to ANY problem in windows nets him thousands upon thousands of page views.

    Hell, i'd be doing the same thing I guess. shit out something stupid that the fanbois want, make money.

  2. i laughed at this one

  3. Mike, I said by the standards of xkcd ;)

    At least he drew something

  4. You may have forgot to mention that the driver of the car is talking on his or her cellphone while driving!

    Maybe the joke is that the driver has stopped the car in order to safely use a cell phone, which is why the ETA is impossible to predict. If that is the case, a better artist would be able to get that point across.

  5. Even then, a background would not hurt.

  6. Person #1: Haha true, I'd just settle for a fucking line for the ground. just a horizontal god damn line.

  7. xkcd could be better:

  8. Reading these strips makes me want to punch someone in the face. But not as much as watching people in the forums worship them as if it was the geek humor of the century.

  9. it is the geek humor of a century. Just not the current one.

  10. This hasn't even been true in 2 years since they released a Service Pack for Vista.

    Hey guys, wanna hear my thoughts on Windows ME?! I bet it would make a great comic! Hurrrr

  11. Mike G:


    Does that ease your pain?

  12. Has anyone read this?

    The xkcd knights protect Randypoo from the villainous Wheelor!

  13. My objection to this is that the text doesn't make any sense. The car is "just outside town," yet we're to believe it drives fast enough for a moment that "naive time-averaging" puts the arrival time at 30 seconds. Are you driving a rocketplane, Randall? Have you not heard that velocity is a continuous function? How is your car stopped one second and moving at 300mph the next?

    Overall, the concept made sense (though it felt a bit tired) while the execution was confusing, absentminded and unfunny.

  14. "The worst part is how the first one or two hundred comics were almost all hilarious. My theory is he discovered 4chan and it corrupted his sense of humor. Would definitely explain why a good half of his recent comics are like "LOL LOOK I DID A MEME". (Not that I have anything against memes, Randall just sucks at meme execution 99% of the time.)"


    oh man, that is so true

  15. Literally fifteen minutes ago, University Challenge throws up "first published in 2005 by Randall Munroe, which internet thing [paraphrased] calls itself "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language".

    Do you know the answer, kidlets? Someone from UCL did. They got ten points for knowing it. And a chance to answer bonus questions on... something. Not webcomic related though.

  16. even if you win, you lose

  17. Dear ComicJK
    The phrase "driving a rocketplane" is a comedy goldmine.
    I'm imagining Munroe riding a bomb, like at the end of Dr. Strangelove, waving a (black?!) hat in the air and screaming.

    RE: the comic
    Do people not make Apple jokes because Apples are actually perfect? Or is it because such jokes would be too obscure to get?

  18. people make apple jokes. Particularly about the fact that it only has one mouse button (well, not anymore, but my apple-humor is not up-to-date as I've lost contact to my old art teacher who I liked to make fun of for being such an apple-fanboy)

  19. People don't make Apple jokes because their faults tend to not be a very good source of humor. They are no longer crippled with "you can't do anything on a mac," they have really good tech support, and stuff doesn't break that often or that comically.

    They aren't perfect, but they aren't funny.

    Instead, you make jokes about Apple users and Apple advertising.

  20. A la Mr Charlton Brooker's hilarious guardian column:

  21. by the way, raymond chen is spinning in his grave.

  22. Jesus, Comic JK...

    You just explained the joke. Are we to assume he travels far enough in these short amounts of time that he would have such wildly differing estimates? No. That's the point. The guy is really bad at estimating time and appears to just be guessing.

    Do you object to talking horse jokes because horses don't talk?

  23. but if he's just guessing at random and not changing his estimate based on his changing speed, then there's not even a joke, unless you're stupid and think that copy dialog just throws up a random number because it's "really bad at estimating time".

    then again, this is xkcd, not some good comic that would think these things out.

  24. but ray, the joke is that the numbers in the dialog are essentially random and meaningless

    I think you're just criticizing for the sake of criticizing

  25. Ray,
    Obviously, the copy dialog is using various parameters to estimate the time left. However, I think Randall was stating that sometimes it appears as if it doesn't have any clue as to how much time is left.

    Here's the joke, for those of you that don't understand it:
    The copy dialog uses poor logic to estimate how much time is left. Therefore, the person who wrote the code behind that would likely also be bad at estimating how much time is left in real world tasks.

    Laugh or don't laugh, but don't stupidly question the logic. His behavior is meant to be illogical.

    "but if he's just guessing at random and not changing his estimate based on his changing speed, then there's not even a joke"

    What? That is the joke. If he were being logical the comic would go something like this:

    "I'm just outside of town. Judging from my estimates the last 4.3 miles will take me just under 8 minutes. This is mainly due to the numerous school zones through which I must pass. See you shortly."

    Take away the logic and you have something that some people might consider humorous.

    Anon 1:27PM

  26. "I think you're just criticizing for the sake of criticizing"

    You know, some people have the unhealthy tendency to do that here. And that's bad, because the actual blog post was pretty coherent and solid.

    I *still* majorly disagree on the "humans acting like machines" aspect, but I guess we just see it differently, and nothing will ever please every person in the world (or will it??).

    ... wait... I'm growing sensible? OH NOES!

  27. Wow. This is just terrible. Where do I start?

    It's another one of those "jokes" Randall's always making. I think we can pretty accurately put this in the bin with all his other "jokes" and say that he's now trying to "be funny". What happened to being classy, Randall?

    It's about Windows, which we all know is terrible, so why even make a joke about it anymore? It's like how we all know sex makes life frustrating, so why talk about it, jeez! Ooh, computers! Get a new topic, Randy.

    And look at that car! For a comic with the gag-a-day format (rather gag-every-three-days, since someone's lazy), which is adapted from a weird nerd's notebook scribblings, I'm severely disappointed in the artistic merits of that car. What is it, hovering? You're about to hit a big black line! You're in a box, stupid!! Haha, a box.

    Anyway, I must admit I laughed at this comic, but I forced myself to suppress my laughter so I could write a mean post on my blog.

    1 / 10 (adjusted from 7 on account of bias)

    0 / 10 (what happened, Randy?)

    Good Drawings:
    -20 / 10 (haha, a box)

    Pertains to themes that have nothing to do with XKCD or Randall's life interests:
    -100,000,000 / 10

    -25,000,004.75 / 10

    Overall, I hope Randy-bo-Bandy realizes the damage he's doing to society. I mean, look at that average rating! It's a very low number, Ran-ran.

  28. The point is that it's bad logic, not that there is no logic at all:

    "Based on my speed for the last twenty seconds, I should be there in about 15 minutes." (The car stops at a light). "Oh, no, based on my speed for the last twenty seconds, I should be there in six days." (The car accelerates to ungodly speeds) "Make that 30 seconds!"

  29. 1 + 0 + -20 = -19

    NOT -100,000,000



  30. Oh, I almost forgot! Today's Penny Arcade is about Microsoft retail stores! It seems like SOMEone couldn't come up with an idea, traveled to the future, read the word "Microsoft", and thought THEFT would be the best way to approach humor. Don't you get it, Randtacular? We read webcomics too!

  31. @Xkcd Fan:

    You're not much of an XKCD fan if you can't properly punctuate XKCD, are you?!?! The Amazing Rando has clearly stated it to be either "xkcd" or "XKCD", not some horrible mutant "Xkcd"!! Maybe you should check your facts before posting something so ridiculous.

    Honestly, some fans.

  32. Joking aside, PA's latest is a fine example of how to make a comic which is timely and relevant, instead of just 'whatever popped into their head at the time.'

  33. Joking aside, show me a time where XKCD consistently devoted itself to being timely and relevant.

    I could post scathing reviews of PA, complaining that it's not "off the cuff" humor. But then again, that's not what they do. XKCD has a long history of things that popped into Randall's head, and that a lot of people who aren't you find it funny.

    I'll agree, there was a time where the comic really annoyed me, and that's when I found this blog. But lately, it really does feel like the posters are suppressing any hint of laughter to write a harsh review.

    When an artist goes through a slump, it looks like poor-quality workmanship. When a critic goes through a slump, it looks like ill-tempered, immature personal attacks, made for the sake of being curmudgeonly. Guess where XKCD Sucks is right now?

  34. Get out of my head, Person #1!

  35. I'd have more respect for xkcdsucks if it was balanced. This was a good one. The Internet agrees. The art has always been bad, that's part of the appeal of xkcd. It feels lame that you guys are critical beyond reason.

  36. "When an artist goes through a slump, it looks like poor-quality workmanship. When a critic goes through a slump, it looks like ill-tempered, immature personal attacks, made for the sake of being curmudgeonly. Guess where XKCD Sucks is right now?"

    The problem here is this has been the accusation against the blog since before Carl did more than post two sentences saying "yup, this one sucks." Indeed, the anti-blog sentiment tends to wax and wane along with the quality of the XKCD--on his mediocre weeks there's a lot of hate. On his truly shit weeks, not so much. You're not saying anything useful or new or interesting here. The blog is what it is, and has really never changed much. The quality and criticism has been pretty consistent most of the time. Carl has liked comics I found utterly loathsome and hated comics I thought were pretty decent.

    It may be true that to a hammer everything looks like nails; I find this preferable to an alternate reality where the only time we notice the nails are when we step on them. And we enjoy and derive social and entertainment value from the blog.

    XKCD seldom used to be topical; they were math jokes, and programming jokes, when they were. The references were either timely or classic--and not just rehashing an old idea, but making the reference interesting. Now it's just "man, microsoft minutes. What is UP with that?"

  37. "The art has always been bad, that's part of the appeal of xkcd."

    No, it's not. You are dumb, and you should feel dumb. Your points? Also, dumb. Your family? Probably dumb, too. Your dog? Eh, he's probably okay, as far as dogs go (but most dogs are dumb, so you do the math).

    The thing that appealed to me when I first read xkcd is that it did actually feel spontaneous and unique, because Randall experimented with the art. He used color, and perspective. He sometimes switched to 3-D, or did neat little landscape drawings on graph paper (quick rant: I loved when the comic was drawn on graph paper, because I remember doodling stuff on graph paper in math classes back in middle/high school and it was a neat bit of nostalgia for me).

    What made xkcd great is that it was "off the cuff", as a previous commenter mentioned. Now Randall has forced himself into a strict schedule and a non-experimental (read: boring) style, which has likely been one of the underlying factors in the strips decline. He ran out of ideas (which I imagine he scrawled down in a notebook somewhere as the popped into his head once or twice a week), and suddenly the pressure from the fanbase (along with their blind support of anything he churns out) has firmly cemented him into rote production of subpar comics.

    And that is why you are dumb. You lose. You get nothing! Good day, sir!

  38. Postscript:

    I thought today's comic was KIND OF OK

  39. I only thought it was kind of OK. The floor is yours, Mr P.

  40. Alright, I suppose we can agree to disagree. If my tastes bring me closer to XKCD and yours bring you closer to XKCD Sucks, so be it.

    I guess I'm just kinda disappointed. I thought I'd like seeing different perspectives on comedy, but I'm barely able to parse this blog as a critique. It must make sense to someone, but I think I have to side with Dr. Horrible (or at least, the way I percieve his actions) and say I don't think this blog is helpful as a tool. Maybe that was never your guys' point; you DO refer to yourselves as "vitriolic". I guess I just wanted more, you know?

    I really thought that by taking the opposite side of the popular approach (assuming XKCD is funny), you guys would play the part of therapist, making suggestions that would essentially help readers decide for themselves what they find funny, and yeah, maybe helping Randall come up with better comics. But it seems you have no interest in doing any of that. You exist as the anti-XKCD, consequenses be damned. It may be that there's some value here, but as for me, I like my critiques to make some attempt towards the rational middle ground.

    To put it in terms of your hammer-nail analogy: I don't like stepping in nails any more than you do. I just don't think a website devoted to Nail-Watch 24/7, posting pictures of an elongated piece of grey lint and asking "is this a nail" is any more helpful than just plain attentiveness around construction sites.

    It's what makes you guys happy, and that's fine. But in my opinion, your site is just as dangerous to critical thought as it is to assume XKCD is always funny.

  41. @The_P:

    I... agree, sadly. It's the story of the underdog becoming popular and changing his work to follow suit. It always breaks my heart a little bit when it happens, whether it's a band, a comic, a director, whatever. I like to think of myself as able to pull away from my own subjective mindset, but there's always something missing from a "new" work that I can't let go of.

    I usually remind myself of this: in order for the comic to stay the way it was, it would have to be unpopular. XKCD touched a nerve, though, and through some cosmic churning, it was destined for popularity. For the stuff he became famous for, Randall's fame is deserved. The rest is a subtle tragedy.

    That said, even tragic artists can make good work. The strip may have lost its early-days charm, but you know what, it can still be funny.

    When it gets to Simpsons levels of despair, I'll be behind this blog 100%.

  42. Was I the only one who immediately though of a hack comedian form the early 90's telling this joke?
    "Hey, what if you were talking to a Window's file transfer dialog box? I think it would go a little something like this..."

    Besides that, the thing that annoys me about this comic is that he's trying to insult the computer's inability to predict the future accurately 100% of the time.
    Do Apples really not do that or did he just make it Windows specific because Apple is COOL and Windows is NOT?

  43. @HateBottles:

    I think the real problem is a lot of us (I can only speak for myself, really) have to deal with people telling us how "z0mg, AWESOME!!1" xkcd is all the frickin' time, and it starts to grate. In order to defend our less popular position, we become hypersensitive to flaws that allow us to justify our opinions.

    Not to mention that anger is cathartic and fun. Swearing, too. It's fuckin' rad as shit.

  44. You know what? Despite everything, there is only one problem I have with Randall munroe.

    And that's this:

    We know he can draw.

    Take, for example:

    He can draw. Relatively well. But somehow, despite the fact that he *makes a living* off of throwing a sketch online 3 times a week, he's incapable of doing anything more than what a 3-year-old could do. And that bothers me. I could live with the tired humor, i could live with the "this-is-my-illustrated-life" theme... But i can't live with the fact that despite his minor artistic capabilities, he's not willing to do anything more than throw up a couple of stick figures 3 times a week.

    Also, on the topic of Randall making most of his "humor" out of memes:
    Is this really the same guy who criticized people for mistaking repetition of tired jokes for humor?

  45. It's like Michael Jackson all over again.

  46. hatebottles: are you serious? NailWatch 24/7 would be the greatest thing in the world. seriously. make that blog, I will read and plug it so hard

  47. I really don't understand how Fernie thinks this isn't a "humans acting like machines" joke.

    Windows estimates time all jerky-like, going from an ETA of six days to thirty seconds and back.

    Randall noticed Windows does this.

    Randall wrote a comic: "What if a guy was like this?"

    Oh, wait, there's some contorted historical chronology that means it's REALLY what if the machine acted like a HUMAN! Oh that makes things SO MUCH DIFFERENT FERNIE.

  48. @Mal:

    Seconded. Fernie's argument is about as valid as Vanilla Ice's claim that the bassline to "Ice, Ice, Baby" is not a blatant rip-off of "Under Pressure".

    Fernie - you are as ridiculous as Vanilla Ice. Please consider seeking psychiatric help.

  49. That's it! xkcd is like Family Circus in terms of raw pandering to its imagined demographic, and Mr. Hat has become fucking Not-Me.

  50. I've been lurking on this site for over a year without posting (and will probably continue to not post), but I have to say, as much as xkcd fandom irks me, I just ignore it (i.e., i don't read the xkcd forums or use reddit). I agree almost 100% with HateBottles (but not about Doc Horrible-no offense to him, i think he handled his 'mistakes' as well as can be expected). I read xkcd right BEFORE i visit the blog, form my opinion of the comic, try to guess what this blog will say about it, and then read the blog. Sometimes I can't guess anything, and for those times I am surprised when Carl or whoever *does* come up with some critiques. And sometimes I definitely think 'Well that's a pretty unfair critique of this *particular* comic, even when viewed in conjunction with all the others' Anyway, the reason I don't post is because while I mostly agree with the general critiques of Randy, I don't want to be the guy who writes: "Seriously? You're gonna critique that minor detail of the premise?"

    Good on ya, hardbottles

  51. er..I meant *HateBottles. I guess my mind is in the gutter.

  52. Another "apply machine concept to man" comic. Not terribly bad, but still not really good.

    But really, what makes this comic good is the horribly drawn car. I can't look at it and not laugh. I mean, Randall can seemingly draw, so what is this if not extreme laziness?

    This is the kind of comic I can go back to to reassure myself if I ever feel about hating on xkcd.


    Bill Gates is lying on a hospital bed. (PROBLEM: Randall couldn't draw Bill Gates or a hospital bed recognizably). He is hooked up to an EKG.

    A nurse standing next to him is saying "Oh no! Bill Gates is having a heart attack!"

    Then the next panel shows the EKG screen, and instead of a flatline it shows the WINDOWS 98 BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.


  54. holy shit that car is missing a wheel. Or else it's doing one of those pimp-mobile things.

  55. Thing that pisses me off most about this?

    It's the fortieth anniversary of the fucking moon landings and randall is making a windows joke?

    He could have at least made it into a moon landing reference.

    You know "Houston, we have ETA on landing in six minutes. No, wait, fourteen minutes, hold on, three seconds. Houston, what is going on? Are we using Windows?"

  56. 40 is a hack number. 50 is where it's at.

  57. Even so, Ann, people are making a fuss about it now.

  58. holy shit that carl is missing a wheeler. Or else it's doing one of those pimp-mobile things.

  59. The car apparently has no doors.

  60. @Danny: just 'cos they think they'll be dead when 2019 rolls around. It is the children who are the future!

  61. holy shit that man has no face

  62. GUYS why aren't you laughing at my HILARIOUS windows/bill gates joke???!??!?!

  63. Hmm, I expected this one to get a far harsher reaction.
    The subtitle felt horribly forced.

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Let me help you out, Anon:

    "The carl apparently has no doors."

    You're welcome!

  66. "I'm just outside of town. Judging from my estimates the last 4.3 miles will take me just under 8 minutes. This is mainly due to the numerous school zones through which I must pass. See you shortly."

    Actually if he said this, but the text was still "Windows guy blah blah blah" that would be way funnier.

  67. I have never heard anyone make a "Windows File Copy Dialog" joke before. Ever.

    I just figured it was something everybody sort of knew about, but never mentioned. I think there was a common analogy for that, but I can't remember what it was. "Hippopotamus in the bathtub" or something like that.

  68. Cory in the House
    Turkey in the Straw
    Beauty in the Beast


  69. I use Teracopy myself.

    And what the hell operating system does Randal use? He's always pissing himself over linux, but still seems to be up with the Windows crowd.

  70. "Old Joke?" To be honest, this is one of the few jokes I've ever heard about the copy dialog. Yeah, it's done that for years and I've definitely noticed its ridiculousness, but this isn't some tired, completely unoriginal joke.
    I think xkcd jumped the shark a long time ago, but bashing the fuck out of every little thing he does simply because HE did it isn't a thought-out critique of xkcd--it's infantile ad hominem. Surely one of the most popular webcomics on earth remains popular due to SOME semblance of quality in even the most OCCASIONAL strip? Or are we just making fun of every aspect about the big kid on the block because one-too-many bad comics made us jealous of how many more page views he gets? Maybe if YOU tried writing some worthy material, more people would actually realize the mediocre nature of xkcd, rather than be turned away by this excessively spiteful tripe you call "criticism." Sir, you are an embarrassment to all of us disillusioned-xkcd-readers everywhere.

  71. No, it would be ad hominem if we said "Randall Munroe fucks dolphins, therefore this comic sucks." We say "this comic is shit, and Randall Munroe sucks because of it." Difference!

  72. He probably messes around with Linux but uses Windows when he needs to get any work done, because he didn't have time to recompile the kernel in order to get his mouse to work or whatever.


  73. He hates Randall because of some of his old comics, then hates ANY of his new comics just because they come from Randall: ergo, ad hominem.
    He'll NEVER admit to liking any of Randall's comics, his little xkcdsucks internet persona would be at stake. So he follows his same old formula, it's tired and now just annoying, and each post basically boils down to one of a few statements we've heard a million times before. -Hey, he sounds just like...Randall Munroe!

  74. That's not how ad hominem works, dude. Not that your assertions are true, anyway.

    Ad hominem has a definition, see. It's an actual term. Let's check it out on the Wikipedias together, shall we?

    "An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim."

    Every one of the critiques on here addresses a specific point in the comic. Now, you could theoretically argue that "Randall is being lazy" is an attack against Randall, but it's not really--it is simply saying that a negative quality about the comic is the laziness with which it was produced, something which directly affects the quality. It's not a character quality, nor is it appealing to it.

    Now, occasionally we do come to the conclusions that Randy is an idiot, but we never say "Randy is dumb, therefore the comic sucks."

    Also I think everyone who has guest-posted on here more than once has admitted to liking several of the comics, so... you're full of shit?

  75. ...So tempted to lock the comments at yours and leave it like that forever

  76. you can just moderate them and make sure the only ones that get through are appropriate

  77. Maybe he doesn't use Randall as his reason, but most of his excuses for hating a comic in many of these posts are so horribly shitty, what reason does he have other than pure malevolence for Munroe or xkcd? Even on the really shitty comics, his descriptions are basically "RAHR LOOK AT THIS ITS STUPID ITS CREEPY HE DID THIS BEFORE BLABBITY BLAH BLAH." On the off chance he's right, his posts are so full of unessessary, hateful muck, that it is rendered without any sort of literary value whatsoever.
    It's just some guy lambasting a comic.

  78. "God know we can't have comments that passionately disagree! In a blog that's ten times as harsh of all places!"

  79. Some of the comics I have liked: 582, 507, 443. They should get a category page I think.

    Also not sure what you meant by me hating xkcd "because of some old comics." In general, the farther back you go the more I like them, not less. Here's a list of 10 old ones I like a lot. are an idiot?

  80. Passionately means TYPING IN ALLCAPS now?


  81. from the reddit feed:
    I don't hate xkcd. But it is insufferably twee at times.
    why do you hate tweed, i find those hats most comfortable

    posting pictures of an elongated piece of grey lint and asking "is this a nail"
    This sounds SO FUN LET'S DO IT GUYS
    oh wait
    Rob why did you beat me to the reply
    oh wait

    Malethoth (Mal from xkcdsucks) that is awesome. That is just great. Think you could post it on Could Be Better? I AM LAUGHING


    this is the best comment thread that has ever existed, i think (i'm probably wrong but whatever)

  82. Caption: The Windows Download Dialog guy visits a friend.

    Alt text: "But I had to use the calculator, officer! He asked me when I'd be there!"

  83. @HateBottles
    I wholeheartedly approve of this product and/or service.

  84. Surely one of the most popular webcomics on earth remains popular due to SOME semblance of quality in even the most OCCASIONAL strip?

    ctrl alt del hur hur hur

  85. SPEAKING OF AD HOMINEM (that is so a word, spellcheck) there's a great page on that here. It does not surprise me that an xkcd fan would misuse the term.

    Same guy has some other good pages here and here.

  86. least i could do

    jesus and mo

    questionable content

  87. Jay, that -excuse me- brought tears of joy to my eyes.

  88. I just found this today:

    Has this been posted before and I just missed it? If not, enjoy!

  89. "You got kicked out of the band because you suck, you're a terrible drummer."
    "Cause of my one arm..."
    "Well, yes and no. You're a shitty drummer, but only having one arm doesn't help."
    "So because I only have one arm, I'm no good."
    "No, no! Not because. Listen closely. Alright, you have one arm. And, also, in addition to that, you're a shitty drummer"
    "Cause I'm handicapped."
    "Yes! Your handicap is that you're a shitty drummer!"
    "Cause I only got one arm?"

  90. Jimothy: sorry that you're an idiot and don't speak proper English. Maybe you should go die, in a fire, and that would be all better.

  91. Jimothy:
    It's people like you that make people like me look bad. You cry "ad hominem", then say the posters on this site are all "BLABBITY BLAH BLAH"? We all get what you're trying to say, but... you're being as needlessly harsh as the very actions you're criticizing (actually moreso; Rob was being fairly civil with you). Gandhi didn't shoot people for starting wars.

    Meanwhile, Rob told you to go die in a fire, and I couldn't help but laugh. It's like, there are times when personal attacks are inappropriate, and times when they're executed perfectly.

    I've heard the best friendships start with disagreements. This is the most fun I've had online in a good long while.

  92. PS:
    A public alert

    I like how Nail-Watch was almost a scathing critique on criticism itself, but then it veered off and now is entirely about nails

  93. @Jimothy:

    Here's a convenient exploration of what an actual ad hominem argument is: AD HOMINEM

    Hopefully, this will heplp you realize that a) you are an idiot, b) you are an idiot.

  94. One of the simple pleasures in this life has always been insulting people who think that their knowledge of the existence of the phrase 'ad hominem' makes them win arguments. You write up something very rational and well-thought out to refute their points, then you call them fat, or insult their mother, et cetera. They get so confused!

    So yeah, welcome to xkcdsucks, HateBottles. We are all a bunch of jock adhomosexuals or whatever and hate humor and nerd jokes, because we are dumb. It's true! You should write a guest post some time.

  95. They make Mac jokes.

  96. @Rob: Well, you're a moron and an asshole, so there goes your argument.

  97. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 21, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    Carl and his arrogant fanboys are so jealous of xkcd's success, it's almost sad. You hate that xkcd is popular while your worthless efforts in writing and art have failed, so now you're all reduced to hating on Munroe's every move. Why is that exactly? Did Munroe ignore you at a convention or something?

    Oh, and I love how you present your OPINION on ART as if it were FACT. Art is inherently subjective, you'd know that if you had an education. Remember, xkcd is widely regarded as being the greatest webcomic of all time, and a few unconstructively critical blogposts on some worthless corner of the Internet isn't going to change that.

    Furthermore, how dare you even criticize something you obviously have no understanding of? Do you really expect us to take your slanted viewpoint seriously? What credentials do you offer, exactly? Where are YOUR webcomics, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. You're just another uncreative loser trying to get the attention of a true luminary, probably in hopes of validation. How sad your lives must be.

    Finally, nobody is forcing you to read xkcd, so why do you bother criticizing it? You people really need to lighten up and quit being so angry all the time. Perhaps if you took a few courses in computer science, mathematics or physics, you might live long enough to enjoy xkcd.

  98. I think Schroder-Deviant is deliberately being as XKCD White Knighty as possible?

  99. Sophie Schröder-Devrient is doing a pretty bad job trying to imitate William Monty Hughes.

  100. But more believable. Which is obviously not what WMH is going for, but hey.

  101. "You people really need to lighten up and quit being so angry all the time."

    Why is it that people with opposing view points are always labeled as angry, as if that wins them the argument because their opponent has emotions?

  102. Um, poore, am I missing something or didn't we post the same links?

  103. omfg i dont know whether to laugh or cry at Sophie Shroder's post.

    That's either one epic troll or one of the most delusional human beings on the earth.

    "Remember, xkcd is widely regarded as being the greatest webcomic of all time"
    holy fucking shit. this is what convinced me that it's a joke, an all too believable joke, but a joke. no one can be this stupid/oblivious and if this isn't a joke, i'd love to discuss this further with you oh sophie.

    hilarious nonetheless.

  104. Enjoy 613, Fred. What a fucking softball that was.

  105. Oh yay for the new one. Just a badly set-up situation with a cheap punch-line.

  106. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 21, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    Dear Mike G.

    Unsubstantiated mockery is a confession of intellectual impotence.

    Really, what is there to discuss? It is not true that xkcd is popular on Reddit, Digg, Shoutwire and Is not true that xkcd has won numerous awards by the WCCA and was mentioned by numerous mainstream media outlets?

    I just typed the phrase 'webcomic' in Google and xkcd was the very FIRST result. I think I'm plenty justified in saying xkcd is the most popular webcomic of all time. Yes, I know it's hard to accept that xkcd is popular, but you're going to have to live with it, I'm afraid.

  107. But if I type the phrase "web comic" in Google, Penny Arcade is the very first result. And... oh. XKCD has more pageviews and stuff according to Alexa.

    Oh, whatever, it's pointless bickering.

    New comic reminded me of the "I used to think correlation implied causation, then I took a statistics course" comic but I couldn't really say why. It also reminded me of crap.

    QUESTION: Why is this girl randomly telling this guy that she had a three-way? Either he wasn't there, in which case what the fuck, or he WAS there, in which case HE WAS THERE, retard, you don't need to tell him.

  108. Honestly, a guest post could be kind of fun. Do I have to send an email to express my interest, or is saying something here cool?

  109. email Carl. he can add you to the SUMMER OF MADNESS

  110. Sophie is confusing popularity with quality, and as Mal points out, PA is still more popular.

  111. sophie is obviously a WMH takeoff. if you read that link criticizing criticism of critism, it's obvious her post is just a list of the cliches. very well played though.

  112. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 21, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Dear Anonymous.

    You are incorrect. xkcd is more popular. The fact that this blog even exists is a testament to xkcd's popularity.

    Even if Penny Arcade is nearly as popular xkcd, PA's target audience is teen gamers. How embarrassing to think that two men in their thirties are behind that endeavor. Shouldn't they have grown out of it by now?

  113. Argumentum_ad_populum. Popularity != quality. Also, maybe PA is just so good nobody wants to hate it?

    PA is THE most popular webcomic. What games are for kids? So, it's like the Animation Age Ghetto (see TvTropes; I know you will because Randall advertised it instead of making a comic) but for games instead? Also, lots of people have quit reading since it is less focused on games these days, so apparently you haven't read it at all.

  114. *Should be a comma after What. =\

  115. Back in my day, guest posts were up within the hour of an XKCD update...

    (c'mon guys punctuality is just as mad as summer madness ok)

  116. i don't think carl has given everyone on the summer of madness actual blog-o-posting authority so maybe it's carl's fault DOWN WITH CARL

  117. I can't wait to talk about how shitty the new one is. Maybe Carl can put up a dummy post a day in advance so we don't have to wait for him.
    Or maybe we can make it like a forum. Then after Randy puts up his comics WE CAN ALL RACE TO CREATE A THREAD TO DISCUSS IT!

  118. There's already a forum, but if you want to make a thread go for it.

  119. As to Sophie's last post:

    I'm sure there are plenty of adults who play videogames, but as if that weren't enough, the PA guys have transformed their massively-successful webcomic into a massively-successful gaming expo and (arguably more important to someone with such a clearly dim view of gaming as you have) a massively-successful charity for sick children. Randall Munroe, meanwhile, draws stick-figure comics about cunnilingus. You'd think maybe he'd have grown out of it.

  120. Excuse me: "Shouldn't he have grown out of it by now?" I apologize if the biting sarcasm of my comment was lost on anyone because of my poor paraphrasing of dear Sophie's words.

  121. aww, i wish carl was still posting, i think he'd do great work with #613. have fun with that one, guest reviewer!

  122. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 21, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    Dear Anonymous,
    Why not use the official thread to voice your complaints? Look, there are even a few critics of Munroe's latest effort there! You may or may not have grown accustomed to the circlejerks you delightful people have over here, but feel free to drop by anytime.

    And to address Steve,
    I haven't played many video games, so my opinions on PA/video games hardly matter, but reading about PA's "charity" just now makes me wonder why these sick kids are given video games, of all things, instead of actual experiences. Just seems like a feel-good cause that gamers indulge in to feel useful. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  123. guys sophie is clearly kidding, please do not feed her....i like the "people wrote a blog saying you are bad, therefore you are popular, therefore you are good" line of reasoning though. made me smile.


  124. I don't see how kids who have to lie in a hospital bed can really be given anything very experience-y to do. Is Child's Play a gamer indulgence? To a great degree, I'd say "yes", too, but at the same time the reality of the situation is they're actually improving the lives of kids lying in beds who currently don't have much to do or be happy about. (Just my $.02...)

  125. Interestingly, as I read the comments upward I got the increasing impression that Sophie was kidding, but her first couple of comments still gave me a niggling doubt..

  126. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 21, 2009 at 11:43 PM

    Dear Carl,
    That's rich. First you claim I'm kidding because I happen to disagree with your opinion, then you strawman me by putting words in my mouth.

    I'm sorry if I'm causing a disturbance in your daily two minute hates, but you've been having it way too easy over here, criticizing Munroe without opposition. Someone has to stand up to this blog, might as well be me. Don't criticize others if you can't take criticism yourself!

  127. Sophie, understandably you've made some assumptions and a few fallacies, however, a lot of it is correct. XKCD is popular, it has won awards, but, the thing is, these people don't care. They'll nitpick at it until it is "perfect," and perfection is unachieveable, so that's really forever.

    Everyone on this site enjoys XKCD, from the most literal and direct sense to the most perverse sense. See, even if everyone just LOVES to yell at XKCD, there is no fault in mentioning that XKCD gave them the very outlet for their creative criticism. Otherwise, this site would have been a degenerated version of itself mocking CAD or something.

    What I find funny is why people put this online, if it is true that there intent is to criticize. Randall has admitted to not reading it. Therefore he is not benefiting or fluctuating in the least from this comics existence.

    So, why don't all these people go home, write their criticism on sheets of paper and hang it up on their wall and admire it? It does as much worth as it does writing here. So, we assume there is some difference between the two. That is of course, the presence of company. The critics on this site find pleasure snarking at people that vouch for XKCD. They find pleasure in the company of fellow critics, who all band together in furious spectacle of head-nodding and condescending stares. They find pleasure in the occasional conversion of a normal person into a fellow critic.

    That is why they are here. Their catharsis, their joy. Similar to how people may play videogames, do sports. This is theirs. Whether it is right or wrong to criticize a comic isn't their concern. The only matter that I find is that if their criticism turns inward into hatred, and they start treating their precious "joy" as a chore. This is similar to any passion, if you start not enjoying it, you throw the purpose out the window and you don't even realize it.

    My resolve? Someone make a blog called XKCD rules, and start doing the reverse to any critics who come to the site. The only reason why no one does this is that being mean is often more fun than being nice. (HEY, if anyone does this, and does it well, they'll get major self-props to their writing and persuasion skill).

  128. "makes me wonder why these sick kids are given video games, of all things, instead of actual experiences."

    Yes, for God's sake, let's not give these sick kids things they might enjoy.

    What the hell are "actual experiences" anyway?

  129. "makes me wonder why these sick kids are given books, of all things, instead of actual experiences"

    Does your argument still work?

  130. On the topic of giving sick kids books instead of video games, I'm pretty sure, no I'm positive, that there are more kids who enjoy video games than kids who enjoy reading. A lot more. Like a 7:1 ratio. Most of the time when a kid reads a book now, it's some "classic" stuffed down his throat in school from the 50's, not something enjoyable like picking their own book.


  131. Oh, and funny forumite quote:

    "Anyone else notice how the two in the comic get closer and closer each panel? I imagine by the fourth or fifth, they'd be making out."

    He just acknowledged awful art and then made it seem like Randall's just some subtle genius. /sigh

  132. TheMesosade et al: You're all idiots for taking sophie seriously. You deserve to have your time wasted.

  133. Saw the links posted by The P and Jay. Anyone know what happened to Stephen Bond? his writing is great, but the site hasn't been updated in a year. Is he still writing somewhere?

  134. heehee, an ad homonym argument. Thanks for that educational page, Jay!

    uhh poore, maybe you should put down your drink for a bit so you can peer blearily at the page 'fore posting links! jkjk It's okay, I still love you. I clicked on YOUR links, NOT Jay's.

    why did everyone take Sophie seriously, especially you Rob how dare you use such an ad hominem attack on Sophie's weight, fat people can be right sometimes too

  135. If we have no effect on anything, why must we be stood up to? Sounds like a couple of pots calling each other kettles, always bubbling out, "Ugh I can't believe they feel that way someone should set their poor tastes straight."

    Except here we are all fun-loving, attractive critics with the financial security to condescend from our chairs all day.

  136. i just call em like i see em amanda

  137. I would like to make an observation. I'm currently downloading something via Transmission, and its 'estimated time remaining' dialogue is mind-numbingly schizophrenic. It doesn't even average out times. It just assumes that the current rate will remain constant for the rest of the download.

  138. 10nitro, you dickweed faggot. You copied your post in the forum into a comment here. Just copied it. Didn't even change it.

  139. I like this guest week thing so far.

    I also like that there's a blog that makes fun of a shitty popular webcomic that's getting press and fame when there are way better webcomics out there (even Eegrah, which is only about 40 comics).

  140. you keep claiming that u hope the comics get better and yet:
    "i hope todays xkcd sucks"
    hypocrite piece of shit